Good advice for a fresh future in Eagle Valley |

Good advice for a fresh future in Eagle Valley

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

EDWARDS ” New Year’s resolutions are hard to remember just a month into the new year; actually keeping them can seem impossible.

It’s not too late, however, to take the reigns back and own this year. That’s the message that speakers Jim Neilsen, Andy Feld and Richard Loth hope to get across during the New Year, New You series, which begins tomorrow.

The Bookworm in Edwards is hosting the three-part series meant to inform, encourage and enable those struggling to find a healthy, successful life path. And since success doesn’t always mean a fat bank account, the topics presented and discussed during the course of the New Year, New You seminars will cover health, happiness, and of course, finances.

Nicole Magistro, owner of the Bookworm, came up with the idea for the programming after several local authors and experts approached her about educating the public.

“It kind of struck me that these are all topics that we seem to be concerned about at the beginning of the year, so why not do a series together,” Magistro said.

It just made sense to Magistro to bring the speakers and authors together at a time when people are thinking about changing and improving their lives. Couple that with the fact that all of the speakers are locals and understand the lifestyle and attitude of those in the valley, and the formula for success seemed likely.

“People are just constantly trying to improve their own lives, and what a better way than to do it in a sort of casual, social environment where you get to learn something too,” Magistro said.

As scary as the thought of growing old is to many in a youth-oriented world, even more frightening is the possibility of growing old twice. Speaker Jim Nielsen will give helpful advice about how to slow down the effects of aging in the human body and mind during Wednesday night’s presentation. According to Nielsen, there are two types of age that we must deal with: Biological and chronological.

Nielsen is an expert in the fields of biology and physiology and is currently teaching a course at Western Illinois University called Biology of Aging. Premature biological aging (the rate at which the body ages due to outside forces other than natural aging) can be much more hazardous to our health than chronilogical in the grand scheme of things, Neilsen said. Basically, factors such as stress, smoking, unhealthy diet, inactivity and ultra-violet rays can contribute to our biological age, which can be higher or lower than our chronological age, depending on how healthy we are as individuals.

Depending on the lifestyle, a person can be 20 years old with a biological age of 40.

And it doesn’t end there. Nielsen said that cancer is also a close byproduct of premature biological aging. Much of Nielsen’s material is pulled from a series of health books by Dr. Michael Roizen, M.D. such as “You: The Owner’s Manual.”

Nielsen will present facts on biological aging, how to calculate it and ways to combat it.

“Be aware of your biological age. Be aware that there is such a thing, and that you can calculate it and thus you can know just how you are doing,” Nielsen said.

And with a strong message of hope, he said that it’s never to late to start reversing our biological age, all it takes is a willingness to change a few bad habits.

What does it take to be truly happy?

That’s a question that has been pondered by everyone from philosophers to mechanics. Denver resident Andy Feld thinks he has the answer. In fact he’s so sure of it he penned the book “Simple Happy.”

“That’s what I’m going to be talking about, first and foremost ” what can you do to get happy,” Feld said.

Feld is the second of three speakers in the New Year, New You series. He aims to show those struggling with happiness how to apply his findings to their lives.

Just what are those findings?

For starters, true happiness lies in listening to yourself, not what others tell you to do. By that, Feld doesn’t mean you should ignore your boss and significant other and just do what you want all the time, he simply said that too many people give to much to other people.

“What I tell people is, you know what’s best for you,” Feld said.

Often times people who stop giving so much are called selfish.

“When you’re called selfish it just means that you’re not doing what somebody else wants you to do,” Feld said.

Feld’s divorce and personal life experiences influenced much of his book, which he said was the culmination of a lifetime of taking notes on the subject of happiness. He hopes that people will be able to apply his advice to relationships, jobs and any other area of life where happiness seems to be eluding them.

So how does Feld define such an abstract term as happiness?

He doesn’t.

“Happiness is an inside job,” he said, and up to the individual to define the word.

Richard Loth is a registered investment advisor who wishes that people would start caring more about the future. The future, after all, is where we’re headed, and without sound financial investments, that future could be pretty bleak.

Loth has written a guidebook to investments called “Finding Investment Quality in a Mutual Fund,” which he will be using as a guide during the third and final presentation in the series. He hopes to give sound financial council that will help people realize just how vital it is to be informed about money.

“The idea is to try to make this simple and easy to understand,” Loth said about the often complex and confounding world of finance.

A mutual fund can be a low-risk vehicle for financial gains if the right one is used, Loth said. Loth tries to help prospective investors understand what to look for in a mutual fund before they invest.

Mutual funds shouldn’t be a mystery, but thanks to the industry’s lack of explanation and the public’s lack of concern, Loth said that many people have no idea what a mutual fund is, let alone how to invest in one properly. His presentation will cover the eight steps to finding sound investments, as well as how to avoid getting burned.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or

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