Special Offer for People Who Want to Start a Blog or Who Want to Convert to a Unique Domain Name

computer-1185637_960_720In a recent popular article on this site, we explained the benefits of having your own blog and also talked about how to actually get your blog off the ground and running. I won’t rehash all that, you can read it here though if you’d like to catch up.

Anyway, in that article, I mentioned Blue Host.

The thing is, if you want, you can start a blog totally free on a site like WordPress or Blogger. The only thing is, you won’t have a unique domain name and you’ll miss out on some other benefits as well.

What’s a unique domain name? Well, if you look at a lot of blogs, they’ll have the name wordpress in the blog. With a unique domain name, that is removed.

To me, having a unique domain name is especially important. It shows that your site is more than just a hobby blog. It make your site look legit and gives you more credibility. In fact, even search engines will respect your blog more, driving you additional readers.

So back to Blue Host. For only June 10th and 11th, they’ve got a massive sale going on their services. Here’s the link to their special sale.

Special Summer Sale: Shared Basic Hosting Package Now Only $2.95! Over 60% OFF!

Now is the best time ever to launch your blog or to switch to Blue Host if you are ready to take your blog up to the next level.

Blue Host is respected worldwide and now powers more than 2,000,000 sites globally. Blue Host offers

  • FREE  DOMAIN
  • FREE Site Builders
  • 1-Click WordPress Install
  • 24/7 Support

They also have a 30-day money back guarantee, so basically, you risk nothing by trying them out.

If you are ready to launch your own blog or you are ready to upgrade your current one, then don’t miss Blue Host’s 2 day only Special Summer Sale!

All the best,

Jamie

The Complete Guide to Improving Your Finances This Year

Everyone makes tons of goals around the new year. Unfortunately by summer, most of those ambitious plans have been long forgotten.

But here’s the thing. Summer is a great time for a financial reboot. There are so many fun (and free!) things to do, there’s no expensive heating bill to worry about, and best of all, here’s the Improve My Life This Year – The Complete Guide to Improving Your Financial Life.

How to use The Complete Guide to Improving Your Financial Life

My advice is this: use this guide as a checklist. Review it point-by-point. Most readers will find that some parts are more relevant than others to their specific financial situation. That’s great! Focus on the areas where you can improve. Financial difficulties lead to stress, health problems, relationship conflicts and depression. So if you are serious about improving your life this year, it is absolutely vital that you gain complete control over your financial situation.

Step 1: Increase Your Income

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Alright here we are at step 1. If you want to improve your financial situation, a simple, yet overlooked way is to increase your income. How? Well first, just ask for it. You may be surprised, but if you sit down with your boss and ask for more hours or ask for a raise, you may get it. The worst that can happen is they say no, but the answer is definitely no until you summon the courage to ask.

To increase your chances of being told yes, I recommend 2 strategies. One, take a month to do amazing work. That’ll build up your reputation prior to meeting with your boss. Two, document everything. As much as possible, record all the contributions you are making, particularly the ones that go above and beyond the call of duty. Especially important here are ones that can be linked to increased profits for your company. Find a way to show how your work adds value to the company. If you are making the firm more money, it is much easier for your manager to justify increasing your salary.

If you strike out here, then I recommend that you seek out other money-making opportunities outside of work. Do you write a blog? If not, check out this post on how to start one. Once you get some readers, you can add affiliate links to your articles (I’ll have a post out soon which explains how to do this) and earn commissions when people make purchases.

Another idea is to monetize a skill you already have. Do you like to play chess? Start offering chess lessons. Love golf? Be a caddie on the weekends. Love to read? Start a really cool book club and charge dues to join. The wonderful thing about living in this age is you can easily and cheaply start almost any business with a simple website.

To recap Step 1: Do some great work for a month. Document it all. Show it to your boss and ask for a raise. In the meantime, launch a website or start a blog and sell the skills you already have.

Step 2: Decrease Your Expenses

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You all know the classic saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It’s totally true. While we try to increase our income in Step 1, we can also improve our financial situation by reducing our expenses. How?

A great place to start is with this post, How to Save More Money in 6 Simple Ways. In that article, one thing I talk about is the idea that you should track every expense you make for one month. It is tedious and annoying, but trust me, the results will shock you. You’ll find there are things that you had no idea you spent so much money on.

The best way I have found to reduce expenses is to look for and eliminate these unnecessary habitual costs. I answered a question on Quora recently with analysis on just how much a daily coffee from Starbucks can set you back financially in the long-run. You can read the answer in full here or just skip to the conclusion – you may retire with $10,000 less just because you drank a cup a day this year.

How else can you save money? I’ll open that question up to you. Please tell us in the comments below any money-saving tips you have.

To recap Step 2: Record all your expenses for one month. Then identify and eliminate the habitual expenses that have been costing more than realize.

Step 3: Use the Gains from Step 1 and Step 2 to Increase Your Savings

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OK, Step 3 is where things get fun. Take your new income from Step 1. Take your new free money from Step 2. Add them together. Congratulations! This is your new money for savings. Now, this is important. I want you to open a new savings account. We don’t want this money mixing with the money we use in our daily life. This new money for savings should simply not exist in our mind. We will use it for building a long-term pile of money for starting a future business, getting higher education, or retiring with dignity and freedom.

So, open a new savings account and hide the money from Step 1 and Step 2 there. Or, if your willing to add a bit of risk in exchange for likely higher future returns, you can choose to put it in an low-fee or no-fee index fund. In the short-term, the market can swing up or down quite a bit, but if you are truly investing for the long-run, this can be a smart move (Of course it goes without saying, all investments have risk and you should do due diligence before making any investment decisions and speak with a certified financial adviser).

To recap Step 3: Add your new money from Step 1 and from Step 2 and save it for your future.

Step 4: Create a Plan to Get out of Debt

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Step 4 is so important that I considered making it Step 1. If you are in debt, you absolutely need to come up with a realistic plan to get out. At the risk of over-simplifying, we can honestly think of debt as either good or bad debt.

Good debt is the kind that is enabling you to become wealthier in the future. If you bought a good home with a mortgage in a nice neighborhood where prices are rising, this is most likely to be good debt. Why? Well, through this debt you are A) avoiding rent payments and B) slowly gaining full ownership of an asset that is rising in value. Of course, in the long-run, you’d like to pay off that mortgage, but this debt isn’t so terrible to have.

Bad debt on the other hand is the debt that does not deliver any tangible long-term increases to your wealth. Let’s say I buy an expensive watch with my credit card. Most likely, that watch will not help me get richer in the future. If I am in debt now because of it, that debt is bad debt because it doesn’t enrich me; it only slowly bleeds me.

The simple rule to remember is this. Find out the interest rate you can earn by saving the money in Step 3. Compare that rate to the interest rate you are being charged for any debts that you have in Step 4. Whichever rate is higher becomes your priority.

If I can earn 2% by saving the money in a CD at the bank and I pay 1% interest on student loans and 15% on my credit cards, then any new money I gain from Steps 1&2 should first go to pay off credit cards, then go toward a CD and then go making more than the minimum payment on the student loans – in that order.

Important Note: Some people are struggling to make their current payments. For you there may be significant help available. National Debt Relief has helped tens of thousands of people and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. If you need help, you can get some free advice from the them today.

To recap Step 4: Rank your debts by the interest rate you pay and tackle the highest rates first. If you need help with your debts, get some help now so you can be on the path to freedom.

Step 5: Make Important Financial Decisions Wisely

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Now let’s start looking at the future. Big financial decisions will impact your overall financial health a lot. Sure you can save some extra money by making coffee at home rather than buying it outside everyday, but if you want to make the biggest positive impact to your overall financial situation, you absolutely need to make the right decisions at some key moments.

A great example of this is when you are buying a new home. The choice of which home to buy, the choice of which community to live in, and the choice of which mortgage provider to go with are huge.

My best advice here is to say that you need to research as much as possible. Don’t just blindly make a choice based on emotion or random luck. When I need to make important financial decisions, I often go to The Simple Dollar. It is a fantastic blog with tons of advice and tips on making smart financial choices. They’ve been featured in places like Forbes Magazine and Time Magazine. A good example of their work is a recent guide they put together on The Best Mortgage Lenders. The person who reads this is way more likely to make the right call when it comes time to buy a home, and that may lead to hundreds if not thousands of dollars of savings.

To recap Step 5: When it comes to the big decisions in life, buying a home, going to university, or investing in the stock market, you absolutely need to spend time researching before jumping to a conclusion.

Step 6: Track Future Progress with a Proper Budget

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OK, if you’ve followed the first 5 steps, you are now well ahead of most other people. Step 6 is how we maintain our success. You need to make a monthly budget and you need to track your expenses. This doesn’t have to be hard. You can use a free service like Mint to stay on top of your monthly progress.

Tracking is valuable because it makes sure you don’t slide into old bad habits or get of course from your goals.

To recap Step 6: Don’t lose your progress through neglect. Track your monthly progress manually or with a free online program to make sure are staying on target.

Step 7: Relax and Trust the Process

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Whew! We made it to the end. Great work!

Remember at the start of the article, we mentioned that money problems may cause stress, health problems, relationship difficulties and even depression? Don’t let that happen to you. If you have followed the 6 steps, if you are in periodic contact with a certified financial adviser, and if you working to improve day-by-day, then relax and trust the process you are on. I’m proud of you for taking on this challenge and I believe that you have what it takes to succeed! Good luck!

Please share this guide on your favorite social media site and let’s make this the moment that we start improving our financial lives 🙂

How to Have a Great Morning: 4 Steps to the Perfect Morning Routine

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4 Rules for a Great Morning… Every Day!

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Drink Water Right After Waking Up

Your body needs water to, well, to survive. But you don’t want to just survive, you want to thrive. Check our post on how to get enough water throughout the day and watch your skin, energy, and brain power improve!


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Make a Simple, Fresh, Healthy Breakfast

You don’t have to get fancy here. A homemade smoothie is so easy, so delicious, and best of all, so good for your body. Check out our post on how to make smoothies part of your morning routine.


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Do Easy but Effective Body Weight Exercises Right in Your Own Home

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for you going to the gym. But if you are pressed for time or money, there is really nothing better for your morning routine than a quick run through some body weight exercises. Check out our post on how to use these effectively right in your own home for great results!


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Do Something You Enjoy in the Morning

The secret to getting up easily in the morning is having something you want to get up for. Set aside a little time each morning for something you love to do. Need ideas? Here are a few!

Read something you love.

Keep a journal.

Start a blog!

Go for a run!


If this blog is inspiring you to make positive choices in your life, please share us with your friends! You can follow us on Facebook!

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Why You Should Already Be Blogging & How to Start Your Blog

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Benjamin Franklin once said, “Write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Today, we’ll learn how to do both by exploring the topic of blogging. If you want to improve your life this year, you absolutely should be writing your own blog. Why? Well, let’s look at a few of the benefits of blogging first and then I’ll show you how to get started. It’s damn easy and if you’d like, after you read this post, you will know how to have your own blog up and running in just a few minutes. But first, let’s see the reasons you should be blogging.

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You will Improve Many Skills

Spelling. Grammar. Storytelling. Using your computer for more than just web-surfing. You will learn a lot of skills by creating and maintaining a blog. A lot of those skills – communication, tech, marketing – are in big demand. So today’s hobby can lead to tomorrow’s promotion. Speaking of which . . .

You will Improve Your Career

If you blog about a topic related to your career, 2 things will happen. First people will begin to perceive you as a thought-leader in your field. They will come to see you as the person who knows a lot about your job and industry. This can lead to networking opportunities, chances for promotion, and even new job offers. Secondly, you actually will become more of an expert in your field. You cannot help but know a great deal about your business when you are writing about it frequently.

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You May Make Money!

If your blog becomes popular, you will be able to make money selling ad spaces, providing affiliate links, or selling your own products like ebooks. I will be writing future posts explaining how each of these methods work. April was the first full month of this blog and it already earned over $100. I ain’t getting rich yet, but it’s nice to earn a bit of reward from your hard work, and once I implement some other monetization strategies, I expect this website to become very rewarding. I’ll share all these tips with you in future posts, so stay tuned!

Anyway, how do we get started? You can make a simple website with WordPress. If you want to make something beautiful and more personalized, try Strikingly. It’s simple to use and creates stunningly beautiful websites. They have an amazing feature which allows you to convert information from a Facebook page (great for small businesses) into a website or convert information from a LinkedIn profile (great for job-seekers) in a website.

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Another tip for getting started – If you use WordPress or Blogspot or one of the basic blogging services, your website address will include their name. Your site will be something like http://www.improvemylifethisyear.wordpress.com. Not so sexy. If you really want full ownership of what you create and the most professional image, you should get your own domain name and host. It’s simple and inexpensive and dramatically increases your level of control and status in the eyes of readers. There are many to choose from, but many bloggers eventually settle on Blue Host. Why? Here’s what Blue Host brings to the table for bloggers around the world.

Bluehost was founded in 2003 with one goal: to make a better hosting company. Built on open source technology, they’ve since grown to become one of the world’s largest providers of online solutions. Bluehost is a top recommended host by WordPress and also proudly supports many other open source programs. Blue Host provides . . .

Money-back guarantee
1 FREE domain registration
Unlimited domain hosting
1-Click MOJO Marketplace installations
Free drag-and-drop site builder
Unlimited disk storage
Unlimited IMAP & POP3 e-mail support
Industry-leading technical support located in the USA.
24/7 chat, email and phone support for customers.

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How to Make Your Blog Successful

I won’t complicate things. There are really only 3 things you need for success.

  1. Write (a lot). You just need to churn out a lot of writing. Readers keep coming back to a site when they know it routinely is updated with fresh content. You need to post frequently. I make multiple posts per week here on this site. You might post less frequently, but at the very least, you need to get an article up per week.
  2. Write well. You don’t have to have a degree in English to write a blog. But at the very least, try to avoid simple errors that damage your credibility. I use Grammarly to keep my writing crisp, clear, and error-free. They have a free version and a paid version, depending on how hard-core you want to be about your writing.
  3. Wait a lot. It takes time to build up an audience. It takes time for Google to respect your site as well. So don’t give up in those dark, lonely early months of your blog. If you keep at it, you will see progress. A previous site I launched that I no longer add content to continues to grow now thanks to some love from Google bringing me search traffic. But at the beginning, I was writing a lot and getting very little traffic. That’s normal, expect it, and don’t get discouraged. Results will come!

This post is very brief, but I promise to deliver some future posts that will dive into much more details. I look forward to sharing all the things I’ve learned thus far.

But enough reading me. Start writing your blog now!

Jamie

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How to Start Your Own Journal

George Santayana said that those who forget history are destined to repeat it. Well, if you want to improve your life this year, you need to learn how to remember your history. You need to start journaling.

I hear your complaints. Writing my feelings sounds boring. Sounds weak. Sounds emotional. Let me stop you in your tracks. Writing is one of the single most powerful things you can do. Why?

  1. Journaling improves your self-awareness. When you write about your day, over time patterns emerge. You’ll understand more fully what triggers your temper. You’ll see who makes you feel down. You’ll get how exercise improves your mood. You’ll see connections that you didn’t really notice before. Maybe you eat junk food a lot more after working overtime. Maybe you tend to skip the gym whenever you hang out with your lazy buddy. For example, before I journaled, I assumed that I felt jealous based on external things, like the behavior of my partner. After journaling, I realized my feelings of jealousy almost always came after I felt disappointed in myself for something. Now that I am more self-aware, I stand a better chance of tackling the source of negative feelings, rather than suppressing them or blaming someone else. Half the battle in life is truly understanding yourself. Journal for one month and I guarantee you’ll know things about yourself that you never realized previously.
  2. Journaling organizes your thoughts. Thoughts inside our head are blurry and nebulous. Forming our thoughts into words and sentences have the effect of crystallizing them into coherent ideas. If you are facing a complicated problem or important decision, getting your thoughts onto paper is absolutely vital to clarifying the issue at hand. I’ve found that some perplexing problems suddenly seemed so clear to solve once I jotted them down.
  3. Journaling de-stresses you. Sometimes we have a fear or challenge that we do not feel comfortable sharing with anyone. It goes unspoken and we carry it inside day after day. This low-grade stress is harmful to your body. Journaling is therapeutic because it involves a conversation between you and your notebook. Those worries can escape your mind and land instead on the paper. Elevated stress levels left unchecked actually sap male testosterone, so writing a journal can be one of the manliest things you do.

Speaking of manly, if you want to commit to journaling, what better way than to have a journal you look forward to writing in? This affordable genuine leather journal is a pleasure to use and will look so good on your desk. You want to improve your life this year, so commit today to keeping a journal, and see the benefits it will bring to you.

Some people struggle to start and stick to the habit of journaling, so if you worry that you won’t be able to keep at it, here are a few tips for you.

First, understand that the hardest thing about journaling is establishing the habit. So I’d suggest making your writing as short and simple as possible at the start. Once you are used to doing it daily, then you can start to expand your writing.

Next, choose a specific time and place you will journal, and make it as easy as possible to follow through. For example, if you plan to write right before you go to bed, keep a pad of paper and a pen on your nightstand.

Finally, choose a specific question you’ll be answering. That way, you won’t struggle to find a totally new topic to write about. For example, you could decide that for the next week, you’ll write down one positive thing that happened to you that day as a way of noticing and expressing gratitude. Or, you could write down one mistake you made and how you’ll handle that kind of situation in the future as a way of providing yourself constructive feedback.

By making sure your new habit is easy to do, doesn’t take much time, and delivers positive benefits to you, it’ll be far easier to start and stick to it.

To summarize today’s post, journaling brings many benefits to you, and if you ease into the habit gently, you are far more likely to make it work in the long-run. I also recommended this journal as a great option for those ready to start this valuable daily habit.

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Become a Better Reader in 5 Easy Steps

Do you want to improve your life this year? Read. Consider this thought.

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

Nothing can launch your passions, enhance your skills, nor cultivate your personal growth like reading can. Simply put, you really cannot claim to be serious about becoming a better person unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to read.

Now I understand many people don’t really find it easy to establish the habit of reading. So today let’s run through a few steps that will ensure you become a better reader. If you actually carry out today’s assigned tasks, you’ll be an avid reader in no time. Imagine being able to carry on conversations across diverse topics with ease. Imagine understanding the latest research on how to be productive, happy, and successful. Imagine the sense of pride that comes from having a broad set knowledge. These and more can be yours. Let’s see how.

Step 1: Write down your reading purpose. It is very hard to stay motivated when you do not even realize what you are reading for. What is your purpose? To have fun? To learn more about specific topics? To improve a skill? To be a better conversationalist? Whatever your purpose, write it down and remind yourself of it when your motivation needs a boost.

Step 2: Write down your reading goals. What books do you plan to read? Choose books that support your overall reading purpose. If you want suggestions, feel free to comment below and I’ll recommend something just for you!

Step 3: Download the Kindle app on your phone or on your PC. One of the best ways to get more reading done is to make use of those slow moments during the day? A little extra time on your lunch-break? Waiting in line at the store? Commercial break on TV? Seize those moments to go into the Kindle app (which is free!) and read. Choosing Kindle Unlimited which gets you access to over a million popular ebooks is another great option. Here’s a free monthly trial of Kindle Unlimited if you’d like to try it out.

Step 4: Create a reading schedule. Reading doesn’t just happen because we want it to. We have to proactively schedule time to read. How can we do this? Look at your day and literally pencil in times for you to read. Once you specifically set time aside each day, you’ll find reading comes naturally. Be as specific as possible if you want to increase your chances of success!

Step 5: Journal short summaries of what you learned from each book. The human brain is fickle and you don’t want to lose all the rewards of reading because you slowly forgot what you read. Writing down a short summary of the key points you learned from a book is fantastic because the act of writing actually strengthens your memory and if you do forget, you’ll have notes you can review later.

Follow these steps and soon you’ll be the smartest person in the room. Good luck!

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Run your First 5K

I have a few quick questions for you. Do you want more endurance? Do you want a healthy heart and lungs? Do you want sexy calves? Do you want a medal to hang on your wall next to your other accomplishments? Of course you do. Let’s run a 5K.

Why a 5K? Well, they are pretty easy to pull off in a short time. A 5K is a great intro to the world of running. After you knock one of these out, you’ll know if you want to do this more often, or if it is not really your kind of hobby. And hell, it will be a great story! Lace up your shoes, and then check out my step-by-step guide to running your first 5K.

Step 1 – Find a Race. Just Google 5K and your hometown. Select the next upcoming race and register for it. Depending on the race, you’ll probably need to drop about 50 dollars on the registration. For the price of a night out, you are doing something great for your body.

Step 2 – Get Ready. You might get hurt if you hit the course without any prep, so do your body (and finish time) a favor a do a little prep before race day. Pre-race training may be a bit boring, but remember, we’re doing this for the endurance, healthy heart and lungs, sexy calves, and medal, so do your prep.

Step 3 – Get your Gear. Don’t be that guy on race day who looks like a damn fish out of water. Get some good shoes, prep your tunes, and seriously, get this book. It runs through everything you need to know to kill it on race day. It got me from being a running rookie to finishing a 5K in under 21 minutes.

Step 4 – Have fun. If you’ve been following the diet and training recommendations in Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon, you’ll be set on race day. So have fun and savor the experience. It’ll all be over in a few minutes, so push your hardest and get ready for your new personal record!

The next time you are hanging out with friends, you’ll have a great story to share, and best of all, you’ll have a great excuse for one more beer – you’re carb-loading for your next race!

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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