One day (pre-quarantine), my husband and I were having lunch at a friend‘s house. While in his kitchen, I noticed a large number of supplement bottles. The friend is a avid runner and fitness enthusiast. With that in mind, I asked him how he decided to take these specific supplements. In other words, how did these supplements benefit his specific fitness goals. He proceeds to tell me that he uses his current arsenal of supplements based off of what people suggested. I pause. “I’m sorry, what?” I say in confusion. “You are randomly taking these based on what people are telling you! BOY!!” I went into full Mama Mode, giving him a hard time, in fun, but I did come close to saying "if everyone jumped off a cliff....."! In all seriousness, this is an issue I have seen far too often, not just in my fitness journey, but throughout my career as a financial strategist.
I've watched as people take blanket financial advice from friends, family and TV personalities, without recognizing that one size does not fit all. I am not saying that all general advise is bad. What can be bad is taking general advice without a goal in place and a strategy to help you achieve your goals. How we handle our fitness objectives and financial objectives can be viewed the same.
Fitness Goal = Behavior (Mindset) + Strategy (Coaching/Food/Supplements)
Financial Goal = Behavior (Mindset) + Strategy (Coaching/Money/Products)
In the words of Stephen Covey, "Begin with the end in mind". I started my fitness journey with a few goals: first, eliminate chronic fatigue and migraines. followed by a physical goal that would truly challenge me - flexibility (accomplish a full split). The purpose of my fitness goal is the same as my financial goal: enhanced quality of life. Setting goals and milestones is an important step in life. However, our ability to achieve our goals is in the journey.
I shared in my post, Developing A No Bull Mentality, that it took me a long time to get to this place in my fitness journey. Like many on their financial journey, I priorities others and my work over my own well being too often. I had to first understand the importance and urgency of my fitness goal in order to begin taking actions. It's often the same situation for my clients who begin taking action once they understand the urgency of their financial goals. The important thing to recognize is this is all on YOU. No one else can make you shift your mindset and take action. You have to do it and nothing will change until you do.
My financial coaching background allowed me to understand the importance of the right coach. Throughout my struggles with migraines and other ailments, I did not have much luck with doctors. I went from one test to another with little explanations and zero solutions. When I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, I began educating myself on ways food effected our bodies. I implemented small, consistent changes and was immediately able to notice an increase in energy and significant reduction in headaches. This is no different than individuals who start educating themselves in personal finance. They start making small, consistent changes that are visible and feel great. Like my financial experience, I knew that moving to the next level required knowledgeable assistance - A coach would help me create a strategy that would allow me to reach my goals.
With my goals in mind, I used the same advice I give others in selecting a financial coach. A coach should not simply be telling you what to do, but the why, how, and when of it. In other words, they should EDUCATE YOU! In reviewing programs that would help me accomplish my flexibility goals, I avoided all that only focused on exercise. During my time self-educating, I learned the 80/20 Rule: a focus on nutrition will give you 80% of your desired result and exercise will provide the remaining 20%. I found a coach that educated me on the food I needed to consume and avoid, along with the supplements and exercise routines I needed to reach my goals. As a result, I felt more confident and energized and saw significant results.
Like money and financial products, food and supplements are tools. When we are not properly educated on the use of these tools, at best, we see no results. But when we have the proper guidance in place, we can built the life we desire, one that leaves us thriving in the intersections of Fitness, Finance , Family and Faith!