Tuesday, July 31, 2018

New Goal, New Challenge and Some Morning Motivation….

I’m setting a goal of losing an inch on my stomach during August without losing any muscle mass. I’ll be taking new measurements every Friday….

My challenge is less of a challenge, per se, and more about men holding each other accountable. In this case, my accountability partner is Mr. 1500 from the website https://www.1500days.com/   who will also be reporting his progress.

And here’s my morning motivation, a still frame from my ole Army buddy, Ragnar, getting after it in a boxing workout while traversing the eastern seaboard…. If he can regularly hit his workouts at sea, I have no excuse….

On that note, heading downstairs to do a lat workout….

Monday, July 30, 2018

Credit Card Trial....

I recently became the 4th (out of 4) victim of debit card fraud in my immediate family. And I get that that it’s a huge racket; but I cannot understand how someone can somehow walk in a store and use my debit card without the pin number hundreds of miles from home. But I digress….

My wife recently mentioned that one of the things she wants to do more in the future is travel. Hmmm, I thought: “Is there maybe a way to kill two birds with one stone here?”

Starting August 1, we will use credit cards to make all of our non-cash purchase (utilities, groceries, eating out, etc.). Chase has a card that will give us 50,000 reward points (equal to $600 in travel purchases or $500 cash back) for charging $4,000 in 90 days (or something like that) as well as cash back on all expenditures after that.

And yes, after a year of spending every cent (except for $1,000 of our savings) we had to eliminate all debt, a credit card scares me. I actually had a dream last night where I forgot to pay the bill and we somehow ran up more debt than our home is worth, while also spending the rest of our money traveling. I woke up in a panic…. However, the pros seem to outweigh the cons in this scenario, so we will give it a shot for the remainder of this year and see how it ends up.

More to follow….

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m reading:  The Book of Psalms (Holy Bible) and The Six Sigma Way Team Fieldbook: An Implementation Guide for Process Improvement Teams

What I’m listening to:  Choose F.I. podcasts....

What I’m working on: Always having something to work on ….

Where I’m succeeding: Morning routine ….

What I’m grateful forLife ….

Quote that has me thinkingPeople are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time, they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.” – Seneca

What I’m excited aboutOpportunities ….

What I’ve been pondering: Digital hiatus ….

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Back At It - Week 1 IF (sorta) Update....

Back in April I started an 8-week journey that allowed me to lose several pounds of body fat while gaining muscle and improving sleep and energy levels. I was able to accomplish this through intermittent fasting (eating only between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM) and the Keto diet (high fat/moderate protein/low carbs).

However, during the 2 months since, vacations and traveling with work (excuses, excuses) have resulted in me losing some (but not all) of those gains.

On Monday of this week, I started back on this journey, but with a twist…I allowed myself to cheat each evening if I was hungry, but only with good food (healthy fats, proteins, dark chocolate).

The results the past week were a ¾” inch decrease in my stomach measurement and a 4-pound decrease in body weight. I’ve also measured my body fat percentage, but it has fluctuated based on hydration levels so I’m not sure how accurate it is in the short-term.

More to follow….

Thursday, July 26, 2018


My Army buddy from back in the day still getting his unconventional workouts in while at sea.....

Monday, July 23, 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Weekend Projects.....

Stained a chair I made a couple weeks ago, made some jalapeno poppers on the grill, mashed some guacamole and tomatoes and made some keto-friendly  fat balls for the coming week....

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Homemade Guacamole….

Kept it chunky this time and added some sliced homemade tomatoes…..delicious! 

Friday, July 6, 2018

C.S. Lewis Quote....

Isn’t it funny how, day by day, nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different – C.S. Lewis (thanks, Kadar)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

2018 First Half Report....

The first half of this year has been solid with regards to return on investment in most areas of my life. As Jocko Willink says: “Discipline equals freedom,” and if you put in the work on the front end, most of the time you can use that momentum to gain compound interest over time, and even segue successfully into other areas. However, I also failed to get any traction in a few areas because of a LACK of discipline…I base my ratings of success or failure on goals I set at the end of each previous quarter.

2018 First Half Successes
·       Read 11 books on personal finance, diet, self-improvement
·       Read 40 books of the Bible (21 Old Testament/19 NT)
·       Obtained Six Sigma Green Belt Certification (finished course and took test in less than a week)
·       Completed several projects around house, including replacing fence boards, extending out brick walkway and getting gardens planted
·       Helped daughter move into her own house (assisted with moving, painting, etc.)
·       Took wife to California for 2 days (her fav place)
·       Started ‘Man Letters’ with son (12 to date this year). Also visited him at college twice and helped him move back home for summer.
·       Coordinated Grandmother’s 88th birthday party
·       Saved/invested 40% of bring home pay
·       Gave away almost 12% of bring home pay
·       Became shareholder in startup venture/investment opportunity
·       Created multiple tax shelters to protect more of income (FSA, 403b, IRA) – thanks to Tony Robbins (Unshakeable) for this invaluable advice on protecting assets from taxes and fees
·       Paid cash for family vacation in Florida
·       Regular rehab workouts at home, consistent resistance workouts at gym/home
·       Met with doctor and had MRIs done on shoulder and back. Shoulder surgery required during second half of year (at least 3 tears)….
·       Made great strides with Keto/Intermittent Fasting diet, losing 11 pounds, 4% body fat and 2+ inches off waist
·       Commended at work for flow chart design/presentation for operating forum
·       Selected to participate in upcoming design sprint at corporate HQ
·       Increased overall net worth by 4-4.5% (still waiting on final #s)

     2018 First Half Fails
·       Did not get paperwork turned in for non-profit
·       Failed to create minimum viable product (MVP) for business idea
·       Did not see eye doctor (overdue)
·       Backslid on diet in June (vacation time 😊)
·       Did not continue morning routine and meditation after first quarter
·       Completed assessment of local real estate opportunities and made offers, but after counters were made, decided to hold off for the time being. I have an agent and will evaluate new opportunities as they come along, but only make offers on exceptional deals.
·       Failed to follow up with education momentum after completing Six Sigma….