What I learned from a dry month and eating well..

4 weeks alcohol free and eating well resulted in feeling better, losing 3.2kg and 2.5cm from my waist.

Here’s what I learned about from January:

1) Just 2 nights of “celebrating” (eg having drinks, dinner / lunch out, chippies) can undo a lot of good work – however – if they don’t happen very often the body is keen to bounce back quickly.

2) The older you get, the more you HAVE to pay attention to how much you move and what you eat.

3) Listen to your body, not your self talk / excuses. I think people confuse these things and come up with justifications rather than valid reasons. Make time to move.

4) Being 47 years old, I know my metabolism isn’t quite what it used to be! First time, acknowledging this. Second is doing something about it. It’s not dead, just needs more respect. It’s certainly humming happier without meat in my diet.

5) It’s been frustrating not only getting Covid during January, but also seriously injuring my arm to the point that I can’t do any of my normal workouts. If you get an injury, get professional help asap so you a) don’t make yourself worse or b) make it an excuse.

January has taught me that moderation is now my friend. I’m still drinking, that’s for sure! Just less occasions 😃

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The best time to buy, is when you can

As a real estate agent, one of the most comment questions I’m asked is about the property market. People want to know what’s happening in the market, and it makes sense to ask an expert in that area – someone who literally spends pretty much all of their time dealing with the market, stats, appraisals etc.

However when talking to buyers about the market it’s different. “Oh no, my hairdresser told me interest rates were going to double in the next 12 months’, or “My uncle said to wait until the market bottomed out before buying, will save $10,000’s”. As an agent, it makes sense to listen to an expert, and not some Facebook forum or doom and gloom journalist.

My advise to buyers is this: “The best time to buy, is when you can.”

If you wait to buy (when you can genuinely purchase right now – as I know some people aren’t in the right position yet), you may find yourself priced out of the market again soon. Personally I think the market has gone pretty much as low as it’s going to, and I believe in the 2nd half of this year it’s going to start recovering.

Don’t listen to poor advise. Listen to the people who live and breathe real estate and have a finger on the pulse of the market.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions! (021) 411-117 or Stu@TheTeamRealty.co.nz

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How to Add 7 Years To Your Life

Some people brag about spending millions of dollars on drugs and technology to extend their life – despite little evidence that those efforts work. Us? We prefer something simpler, cheaper, and more effective.

It turns out, a little more time in the friend zone is what you need if you want to live longer. A review of 148 studies found that people with strong social relationships are associated with living up to 7 years longer.

You want our advice? Go call, text, or email a friend now. Set a time to grab a coffee or a meal, or just go for a walk or do a workout. The time together might help you live longer, and those relationships will make the days you spend more enjoyable.

Source: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The Pump Daily” and Plos Medicine.

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My Lessons from 2022

My Lessons from 2022

1) Mindset & energy.

Taking care of my mindset and energy has been challenging this year, however essential! Knowing that we can’t change our circumstances, however we can change what we do about them. Mindset.

Also dressing from tomorrow’s success, rather than today’s mood; sometimes you just feel blah, however I try to dress like I’m likely to run into someone I know (as I probably will!). Suit or gym gear; look your best.

Movement and exercise are also essential; it’s part of my mental recharge, can’t state enough the overall health benefits – mental and physical. No time for exercise? Get up earlier, or miss that 1 Netflix episode 😉

2) Change.

If we don’t change, we become obsolete. We have to continuously tweak our plans, however stay focused on the goal. We’ve had to fundamentally change how we do business – without that tweak we’d have already been left behind.

3) Family.

There’s been some health scares around us this year; it’s a great reminder that we do what we do for ourselves and our families – not despite them. Make time for yourself (gym, hobbies etc), however ensure you invest a good chunk of your time with family; experience new things, play games. Go on holidays, or just have movie nights. Whatever works for you.

Those are my take aways this year!

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Why you can’t argue with a conspiracy theorist

“Cognitive dissonance is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you have two ideas that conflict with each other. You don’t like the feeling, so you’ll try to get rid of the dissonance. There are two main ways you can do that: change your belief, or deny one of the ideas.”

When forced, people will change their beliefs. In a study, people were forced to defend an opinion that they didn’t believe in. The result was that people tended to change their beliefs to fit the new idea.

The best way to change a belief is to get someone to commit to something very small. When not forced, people dig in – the tendency is to deny the new information instead of changing your belief to fit. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to change someone’s ingrained beliefs, as if uncertain, people will argue harder.

If people are given evidence that their belief is not logical, or tenable, or a good choice (for example, conspiracy theories), this may backfire and make them dig in even harder.

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Smile – Even When You Don’t Mean It

Sometimes it’s best to throw on a smile, even when you’re not feeling it.

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says; “Our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behaviour and our behaviour changes our outcomes.” Body language affects how others see us as well as how we see and feel about ourselves, such as standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident – can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. Following this, smiling – even when you’re not feeling happy – can lift your mood. How we hold ourselves can even affect our memory: studies have revealed that folding arms and legs while sitting in a lecture theatre can reduce recall of the information by up to 40% – another good reason to avoid folding your arms.

“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.”
– George Carlin

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Take Charge of Your Life

Take charge. Take charge of your life – and in particular – your personal and professional development. Investing in yourself always pays the highest interest.

Taking charge of your own growth will help you identify and pursue more opportunities, improve your own self worth, and create a happier more confident you in YOUR own image – not someone else’s.

I’m my opinion you’re either growing or dying – and staying still or stagnant isn’t growing! Congratulations if you’ve found something you love for work! Identify what makes you happy (I mean literally write it down) as so many people put conditions on their happiness (eg I’ll be so happy when I….).

When I was in a rut, learning and growing got me out of it, helped me to continuously evolve and keep growing. Always learning. So if you find yourself in a rut, go take those flight or motor cycle lessons, horseback riding or take that online course on interior design.

It’ll help, and it’ll bring growth 🙏

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Your Mind Wanders 30% of the Time

How common is mind wandering? – If you ask people that question they estimate that mind wandering happens 10% of the time. But it’s actually much more common. According to Jonathan Schooler of UC, Santa Barbara, your mind is wandering at least 30% of the time when you are doing your normal day-to-day tasks, and in some cases – for example, when driving on an uncrowded highway – it might be as high as 70%.

Mind wandering is our natural state of our brains at rest: When people reported that their mind was wandering their brains showed activity in several cortical regions that are the same regions that are active when our brains are “at rest.”

The multi-tasking mind-wanderer: Multi-tasking doesn’t really exist, but mind wandering does allow you to switch focus from one idea to another, and then back again quickly.

The link between mind wandering and creativity: Researchers at UC, Santa Barbara have shown that people whose mind wanders a lot are more creative and better problem solvers.

Christoff, Kalina, Gordon, A. M., Smallwood, J., Smith, R., and Schooler, J. 2009. “Experience sampling during fMRI reveals default network and executive system contributions to mind wandering.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(21): 8719–24.

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What Wing Chun Taught Me About Business

What Wing Chun Taught Me About Business

Having practiced martial arts since for 31 years – Wing Chun Kung Fu being 23 of those years – it’s no wonder that martial arts creeps into every area of my life. It had me thinking; what lessons has Wing Chun taught me about business & real estate?

– In martial arts, risk management is the actual assessment of the situation (eg taking note of your surroundings, being aware of other potential problems as well as the attacker/s), and actually implementing one’s martial arts (eg physically defending yourself & taking out the threats). This teaches in business to look at your options, often when things have hit the fan. However, the better option is to practice risk avoidance.

Risk avoidance is being aware of potential dangers and avoiding them in the first place (eg NOT walking blindly down a dark alley where you can see people skulking in the shadows). In my opinion, avoiding a confrontation is the before form of self defence – and the best fighters are the ones that don’t need to fight. In business, this is planning ahead, forecasting, putting money away for when things aren’t going as well etc.

Relaxation. Fluidity. Continuity. 3 simple terms, tips, aims. Any one of these in Wing Chun are a massive bonus, however put them together and they work like magic. Take this out of martial arts, and insert into your life. How many times have you heard that stress is a killer? Stress kills 120,000 people / year in America alone as a direct result of work-related stress. Stress causes disease (or dis-ease), can weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and even heart disease.

What’s the opposite of stress? Relaxation.

Rigidity doesn’t move, break, or change. When an external force is applied, it retains its shape. In other words, it stays the same. Ever heard of the book by Spencer Johnson called “Who Moved My Cheese?” Change is the only constant, and we must adapt – what happened to United Video? They were offered to join up with Netflix however didn’t think anyone would want to watch tv on their computers. Fluidity is the ability to move & flow. A car engine without fluidity becomes rigid (ie doesn’t go!).

Continuity is just that – continuous. Never ending. What’s the opposite of this? Stopped, broken, unsteady, intermittent, interrupted, wobbly, discontinuous – ending.

Lessons from martial arts ALWAYS apply to life – it just takes time to see HOW.

– Hopefully this is easy to see how it can work in business: stress = bad. Relax, find the path of least resistance (eg out source what you’re worst at so you can concentrate on what you’re best at)

– In martial arts and in business, often your biggest competition is yourself. Is your mindset your enemy, or your asset? Self discipline will help you in all areas of your life.

– There’s a saying which is very relevant: growth is outside of your comfort zone. Applies to Wing Chun just as much as it does business.

There’s plenty more; maybe you’ve got some ideas yourself!

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Change Means Less Cruelty

Going vegetarian started off for me originally as my giving the vegan diet a 2 week trial in support of

The Truth About The Dairy Industry

Bridget. After the 2 weeks were up I ate meat at a wedding & really enjoyed it – however the following 2 days I had the worst stomach ache of my life.

This told me that my body didn’t like digesting meat, and I should listen. So I did, and haven’t had meat since. Over the last year, I’ve begun to understand the ethical side of the vegetarian & vegan mindset, and now feel upset when I see cattle trucks, knowing they’re full of sad-crying cows being taken away for slaughter.

The meat substitutes have come a long way, I highly recommend giving them a go. Try meat-free for a dinner a week to start with… 🙏

(I’m also averaging 220g protein each day 💪)

Here’s some great things to watch to learn more (most on Netflix):




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