July 26, 2021
Have you ever noticed that when you start working on improving your finances, you feel better, physically? And, when you work diligently on your health, physical or emotional, have you experienced an improvement in your finances?
Research shows there’s a strong crossover between your overall health and finances. It’s because healthy habits, whether monetary or for your body and mind, are formed using the exact same methods:
Accountability to your top priorities (eg. the buddy system).
Efficiency in the systems and processes you’re using (eg. using smart budgeting or financial planning templates or following your personal trainer’s cardio guidelines).
Consistency in how you approach working on your money and body (eg. avoiding crash diets or unattainable budgets and sticking with consistent healthy daily steps).
If financial wellness is something you’re striving for, try broadening your scope of improvements. Here are a few suggestions.
Exercise and educate
Everyone has a “flow” zone, where they are at their best. For me, it’s early in the morning, before my toddler is up. Challenge yourself to capitalize on this special time by working on your body as you work on your financial education. For example, if you’re a runner, pop those ear buds in and listen to a podcast about investing, while you’re on your running route. Or, if you’re on a spin bike with a phone mount, load up a financial education course you can watch while peddling.
If multi-tasking is no good for you, split the activities into the same 60 minute time block, but do each individually. By exercising your body and your money mindset, you’ll experience a boost in your energy levels.
Incorporate money meditation into your quiet time
Meditation has spillover benefits in helping reduce stress and prioritizing what’s most important. Try this meditation exercise to get clear on your vision and next money goal.
What is your money focus right now?
- Relax. Take a few deep breaths, sit somewhere comfy, quiet & peaceful.
- Close your eyes and ask: What does my ideal day look like? Where am I? What am I doing? Who is with me?
- Write down everything in this vision on a piece of paper.
- Decide on the top five things most important to you. Circle them.
- From those five, what two do you feel you could live without? Cross those out.
- Now focus on the three remaining. How do they feel? What do they look like? Why are they important?
Repeat regularly. Use a money journal to document your journey. Carefully work through resistance by being persistent in your positive self talk about this vision.
“No” is a complete sentence
You can’t be physically or financially well if you’re on the road to burnout. While friends are banging on your door to go out and blow the doors off because the country is opening up again, know that it’s OK to say no. Get clear on your boundaries for how much social interaction you want to have, what you want to spend on socialization, and so on.
Boundaries can and should be applied in your work as well so that you don’t end up with too great a workload, and unable to keep up, or do the work well.
Did you know that budgeting regularly can be an excellent way to set up financial and personal boundaries? And if an expenditure isn’t in your budget you can simply say “No. I’m spending my money on other things at the moment.”
Stay on track with your money and health
How would you ever know if you’re making improvements if you aren’t monitoring your progress? For your finances, try measuring your net worth monthly (total of the value of all your assets minus the total of the value of all your liabilities equals net worth). If this number is growing, you’re doing something right. If it’s shrinking, you might need help from a money coach to troubleshoot what’s setting you back. Money coaches are personal trainers for your finances.
The same goes for your health. If you want post-pandemic weight loss or lower blood pressure or even stronger endurance, you need to track how you’re progressing. I’d suggest tracking weekly. This also applies to your workplace, too. Keep a pulse on what you’re accomplishing.
If you have a formal accountability system with a professional or even a friend, you’ll need these tracked results to show them how you’re progressing toward your goals.
As you work to develop new and healthier habits for your health and money, enjoy the spillover benefits to other areas of your life.