Trader Joes and Smoothies . . .So last night Teri and I went to Trader Joes. It's the first time I've been to the store despite my wanting to go for a long time. Trader Joes just aren't conveniently located, so it's tough to get there. The one in Tacoma is a good 30 minutes from our house and will be about 45+ when we move. But overall, I was impressed with the store and the offerings. The goal was to secure items for the creation of some "Abs Diet" smoothies in the morning. We picked up some all natural peanut butter, oatmeal, flaxseed, whey protein powder, yogurt, frozen berries, etc. etc. etc. I tried my first smoothie this morning. I'm not impressed. I think if I had ground up some of the empty boxes in the garage, they would have tasted better. I've no doubt the smoothie was good for me and full of protein, etc. But it tasted like ass. (Excuse my french) It consisted of 1% milk, fat free vanilla yogurt, peanut butter, chocolate whey powder and some oat meal. They call it the Abs Diet "Ultimate Power Smoothie". I got it all mixed up, took only about 3 minutes and poured it into a glass. With a bit of trepidation, I said "Down the hatch" . . . took one big swig and exclaimed . . . "Nope, down the sink!" . . so the first smoothie was somewhat a failure. So I'll try one of the berry ones tomorrow and see where that gets me.
Fortunately at the office today, it was our annual awards meeting and breakfast was served, or I would have been starving! I had a scoop of scrambled eggs, a couple pieces of sausage, couple pieces of bacon, small hashbrowns and 1/2 an english muffin with some Cranberry juice to wash it down. Of course I was 1/2 way through the cranberry juice before I remembered how much HFCS was in it. Sigh. Oh well today is the 28th day of the month and assuming I don't break down by midnight and have a soda, I will have made my goal of one whole month without soda. WOO HOO! And I'm day 2 of my second week not going to JITB in the morning. I'm expecting them to send out a search party any day now. :-)
I met with our builder yesterday. They have started siding the home (pictures coming soon) and the electrical should be going in starting today. Also, they've poured the garage floor. It's coming along nicely.
That's all for today. Just a quick post. Have a good day everyone!
Books, Books and Boxes . . .
WOW! So yesterday Teri and I cleaned out our garage. We started at about 10:30 and finished around 3:30 . . . We started by taking nearly EVERYTHING out of the garage and putting it on the driveway. We had a couple neighbors come over and ask "Are you spring cleaning or are you moving?" We just replied "Yep!" They were sad to hear we were moving, which was cool I guess. But after everything was out, and the garage was swept and clean, we had to qualify EVERYTHING that went back in. Was it Garage Sale? CraigsList? Trash? Keep? Where does it go when it goes back in? Teri tried to sneak a couple items past me, but I stopped her and said "WAIT! Lemme see that!" and we went through it together. Most often it was a combination of trash or keep. So I now have 5 or 6 items to put up on Craigslist that hopefully now that I have pictures for them, they will ACTUALLY go away. I also realized I'm a box whore. I have empty boxes for most of the crap I've bought over the last couple of years. So today my task is to go home, break down all those boxes and take them to the recycle center. Then we can call the task complete.
Books, Books, and More Books! I've bought a TON of books over the last couple of weeks. The titles include:
The Altman Code - Novel based on characters created by Robert Ludlum
Real World Adobe InDesign CS2
Adobe InDesign CS2 Classroom In A Book
The Abs Diet
Eat, Move, and Be Healthy
ASP.NET 2.0 Web Programming with VB 2005 (more)
So . . . I'm STRESSED!
Now I really have a good idea what my clients go through. I'm not sleeping much at night. I'm tossing and turning worrying that everything is going to get done on our new house that I requested. The house is progressing nicely. Today all the windows will be in and they've started on the furnace and all the duct work. Next week they'll start on the siding and electrical. Now's when I need to make sure that everything I added to the home gets put in so nothing has to be torn out later. This morning I caught up with the foreman of the furnace crew and casually asked him if he knew anything about putting in an electronic air cleaner. He didn't. So now I have to try and make sure the builder knows to let THEM know without stepping on anyone's toes. They'll also be the ones to run the gas lines, so I need to make sure they know to run additional lines to the kitchen and back patio for the stove and BBQ. AND next week with the electricians coming in, I need to make sure they know about the additional outlets I added. Also about the whole house audio wiring too. Once all that is in and good, then I won't have to stress as much. Then it'll just be making sure the right colors, and materials get delivered. STRESS! (more)
Obviously I'm not talking about Superbowl Referees here . . . no rather, I'm talking about my coaching call yesterday. I had a really good coaching call yesterday! I'm still trying to get used to my new coach, she's a bit more regimented than my previous coach. The Free Spirit in me doesn't like structure very much, but I'll learn to live with it I suppose. For those of you that don't know, 2.5 years ago I hired a business coach and I attribute much of my success in Real Estate to that decision. Anne, my coach, and I talked about the goals I had set at the TPR (and are posted below) and had a good discussion about the Rift with my mom. We also had a good discussion about how I'm feeling "lucky" that I'm doing well in Real Estate versus actually going out and doing the things that MAKE me successful. I'm starting to be able to wrap my head around this concept. If I look at my business THIS year compared to my business LAST year, I'm in much better shape. I already have closed two transactions and another two are scheduled to close tomorrow. I've got stuff lined up already to close in March and others scheduled out into April and June. All tolled, I have 9 transactions in the hopper for the year and my goal is 33. It's not even the end of February yet and the height of the selling season has yet to hit us! So yeah, I'm starting to feel pretty good about the year. I went on two listing appointments this week that will net me another 4 transactions over the next couple/few months. I'm putting systems in place to keep me focused on the fundamentals of my business and expanding my relationships with my clients. It IS a good Life Anne!
Goals from February Turning Point RetreatAs promised, here are the goals I set at the Turning Point Retreat. I'm not going to go into a great deal of detail on these, you'll just have to read them for what they are.
I will open a dialog with Mark Schofield and/or Mark Dahle to begin to explore my spiritual side.
Rest of Year
I will meet with Mark Dahle in August while in San Diego for the Mastermind Summit to continue these talks.
(NOTE: Mark Dahle is my former Youth Pastor when I was a good little Church going boy. Mark Schofield is an agent I met at our office who is also a pastor and he and I get along really well.)
I will repair the rift between my mother and I.
I will schedule at least one event with my cousins Marcia and Christine
Rest of Year
Potentially host family reunion (already asked and my Aunt Millie is doing it)
Host Housewarming party and invite family members in and out of state
Diligently work the systems; Notes, Calls, Pop-Bys.
Continue to further broaden and enhance my relationships with my clients
Rest of Year
Be pro-active about generating business and not just wait for it to come along
Make sure everything is in place to sell my current home and purchase my new home.
Rest of Year
Continue to add to my savings and investments and be diligent about keeping my budget up to date.
Continue to ban Soda from my diet
Figure out how to get a good breakfast outside the drive thru
Begin (again) an exercise program 3 days per week.
Rest of Year
See above. :-)
Fun for Me:
Go hiking up Rattlesnake Ledge
Rest of Year
1 Week vacation to San Diego for Mastermind and to see family.
A stretch here would be to take a 2 week vacation to Australia in December.
Good Morning Sunshine!
Well, it's not sunny today, but that seemed a fitting title. I woke up at 6:45 today. I had set my alarm for 7, but I couldn't wait to get out of bed and get started today. I think the theme for the year is going to be "Organization". I'm trying to get my life organized. You see, I'm a pile maker. Everything is in a pile . . . somewhere. Over the past few months, I've been trying to eliminate some of my piles. I think this is having a profound impact on my life actually. Honestly I think my skinny person is burried under this "pile" of fat I seem to have stacked upon myself. :-) So that's another pile we'll be tackling this year! (more)
So I missed Thursday, but only one day late. . .So I've been attending Brian Buffini's Turning Point Retreat for the past couple of days. As always it was very good and allowed me to be refreshed and ready to get back to working my business hard here in the heart of the home buying and selling season. The TPR is a business seminar put on for agents and lenders that teaches the way of doing business by referral. When I entered this business everyone told me that I'd have to go door knocking, cold calling, calling expired listings, etc. I was pretty aprehensive about all of that and was determined to find a better way of doing business. Fortunately the office I ended up in was a "Buffini" office. Brian Buffini was an agent in the late 80's and through the 90's in San Diego California. If anyone knows anything about San Diego, you'll know that in the late 80's and early 90's the city was in a major depression. Home prices FELL 37% during that time. Well Brian happened to increase his business every year during that time when as many as 75% of the agents were getting out of the business. He developed his Referrals By Design system of doing business and that's what he teaches now. And it's what I'm trying to follow while building my business. I can't say enough good things about this system. It's allowed me to build the type of Real Estate business I wanted to build. It's been awesome.
So through the whole TPR, I still stayed soda free. I'm now 17 days into my "no soda" regimen and I think I've pretty well kicked the habit. I'm going to continue until the end of February without question and then may occasionally have a coke. One very significant part of the TPR is re-evaluating your goals and setting into place an action plan for the next 90 days. I'll be working refining that over the next couple of days and will post the results here for anyone that really gives a rip. :-) The TPR doesn't just focus on business, they take the "5 Circle Approach" the 5 circles being: Spiritual, Family, Business, Financial, and Personal . . . personal is further broken down into mental and physical well being. So you'll see my goals from all 5 areas here when I have them ready.
MAN it's COLD! They said we were in for an "Arctic Chill" and they weren't kidding. When I left the house this morning, it was 24 degrees according to Toyota Temperature . . but I'd bet with the wind chill it was well down into the lower teens. Power went out all around the area around 8:30 this morning and it was hell trying to get anywhere around town. Many roads were blocked by downed trees or power lines. I was waiting for a furnace service guy on one of my listings at 9 AM and finally called the company at 9:20 to find out where they were only to discover they had cancelled my appointment because of all the emergency "heat out" calls they got. I was a bit torqued, but what can you do? I then spent nearly an hour trying to get across town to Lakewood because all the lights were out and being treated like 4 way stops.
Anyway, not too much to report for today . . . so I'll sign out now . . . have a good weekend everyone!
So this weekend, Teri and I hung out with our friends Annette & Rick down in Portland. Teri and I started off Friday by going to breakfast at the Country Rose. Our waitress brought over a Pepsi for me and I had to politely tell her to take it away. Teri decided she'd drink it so I had to look at it the whole time. Oh well, I resisted and that's what counts. After breakfast, I dropped Teri off at home and headed over to the house to snap some photos before heading out for the weekend. The framing is 99.99% complete. They just have a few pick up items to do over the next week or so. I was really hoping it wouldn't be raining today so they could get the roof on and continue to let the house dry out. Ah well, so much for hopin'. (more)
I'm over it . . .
OK, I'm over the Steelers victory over the Hawks.
Well today is the 9th of February which marks the 9th straight day I haven't had any soda. I'm feeling pretty good about that. Even though I'm allowing myself 5 a month, my goal is to have ZERO for the month of February to really kick the habit. There have been a couple times driving around that I was thirsty and REALLY wanted a Coke. But I've resisted so far. I am still going through the drive-thru in the morning, but get a large water with my meal, so that's cool. Today Andy (a guy in my office) who I hadn't seen in a week or so saw my big 44oz Jack in the Box cup and looked at his watch. He exclaimed "John you'd better pound that thing if you're gonna be done with it by 10!" . . . I just casually replied "It's water Andrew . . . water. I haven't had soda since last month. You should really stop by the office more often." (more)
The Steelers Suck - SeriouslyOK, I know the Seahawks lost the super bowl. And yes, I know the Seahawks did NOT bring their A game yesterday. But for four quarters they beat the Steelers. No question in my mind. I guess Joey f-in Porter can't complain today that the officials wanted the other team to win. There was no question who the officials were pulling for yesterday and it certainly wasn't the boyz in blue. Steve, I know you'll have differing opinons on this, but hear me out. 16 weeks outta the season that touchdown by D-Jack is a touchdown. 16 weeks outta the year the "holding" call on Shawn Locklear isn't holding. Now the call of a touchdown by Roethlisberger standing, I can ALMOST live with if the Line judge had not run half way down the line with one hand in the air intending to mark the ball and only AFTER Roethlisberger pushed the ball over the line did he signal touchdown. The initial call was right in my opinion, spot the ball at the 1 inch line. That's a 21 point swing in the Seahawks favor folks. Now, in the interest of fairness, there was another call the officials blew . . . Jeremy Stevens did in fact fumble that ball. There was no question that he caught the ball and made a "football move" and then the ball came out on contact.
Furthermore, all season long the Hawks have been rock solid in the red zone and managing the clock after the two minute warning. Yesterday they seemed to have no clue what a red zone or a clock were. After both two minute warnings they didn't seem to even know which way to run let alone how to score. It wouldn't have mattered though. They would have been up 21 zip going into the half.
To have a "winning" QB have a rating of 22.9 is miserable. Coming into the 2nd half it was ZERO. Antwon Randle El had a higher QB rating than Roethlisberger! The Seahawks were out played on only a few plays, but for the most part in my opinion, they outplayed the Steelers for 4 quarters of football. The Steelers shouldn't feel proud of what they accomplished yesterday and their fans should be embarassed by the display they put on. The officials should be fined for completely blowing it yesterday. The Seahawks should have played better yesterday, no doubt. But in my mind they played better than the Steelers and it should have been enough for them to win. But at the end, it's the Steelers hoisting the Lombardi trophy and I guess that's all that counts.
Hell, at times the 90% Steeler fans were no match for the 10% Seahawks fans. They were even out cheered! OK, enough . . . and not to be cliche . . .there's always next year . . .
Happy New Year! And . . . Are You Feelin' Lucky Punk? Are Ya?
Wow! Can you believe it's February 2nd already? Groundhog day! Hopefully this won't end up for me like it did for Bill Murray. I couldn't take reliving a day over and over again. ;-) Anyway, fasten your seatbelts, I've got a lot to cover today to get you up to speed.