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Editor's note: Steve often starts the New Year in DailyWealth with an idea about how to set and achieve your goals for the year. (You'll find the first essay in the "series" here: How to Achieve Anything in 2006.) This year, Steve is "saving his own life." Find out how below...

Steve's Secret to Losing 13 Pounds in December

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I lost 13 pounds in December. (Yes, on purpose.) 
How did I do it? 
I can tell you what I ate and how I exercised...
But to me, neither of those are "the secret" to how I did it. My "secret" was simple, in principle. And I hope you can use this not-so-secret "secret," too – maybe as part of a New Year's resolution.
In short, I decided that I wanted to save my own life... And that decision trumped everything else I did.
I HAD to make a change. I thought, "This can't even wait 'til the New Year." So I made the big change.
I didn't do anything crazy... like eat weird or risk injury with some crazy new workout. I didn't count a single calorie, carb, or gram of fat. And I didn't change my regular exercise routine much, except for a bit more walking... no big deal.
The big change for me was simply making the decision to save my own life... Now THAT I was serious about.
You see, in his 60s, my dad put on a lot of weight. It got bad... and he reached 100 pounds overweight, at least. Trouble with his knees was the real culprit.  
Then he had a heart scare – the result of doing so much less and putting on all that weight.
After the heart scare, he started eating right and walking every day, rain or shine (or snow, in Wisconsin). That was his secret. He lost 100 pounds and got into the best shape he'd been in in over 20 years. (His life was cut short in an accident in 2008. But he lived an incredible life. You can read more about him here.) 
In early November, my knees really started hurting... It hurt to simply walk up and down stairs. My knees hurt so badly, I started avoiding doing certain activities with my kids and other things that I loved to do. And by December 1, I was the heaviest I'd ever been.
I remembered my Dad... I didn't want to go down that road. I knew what I needed to do.
I thought about waiting until January 1 – to get through the holidays. But what was I waiting for?  
I needed to fix this immediately. So I started on December 2. As I said, I didn't go crazy...
My dad lost 100 pounds and got his knees back by walking 20-plus minutes a day and not screwing up on food.
For exercise, I did some sort of 45-minute calorie-burning activity (usually walking or surfing) about 20 out of 30 days. For food, all I did was not screw up... For example, I didn't have any sweets in December. It actually wasn't that hard – even during the holidays – because I'd already made "the big decision" in my head.  
Losing the weight – fixing my knees on my own if possible and getting back to my life – was more important than having a Christmas cookie.
I could tell you in more detail what I did, as far as diet and exercise. But "the big decision" to change was by far the most important part.
A month ago, simply going up and down stairs was painful for me. I felt it every single step. Today, I'm happy to report that I don't even think about it. I can do the things my knees weren't letting me do a month ago. The pain has gone down dramatically.
It has been one month... I am getting rid of clothes that were too tight a month ago and are now way too big. It's a good feeling.
I don't need to lose 100 pounds like my dad did. But I do need to lose more weight in 2013. I feel much better already. I'll be a better dad to my kids. And I'll be better writing these letters to you... feeling good instead of feeling bad.
I have other goals for 2013. But getting my life back – by getting my health back – was at the top of the list. I just happened to get a one-month head start.
It hasn't been hard. And the change has completely been worth it. I'm not going back to my old ways.
If you need to do the same, what are you waiting for? 
Make your "big decision," too... and get on it! 
All the best to you in 2013, 

Further Reading:

Steve has shared several stories on how making one small decision can lead to incredible results – financial and personal...
If you want to be a huge success, there are no two ways around it. Fortunately, the formula is easy.
If you "make your own luck" in life, you'll know you're giving yourself a legitimate shot at success...
Even the best investors are wrong in many investment ideas... but there are two things you can do each year to get better...

Market Notes


Things are looking up for two of the most attractive, investor-friendly places in Asia.
Longtime DailyWealth readers know that we love "trophy assets" – high-quality companies and properties that are impossible to replace. Whether it's a great business like Coca-Cola or a beachfront property in Miami, buying these types of assets at bargain levels is among the best long-term strategies for any investor.
Hong Kong and Singapore are on the short list of trophies in Asia. The two small regions rank among the world's top-five financial centers, just behind London and New York. They draw the attention of the world's top investors by promoting business-friendly legal systems and free-market economic policies.
Steve Sjuggerud recently noted that both the big Singapore fund (aka EWS, the black line in the chart below) and the big Hong Kong fund (aka EWH, the blue line) are sitting near rock-bottom valuations. And as today's chart shows, they're also in a strong uptrend. Over the past year, EWS and EWH are both up about 30%. If Steve's outlook is right, 2012 could be the start of a much longer uptrend for these Asian "trophies." 
– Larsen Kusick
Singapore (EWS) and Hong Kong (EWH) Showing a Solid Uptrend

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