Since it’s mid-January, the “new year, new you” posts on social media have started to taper off. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your physical or fiscal fitness goals!
Personally, I’m trying to be more active. It was much easier in college when I had more free time and had regularly scheduled swim practices, weight lifting sessions, and a built in support group from my teammates. Prior to having kids, I laced up my shoes on a regular basis, ran half marathons, and even ran one full marathon. When I was training for a half marathon, I had to stick to regularly scheduled runs to be sure I was ready for race day. Now that we have two little ones running around our house, it’s harder for me to stay motivated and work out.
Yes, I’m self-employed and have the ability to set my schedule (and therefore, workout schedule) but this sort of mindset shift after 9 years in the corporate world takes a little time to achieve. It takes time to develop new habits.
After reading Alexandra Franzen’s post about the six types of motivation, my motivation to stay active is linked to achievement, growth, and perhaps a sprinkle of social factors. I love tracking my progress and seeing improvement over time. And yes, sometimes I need an external push to get moving.
So I asked for a Fitbit for Christmas. I wanted a way to measure my current activity and then track my improvement over time. I also needed the friendly reminder to get off my butt and take a little walk if I’d been sitting at my computer for too long.
What the heck does this have to do with financial planning?
Tracking my fitness with a Fitbit reminds me what it was like when we first started tracking our finances with Mint years ago. I had a vague idea that I needed to get off my butt, but I had no idea how few steps I was taking some days. I knew I was tired, but I had no idea how little I slept some nights.
When it came to our finances, the account balances seemed to move in the right direction, but I had no idea how much I was spending on coffee or eating out for lunch. We were saving for a down payment on a house and needed help plugging some of the financial leaks. Now that we have about six years of financial data, we can see how much we’ve progressed by tracking changes in our net income and, more importantly, net worth.
Beyond monitoring physical activity or financial progress, it’s so important to set clear, SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Because if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?
As a financial planner, I can help you create and prioritize multiple SMART goals aligned with your values. We’ll work together to figure out your motivation style so you can achieve these goals. And along the way, I’ll provide the accountability and assistance you may need through emails and regularly scheduled calls or meetings. I can help you with those adult responsibilities that you know you should do like creating a debt repayment plan, updating beneficiaries, creating an estate plan, or rebalancing asset allocations, but keep putting off
My goal as a financial planner is to help you feel more confident when it comes to your money.
If taking control of your finances is one of your goals for the year, I’d love to work with you. schedule a 30 minute strategy session to see if we’re a good fit: