Updated: Nov 28, 2021
I finally did it! One year and nine months from the day I set my goal. Many of you have been following my journey towards this ambitious goal through social media and I truly appreciate all the encouragement along the way. I needed every bit of it! For those who are new to my story, here's what it was all about...
On September 28, 2019, the day I turned 45 years old, I decided it was time for me to shift my mindset. I needed to live a life I would love which did not involve constant migraines and chronic fatigue. I did the work to learn the nutritional elements needed to improve my situation. You can find these details in One Size Does Not Fit All. However, I knew I needed to challenge myself with a physical goal that would force me to shift my mindset and level-up. I challenged myself to complete a Full Split by the Summer of 2020 (this timeline did not work out but I will get to that later). A split was something I was never able to do. I came close when I was around 16years old, but never gave it another thought after I pulled my hamstring during a dance routine in high school.
So there I was, 45 years old with 29 years of tight muscles and joints, about to embark on this crazy fitness challenge. In my blog, Developing A No Bull Mentality, I talk about the years of struggling to make fitness a priority. Even as I type this, the entire experience is still amazing to me.
As a Behavioral Financial Advisor (and Certified Cognitive Behavioral Coach), my job is to help my client manage their savings and investment behavior. Why? Because numerous studies have shown that it's our behavior that screws us up financially along with other areas of our lives. Because I have been working with clients on elevating their financial mindset for 11+ years, I've seen the behavioral connections in their lives. That's why I want to share some of the financial lessons that helped me throughout my fitness journey.
Set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal
So you may be wondering, why a Full Split? Well, I chose this goal as the one that would shift my mindset because (1) It scared me (I believe every dream and goal should scare us or it's not big enough), and (2) It was SMART. SMART stands for:
Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
These are the necessary requirements to make sure your goals are clear and reachable. This holds true for financial goals. Once I set my SMART. Full Split goal, I knew I had a lot of work to do. I had to put systems in place that involved the proper nutrition to fuel my body, stretch routines that would work the appropriate muscles and joints and the best supplements for my body. Without taking the time to create a system/routine/strategy that made the goal SMART, the goal is not likely to be reached. This applies to our financial goals. Whether it's saving for a major purchase to investing for retirement, any financial goal should be a SMART one.
Appreciate the Journey
It is the journey, not the goal, that matters. It's where the magic happens. When we spend too much time obsessing about reaching the goal, we miss out on all the lessons that are learned along the way. I mentioned earlier that my goal was to reach my full split by Summer 2020. Needless to say, it did not happen and while I was disappointed, I was amazed by what I had accomplish and learned at that point, as well as the things that I did not realize were needed to reach the goal both mentally and physically. I see this with my clients who implement some of the behavioral technics that I provide them on their journey to achieving their financial goals. When you are saving for retirement or working towards any long-term financial goal, the journey is so important. Their may be no immediate gratification. Reframing your mindset to appreciate the shift in priorities and allowing yourself to feel proud knowing that you are on the right track will help you avoid the financial detractions and detours and help you appreciate the beautiful path to financial freedom.
Every decision matters
Speaking of detractions and detours, whether it's financial or fitness, you have to remain mindful of every decision you make. If that sounds like a lot, it's only because you may not be in the habit of paying attention to your daily choices. The average human makes approximately 35,000 choices every day. While most of these choices are being decided by our subconscious mind (thank goodness), our conscious mind should be handling the rest. My full split goal required countless decisions from getting to bed at a certain time in order to get up for my 6am workout, to avoiding inflammatory foods. I even had to avoid interactions with people that I felt would distract me. I think it goes without saying that your financial decisions make or break your goals. I recently had a conversation with a new client expressing how amazed she was with her new found clarity to make better financial decisions after our first session. The more clarity you have with your goals (SMART), the more clarity you will have with your decisions.
Support is essential
This brings me to my final point, the importance having support. This comes in several forms.
Accountability /Support Group
Cheerleaders (friends/family/ etc.)
I had all of it because I needed all of it! I started with a coach because I needed the How, What, Why and When behind reaching my goal. I found accountability through social media and friends and it was my family that truly got me over all the humps with their amazing support and encouragement. My son and daughter made me feel like I was superwoman (ha ha!) and my husband was my biggest inspiration. He knew just how to keep me motivated which I share in the video below. Your financial goals may require the same level of support. You will only be as successful as the people around you. Access to a coach, accountability and cheerleaders will be a major factor in the achievability of your financial goals.
The best part about reaching your goals, whether fitness or financial, is the understanding that it is just another step towards growth, not the final destination. That's what 4F growth is all about.