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Financial and physical fitness: why improving one is good for improving the other

I always love the end of the current year and the start of the new one because it signifies a new beginning. This is the time when you can reflect on your behaviors from the previous year; you can take the positive with you into the new year and leave the toxic, negative ones behind.

When choosing resolutions, a lot of you will gravitate towards fixing your money issues, improving your bodies or both. You want to put the financial turmoil of the previous year behind you, and find a pathway to financial abundance in the year to come.  And it wouldn’t hurt if you could achieve that dream body you’ve always wanted, too. What you may not realize, though, is that pursuing your financial goals will do your body good as well.

Maybe it’s that both of those aspects of our lives require constant dedication. Western culture is so body conscious, and there are constant reminders of money everywhere. Every time we walk out the door, watch TV or go online, there are opportunities to spend. And every time we sit down for a meal, drive past a fast food restaurant or see healthy looking people, we are reminded of our bodies.

Since these principles of excess are ingrained in our beings, it may seem daunting to change both areas simultaneously. There are countless stories of people taking on both, going all in, and then burning out a few weeks into their massive life change. But, it doesn’t have to be this way for you.

Focusing on improving one area of your life usually has a spill-over effect. Good, positive effort and action breeds good, positive responses. For example, think about the last time you donated money or volunteered. You felt happy, fulfilled, and walked around with a positive energy. And you were more motivated to do positive things for others. You smiled at a stranger. You held the door for someone. You said ‘thank you’ for the simplest actions.

Instead of going into the new year thinking about everything you need to improve, focus on one thing. If financial fitness is your goal, sit down and make a plan for it. If you want more in savings, look at your current situation and figure out what you can reasonably put away each month.

Then, automate your deductions. Set date or two each month that a certain amount transfers from your regular checking over to your savings. Doing this gives you less to worry about: no trips to the bank, no reminders and no excuses.

The key is to take meaningful steps towards achieving your goal. Write down your financial plan and make the first ‘payment’ to yourself with your next check. Seeing what you’ve accomplished that quickly will inspire you to keep going. It will also motivate you to change other areas.

 

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