Plan Your Fitness Like Your Finances

Written by: Christopher Piemonte, Health & Wellness SpecialistIt’s the time of year again when resolutions are on many of our minds. These resolutions are typically centered on things we think of year-round, but are pushed to the forefront when self-improvement is mentioned. Possibly the two most popular of these topics are fitness and finances.

We usually don’t think of our fitness and finances as being related (outside of a monthly gym membership fee that may feel more like a donation), but the two can share similar ideologies. If you’re currently not conscious of either, hopefully this post will be twice as beneficial!

One of the most effective ways for us to manage our spending is to set forth a budget. Budgets provide rigidity and make a much more compelling case to avoid an impulse-buy. Think of the difference between the statement, “I’m only going to spend $10 on coffee this week,” versus, “I’m not going to spend as much money on coffee this week.” In the second scenario, we leave the door open to interpretation and allow ourselves to stray from our goal. In the first, there’s no interpretation, just yes or no.

Similar to budgeting money, budgeting time to exercise can be an effective tool for accountability. Again, think of the difference between, “I’m going to exercise Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3-3:30 pm,” versus, “I’m going to exercise three times this week.” The first statement sets specific parameters of days and times when we’ll commit to exercise, just like setting an amount for a weekly coffee budget. Without a specific and measurable goal, we give ourselves the opportunity to move the needle back.

Setting a specific goal with our finances is a profound way to increase accountability, and it works just the same as with our fitness. If we have something we’re working towards, we’ll be much more likely to stay on track. This is similar to the thought process behind budgeting our money and exercise.

If we’re planning to save for retirement and have a target amount of money in mind, that gives us steps to achieve along the way. Moving towards those steps provides a purpose when setting our money aside for the future.

Working towards something like a 5k will give us a much more compelling argument to run than just running for the sake of doing so. When one goal is achieved, we gain confidence and motivation to work towards the next one.

Finally, moderation is a helpful way to stay on course with our fitness journey. Just like how most of us wouldn’t put our entire paycheck into savings for three months in a row and then nothing at all for the next three months, our exercise shouldn’t be all-or-nothing.

Financial wellbeing is generally best achieved by setting aside little by little and letting it grow overtime. This is the same for fitness. Our health journey needs to be something that’s done in small parts for a sustained period of time, not all at once in random spurts if we want to maintain the benefits

Remember, spending a little extra on a morning coffee (in most cases) won’t destroy our financial wellbeing. and that  coffee won’t destroy our health – as long as things like this occur in moderation. If we can learn to equate our health with our  finances, we can remember that there’s a bigger picture to be admired. Both should be looked at for the long-haul and doing so can serve as a timely reminder.