Sometimes ago, I wrote an article on asking how financial fit you are. It has been over a month now since I published that article and its time to do some reflection. I have been in the gym for the last past two months and that has taught me a few things that equally apply to your financial fitness journey.
Here are some of the lessons I have learnt in the gym that will improve your fitness financially:
1.It takes consistency and perseverance to make exercising a habit. Living in a hotel meant that I had access to free gym that was just 1 floor beneath my room. Even with the gym that close, there are days were I came up with excuses why I deserve not to go. Just like how close this gym was to my room, so is it to access the money in your account. You need to practice saving consistently and preserve for it to become a habit. It will not happen by accident.
2. The pace matters. The other day I went in the gym and ran 10km in 56 minutes. I thought that was an incredible speed and I was proud of myself. A few days later, I did 10km again but this time in 1hr6min. In both cases, the distance is the same but I took longer the second time. This will be the same for your savings goals. Your goals can be the same with your mate but the amount you put aside on a monthly basis will determine how quickly or slowly you get to your goals. However, be careful not to start to fast because you will burn out in the process.
After running my first park run, 5 km with a friend last Saturday.
3. Others in the gym can make or break you. I remember the one morning I went in the gym and I found it full of guys only. I was soo intimidate to get in there because I was thinking, what the heck am I going to do in there? Others are lifting heavy weights and here I am with my 5kg? Eventually I mounted up some courage and just did not think. Other times, I found someone really working hard on the treadmill and I will change my goal from 2.5 Km to 5 Km because I am motivated. Likewise, your friends driving fancy cars can be your source of misery. You constantly compare your life to them and that steals away the joy from what you have because you are soo focused on what you do not have. Also you could also see someone who had a lower paying income start off their business and you might be inspired to work hard. You have to choose wisely.
4. There should be a reason for each exercise you do in the gym else you will get frustrated. Someday I do squat to firm my hips, other days I do lifts to firm my arm muscles , other days I do sprint run to build speed and others I just do power walks to build endurance. If you just do it without a reason, you could be disappointed why your belly fat is not going away without actually noting that you have more endurance. The same goes for money goals. If you just save with no goals, how will you know that you have reached your destination? Some actions like paying off your debt quicker will imply that you will not have more money at the end of the day but it means you will have no debt. Know the difference.
5. Lastly, someday you just have to show up. There are numerous times I have just gone to the gym, do 20 squats, 20 lights lift, walk a km on a treadmill and I am out. People think I am probably the laziest person if they see me do that but something is better than nothing at all. Likewise, not all months your money budget will work. Unexpected expenses do come up but a N$100 thrown into your savings is better than nothing at all.
How are you tracking with your financial fitness journey? Have you made some goals? Have you started budgeting? Have you started that side hustle? Have you spoken to someone about your debt situation? Are you saving for retirement? Re-evaluate how affordable your current rental or insurance is? Have you started asking the questions in your head?
We are moving on. There are only 44 weeks left in 2019. What have you done with the last 8 weeks?