Fitness And Finances Are More Similar Than You Think
Your fitness goals and your financial goals are more similar than you know. For one, both are about investing in you and your future. Both when dealt with in the right manner allows you to live well beyond your years. One allows you to live comfortably, the other allows you to move comfortably. And when both are left unchecked, they dire consequences in your later years.
A study by BT Financial Group in 2015 showed the correlation between fitness and finance. The more worries you have about your finances, the more trouble you'll have with sleep, relationships and your physical fitness. Many studies have shown the power of focus in our lives. By freeing our mind of one worry, we are able to focus better on others. In this case, when our minds are constantly worried about our bank account, the debt amount, etc, we find it hard to focus on our physical fitness, diet and mental health.
Now that you see the correlation, you should also know that the strategies to handle both your fitness and finances are very similar. You can deploy the same strategies to train both your physical fitness and your financial fitness.
Set SMART Goals
Financial goals are easy to set. I want to be debt free by October 2020. I want to save $10,000 for my emergency fund by April 2021. I want to have a $500 sinking fund to purchase an item by December 2020. SMART goals are very easy to set up when it comes to our finances because we know what's our income and have a rough estimate of how much goes where. Can we do the same with fitness? Yes we can.
I want to lose 5kg by April 2021. I want to be able to run the StanChart Marathon at the end of 2021. I want to be able to touch my toes by July 2021. Achievable, realistic and time bound goals give us a clear finishing line to which we can work towards. When you set a goal, you set a purpose and you set up an intention for yourself to achieve. The purpose drives you on the days you lack motivation and being intentional creates that habit.
And very much like your financial goals, you want to set up short and long term fitness goals. Short term goals can be between 3 months to 1 year. Long term goals can be 5 years and longer. How would you like your fitness to be like when you're 65? That's a long term goal if you're 25 at the moment. You can then set up your short term goals to help you achieve your long term goal.
Tracking is an underestimated activity. When we track what we spend on each month, we are able to see our essential and non-essential spending. We are able to process our behavioural patterns and find out what triggers us to spend more. We are have proof in our hands and for our eyes to see if our money could have been put to better use and then we can evaluate and re-prioritise our spending.
The same goes for our fitness. Tracking our rest period, exercise and food intake allows us to see if we have worked out enough or maybe too much, recovered enough or overate. We will also have a sense of our workout behaviours and find any triggers that may stop us from going to the gym. This also allows us to evaluate and re-prioritise our fitness goals.
You set yourself up for success when you track. You know you are not wasting your time and you're making full use of your day and resources to create a better you.
When you budget your finances, you intentionally set aside some money. People who don't budget their finances always find themselves running out of savings because they don't know where their money is going. Same goes with time. People who don't budget their time squander their time away. Before you know it, you'll be wondering where did all the time go. You need to intentionally set aside some time to workout otherwise it never happens.
Budgeting 150 minutes a week for your fitness and mental health isn't much to ask. That's like 2% of your time a day for 5 days. A brisk walk? A run? A short yoga session? A full body tabata circuit? You're budgeting time to invest in yourself.
Growing your wealth takes patience and consistency. DCA or dollar cost averaging is one of the ways to grow your wealth. Emotions and behaviours are neglected in DCA so you don't time the market and wait for the perfect opportunity to invest. You invest a little every month, and accumulate wealth over time. Slow and steady wins the race.
This works the same way when you invest in yourself. Your fitness levels increase and get better over time when you stay consistent to your workouts. On the days when you don't feel like working out, show up anyway and do a quick workout. Simply by showing up creates an intention that eventually becomes a habit. Take away the emotions and the behaviours. Every time you invest in yourself, even if it is just 15 minutes, you feel better, fitter, mentally stronger, and the list of benefits go on. Be consistent. In the wise words of Nike, just do it.