How’s your ROI?

Hows your ROI?

Students go to college for various reasons, but every decision of higher education gets to the same conclusion: The benefits of the education and experiences outweigh the costs of the education itself.

In business, that’s called ROI, or return on investment. It is vital to have a positive ROI in both business and in life.

The keys to success don’t stop at high school or college.

Education is a lifetime affair.

Kristin and I got the chance to attend a really awesome conference recently called Product Camp Cincinnati.

PCamp Cincy

It was an inaugural session for the Cincinnati area. What a great and inspiring day! We learned a lot, met some great entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and other top minds in our area.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s session! (Learn more about bringing Product Camp to your area here)

This week, we are also going to attend a TEDx event which we are very excited about!

If you’ve heard of TED talks, TEDx talks are independently organized, and this year the focus is on Health and Wellness, something we want to learn more about. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, be sure to check out some of the speakers and information here.

TEDx Cincinnati

 

For me, conferences are like little mental vacations: a chance to go visit an interesting place for a couple of days, and come back rested and refreshed with new ideas and perspectives. – Erin McKean

Here are just a few easy ways to start investing in yourself:

  • Feed your Mind – Feeding our brains with books has never been easier. Most public libraries offer free e-book downloads you can read on almost any screen. This is how I get almost all of my books. I make it a point to read and learn something new every day.
  • Feed your Body – When investing in yourself, good food and exercise are an important part of that mix as well. Treating your body well will give you a lifetime of health and happiness. Our body is our temple, and we only get one.
  • Find a Community – Not only do we have unprecedented access to information today, we also have no barriers to entry with community. Search meetup.com for information sessions in your area that interest you, and get out there and meet your community!
  • Fund your Investment – if you are in a position to spend real money on investing in yourself, start setting aside some money out of the budget. Again, we’re talking positive ROI’s here. Most times, the money spent on education far outweighs the cost, so always be thinking in terms of a positive return on your investment.

What are you doing in your own life to better invest in yourself? Are you reading, taking classes, or going to conferences?

 

Why I take Cold Showers

Cold Showers

We have a bad plumbing setup in our house.

I’m not sure if it’s hard to get water to the area we live or if the builder used sub-par plumbing components, but we have a lot of trouble getting water flowing freely, especially upstairs in the master bathroom.

The water heater is not great either. I could easily wait 5 minutes for a hot shower, sometimes longer, and five minutes is an eternity during a rushed morning routine.

One day while running late for work, I decided I was going to say “forget it” and I hopped into a frigid shower for the sake of time.



 

WHOA! The water hitting my skin was a shock to the system. I might have jumped and winced like a girl. Had I just been awakened from hibernation like a bear?!? My whole body was fluttering.

I wanted to wash my hair and body and get the heck out of there! No wonder we take hot showers instead of cold, because THIS SUCKS!

After getting out of the shower – teeth chattering, body shaking, skin red – I tried getting dressed and went about the rest of my day, surely thinking I’d started off a bad day. Showering in cold water was a tough thing to do that day, but I began noticing something new.

I felt alert and alive the rest of the day.

Walking into work, I was ready to face the day boldly. I had already gone through the most difficult part of my day, so what could be worse than a cold shower? I began to fear the day’s activities less.

Getting home, I started trying to find articles about possible benefits of cold showers. Surely someone else had done this before and had experienced a similar feeling of accomplishment.

I ended up coming across a man named Joel Runyon. Joel has a business centered around doing the impossible, and he even has a whole system built around taking cold showers, check it out here.

I even found out he did a TEDx talk about cold showers:

I know not everyone will watch this, so I’ll break it down a little. The heart of the message in taking cold showers is to make it a point to get out of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

I’ve been taking cold showers for over a week now, and I think I’m hooked.

Cold showers suck because they are supposed to suck. They teach you to live in the moment of what you’re going through.

You have nowhere to hide in the shower, therefore, you are facing this difficult situation head-on. It relives fear, which is our biggest obstacle to success.

It’s great to know that Joel and his advice is actually changing peoples lives, I hope you’ll try it and see if it will change yours.

Would you try taking a 5 minute cold shower?

Reader Survey Responses!

A couple of weeks ago, Hello, Flecks! put a survey out to all the readers & fans of this blog asking for feedback and concerns with your own health and wellness journeys. (There’s always time to go fill it out at the link here, we love to get your input!)

Firstly, Thank You All so much for the feedback! You are helping us make a better site, one that can help you achieve success and feel great!

Here’s what we heard on a couple particular questions:

 What’s the vision of your perfect health?

Many of you said that just eating regular and healthy, unprocessed foods is part of the vision of your perfect health. Staying away from processed foods and bringing your connection back to mother nature’s gifts is a huge step in itself.

We couldn’t agree more, and we want to help.

It’s important to understand that this may not happen overnight, but it does happen with small steps.

Kristin and I have been on our own health journeys for a long time now. It started many years ago with simply adding frozen veggies to the grocery cart along with the frozen pizza. We started spending more time in the health foods section, even if we didn’t get anything. We scoped out the produce section rather than passing it right by, like I used to.

We didn’t always know what worked for us, but we began with a small task we could accomplish, like finishing a bag of veggies in a week.

As with exercise, you can not jump right into buying all Organic produce & no snacks and expect to succeed. You will burn out. Big audacious goals often take a while to build up to.

in particular for the last several months. If you check out our Instagram you’ll see we’ve been cooking up our meals for the week on #MealPrepSunday.

Sunday is now a day that reminds us of the great and healthy week we’ll be having, which puts us in the right frame of mind for the week.

We realize that healthy living includes things that don’t always come naturally for most people.

These are foundation items that can take a while to set in place.

One small successful step is way better than a failed leap.

The biggest hurdles to your success in health?

We heard this one loud and clear: Time and Motivation

That is something I think everyone struggles with. I’m always pressed for time and I, too, find it hard to get out there and get the workouts in.

While I don’t have a magic wand that can give you more time, I will say that consistency is what has helped me in the past.

To begin, figure out where you have no more than 15 minutes in your day, every day. By starting off with an easily repeatable task, this will build into a habit in about 3 weeks.

Kristin has been doing this with running 5 minutes a day. Yes, five minutes. Some may say that five minutes is not enough time to run, I say that is 5 minutes more than if she didn’t set aside that time each evening. She’s now going beyond the five minutes and is almost up to a whole mile of straight running. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

If you have children, include them in this activity, Please! I was not introduced to exercise beyond playing outside as a child, and I wish I had been.  This is a great opportunity for parents to teach children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle because children mimic their parents.

If you are demonstrating that healthy food and exercise is important, just imagine how that’s going to set them up for success in a world that is increasingly making processed foods the norm.

As for the motivation, know that it has to come from within. I can’t get you out there to work out or get you to drop the unhealthy habits, but I can try.

Begin to surround yourself with success stories. Check out how others have succeeded in ways that you’d like to, and use their success as a catalyst for your own success.

Just like it does for Kristin and I, motivation must come from within. You can’t do it for your spouse, or your kids, or your friends. You must change for you.

Something tells me that there is some reason for you to want to be healthier. Figure out what that thing is, and focus on it.

 

I hope you enjoyed the survey as much as we did with the responses. This was great knowledge for us, and so I’m very excited to be doing this again soon!

 



Arm-ed with an iPhone

Armed with an IPhone

With the announcements of 2 new iPhones coming out in just days, the Fleck household has been abuzz in cell phone talk this weekend.

We then notice our blood start to boil as our current phones get slower and drain battery more and more. Someone’s got to be doing this on purpose, right? It all sort of feels like a marketing plan to get you to buy a new phone…



America is currently underway with a cell phone plan revolution of sorts. Major carriers are dropping prices dramatically and that means if you’re stuck in a contract, you could be paying double (or more) what you would by shopping around. Take a look at the major carriers and you’ll see that Verizon (our provider) is just about the only company who’s not budging on prices.

So we went to T-Mobile to shop around. In short order, we discovered we’d end up getting more data and no contracts, all for $100 less per month! (And we are on a 20% discount with Verizon, mind you.) I like Verizon, but are they really +$100/mo. great?

I think this trend will continue. I think we’ll see phone prices go down and down. Shop around if you haven’t in a while, you could be saving a ton.

The Decision?

Not that its set in stone, but Kristin and I will probably upgrade, and the next step is to figure out which size phone we want. 4.7″ seems big but still manageable. Is 5.5″ too big?

Apple put a lot of work into creating some great new fitness and health tracking into the new phones, and that is really cool. It would be awesome to have those things work seamlessly in a bundled app.

That’s also what is starting to concern me. The new phones are much bigger and more on par with Android sizes now.

As a runner, I feel like the current iPhone is a somewhat large thing to be working out with, anyway.

If the whole point is to use the phone while working out, am I really going to be strapping a 5.5″ behemoth on my arm like that for every run? Are there case alternatives that now make more sense?

When the super-sized Androids started coming out, I was shocked how big they were, and the people who wore them with an armband running just looked silly to me.

Is Apple going to make wearing phablets on your arm cool? Will we all get used to this?

Let me know what you think in the comments!



Are you an Educated Runner?

I know with this week’s earlier post, you’ve been wondering what this Change could be. Well, it’s more of an improvement, and it will definitely be a learning experience.

I’ve been training for my fastest PR leading up to the Cincinnati Too Half Marathon on October 19th, and up to this point, I’ve been working on my own training schedule.

In my never-ending quest for securing a PR of 1:30 for this race, I came across a group of coaches from Educated Running, and they’ve got a great deal that really excited me.

They are currently running a coaching promotion called the USA Project 50/50, check it out:

USAProject5050

Though I have complete confidence in my ability to make a plan I can follow, I know that I do not have years and years of vast ninja knowledge that these coaches do.

I do not have the USA Track and Field Level 1 certifications that all of these coaches do, nor have I ever helped two high school cross country teams finish top in their Regional Meets like Coach Hammond.

I am looking forward to sharing my future training with you all leading up to the big race day October 19th!

I’ve been a runner for about 6 years now, and I still consider myself a student of running. There are so many things that I learn everyday about what running really is and what it can do for you.

I signed up for training because over the years, I’ve bootstrapped this whole operation with $30 shoes, $7 training watches and Jillian Michaels DVD’s. I have never had the chance to get expert knowledge into how to train for a specific running goal. This is going to help me in my preparation, and it will give me a chance to try new things with my training, many of which I’ve never dug deep into before.

I met with my coach, Coach Miranda via Google Hangouts, and it was a great introduction & kickoff to the training schedule. He said something that has already really resonated with me.

He said I need to trust him by taking a leap of faith.

I don’t think there’s a better statement than that. To pivot from my own training plan into something completely different is scary. I’m afraid that I’ll be abandoning my own plan and feel like a failure. I’m afraid that this plan will be too different from my own.

After much soul-searching, I realized that this is exactly the kind of leap of faith I need in order to grow in anything. Not just running, but in life.

The key to change is letting go of the fear – Pittacus Lore

Letting go of fear applies to so many good things. I’ve taken leaps of faith before where I had no idea what I was doing, and they’ve turned out to be some of the best moments of my life.

Follow me along this new and exciting path. I will also be blogging with them on their page, which you can check out here

This new coaching plan will lead me right into the Cincy Half Marathon Too, and I’m excited to see how this coaching can re-shape my whole training plan!

Educated Running is an online coaching service with a personal touch dedicated to making you a smarter runner. They believe that there is more to training than just following a plan. Their customized training plans enable you to trust in your training come race day.
You can find more Educated Running on their Facebook page, helpful facts about food on Instagram, and join the conversation on Twitter.

 

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