From Fitness to Finance
There are 4 simple concepts we are going to talk about today that will help not only your fitness, but also your finance. Maybe you have heard of some of these concepts, maybe you haven’t. In any case, when you put these 4 strategies into action some amazing things can happen not only to your fitness and health, but also to your fiscal finance and wealth!
I wrote this after listening to best selling author of “Profit First” Mike Michalowicz speak at a seminar and his turning point in his career was when he learned these 4 concepts!
One of the best things a client ever said to me when he signed on the dotted line to start a membership with us was “I realize now that my health is my wealth!” Wow! Now that is a powerful one liner, so powerful it bears repeating:
“I realize now that my health is my wealth”
What he realized was that no amount of money would give him a healthy body or give him the ability to perform at the level that he wanted to perform at. He knew he would need to work on his physical fitness and improve his health, and that in turn would turn into his newfound “wealth.”
We are going to talk about not only physical wealth but also fiscal wealth and how closely tied together they are in these 4 concepts. Here is what you can start to incorporate into your life right away that will not only make an impact on your health, but also on your wealth both physically and financially.
Concept #1 – Small Plates
About 200 years ago, our dinner plates were actually the size of a dessert plate (does anybody even have these anymore?!). In all seriousness, our plate size has over DOUBLED in the last couple of centuries. Back then, we were taught to “clean off our plate” and that mantra has continued as we grew up and now as we raise our children.
Want the solution? Use a smaller plate. Using a smaller plate is the best way to subscribe to “forced portion control.” Actually, only have smaller plates in the house. Then, this really weird thing will start to happen – you will actually start to eat LESS! This will help us force portion control in the right direction and give us the ability to eat less without even thinking about it, as it is an almost automatic habit you don’t need to put much more thought on once you replace your plates with smaller ones.
In finance, you can do the same thing by controlling the “serving” of cash you have available to use. By separating the money into “smaller plates” or separate savings or investment accounts, and “carving” out that money before it even hits your primary cash or checking account, you have in essence “paid yourself first”.
Then you will end up with less in your “serving” dish of cash, and that is ok as you will learn how to deal with this very quickly, just like you did with the small plates. This is also known as “Parkinson’s Law.” The concept of Parkinson’s law leverages this behavior of being able to “make due with what you got.” If there is less in your account, you will be forced to spend less and not make those silly purchases!
This is a lot like a tube of toothpaste. We all have been there before – where we either have a full tube of toothpaste or an almost empty tube of toothpaste. We will use that toothpaste differently depending on what end of the spectrum we are at! I love a full tube of toothpaste because I can just lather up that toothbrush with a huge amount and care less (a lot like over-spending when you get a raise/bonus/etc). I also love working with a smaller tube of toothpaste – it forces me to use muscles that I never knew I had to squeeze out that very last little bit of toothpaste! Think of your primary account just like this tube of toothpaste – if you are almost out and can’t pay your bills then you can’t afford those things you have been buying!
Concept #2 – Eat your “Vegetables” first!
How do most of us eat dinner? Maybe if we are out to eat, we may start with an appetizer then move on to the main course, then dessert. What about at home? I would always start with the “meat and potatoes!” In all seriousness, the process is pretty much the same for all of us. We will almost always start with the most savory, tastiest part of our meal first – then go on to eat the most of that!
What if we didn’t change us, but merely changed the process of how and what we ate first?
What if we ate the vegetables first off of our plate, then we proceeded to the rest of our meal? This forces us in a good way to eat the most nutritious part of our meal first, and that way we may even be fuller a little sooner once we get to our main part of our meal, maybe even full enough to not even eat dessert!
In finance, the vegetables are the “profit” that we pay ourselves first with, and place in a retirement or savings account. The saying “pay yourself first” is very true, and taking your profit first is just like eating your vegetables first!
Concept #3 – Remove the temptation!
This may be one of the most undervalued concepts of all. I have a confession to make – I LOVE chocolate chip cookies! I know, you may have never believed it with me being a fitness professional and all! But in all seriousness, I love freshly baked gooey chocolate chip cookies. I would actually eat them every day if I had them around.
But here’s the secret – I remove the temptation! I don’t have fresh baked cookies inside my house every day (ok, maybe just on the weekends!) Here is something that I learned after a very long time:
You can’t use willpower to avoid temptation
If you remove the pure accessibility of whatever item/s it is that you are tempted to eat (mine just happens to be chocolate chip cookies!) you will be 100% less likely to dive into whatever it is that tempts you. Think “out of site, out of mind.” Removing the temptation is a powerful thing, since you can’t just count on willpower alone!
In finance, let’s go back to these “profit” accounts where you pay yourself first. In order to remove the temptation, we recommend setting up these accounts in a very “inconvenient” place – like a completely separate bank. This is where it is so hard to transfer any money back, and it removes that temptation to do so. It is also “out of sight, out of mind.” This can be a game-changer since you don’t see the account balance daily, and this account will continue to grow and grow without you making the mistake of putting your hand in that damn cookie jar and taking anything out! I heard a story once of a businessman doing this for about 20 years, and he never checked the balance of this savings account. After 20 years, he accumulated over 1 million dollars! Wow, now that is avoiding a lot of temptation!
Concept #4 – Eat 5 meals a day (Or pick a number greater than 1!)
This concept of eating smaller, but more frequent meals during the day does several things. The most important of which is it regulates your appetite throughout the day, so you don’t have those huge peaks and valleys. You all know what I am talking about. It is 3pm and you haven’t had lunch yet. You are so hungry that you could eat anything in front of you, and what is usually in front of you is a fast food stop!
What if you were able to plan out your main 3 meals of the day, along with a small morning and mid-afternoon snack that was easy enough to take with you (non-perishable) that kept you in sync during the day? Do you feel like you would be in more control? The answer is yes. When we start to split our large meals that we normally only have once or twice a day into smaller more manageable meals (think small plates here) we keep the peaks and valleys at bay.
In finance, there will be peaks and valleys in your income. By making your savings automatic, and also automating the day these funds get transferred out of your account – like 2 times per month instead of one – you will start to be able to self-regulate your finances much, much easier. For example, if you wanted to start saving $100/month and that just sounded like such a large amount, what if you were able to break that up into two $50 transfers that occurred on the 10th and 25th of the month? Would that feel a little less hard and not break the bank? This concept of splitting up your savings to twice a month can be a game-changer.
Give these 4 concepts a try in your fitness and finance to become more physically and financially free!
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