I was at the gym this morning avoiding thinking about how I really wanted to stop my set of 15 squats. So while I kept going I thought instead about the ways managing my money and my fitness were essentially the same.
Check it out –
Know what you are aiming for/saving for. If you have a run to do or a certain amount of weight to lose write it down. Do the same with your savings goal. Visual it. It helps you get out of bed in the morning, eat well and leave your money unspent!
Share your goal. Include people in your nutrition and fitness. Go walking with them. Find ways to hang out that cost less. Rediscover picnics with your mates. Tell them why you are saving, so they understand and support you.
Track how you are going. Keep a food diary, an exercise card and check your spending regularly. There is nothing like seeing it to make it real. MoneyBrilliant will track your spending automatically for you, so just log in and take a look.
Celebrate success. With exercise, diet and money you can chunk your goal in to mini goals, or checkpoints along the way. Each time you reach one take a moment to bask in the glow of success. Tick it off, onwards and upwards to the next step.
Plan when you are strong, so you already know what’s going to happen when your resolve lets you down. For me at the gym this means writing out a weights session the day before (or 3 on the weekend) and then just following them when I get there. With money it means putting the savings, loan repayments, rent all in to another account on payday, so anything that’s left is OK to spend.
Set up structures/routines to get you to the gym or pounding the pavements without even thinking about it. For me an alarm going off the same time 4 days a week to get me exercising before I even wake up. Also I have friends to meet to make sure I do go. With money this equates to automatic payments to cover my bills and savings as soon as I get paid.
Avoid temptation. If you are eating well don’t have junk food in the house. If you are spending less don’t carry your credit card or too much cash in your wallet.
Achieve more in less time. Include intervals in your run to increase your cardio fitness and mix up your savings and investments for better outcomes.
It’s OK to ask for advice. If you think you can do better you probably can. Information is at your fingertips. Cooking and workout inspiration are available online. It’s the same with money and budgeting. If you’re stuck find an expert mate to talk to, or invest in a personal trainer, dietician or financial planner.
Be good to yourself. It’s OK to go off the rails sometimes as long as it’s not for too long and it doesn’t derail all the hard work you’ve already put in. Don’t beat yourself up, take a deep breath, remember what you are aiming for and get back on it!!
Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.