Vargas & Vargas Insurance

1133 Washington St
Dorchester, MA 02124

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Our business hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm
For assistance with claims after 5:30, please call 617-322-5289

Recap: Earth Day Celebrations

“Earth Day should encourage us to reflect on what we are doing to make our planet a more sustainable and livable place.” – Scott Peters

We celebrated Earth Day on Sunday, April 22. what did you do to make the world a better place? If you haven’t yet had a chance to make an impact on the environment, here is a recap of a few of the suggestions that we gave.

First, everyone should take the opportunity to learn more about the planet, and how we can help it. There are many debates going on in today’s world about what’s harming the Earth, but regardless of your beliefs, there is still an upside to many of the suggestions we have! In addition, you can:

  • Plant a tree to promote clean air or a small garden to provide yourself with food. Planting flowers could aid your local bee population.
  • Cook a meal that is Earth-friendly using local foods from small farms and favoring vegetables over meat.
  • Reduce the waste you produce or recycle more. Start by donating or selling items that you don’t need instead of throwing them out.
  • Use less water and energy in your daily routine. Have you installed a low flow faucet, toilet, or shower head?

If you want to keep the Earth Day celebrations going, try incorporating one (or several) of these into your routine. You could even go one step further and make a bigger impact by starting a campaign at your workplace to recycle or reduce energy usage.

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day?

Earth Day is celebrated across the globe on April 22 of every year. It’s a simple reminder of how important it is to treat this planet that we all call home with respect. Take a minute of your time to read a few suggestions on actions you can take to make our world a better place. After all, if every person aimed to leave the world in a better state each day, we would be in great position to thrive!

Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day?

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the midst of outcry for environmental reform. Most events happened on college campuses, with other schools also participating. Since then, it has become a global holiday, with many countries choosing to extend the holiday by recognizing an “Earth Week.” Participation has also expanded significantly, with companies also choosing to celebrate and become more environmentally conscious.

This Earth Day, how will you choose to do your part for the environment. Here are just a few suggestions on things that you can do!

Learn More About Helping the Planet

There are tons of resources available today to learn more about ways that the planet needs help. The city of Boston has a Greenovate initiative, where they are “working to get all Bostonians involved in reducing the pollution that causes global climate change.” That is a great place to start, where you can learn about the city’s Climate Action Plan and find sustainability events on their community calendar.

Plant Something

Expanding civilization unfortunately often means removing local plants. Make up for a little bit of what’s been lost by planting something new:

  • Trees will help to clean the air and will eventually provide lovely shady spots. Make sure that you plant it far enough away from structures so that the roots won’t eventually cause an issue.
  • Flowers will sometimes attract butterflies and provide pollen for bees. Depending on what you want, check to see what flowers are local to the area. There are plenty of benefits to having flowers in your home!
  • This time in April is the perfect time to plant a garden! Choose some easy-to-grow vegetables if it’s your first time planting, and you will soon be reaping the rewards with your own locally-grown produce.

Eat Earth-Friendly Food

Even if you don’t want to go to the effort of planting your own garden, you can still help the earth by eating locally grown food. This local food hasn’t travelled that far to get to you, so there is very little energy wasted in transportation.

Find some local fruits, vegetables, and more at the many farmers markets that are in this area during the Spring and Summer months or choose to patronize a local restaurant with a focus on farm to table cuisine.

Reduce Your Waste

In school, many of us were taught to “reduce, reuse, and recycle,” but do you still follow those practices? You could probably reduce the amount of waste you create with a few very simple actions, like using reusable grocery bags when you shop, or using a metal or glass bottle or a mug instead of plastic bottles or Styrofoam cups. For the waste that is inevitable, make sure that you recycle the things that are eligible through Boston’s recycling program. For other items, consider donation instead of throwing things away.

Save Water and Energy

Many places in the Greater Boston Area are very walkable and bike-able. Save a little bit of fuel and get some exercise on your next trip out instead of taking the car. You can also save energy by using less air conditioning, or by switching to energy-saving light bulbs in your home.

Water is also important to conserve. Do so by shortening your shower and turning off the tap when it’s not directly in use. You can also install a low-flow shower head and aerator in your bathroom to save water well into the future.

Extend the Celebrations

Taking one day to recognize our inherent commitment to the Earth is great, but what about the other 364 days of the year? Treat Earth Day like you would New Year’s Day – make a resolution to form or change a habit for the future! Even better, encourage others to do so as well. This could make a huge difference for the planet!

Don’t forget – many insurance providers will offer a discount for going paperless! This means you could help the environment by reducing waste and save yourself money at the same time! To see if you qualify for this discount, call your Massachusetts insurance agent at 617-298-0655.

We could use some suggestions for how we should celebrate at the Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency office. If you have an idea for something we can do to make Massachusetts a more beautiful place, send us an email, or send us a message on Facebook.

Recap: Boston Spring Events

Last week was the official beginning of Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. As we prepare to feel the higher temperatures (not to mention firing up the grill and preparing to dive in to a swimming pool) we are marking our calendars for some of the great events going on in Boston over the next few months. Are you attending any of these?

  • Easter EggStravaganza! on March 31
  • Taste of Dorchester on April 26
  • Neponset River Cleanup on April 28
  • The Sound of Music from May 1-13
  • Dorchester Day on June 3

These are just a few of the events we covered in our full blog last week. Go to that post for the full details, as well as links to the events.

As the weather improves, we are starting that time of year when we leave our homes more and enjoy all that our wonderful city has to offer. Whether you’re taking a vacation or a day trip, make sure that you brush up on the following safety tips.

When you go out, make sure that someone knows where you are and has a way to contact you. If you’re taking children out with you, make sure they know what to do if they get lost, including how to contact a responsible adult.

So what types of events are you looking forward to attending this Spring? If we missed one, let us know on Facebook. And remember – Vargas and Vargas Insurance is here to help with all of your Massachusetts insurance needs!

Happy Spring! Do You Keep Waiting For Flowers To Bloom?

I hope that you are as excited as I am about today, today is the first day of Spring!

With all of this winters storms, this day is so much more special.

I know that it is just a date on the calendar, but it gives us reason to hope that the weather will be changing really soon.

I like to start my week with some words of wisdom,

“You’re frustrated because you keep waiting for the blooming of flowers of which you have yet to sow the seeds.” -Steve Maraboli

Do you have a stack of “stuff” that you intend to let go or get to, but never do?
 
I swear that my wife Kathy is the master of getting things done. She hates to see “stuff” stacked up anywhere. It’s a mindset. I have said before, she is super organized, she has a plan and is amazingly detailed on what she wants and does not want. It’s an addiction for her. Our son Matthew is just like Kathy, Jonathan and I are the exact opposites.
 
Stop Letting Things Pile Up
I have a silent little secret. It’s books, specifically the buying of books. I have decided that I am not going to buy any more books until I read (or given away) the ones that I have piled up. I’ve purchased many books thinking that they would be great reads, or that I would get some great ideas from them, but some have not even been looked at.
 
I have started taking notes on all the ideas that I think are useful and want to incorporate into my business and personal life from the books that I am reading. I am using Evernote to keep track of these ideas.  I will work on implementing these new ideas as hard as I work to read the book.
 
I want you to do the same. I bet you’re subscribed to too many newsletters. Unsubscribe from the ones that are not serving you. And I mean MY Monday Morning Message and our connection, too. If you do not find my writing interesting, or useful, click Unsubscribe at the bottom of the email, or unfollow me on Linkedin. It won’t hurt my feelings at all.
 
You see, I am a believer in the philosophy of “out of everyone you meet, 25% will automatically take a liking to you, 25% will automatically hate you and the other 50% is undecided.” I write these messages for the 25% that like me and the 50% that are still undecided.
 
Stop Adding “Stuff” to Your Life
Are you one of those people who has a plan, not really following it, and so you start looking for a new plan? You may be thinking that you’re not the problem in this equation. You are. And I am too, sometimes.
 
Work on ONE plan. Give it all your effort. Execute that plan. THEN, if it’s not working you can abandon it and try another. You are better off having learned from this failure rather than never having tried it.
 
But neither you nor I have permission to think, “Hmm, I’m not actually doing this anyway, so I’ll go find something else to not do.” Give it your 100% or abandon it completely: half-hearted efforts are a total waste of your time. You won’t be helped by doing this… that’s last year’s mentality.
 
One at a Time
Setting habits is like farming – you need to plant the right seed, tend to it, water it, and with the right amount of sun, air, and fertilizer, you will soon be harvesting the benefits of your hard work. You can’t just throw your seeds into the fertile soil of your business and expect them all to sprout. They’ll choke each other out, be encroached on by weeds or be eaten by the birds (your competitors). It’s a waste of time, effort, and treasure!
 
Plant one seed variety at a time. Nurture it. See the results. And then grow.
 
Spring is here
Start cleaning now. Clean out the sources of information you’re no longer using. Clean out the abundance of half-started plans in your world. And work on what resonates with the one goal you need to work on FIRST.
 
It’s time to shut off the spigot of knowledge and ideas and drink what we have poured. Get into a more measured approach. Choose a path and let that guide you forward.
 
If you need some help elevating your business to the next level, I may be able to help. I have worked with some amazing people who needed help, and I have room to coach a couple of local business people. Just reply to this message and we can set up a time to meet so I can learn about you and your business and see if we are a good fit!
 
Have a great week!

Carlos

PS If you or a client, coworker, family member or a friend who would benefit from our high level of attention to service and competitive rates we provided, I would sincerely appreciate your recommendations.Please text our agency at 617-409-0329 or Click here

PPS What I learned today, “What was Leonardo Da Vinci’s real name” Click here to read more.

Frustration sometimes leads to freedom

 

Happy Monday.

I like to start my week with some words of wisdom,

“Deciding what not to do is as important deciding what to do.”
Jessica Jackley

Most of us are in business (mortgage, real estate, insurance, or law business, or are an entrepreneur or solopreneur) are in a unique situation where we can create the exact business model that we want, start the business that makes us a great living, and do what we are really good at and what we love doing.

I’d like to share with you a concept that I have been using in my business: the “Triad of Awesomeness.”

This came about as a result of my “Frustration sometimes leads to freedom.” presentation.

I look at everything that I do in my business, and if it does not fall into these 3 categories, I either eliminate it or find someone else to do it. The categories are:

  • Things that I love to do
  • Things that I do well
  • Things that pay well

Where these 3 overlap – that is where you should focus your efforts on what you should do. If there is only one thing that meets these criteria, that’s even better.

If you working on something that you love and pays well, but you are terrible at it, you will never get the best results.

f you are working on something that pays well, and you are good at it, but you hate doing it, you will burn out.

If you find something that you are good at and love doing but it pays terribly, you will go broke.

So how do you do find something that lies in the middle of the Venn Diagram above? You learn to delegate all of the other things. Think about everything that comes your way and how it will affect your Triad of Awesomeness.

When I am talking to real estate agents and loan partners about low hanging fruit, they all agree that they need to be calling their past clients a few times a year, but some are not doing it because they don’t have the time, and they are not willing to delegate the task. So, I often ask  “Do you think that it’s better to ignore your past customers than to have someone else call on your behalf?”

Think about it: if a task does not fall into that red zone in your Triad of Awesomeness, but your business would suffer without doing it, delegate it – preferably to someone that will do it well, like doing it, and get paid well for it.

(I was recently reached by a VA (virtual assistant) in the Philipines that did customer service work for a travel agency in CA, his position was phased out when the company he was working for, was bought out. If you have ever thought about hiring a VA, reply to this message and I can answer any questions you may have and connect you with him.)

Know that you are LOVED!

Have a great week!

Carlos

Easy “DIY” Projects You Can Do in One Weekend

Do you ever get the itch to tackle a DIY (do-it-yourself) project? Home improvement tasks don’t have to be complicated or expensive, and there are many simple tasks can make a huge difference to your home. Springtime is also the perfect time to spruce up your home while you recover from the doldrums of winter and prepare for a summer of fun and festivities.

This week, our employees shared some of their favorite easy home projects that make an impact without too much effort:

Improve Curb Appeal

The front of your home is the first thing people see upon arriving, so make sure that it is ready to make a good first impression. When was the last time you cleaned the outside of your front door? Years of ice and pollen can leave residue, and a hard scrubbing can make a big difference. Once it’s clean, take the opportunity to apply touch-up paint, if needed.

Entryways always look more inviting with a little touch of character, so add a wreath or topiary. You can even consider adding a small chair or bench, if there is room, and decorating it with some weather-proof pillows. To go above and beyond sprucing up your front yard, fix any cracks in the driveway and walkways.

Plant a Garden

If your front yard isn’t in need of improvement, maybe the backyard could use some TLC. A garden is a beautiful and useful project that you can benefit from for years to come. Grow flowers for your home or to give to friends or grow herbs and fruits and vegetables that will provide organic produce for your family. A few of the vegetables that grow well in Massachusetts are:

  • Lettuce
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Snap Peas
  • Broccoli
  • And More

Setting up your garden is a great weekend project, but tending it is a hobby that will keep you busy. Make sure that you do plenty of research and talk to professionals about the best time to plant, and how to care for your garden.

Update a Lighting Fixture

The lighting fixture is one of the most prominent fixtures in a room, and updating it to something new is probably easier than you think. Remember to turn off the power to the fixture on your circuit breaker before you begin, then it’s simple to go down with the old and up with the new (or just take the old one down and give it a new coat of paint). While you’re updating your light, make sure to install an energy efficient bulb in the fixture!

Install Crown Molding

Want to make your home seem more elegant? It’s a tough job, but crown molding is one of the easiest ways to do so. A slightly more advanced DIY project, you will need the ability to cut the molding to the right size and attach it securely to the wall. Make sure that you use paintable caulk when completing this job. Crown molding is subtle, but it can really transform a space, and it’s something that will make an impact on potential buyers if you ever decide to sell your home.

Replace Cabinet and Drawer Hardware

How long have you been using the same hardware in your kitchen and bathroom? These knobs and handles are something you probably interact with several times a day, so changing them to something new can be a refreshing update. Note how many you will need for the room you choose to update, and make sure to buy a few extra, just in case. Then it’s as easy as grabbing a screwdriver to get your new look! Just make sure to get new hardware with the same number of screws (and at the same distance) as the old – otherwise you will need to drill holes in your cabinets, adding to the complexity of the project.

Paint an Accent Wall

An accent wall is a great way to add a pop of color to a room without overstimulating its inhabitants. Choose a small wall – typically one of the first that you see upon entering the room. Estimate the square footage of the wall to ensure that you purchase the right amount of paint, and make sure that you purchase a few drop cloths to protect your carpet and furniture while you do the painting. What’s nice about this project is that the hardest part of painting an accent wall is picking out the color… or maybe moving a few pieces of furniture out of the way. Once you do that, you’re only a few hours away from a transformed space!

Get Creative Making Art

If painting a wall isn’t your cup of tea, you can tackle an even easier project with DIY art. Some paint and a large canvas is all it takes to create a masterpiece for a wall in your home. The best part is that there’s no experience needed – just find a tutorial online and have fun with it. Some projects are even foolproof enough that you can get the kids involved!

As always, make sure that you are confident in your abilities before starting a home improvement project. It is also important to have an experienced professional on speed-dial just in case you need advice or a helping hand.

So, which of these seven projects will you tackle first? Remember, if you complete a DIY project that adds value to your home (like installing a new lighting fixture or molding), you should talk to your Massachusetts insurance agent in order to make sure that the increased home value is reflected in your home insurance policy.

March National Day’s Calendar

March 1st

  • National Minnesota Day
  • National Dadgum That’s Good Day
  • National Fruit Compote Day
  • National Horse Protection Day
  • National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
  • National Pig Day

March 2nd

  • National Banana Cream Pie Day
  • National Old Stuff Day
  • National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day) – If on Weekend, Moves to Closest School Day
  • National Speech and Debate Education Day – By Annual Resolution
  • National Employee Appreciation Day – First Friday in March
  • National Dress in Blue Day – First Friday in March

March 3rd

  • National Soup it Forward Day*
  • National Anthem Day
  • National Cold Cuts Day
  • National I Want You to be Happy Day
  • National Mulled Wine Day

March 4th

  • Finisher’s Medal Day* – First Sunday in March
  • Marching Music Day
  • National Grammar Day
  • National Hug a G.I. Day
  • National Pound Cake Day

March 5th

  • National Absinthe Day
  • National Cheese Doodle Day
  • National Multiple Personality Day

March 6th

  • National Dress Day
  • National Dentist’s Day
  • National Frozen Food Day
  • National Oreo Cookie Day
  • National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day

March 7th

  • National Be Heard  Day
  • National Cereal Day
  • National Crown of Roast Pork Day

March 8th

  • National Oregon Day
  • International
    Women’s Day
  • National Peanut Cluster Day
  • National Proofreading Day

March 9th

  • National Day of Unplugging – Second Friday in March
  • National Barbie Day
  • National Crabmeat Day
  • National Get Over it Day
  • National Meatball Day

March 10th

  • National Blueberry Popover Day
  • National Mario Day
  • National Pack Your Lunch Day
  • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 11th

  • National Johnny Appleseed Day
  • National Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day
  • National Proposal Day
  • National Worship of Tools Day
  • Daylight Saving Time – Second Sunday in March

March 12th

  • National Girl Scout Day
  • National Plant a Flower Day
  • National Napping Day – Day after Return of Daylight Saving Day

March 13th

  • National Coconut Torte Day
  • National Earmuff Day
  • National Good Samaritan Day
  • National Jewel Day
  • National K9 Veterans Day
  • National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day

March 14th

  • National Write Your Story Day *
  • National Children’s Craft Day
  • National Learn About Butterflies Day
  • National Pi Day
  • National Potato Chip Day
  • National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day – Second Wednesday in March

March 15th

  • National Kansas Day
  • National Everything You Think Is Wrong Day
  • National Pears Helene Day
  • National Shoe the World Day

March 16th

  • National Farm Rescuer Day
  • National Artichoke Hearts Day
  • National Everything You Do Is Right Day
  • National Freedom of Information Day
  • National Panda Day

March 17th

  • National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • National Quilting Day – Third Saturday in March
  • National Corn Dog Day – Changes Annually

March 18th

  • National Awkward Moments Day
  • National Biodiesel Day
  • National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day
  • National Sloppy Joe Day
  • National Supreme Sacrifice Day

March 19th

  • National Certified Nurses Day
  • National Chocolate Caramel Day
  • National Let’s Laugh Day
  • National Poultry Day

March 20th

  • National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • National Proposal Day
  • National Ravioli Day
  • Spring Begins – Changes Annually March 20, 2018
  • National Ag Day – Changes Annually

March 21st

  • National California Strawberry Day
  • National Common Courtesy Day
  • National Fragrance Day
  • National French Bread Day
  • National Single Parent Day
  • National Kick Butts Day – Changes Annually

March 22nd

  • National West Virginia Day
  • National Bavarian Crepes Day
  • National Goof Off Day

March 23rd

  • National Chia Day
  • National Chip and Dip Day
  • National Near Miss Day
  • National Melba Toast Day
  • National Puppy Day – Typically celebrated  on March 23rd,  however observed on a Friday or Monday when falling on a weekend

March 24th

  • National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

March 25th

  • National Lobster Newburg Day
  • National Medal of Honor Day
  • National Tolkien Reading Day

March 26th

  • Epilepsy Awareness Day – Purple Day
  • National Nougat Day
  • National Spinach Day

March 27th

  • National Joe Day
  • National Spanish Paella Day
  • National American Diabetes Association Alert Day – Fourth Tuesday in March
  • National Education and Sharing Day – Changes Annually – 11th day of the month of Nisan on the Jewish calendar

March 28th

  • National Black Forest Cake Day
  • National Something on a Stick Day
  • National Weed Appreciation Day
  • National Little Red Wagon Day – Last Wednesday in March
  • Manatee Appreciation Day – Last Wednesday in March

March 29th

  • National Nevada Day
  • National Vietnam War Veterans Day
  • National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day
  • National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

March 30th

  • Virtual Vacation Day*
  • National Doctors Day
  • National I Am in Control Day
  • National Pencil Day
  • National Take a Walk in the Park Day
  • National Turkey Neck Soup Day

March 31st

  • National Bunsen Burner Day
  • National Clams on the Half Shell Day
  • National Crayon Day
  • National Prom Day
  • National Tater Day

 

We Are All Here For A Reason

I like to start most posts with some positive words:

Having a rough morning? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose; you are alive for a reason. Never give up!
-Unknown

If you met me during my school years, you would not recognize me today.

Here’s my story, our family emigrated to the US in 1968, I went to school, watched my siblings while my parents worked (sometimes two jobs each). They put food on the table, purchased a home, and kept us as comfortable as possible in order to live the American dream.

In school, English was my second language. In fact, when we arrived in the US I spoke no English and was placed in a second-grade class, despite being eight years old. As I progressed through public school, I messed up a lot. I was placed in the work-study program in High School for students who were feared that they would not graduate. I did the things that youth do thinking that they would live forever. I started working at 13 years old (I lied about my age) and have been working ever since.  I tried community college at night and failed, but, frankly, school was not for me. I came to find out many years later that I have a nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD); you may remember me sharing that with you earlier this year.

I met #TheMan  (click here to see photo) when I met him I was 20 years old and working two jobs. He recruited me into the world of Prudential Insurance, trained me, and taught me to have empathy and make a difference in the life of every person that I met.  He taught me how to prospect and connect in a deeply meaningful way with everyone that I came across who needed or may one day need my services.  He is my second father, and I am blessed to have him as my mentor to this date!

I met my wife Kathy in 1980. She worked at the same Prudential office that I did in Braintree, MA.  we got married in 1983. We (she) raised two sons, I was rarely home as we had decided that she would be an at home mom and I would hunker down and do what needed to be done to make a good living for our young family. Both of our sons are college graduates and are now married, working, and on their own. (click here to see photo)

“Someone needs to pay the price, whether the family pays the price and has a modest lifestyle or one Parent works the extended hours and pays the price to give the family the best life possible.” – #TheMan (Vasco Rodrigues)

I was the 4th child born to my parents, but the first to survive. I have a sister who owns her own insurance agency and two brothers who are co-owners of our agency.

I have always taken great pride in the Vargas and Faria (my mother’s maiden name) names but they took on a special significance recently.

I stopped by to see my oldest living aunt the other day, Aunt Rosa, (click here to see a photo) and as she always does, she brought out the photo albums and starts explaining to me our family history and where we came from (after all, someone needs to keep the mental records for the family, she does this with everyone who visits) we came from a small village on the island of Faial in the Azores.

Of course, my father never talked about his life in the Azores to me or anyone else. After we emigrated to the US, my father never had any interest in ever going back to visit the country of his birth. My mother, on the other hand, had great memories of her youth with friends and cousins. I was able to meet some of them when we visited Faial together on numerous occasions over the years.

I came to the realization while sitting with my aunt that my father and mother came from the same exact place, experienced the same schools and the same ups and downs, had the same wants, but my father never forgot the bad stuff that he experienced, while my mother tried to only remember the good in her life when living in Faial.

I know I am here for a reason. I know that you are here for a reason. We are not accidents. The fact that you are reading this is not an accident. We have a purpose and there is a plan for our lives.

As the people who came before us made our lives possible, we have the opportunity to make the best possible life for others. Let’s use this gift of life we have been given and make a positive impact on everyone we meet!

My mother always told me I was going to do something special (she told all of her children this) and somehow through all the difficult times in our lives I heard her words and believed them. She gave me the greatest gift an adult can give a child. She believed in me. She called out the best in me and I think of her all the time, and always try to look at the “good side” of things. (click here to see photo)

And in case no one has told you recently, I want you to know that you are special. You are here to do something meaningful, and I believe in you.

You are meant to make a difference. You can start today.

Carlos

February 2018 Newsletter


Happy February!
I thought that I would start this month’s message with a positive message:

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” 

-Hal Borland
It’s been a rough winter for many of us! With all of the really cold weather, there have been many claims around frozen pipes, check out our blog below on what to do to prevent pipe freeze-ups and Ice Dams.
Check out the story behind Saint Valentines Day, Click here to read more.
February marks the beginning of Black History Month. Each year Americans set aside this month to focus their historical hindsight on the contributions that people of African descent have made to this country.  Wmust celebrate ourselves and do it loudly.  No matter the shape, size, hue or ability, all of our stories matter and they deserve to be told through our lens. I recently read this article on the Queens of Black History Month, that I found very interesting, Click here to read it.
Life Insurance is LOVE Insurance, which makes February and Valentines Day a perfect time to remind you of the need for Life Insurance.  The majority of Americans would have trouble paying for living expenses immediately or shortly after the primary wage earner in the house dies.  Please click here to read more on how much life insurance you should carry. Have questions? Please click here and we will contact you to review your questions and your current life insurance.
I recently had the pleasure of cooking with guest chef Adelina Armas of International Food Gourmet in Brockton. Adelina shows Sharon and me how to make chicken breasts stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella and spinach., Click here check out the latest “Get Fresh” cooking show below.

Click here to watch the video.

There are lots of great things to do in and around the Boston area this month, please find some fun family things to do below.

Carlos

PPS, What I learned today, “Which zodiac signs are a love match “ Click here 

 

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Forget the New Year Resolutions and Set SMART Goals

Is this crazy or what? December has completely snuck up on us. Did you know that there are only 6 “work days” left between now and December 22nd when things will shut down for the holidays? While December is a month of celebration and cheer, it’s also the time to get planning for a successful 2017.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “What you don’t measure you don’t improve”?

I started this writing last week thinking that I would be writing to you about New Year resolutions, but the more that I dug through my past resolutions, I found that I have never succeeded with almost any of them. Some of my past resolutions have been; lose weight, become more physically active, be a better life partner (I hope that I have made some headway with this one), be a better parent, be a better person, prospect for more of this or that kind of insurance lines of business, etc.. This quote became so poignant when I read it.

Don’t get me wrong; I think that New year Resolutions may be worth making for some, but, perhaps they are a guideline for us to follow, rather than an exact recipe that will place more pressure on our already overburdened lives.

It’s certainly true in business, sports, and science, but what about in life? How do you measure progress in your life? With work or business, we could use our income. But what about our health, relationships, or intellectual growth?

So, are You ready for 2018?

Will 2018 be your best year yet?

What are you doing to make 2018 your best year yet?

I will be truthful with you, I failed a lot in 2017, but also had many successes. I have learned from those failures, and hope to harp on the achievements.

Do you know the feeling; I mean the failure feeling?

Don’t use the “failure feeling” to rekindle those strong negative emotions (it’s not easy, especially if they were severe). Instead, I hope that you learn from your failures as I do.

Like many people, I sometimes struggle to stay focused on my goals. Week in and week out, there is always a “new way of doing things” or a “new shiny whistle” that tries to take my attention away from what is important.

While planning and goal setting is vital in the business world, I hope that you don’t forget that it is just as important to establish goals for your personal life. Don’t forget that without our health and our relationships, many of our lives would be meaningless!

Setting and achieving your goals may be difficult, but there is help available. Here are few of my recommendations:

Here’s what Michael Hyatt says about goal setting:

Make them “SMART.” This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers. When I refer to SMART goals, I mean goals that meet five criteria. They must be:

  • Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
    • Bad: Write a book.
    • Good: Write a book proposal for The Life Plan Manifesto.
  • Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
    • Bad: “Earn more this year than last.”
    • Good: “Earn $5,000 more this year than last.”
  • Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
    • Bad: Be more consistent in blogging.
    • Good: Write two blog posts per week.
  • Realistic—you have to be careful here. A real goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense. I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it. (If I am not out of my comfort zone, I’m not thinking big enough.)
    • Bad: Qualify for the PGA Tour.
    • Good: Lower my golf handicap by four strokes.
  • Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal? It could be by year-end (December 31), or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a ‘by when’ date.
    • Bad: Lose 20 pounds.
    • Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.

Once you have SMART goals for your professional and personal life, make sure to Write them down and place them in a visible location, like on your desk or the refrigerator (I have my goals taped to the wall in my closet).

Click here for more information on Michael Hyatt’s goal setting techniques.

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
-Helen Keller

I hope that you have a happy, prosperous and safe new year!

Carlos

 

 

 

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