“Monday Morning May 1, 2017, Are you very poor at forgetting?”

Happy May Day!

 

As you know, I like to start every week with some words of wisdom,
“Train your brain to see the good in everything.” -Paul Walker

I am writing this newsletter at the Stoughton House of Brews, enjoying some of their dark roast coffee and one of their amazing breakfast sandwiches.  I am meeting a real estate agent friend here who is in need of a little “one on one” training on social media (I can also help you, leave a reply below and we can meet for coffee, maybe here?). If you are ever in Stoughton square and looking for a great place for a coffee (or locally brewed beer, later in the day, of course :-)), you should not pass this great local business up!

Many of us may have heard of the importance of positivity, but few can really tell why it’s important.

 

So, it’s really important to think positive. But… how?

 

Thousands of more articles online teach us how to think positive in the most clichéd ways possible. You should cheer up, crack a smile, look on the bright side of life… blah, blah, blah…

 

Don’t worry! The tips you are going to see below are nothing like those. I hope to offer some practical and specific tips for you to start making REAL changes.

 

Start with decluttering your life

Get rid of all of the distraction, interruption and clutter that is keeping you from your ‘one thing”, whatever that may be. Getting rid of the clutter that goes on in our brains, and that occupies our thoughts. Maybe it’s a relationship issues or something out of your control. It’s critical to let go of the nagging thoughts and emotions, especially those that we can do nothing about, and even the ones that we can control (like emailing, texting, telephone calls, or spending the day on Facebook).

Instead of letting yourself get distracted by this clutter, set up a schedule to take care of these tasks. I have created a schedule template that I will send it to you, totally FREE if you leave me a message below asking me to do so.

 

Sit up straight! It’s more than etiquette

While one may think cultivation of positivity always requires conscious effort, in truth it doesn’t.

Sitting up straight may appear irrelevant to positivity, but a study reveals the association between posture and positive thoughts. The result shows that people are more likely to generate positive thoughts and recall positive memories when they are sitting up straight.

So, sit up straight right now! Sometimes tiny things in life all contribute to our well-being without us noticing.

 

Instead of news, read something uplifting in the morning

It is common to watch morning news reports to keep up to date on the latest news. While it is good not to block ourselves off the outside world, it is important to ask yourself – What is the news mostly about?

In a typical morning, you will see a lot of the same – car crash, terrorist attack, natural disaster. All sorts of disheartening incidents.

I am not trying to suggest a complete break from keeping up on current events, just that you devote part of your morning to something more uplifting in nature.

For example, you could start a Daily Confidence Programming habit. Instead of reading or watching the news, begin the day by reading a chapter of an empowering book. We can also go for our favorite spiritually boosting and inspirational materials. I prefer to start my morning with positive affirmations as my friend Michael Maher teaches.

 

List 3 things you’re grateful for every day

It is simple and easy to do. Try to list at least 3 things you are grateful for every day. In the end, we won’t realize how much it helps us. Researches reveal a multitude of benefits in expressing gratitude on a daily basis. Being grateful is associated with our well-being. It can also improve relationships and help with emotional maturity. Gratitude can simply promote happiness.

It’s true that we can always find dissatisfaction in life. Same to satisfaction. Half-filled and half-empty glass.

If it seems like there’s nothing to be thankful for in your life, go back to the basics. You are still alive, right? You are still living in this world of mystery and amazement. You still have lots to explore. There’s nothing to mourn on.

There are always angels and devils in our brains. While we are usually the devil’s advocate, try to stand on the angel’s side now.

 

Celebrate your small wins every day

One easy way to start cultivating our positivity is to write down our small wins on a daily basis. And research has reassured the potential benefits of doing so.

Progress is a lot more than just a step closer to success, as Amabile and Kramer suggest. In fact, if we properly record our progress, no matter how small it is, we instantly receive a confidence boost!

I write every task on a daily list and cross them off as I complete the tasks (I sometimes even add a task after it’s been completed to cross it off!)

So, even though we tend to remember negative events more than positive ones, it is important to practice mind over matter. Focus each and every day on being the best version of yourself, and remark on the progress and the small wins that you accomplish. Before too long, positivity will be a habit, and it’s an important one to have as someone that seeks out success!

If you have any additional positivity tips that you use in your life, I would love to hear them! Just leave me a reply below and tell me what you do to keep yourself looking on the bright side day after day.

 

And, know that you are LOVED!

 

Carlos

 

Change happens when we take massive and specific action…

This might shock you, but complacency kills!

 

As you know, I like to start every week with some words of wisdom, and this weeks are:

 

“Change happens when we take massive and specific action. It rarely happens by easing our way into the process. Either risk it or we don’t. Either go 100% or 0%. Gradual and timid change will lead to drawback to our comfort zone. It’s nearly impossible to move forward without a committed and courageous leap.”

-Author unknown

 

I told a friend the other day that I don’t understand people who say they are having trouble staying motivated. I said something like “If you’re passionate about what you do, you’re going to be motivated. If you’re not, get out of where you’re at, find what you are passionate about, and get to it. Life is too short!”

 

Motivation is a Choice

Motivation is part of everything you work on. It’s a task to check off. You have to motivate yourself because you have to stay on target. If your goal is to eat well, then there are times when you’re going to want to have some pizza with friends, but it’ll be your job to say, “I’ve got bigger plans, and this pizza is not a part of them.”

 

I try to workout daily, usually with my wife Kathy, or with my friends Jeff, Paulo and Jason, and I try to eat healthy. But sometimes I would MUCH rather eat lobster mac and cheese and chocolate cake than another five ounces of steamed chicken breast and broccoli. But I have to remind myself that I like the place that my healthy lifestyle journey has taken me. After all, motivation is something one must consciously choose. And remember – complacency kills:

 

“Complacency is a sword of two edges. One edge kills hard earned successes while the other end stops future glories. Complacency is a murderer and a barrier!” — Israelmore Ayivor

 

How to Motivate Yourself:

  • Work towards those goals with a plan, not with a hope and a prayer
  • Have written reminders of your goal or target everywhere – make sure you see these notes throughout the day
  • Keep a small note (I use Evernote) with a list of reminders as to why this goal is important to you
  • Review your goal, your plan, and your reminders daily
  • If you’re in jeopardy of slipping, phone a friend (or you can always call me – I would love to help you stay on target and reach your goals)
  • Remember that discomfort is temporary, and at times can even be a good thing
  • And there’s the ever delightful “suck it up, buttercup” to remind yourself to stop complaining (which saps motivation like nothing else can)

 

It’s always YOUR job to motivate yourself. Not your boss. Not your significant other. Not mom or dad. Only you own that role. It’s YOUR job. It’s YOUR choice. You can’t pass this monkey off to anyone else.

 

Target – Plan – Reminders – Review – Repeat. Just like that. Got it? That’s all there is to it!

 

Know that you are loved!

 

Carlos

 

Tips for Buying a Classic Car

 

Spring is here, and if you are like some people, you may be thinking about looking into purchasing a classic or antique automobile. When it comes to cars, they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. Sure, modern cars have rear-view cameras, Bluetooth, and a million other snazzy features. But for some old souls, there’s nothing quite like a leisurely drive in a classic car. I’ve done some homework, and hope that you may find these tips for buying a classic car useful!

Do a Thorough Check for Rust – Many classic car experts have one firm rule – don’t buy rusty cars. A few small spots are easily fixed, but any signs of ‘the brown stuff’ under the car, inside fenders, and under doors should be a red flag.

Perform a VIN Number Check – It’s getting harder and harder to find a number matching car. If you can find one, it may be worth more. On the other hand, pointing out that a car’s numbers don’t match could be a good point of negotiation if you’re still willing to buy.

Weigh the Mileage Numbers – Classic cars are all used, but they are not all created equal. Some buyers will only consider low-mileage classics, while others are okay with higher mileage vehicles (as long as the price tag reflects the increased use).

Be Patient – If you’re in the market for a classic vehicle, don’t jump at the first car you like. Wait for a car that you can’t live without. After all, this should be considered an investment – there are plenty of great fish in the sea if you’re willing to cast your line and wait a while.

Get an Insurance Quote – We can help you with a quote on your new Classic Car, or your current Classic car. Just give us a call 617-298-0655 to get a quote on Massachusetts insurance for the classic car of truck you’re considering.

 

Watch the video here.

I would LOVE to know your thoughts if you own a classic or antique car (or have additional tips) leave a message below.

Carlos

How Windshield Repairs Can Save You Money

You may not think of your windshield glass as fixable, but often small chips or cracks can be repaired.  Small rocks kicked up by other vehicles can damage a windshield and these are commonly fixed by an auto glass shop or mobile windshield repair company in the Dorchester, MA area.  Minor windshield glass damage may be repaired because of how it is made, and repairs are less expensive than a new windshield.

For a simple explanation, windshields are made by a process in which plastic is sandwiched between two pieces of glass.  Because of this, it allows for repairs of small chips or cracks by injecting liquid plastic into the damaged area.  There are some specifics about windshield repairs, such as the damage cannot be more than two inches in diameter or three inches long, and it needs to be outside the driver’s line of sight. 

Depending on your auto windshield coverage, a repair may cost you nothing.  You should know that the damage may not completely disappear, but it can contain the damage, so it doesn’t spread.  The most effective repair is to damage that is roughly the size of a quarter.  Windshield repairs may fail, and not necessarily because the worker did a poor job, but because the windshield, in general, is compromised by the damage.  Meaning it won’t be as resistant to future gravel hits or extreme weather temperature changes as it was before it was damaged.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance

Vargas & Vargas Insurance has been providing auto insurance and making customers happy in the Dorchester, MA area for years.  They are a community trusted agency, and they want to ensure you have the right coverage at the right price for you.  Contact us today to explore your options.

“It was character that got us out of bed.”

Happy Monday, and I hope that you had a great Easter Holiday weekend with family and friends!

I like to start every week with some words of wisdom, and this weeks are:

“It was character that got us out of bed,

commitment that moved us into action

and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”

-Zig Ziglar

This is a followup on my “Change is Hard” message from a few weeks ago. (If you missed that email, reach out and let me know – I would be happy to send it to you!) In that email, I stated:

“Many professionals start their businesses filled with excitement and passion for their new venture, but quickly realize that building a brand is hard work! Once that realization sets in and business problems begin to surface, it is very easy to get disgruntled and lose your motivation for what you originally set out to accomplish.

In the beginning, your passion creates energy that keeps you moving forward, builds excitement for the next project, and helps overcome fears and obstacles. However, maintaining that passion can be difficult as time goes on, and you might find yourself in a “rut,” or longing to reconnect with the spark that once drove your business. Whether this longing resonates with you currently or you’re teetering back and forth on the fence of business growth, it’s imperative to implement 6 practices into your business to regain focus and reignite your flame!”

We covered the first 3 that week, and I promised to tie all 6 together in another email. Well, I’ve kept you waiting long enough! Here are the other three practices:

4. Join a Mastermind group AND participate – A mastermind group can offer new perspectives on old problems, and provide much-needed motivation and support to keep you going when you feel overwhelmed! If you’re receiving and reading this newsletter you’re probably thinking, “Well, I am a part of a mastermind group.” Yes, that’s the first step. But the next step (and the most important step) is to get involved, participate, and implement! To get more involved, start posting in our private Facebook group with questions, ideas, and concerns (this is a safe environment of like-minded professionals, so don’t worry about any negative or uncool comments). In addition, attend your company’s weekly class and ask questions, send out emails similar to this one to the people that know, like (or love) and trust you, and follow-up consistently and persistently every week with you Dunbar’s 150 (Need help getting started? I have a strategy for that!), and ask for help when you need it

5. Systematize, automate and outsource – What’s the most valuable use of your time? To find out, create a list of tasks that you perform each week and ask yourself, “Are there items on here that could be handled by someone else?” If that’s the case, hire a virtual assistant or a right-hand person who can take care of the tasks that suck up your time and keep you from being productive. Also, invest in a time-saving client follow-up system that automates some of your communications. With this technology, setting up follow-up campaigns for past clients take only seconds of your time, and continue for years without you ever touching it again!

6. Follow-through on new systems and ideas – One of the most important principles in success is follow-through. When you make a plan to implement a new idea or system into your business, the dedicated follow-through is what will make it a success or a failure. There will be obstacles to overcome with any new venture, but the key to a successful follow-through is staying the course through those frustrating and sometimes downright demanding moments of growing pains. It’s also important to compare the amount of change you’re implementing vs what you and your team can realistically handle. Think of it this way: Following-through on one new system or idea will be way more beneficial to your business than starting 10 new systems and ideas and not executing any of them!

And know that you are LOVED!

Now, go out and DOMINATE your week!

Carlos

How to Save an Extra $1k a Year

What would you do if you had an extra thousand dollars at the end of the year? Would you save more, or buy something that you’ve been wanting? Maybe you’re overdue for a vacation? Regardless, it may sound like a lot, but one thousand dollars a year is less than $20 a week! It’s $19.23, to be exact. And if you follow just a few of these tips, you will find that saving that much (or more) isn’t only possible, it’s easy!

  • Lower grocery shopping cost. Two things will help bring down your bill: stick to a list, and buy generic when possible. This will make sure that you limit impulse buys, and buying store brands can save over 25%!
  • Seek out free entertainment. When you’re looking for something to do, you don’t always have to spend money to have fun. There are always free events being hosted in the Greater Boston Area, and your local library is a wonderful place to go to rent a book or movie for free.
  • Pay off your credit cards. How much are you paying each month in credit card interest alone? Bringing down the outstanding balance on your credit cards may not be easy, but the potential savings can be significant. If you’re having trouble cutting costs, consider speaking with a financial planner for help and advice.

Another terrific way to save money each year is to talk to Vargas and Vargas Insurance. We can help you review your insurance coverage and search for adjustments and discounts that could lower your premiums. Just a quick call to 617-298-0655 is all it takes to start the process, so don’t put it off any longer – call now!

“Change is hard, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”

“Change is hard, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”
-Robin Sharma

Change is hard. I know this for a fact, as I’m experiencing it right now!

Picture this…I’m sitting in my house right now instead of sitting in traffic like I’ve done for 37 years.

As you probably know from my online posts, Kathy and I moved from our Stoughton home of 33 years to Dorchester Lower Mills, just around the corner from the Vargas and Vargas office. Believe me, this change has not been easy all the time, but change never is – even when we know it is the right thing to do.

One of the upsides of our move has been that we now spend less time in traffic, and have more time together, more time to get regular exercise, and more time in the wonderful community of Dorchester.

Recently, Vargas and Vargas has also made some changes. We have updated our client management system and our website (you can now send us a TEXT to our agency 617-213-2820 and much more to come, stay tuned) to help customers and friends like you contact our trusted referral partners!

We’ve always had a partners page on our site, but we hope that this will be a resource for you and anyone you know that is looking for any of the following professionals:

  • Accountant
  • Attorney
  • Contractor
  • Electrician
  • Estate Planner
  • Financial Advisor
  • Home Inspector
  • Loan Officer
  • Plumber
  • Realtor®
  • And More!

(Send me a message and I can let you know how you be on our partner’s list)

And while you are visiting our new website, don’t forget to check out our blog. It is always being updated with insurance tips, helpful advice, and much more.

How to Start Recycling – We Can Help!
Auto Insurance Q&A: Borrowing the Car
Best and Worst Places to Store Your Wedding Rings
Building Permits for Residential Renovations

So what does our change of address have to do with making you more money?

Many professionals start their businesses filled with excitement and passion for their new venture, but quickly realize that building a brand is hard work! Once that realization sets in and business problems begin to surface, it is very easy to get disgruntled and lose your motivation for what you originally set out to accomplish.

In the beginning, your passion creates energy that keeps you moving forward, builds excitement for the next project, and helps overcome fears and obstacles. However, maintaining that passion can be difficult as time goes on, and you might find yourself in a “rut,” or longing to reconnect with the spark that once drove your business. Whether this longing resonates with you currently or you’re teetering back and forth on the fence of business growth, it’s imperative to implement 6 practices into your business to regain focus and reignite your flame! We’ll cover the first 3 this week, so stay tuned for next week’s insider to tie all 6 together!

1. Stay focused on your core business – There are a million money making ideas out there that can distract you from what your core business is all about. If you can’t draw a direct connection from a new loan or listing to your new venture, scrap it! It will only distract you from making money and growing your business.

2. Take inspiration from SUCCESSFUL professionals – Surround yourself with positive individuals who have achieved success and are passionate about what they do. They’ll motivate, excite and remind you of why you’re in business. The right individuals will build you up with a “can do” attitude, and offer you proven methods of achieving your goals.

3. Manage your time effectively – Unfortunately, if you don’t set aside time to do important tasks like following up with new clients and building referral relationships (making FROG calls), phone calls and emails can keep you busy all day long! Make sure that you schedule time in your day that’s committed to taking care of the fundamentals of business development which make you money and keep you excited! If you need assistance with time blocking, I can help!

And know that you are LOVED!

Carlos

How to Start Recycling – We Can Help!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – it’s a phrase we hear as early as Elementary School. More than a phrase, it’s a way to make sure that each person does their part to create less waste and help the environment. Most people will admit that they could be doing more to recycle. If you’re someone that wants to do more to help the environment, start with these tips:

Pre-cycle When You Shop

Often, the biggest concern about what we buy is the product itself – and that’s understandable. But don’t forget to consider the packaging! Once in a while, opt for items that come in packages that are made of previously recycled materials, and/or that you can recycle when you’re done with them.

More than Just Newspapers and Cardboard

Nowadays, many types of material can be recycled. So, sure – still recycle the tried and true items, but make sure that you are recycling all eligible items by refreshing your knowledge of what is recyclable in the Boston area.

Get Items Ready for Recycling

Before you toss items into your recycling bin, use these tips to save on space and correctly process your recyclables:

  • Rinse out any items that held food or drink.
  • Remove both ends of aluminum and steel cans and crush.
  • Remove all packing materials from cardboard boxes and crush.
  • Keep cardboard dry and free from food waste.
  • Don’t recycle tissues, waxed paper, or carbon paper with other papers.
  • Ensure plastics are labeled with the Recycle symbol that is accompanied by a number 1-7.

How We Can Help

If you want to start doing more to reduce your waste, Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent about going paperless. Most insurance providers have a paperless billing option, and it may even reduce your premium on certain products – like home insurance and auto insurance. Call 617-298-0655 to ask if you can lower your insurance bill and help save paper!

Auto Insurance Q&A: Borrowing the Car

As a knowledgeable Boston insurance agency, Vargas and Vargas Insurance gets questions from clients all the time, and we are happy to help! One such client sent a message on Facebook recently, and her question was an interesting one:

The Scenario

The woman’s sister-in-law has no auto or renter’s insurance of her own and lives in Massachusetts. She wants to borrow a car from her Father-in-law that lives in NY for a month or so. The woman wanted to know how her sister-in-law should handle coverage for the car, and if her father-in-law’s auto insurance would cover this unusual situation.

The Solution

The woman should tell her Father-in-law to call his auto insurance agent. He should proceed to list the sister-in-law as the principal operator on the vehicle (on his current NY auto policy) and further update the policy with her Massachusetts driver’s license number and MA garaging address for the vehicle. That way she will be covered under the NY policy while driving in Massachusetts. As always, make sure to keep a current Proof of Insurance in the vehicle at all times.

Do you have an insurance question? Just ask the expert Massachusetts insurance agents at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency! We love to answer our clients’ questions, and we are only a phone call away. One quick call to 617-298-0655 and we can help you with all of your insurance needs, whether you need a question answered or want an insurance quote or review.