Seven Tips to Help You Stay Motivated With Your Fitness Goals Beyond New Years

I absolutely love the quote “People by and large become what they think of themselves.” from Psychologist and philosopher William James.
In the hundred or so years since James’ muttered this simple truth everything behind that statement has not changed.

And it strikes at the core of what it takes to stay motivated and be successful when it comes to reaching all of your fitness (and life) goals this year…
What you think of yourself is what you become.
So right now you’ve have to decide what you want to become.

Are you someone who has grit and determination and is willing to do whatever it takes to get in shape and improve your future well-being? Or are you someone who makes excuses?

Your answer determines your fate.

With that in mind, here are seven tips to help you meet all your fitness goals this year:

1. If you haven’t done so, write down your goals – It’s important. Everything starts here. Take a few minutes right now to write down your fitness and health goals and a specific plan to achieve them complete with a timeline.

2. Make a list of the obstacles in your way and what you are going to do to overcome them – The first step to overcoming obstacles is to identify and then come up with an action plan to defeat them. For instance, if you feel you can’t get into shape because you just don’t have the time, make a list of how you spend your time and cut out things you do that tend to be unproductive (such as watching television or taking an overlong lunch.)

3. Write out the reasons you want to achieve your goals – What will it mean to your life? How will it make you feel? What will it do for your self-confidence? And so on… Then prioritize them and read the list at least once a day.

4. Remember that life is short. The late Steve Jobs once said “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help make the big choices in life. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Looking after your health is a big choice. And one that could extend the amount of time you spend with your family and friends. So go for it. You have nothing to lose, and as the saying goes “everything to gain.”

5. Talk like a champion – Now this might seem like a small thing, but words matter. Don’t say “I can’t” or “I might” say “I can” and “I will.” Plus never criticize yourself or others. Never forget, you are the number one person in your life and you should treat yourself accordingly.

6. Read quotes, articles, books, biographies that inspire you. Reserve a half hour (or more) each day to fill your mind with positive thoughts. Read about people you admire and learn from others who have already achieved what you want to achieve in life.

7. Never forget that your thoughts control who you become and what you achieve – Banish negative thoughts from your life forever. If they should enter your mind, change the subject immediately. If you’re confronted by a problem, instead of dwelling on it look for the opportunity it presents. And always remember that to have a healthy body, you have to have healthy thoughts and words about yourself.

How committed are you? Have you been living “in between” for too long?

There’s no time like the present to bring positive change to your life. You already have everything you need to succeed. Believe you can and you will. Then use these seven tips and make 2014 the year you keep, reach and exceed your fitness and health goals.

2011 Medicare Changes

Every new year there are changes to Medicare benefits. This year there are many more benefits because of the new law that congress passed in 2010. The one issue that affects everyone is the premium for Medicare Part B. Since there was no inflation and no COLA increase for social security, premiums for Part B will remain the same with a base of $96.04 (individuals with income less than 85,000) each month that is generally taken from the social security check. For individuals with incomes of more than 214,000, the Part B premium is $369.10

Part B will have an increase in deductibles if people only have Medicare without supplements or Medicare Advantage plans. Annual deductibles will go from $155 to $162. The Part A deductible will increase from $1100 for a 60 day hospital stay to $1132. If you have supplements or Medicare Advantage plans, these changes won’t affect you.

The prescription drug Part D donut hole will also have an added benefit. The donut hole is on most Part D programs where you lose copayments for name brand drugs. The donut hole starts at $2840 of annual costs and goes to $4550 before benefits pick back up again on your Medicare. As of 2011, any name brand prescription drug you get if you fall in the donut hole, you will get a 50% discount on that name brand drug.

The last major change of Medicare for 2011 is free preventive care screenings. This benefit is not available for people on Medicare Advantage plans because their benefits are managed differently. But for people on Medicare or with a supplement, they will be able to get routine screenings for free (such as flu shots, pneumonia vaccines, cholesterol screenings, mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and bone-mass measurement at no additional cost).

Any Medicare program is a good program. Every year you should familiarize yourself with the changes so you can make sure that the plan you have is the right one for you. They are all good, but some are better than others for different people.

Mandatory Solar Panel Roof Hardware and Attach Points Required On All New Homes?

Before the housing crisis there were an incredible number of new housing starts, housing tracts were going up all over the place in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. Yes, in many other states as well, but those are the ones that really took off. During that time the government was calling for more energy efficiency, and wanted those homes to be better equipped with insulation, dual paned windows, and properly dressed door jams to hold in the heat or air conditioning depending on which time of the year it was. Okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we?

It turns out that each time the price of the house was increase due to these extra or energy efficiency attributes, it made it tougher for people to qualify for loans to buy the homes. This meant fewer people could buy homes, meaning fewer people could realize their American dream – this notion that owning a home signifies that you have arrived and are successful in life. It also helps with buy-in because you have a vested interest in the country, and your community.

If you’ll recall originally only landowners were allowed to vote because they had a vested interest, skin in the game, and something to lose if the leadership of the country didn’t run things correctly. Homeownership is good for America, and it is a good feeling for those who can feel as if they own a piece of our great nation. As I say, it was a mistake to mandate that homes be outfitted with more insulation, or energy-saving components because it prevented people from homeownership.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we learned our lesson, and we seem to be doing the same thing again. Let me give you an example. The Mercury News in San Jose had an interesting article recently, posted on May 30, 2012 titled; “California poised to require ‘solar ready roofs’ on new homes and buildings,” by Dana Hull, which stated;

“The California Energy Commission is approving energy efficiency standards for new residential & commercial buildings which will take effect Jan. 1, 2014. A host of common-sense standards designed to save energy, from insulating hot-water pipes to making sure that air conditioner installations are inspected for sufficient air flow. The standards would also require new homes & commercial buildings to have “solar ready roofs” — a mandatory requirement that will be a boon for the state’s growing rooftop solar industry.”

What I find unfortunate about this is we’ve just slapped huge tariffs on Chinese made solar panels and solar cells. This means the solar panels cost more, and therefore the return on investment takes longer. This means fewer people will be buying solar panels, and yet they will have to pay the additional $1500 per all the hardware and hookups, and electrical fittings wired into the roof on their new home purchases. This again increases the cost to buy a home, and it seems that it’s just bad policy.

Yes, the other day I was having a conversation at Starbucks about how difficult it was to wire up a pre-existing house whether it be for fiber optics, electrical outlets, additional piping, or anything else. Ripping holes in the wall can cost a tremendous amount of money, and it’s much cheaper to do it while the house is being built. Nevertheless, it still costs money, and how many of those homes will ever have solar panels, but the individual in the house will be paying on the loan for the hardware which was installed, equipment that they will never use. How does this help our citizens?

At some point we have to stop treating alternative energy as some sort of a new religion as we have with global warming. We need to do things for the right reasons, and not mandate new regulations on every single industry to create some preordained utopian society. In the future rooftops may not be wired for electrical systems for solar panels because solar panels may be paint coatings with electrodes sticking out where the energy then gets transferred and goes wireless to a receptor, or receiver.

That’s the future of this technology, so why build homes right now with attachments per the current technology, which is changing rapidly and will not be the same in five years, but those homes will be standing for probably 50 years. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Building a Profitable Online Personal Training Business

Building any business is difficult. It takes guts, perseverance, dedication, time and money. Actually if you want the truth, it takes a lot more than that. It takes a toll on your life. Your family suffers, your bank account dwindles and your stress levels shoot through the roof. Regardless of all these scary emotions and scenarios, there are some major benefits to starting your own business.

You are in control, you are following your dreams, you are creating something from scratch and you are a leader. You have the ability to hire workers and you alone can create an empire. The feeling of working for yourself can be compared to nothing else.

Personal trainers are used to working long hours for minimal pay. Most personal trainers wake up each morning ready to help their client lose weight and feel great for only 40% of the session fee. Sometimes personal trainers are treated as if they are the bottom of the totem pole.

If you are a personal trainer and you are looking at ways to boost your income without drowning in debt and taking massive chances with starting your own personal training business then read this article closely. It will show you the basic elements of creating a successful online personal training business.

The very first step in creating your online personal training business is to create a fantastic website. This does not mean one that flashes and sparkles with ads. It means creating a website that has a clean, professional look and feel. It means creating a website that has a ton of information about you, your service, and fitness.

It is so very important for your personal training website to receive free targeted visitors from search engines like Google and Yahoo. Many online personal training businesses pay to have their site put in front of thousands of people. Why not create a tightly focused web business that ranks well at the search engines? This gives you warm, pre-sold, targeted visitors for free.

Once visitors find your site, you must impress them. You must tell the more than the standard who, what, where, when and why. You must develop a relationship with them. You must create trust with your potential online personal training clients. There are many ways to do this.

You could create an ezine or a free e-course that explains the best weight loss methods. Providing answers to your customer’s questions will make them trust you. It will also provide you with something rather priceless- expert status. Your visitors will view you as the expert in online personal training and fitness.

Once you have a clean website, free traffic and a trustworthy relationship with your visitors you can begin to let them know about your online personal training services. Of course you do this in a warm and friendly manner. No hard sales necessary because your visitors already trust you. They already want to buy from you so long as you help solve their problem.

Read that last line again because it is the basis of all successful businesses. Your online personal training business will succeed so long as you convince your visitor that you can solve his or her problem.

Many online personal training businesses contract third party programs to create fitness routines and/or nutrition programs. Some business owners like to create their own programs using Excel spreadsheets. Whatever you choose, do what is best for your customer.

The ultimate goal for any personal trainer should be to train more clients, but spend less time doing it. Online personal training is the answer. Starting your own online personal training business is a lucrative business opportunity for many weight loss professionals.

Just remember to start with a fantastic website. Without a successful online personal training website that attracts loads of warm pre-sold visitors you will waste your hard earned cash. Be wary of get rich quick schemes and those hosting companies that offer free or low cost web space. If you want to build an online personal training business that is successful, then do it right the first time. Plan for success and a profitable online personal training business can be the answer to more income and a better quality of life.

Tennessee Health Insurance Exchange Will Be Ready By 2013

The Tennessee health insurance exchange is the talk of the town. According to Brian Haile, director of Tennessee’s Insurance Exchange Planning Initiative, they are devising a final recommendation to Governor Bill Haslam on how they plan to run the insurance exchange in Tennessee.

Even though Tennessee got a waiver exempting them from health care reform, they could not turn a blind eye on this particular mandate. Haile said that preparing for the health-reform-mandated exchange is the plausible thing to do. He added that they are only doing what makes sense for their state. When states’ health exchanges are mandated to be open for business, Tennessee will be ready by hook or by crook.

Will Tennessee Health Insurance Exchange Lead To Lower Premiums?

The “exchange” was created under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Approximately 11.5 million Americans will benefit from the exchange. Every state in America is expected to run their exchange by January 1, 2014. States that fail to do so would be letting the federal government run and control the health exchange for them.

Every state needs to establish two exchanges; one for individuals and another for small businesses with less than 50 employees. You are not mandated to buy from these exchanges, though.

An exchange is an online marketplace where individuals and small firms can shop for affordable health coverage from participating insurance companies. This would really help out consumers planning to get low cost coverage. By 2014, almost all Americans are expected to have a health insurance plan in place or face paying a penalty.

All the Tennessee health insurance plans offered will be standardized. Benefits will be the same regardless of the company selling it. Consumers will simply focus on the price of the plan and quality of health care they will receive. When you introduce productive competition, efficiencies of scale, more innovation and increased consumer power into a market as dysfunctional as the current situation for health insurance, you get lower TN health insurance prices and higher quality as a result.

Pre-existing conditions won’t even matter in the insurance exchange. Insurance companies can only set rates based on where customers live, how old they are and whether they use tobacco. They can no longer use a long list of factors used today that include gender, health status and weight.

Will Tennessee Health Insurance Exchange Have An Open Enrollment Period?

Although the online marketplace will officially start on January 1, 2014, interested individuals and small firms will be able to begin the process of signing up for coverage before then. You get “open enrollment” periods for plans sold through the online exchange. The open enrollment periods are designed to encourage people to sign up for coverage right away, rather than waiting until they become ill.

The soft opening for the health insurance exchange will begin October 1, 2013 up to the 28th of February in 2014. This will give consumers sufficient time to prepare for the state based exchange and help them make better plan choices. For the coming years, the open enrollment period for this insurance marketplace will be on October 15 and run until December 7. Under specific conditions such as adoption or you lose employer-provided healthcare coverage, you will be allowed to buy coverage outside of the open enrollment period.