All posts tagged fitness hacks

The Last Safe Investment

By Brad Beckstrom

There’s this constant buzz, the stock market is overvalued, a major crash is coming, interest rates are going up, homes are overvalued. If you read all of these headlines, you get the feeling there are no “truly safe” investments. If you’re striving for financial independence, these types of alerts and headlines can really get to you. They used to really bother me. 

Over the past few years I’ve been steadily working on what I call the high quality, low information diet. The 2016 election set me back a bit, but I’m on the road to recovery. The news notifications are off, emails are being rounded up and unsubscribed, I’m getting higher quality news and information on my own terms.

Traditional Investing

If we can free up time, by removing distractions, then we can invest it elsewhere. Let’s start with traditional investing. I used to subscribe to multiple investing e-mail newsletters. I think I even paid for a few of them! I’ve unsubscribed manually, and using a tool called unroll me. Once in awhile they still find me and I marvel at all of the investing advice out there. Everything from, microcap stocks, crypto currencies, precious metals, the list goes on. What I take away from this deluge of information now, is to go in the opposite direction. Instead of expanding into new areas of investing I’ve chosen to vastly simplify my investing strategy, 4 low fee index funds, freeing up even more time for safer investments.

The Safest Investment
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Making Sleep Awesome Again.

sleepisawsome-1

Nine Ways I’m Improving My Sleep and Fighting Fatigue .

By Brad Beckstrom

I shouldn’t complain, after all, I’ve spent a half a century on this planet without a major illness.  I’m not sure my second half-century will go as well, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.  In return for my overall good health, I’ve gotten to battle my share of ongoing “nagging conditions.”  I think “conditions” is a good word for these because they are a state, a circumstance in which I operate, they are ongoing and generally unyielding to my efforts. I have learned to live with these conditions and manage them on a day-to-day basis so that they’re generally unnoticeable to others and, on a good day, unnoticeable even to myself.

What is my condition?  Boogers. That’s it. That’s what I’ve called it since I was a kid “Boogers”. The official medical term is Sinusitis, Basically your nose overreacts to everything and fills up with some sort of snot that dries up in the night and turns into boogers.  It’s sort of like having a mild cold all the time. Immediately people think “oh, you must have allergies.” Nope, I’m allergic to nothing. I’ve been tested probably 5 times, even once at the National Institutes of Health. After sprays and meds didn’t work, top docs told me, “oh, the problem is your deviated septum. Surgery can fix that.” I got a second opinion, “yep surgery will fix that.”  I got the surgery, it didn’t fix it.  It’s my condition. It’s not going anywhere.

I was told that these sinus problems need to be addressed or they can lead to sleep apnea  which can lead to stroke, cancer or DEATH.  So, now these boogers could kill me if I didn’t get rid of them. Or more likely, my wife will kill me for my loud snoring, Read more…

Should I have another?  

The best way to track your alcohol intake without carrying around a breathalyzer or having someone offer you one.

intellidrink-iphone

By Brad Beckstrom

So one friend says to me “I shouldn’t have a beer, I’m driving.”  Another friend says “Let’s have another round.” And he may have already had 5. Even though I frequently use UBER or Lyft to get around, I still think it’s a good idea to keep track of what you’re drinking. I’ve been trying to cut back on the amount of alcohol I consume to lose a few pounds and live a healthier lifestyle.

I found a subtle trick you can use  to limit your drinking and stay well within legal limits. You’ll be able to your enjoy yourself whether it’s with the 1 beer friend, 5 beer friend, or no beer friend. Here’s how it works:

The past couple of years I’ve been using a smartphone app called IntelliDrink. The app uses an algorithm based on information you put in to set up your profile. Your profile includes things like height weight, and gender but also allows you to put in your favorite drinks, including type, size, and alcohol content in advance. So, when you have a beverage, all you need to do is click on the drink button. You can even adjust the time you started, as well as whether you have recently eaten, or are drinking on an empty stomach. Just make sure you’re sober when you complete your profile and put in the drink information. You only need to do this once.

frug intellidrink

The most important feature on the app is the blood alcohol content (BAC) graph. What many people don’t realize is that your blood-alcohol level continues to rise after you stop drinking, especially if you’ve had several drinks over a short period of time.  This app does a great job of tracking and  predicting blood alcohol content based on your profile and the types, time, and number of drinks you’ve entered by hitting the drink button. Read more…

Multitasking with Your Left foot and Your Right Brain.

The secret was in my feet.

Frug Feet2

By Brad Beckstrom

Many people think they they can multitask effectively. Companies put it in job descriptions, people put on their resumes, and talk about it in interviews. Neuroscientists say that we’re not actually multitasking but quickly switching from one task to another. Even if we believe we’re getting more done, multitasking makes us less effective.

But, what if we were to combine a single focused mental task with a simple physical one?  A single physical task like walking. This way we’re able to do the physical task almost from muscle memory and focus on the mental one with minimal interruption.  We can also minimize interruptions by being in motion instead of sitting in an office, for example. Read more…

The 3 Act Day – Why you should structure your day like a screenplay.

By Brad Beckstrom

What if every day were scripted like a great film?

the godfather act 1

Marlon Brando, The Godfather Act I

Whether you like it or not, they often are. Here’s a super abbreviated version of the classic three act structure in screenwriting.

3 act structure

Act I The Setup: Establish the main characters, their relationships, the world they live in, and what the story is all about?  Later in this act there is a “call to adventure” or “catalyst” that sets the plot in motion.

Act II Confrontation: Also referred to as “rising action,” this typically depicts the main characters attempt to resolve the problem initiated by the first turning point, only to find him or herself in ever more challenging situations.

Act III Resolution: Features the resolution of the story and its subplots. The climax is the scene or sequence in which the main tensions of the story are brought to their most intense point and the dramatic question answered, leaving the protagonist and other characters with a new sense of who they really are.

The Hero’s Journey

What if every day could follow the structure of the hero’s journey with a call to adventure, rising action and intense point where dramatic questions are answered and we have a sense of who we really are? That’s a hell of a lot more interesting than a to do list or a calendar.

Act I is the early part of the day, the setup.  If you’re in a foul mood, skipping the important stuff or feel like a rudderless ship, this day may end up not being a very good movie.

Act II  is the main part of the day. For our purposes here, let’s call this “rising action.” You can call it the workday, whatever you want. The main character – “you” – is attempting to resolve ever more challenging situations and sometimes, small or large confrontations.

Act III Finally, there is resolution, wrapping up our efforts for the day and hopefully bringing the day to a successful close.  Our hero, again “you,”  finishes out the day and rides off into the sunset.

Here’s how to script your day like a blockbuster.

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