It is New Year’s resolution time! Yeah, I know. I know. I’ve made them, you’ve made them, and we all have heard them over and over. And each year two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are easy to guess. Ask around and at least a third of your friends will tell you they want to get in shape or to improve their finances. Maybe they will phrase it different. Maybe they want to lose weight, exercise or get more sleep. Maybe they want to pay down debt, save more money, or save for retirement. All variation of the same theme and all repeated by friends and family. Why not both?
A couple of years ago I was looking at a family photo from a recent reunion. I was a little shocked to see my droopy face smiling back at me over a double chin. Also my shirt had become a little untucked no doubt pushed out by my bulging belly. Now I have always been pretty active and enjoy outdoor activities but I paid no attention to what I was eating. My diet likely wasn’t any worse than most but no real thought was put into the food I put in my body. Anyway, that picture motivated me too actively to do something about it. As I started to do research and formalize my plan, I noticed how similar the steps to getting physically healthy were related to the steps needed to get in shape. First of all, losing weight isn’t complicated or difficult. Sure, physiologically we all make it hard but logistically it’s easy! In order to lose excess fat, you need to take in less calories than your body burns. Technically, you don’t even really have to put a lot of thought into the types of calories you eat. You can eat donuts and Twinkies if you want as long as you take in less calories than your body uses and you will lose weight! Sure you won’t be doing it the healthy way since you won’t get the nutrition your body needs and I don’t recommend it but it can be done. Conversely eating more calories than your body needs and you will gain weight even if they are healthy calories. It’s really that simple. Sure there are many other factors that go into the equation like exercise. The more active you are the more calories your body will need and will burn. So here is what I did. I figured how many calories I needed to maintain my current weight. I put a number on it. Then I started eating roughly 300 calories less then needed to maintain my current weight. I did add exercise but that was it. 3 bananas have 315 calories. So I really only cut the equivalent of less than 3 bananas a day. Not a lot! I tracked my meals with an app that was already on my phone, I had just never used it. Tracking it kept me honest and on my plan. It was simple and in two months I had lost 30 pounds. Crazy because I did something with my physical health that I am constantly preaching to people regarding their finances – pay attention!
Healthy personal finances require that we pay attention to them just like fitness. For healthy finances we need to have a goal or several goals, track expenses (otherwise how do you know?), have a plan and work the plan. Want to get physically healthy start paying attention to what you eat! Have a goal, track your calories, have plan and work the plan. Those who are physically healthy track what they eat and those who are financially healthy track where every dollar is spent. Those that give up their resolutions within a few weeks in one way or another just stop paying attention. So actively pay attention to both. Use this link https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutcal.htm or just Google maintenance calories to find the amount of calories you need to just maintain your weight. Don’t overcut but set a daily goal. Look at YouTube videos and check out fitness books from the library on a regular basis. Use an app that is likely on your phone or download one to track the calories you consume. Stay motivated to get or keep your finances healthy by reading financial blogs. Go to www.apprisen.com and check out the Learning Center that is linked at the top of the home page. Follow Apprisen on Facebook and Twitter. Pay attention to your finances and your health on a regular basis throughout the year and you will be successful!
So, if you can’t decide on a new year’s resolution, link your finances and your health for a spectacular 2018!