Grant and Theresa's Life Prep

Making Plans and Achieving Goals

GUEST POST: A UNIQUE GIFT

It’s been a whole new ballgame this year raising a baby! Our daughter is about to turn 1 (how can that be??) and I am sharing about something kind of unique that I’ve been up to during this time. I didn’t know this was even a thing until I had a baby. Check out the guest post I wrote for my local hospital to read about my experience as a Mother’s Milk Bank donor!

-Theresa

GUEST POST: WAKEMEDVOICES.ORG

Investing is Scary But You Need to Start Now

Stocks, bonds, ETF’s, Mutual Funds, high yield, diversity, portfolio, risk management, bull markets, bear market, management fees, tax loss harvesting, 401k, IRA, Brokerage accounts, and magical unicorns.  Who wouldn’t be freaked out by all that?  Most people grow up knowing about checking and savings accounts.  Then you get a job and people start telling you to be sure you are saving for the future.  Well, what the hell does that mean?  How are you supposed to know what to do with your money when there are so many options and things to consider?  Not like they teach this stuff in school.  Besides, how am I supposed to save for the future when the present is so expensive?

How are you supposed to know what to do with your money when there are so many options and things to consider?  Not like they teach this stuff in school.  Besides, how am I supposed to save for the future when the present is so expensive?  Let us debunk some common excuses/fears. Continue reading

Stop Saying “I Don’t Have Time”

Time is a beautiful thing.  No matter your income, race, or gender we all get the same 24 hours per day.  We may never have income equality but we will always have time equality.  (Unless that cheesy Justin Timberlake movie, In Time, becomes true.)  Which means that you need to stop saying “I Don’t Have Time”.  You do have time you are just making different choices. Continue reading

The Only Job I Ever Loved

I have had many jobs over my life.  Soccer ref, basketball ref, phone book delivery guy, machine operator, concession stand worker, concession stand manager (look out promotion!), building test equipment for hospitals, designing overhead electrification systems for trains, designing high-speed package handlers, engineering lift assist equipment.  A lot of these jobs were great and I certainly didn’t hate any of them.  However, the only job I ever loved was working at the UNCC Fitness Center.  That’s right the energetic personal greeter slash student ID card swiper.  That was my jam for three years during college.

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Happiness Comes From Progress. So Stop Comparing!

Just Keep Climbing

One of the main keys to happiness is making progress in the most important areas of your life.  There is no end point that will make you permanently happy.  In order to stay happy we have to keep climbing the staircase and never go stagnant.  This means we need to spend a lot less time comparing ourselves to those with “perfect” lives and instead start focusing on improving ours.

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Staying Fit While Traveling

Airplane in the sky - Passenger Airliner / aircraft

I believe traveling is, hands down, the biggest obstacle to a healthy life.  Staying fit while traveling takes discipline, planning, and hard work.  Traveling takes you out of your routine and makes it extremely difficult to stick to a diet and get your workouts in.  Hotel gyms suck, fast food is abundant and who doesn’t like a few drinks at the end of a long day?  I typically spend 6-8 weeks a year on the road visiting customers, working trade shows and attending classes.  Over the years, I have figured out what works for staying fit while enjoying the city I’m visiting.  I am just returning from a long week in Las Vegas where I was working a trade show and I was able to lose weight and hit all my workouts.  Not an easy task in Sin City.

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Cash Budgets Don’t Work

A cash budget means that you make all of your purchases with cash and never use a credit card.  This is a method commonly touted by financial gurus such as Dave Ramsey.  He calls it the “envelope system”.  You may have even heard of some of the studies showing the money-saving benefits of using only cash.  I was a big Dave Ramsey fan when I first started working “in the real world” and took all of his advice.  I tried going to all cash but found the system impractical, at best. Continue reading

Why I “Choose” Free Will

Free will is simply our ability to choose the actions that we take.  Free will is a human characteristic and touches on so many distinctly human things.  Morality, laws, sin, religion, politics, guilt, punishment, and reward are all tied to the concept of free will.  Most of the articles I write are about making better choices.  I have written about how to lose weight, pay off student loans, get stronger, choose the right major, etc which all rely on free will.

However, a few months ago I saw a video by Sam Harris talking about the concept of free will.  In the video, Sam argues that free will is just an illusion and that our entire lives are predetermined.  This got me thinking and I quickly found myself going down a rabbit hole of researching this concept.  I even read Sam’s short book on the topic, Free Will, which further clarifies his views.  This idea was both new to me and disturbing to me.  I actually didn’t sleep well for a few nights because I was spending hours researching and thinking about this idea.  Is it possible that I have no ability to choose what my next action will be?

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New Year’s Resolution Update

We are now half way through the year so it is time for another New Year’s Resolution Update.  My original goals are here and my first quarter progress is here.  As always there have been some wins and loses but I’m learning and still pushing the ball forward.  Without further introduction let us begin.

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The Power of The Mind: Elite vs Average

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About 6 weeks ago, I finished my squat everyday and bench everyday program.  Since then, I have spent some time focusing on my dips.  I have been rotating them in and out with the bench press as one of my main lifts.  Last week, I did 18 reps with a 35lb kettlebell and this week, I was determined to get 19 reps.  I hopped up to the bar and started to grind them out.  17, 18, argh, crazy face, 19.  They weren’t pretty but I got them.  One rep better than last week and I felt good about my incremental progress.  Then, as I was putting the kettlebell back, my brain started working and I realized I had just used the 53lb bell by mistake.  What!?  So I had just done 50% more weight for more reps than I did last week?  How did I do that?  The past few weeks I have struggled to add one rep.  Was I just having a great day?

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