Fitness goals and personal finance are important to almost everyone. That's because people want to be financially well off, whilst at the same time look good and feel healthy. However, these are often treated as separate goals, which is why most people tend to prioritize one over the other. Both financial and fitness goals are directly connected and according to Forbes, "Your bank balance does have an impact on your weight, and vice versa." This begs to question, how can financial and fitness success be achieved? Here's what you need to know.
What the data shows
While there are plenty of nuances that demonstrate the relationship between fitness and finance, research released by BTFG delivers the cold hard facts. A 2015 study found that poor physical fitness goes hand in hand with poorer financial health. From the people surveyed, those with less financial worries were found to be physically fitter, and vice versa. The stats show that 34% of people with below-average finances considered themselves physically unfit, compared to just 9% of people with above-average finances. This represents a clear correlation between fitness and financial success. So how can you smash both your financial and fitness goals at the same time?
The power of tracking
Track, track, track. Keep track of your health and fitness, and keep track of your finances. Don’t let a day slip by where you haven’t calculated your expenditures or how much energy you’ve put into reaching your fitness goals. Keeping track of your behavior and actions will help you recognize any progress you’ve made, re-evaluate your priorities, and analyze patterns of behavior that may have otherwise remained subconscious. A day may seem like such a small amount of time to track, but days add up to a week, and then a month, and that’s your whole life right there. Grab a journal and dedicate it to keeping track of both your fitness and financial goals.
Know your triggers
We all have triggers that cause us to stray from our goals, reaching for that ice cream or splurging on that designer t-shirt. Keeping a journal will help illuminate those triggers that encourage you to overindulge or skip what’s good for you in favor of what’s not. It’s important not to shame yourself for these behaviors, but to be aware of them so you can better manage them and swap them for better habits.
According to Travis Telfer, triggers can be countered with healthier habits, such as:
- If you know you often binge eat, skip the gym, or spend lots of money when you’re stressed, then try a healthier coping mechanism like deep breathing or meditation to counter that stress.
- If you find that you’re too busy to meal plan and splurge on UberEats or junk food when you’re hungry, try to at least have some healthier snacks on hand so you’re not suddenly starving and desperate for food.
- If it’s boredom that fuels your unhealthy eating or spending, try to pick up a new hobby or skill to ease that boredom rather than going for that momentary satisfaction.
Clean it up
If your finances are a mess, it’s harder to keep yourself in line and manage expenditures. Even thinking about money will give you a headache. At the same time, if your pantry is full of processed and unhealthy foods, it will be harder to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Order brings more order and chaos reigns in more chaos, and so cleaning up these areas of your life will help you reach your desired goals much easier. Clean up your finances, organize paperwork, banking, automated bill payments and work out how to pay off your debts. Reduce clutter and chaos from your finances, and at the same time, from your pantry. Get rid of the tempting evil foods and replace them with healthier options. You want a crystal clear path towards your goals and not one that’s tainted with unhealthy habits.
Know your limits
One of the biggest ways to cause yourself financial distress is to spend beyond your means, and it’s the same with fitness. Know your limits, set realistic goals, and work within your current capabilities. Trying to follow the workout routine of an Olympian? You’ll injure yourself and stray further from your goal. Spending like you’re a Wall Street finance guru? Same deal. Make your goals crystal clear and achievable to avoid losing motivation and giving up on your goals altogether.
Separating these two important facets of our lives can be distracting and make it harder to narrow down the path to reach our goals. Instead, try merging your financial and fitness goals and tackling them together. In doing so, you’ll be tackling two areas of your life at the same time, making it easier to get to where you want to be in life.
Written by Luke Fitzpatrick
Read more posts by Luke Fitzpatrick