Welcome to the 15th edition of Weekend Wellness! Today I’m talking about consistency. Specifically, how to make a lasting difference to your finances, fitness, and food, to see long term results; there are no quick fixes. And fun can help you stay consistent. I’ve also got another delicious recipe for you – Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie
To make a transformational difference with something in your life you need to work hard for the long-term. Short-term thinking and actions won’t sustain you. Success, whether that be losing weight, achieving financial independence, or running a marathon, more often happens for those who are in it for the long haul. Recall the tortoise and the hare. Positive consistent actions that move you towards your goal consistently – but not necessarily quickly – will provide the greatest difference in the end.
Consistently tracking our spending, savings, investing, and net worth made all the difference for us financially. Tracking my food intake consistently allowed me to solve health issues. Constantly eating real food and avoiding my food sensitivities allows me to maintain my ideal weight and feel great. Being consistent with my fitness routine also aids me in the maintenance of my weight and staying healthy.
If you’ve not yet started paying attention to actually improving your finances, nutrition, or fitness, please consider that it will be nearly impossible for you to make any lasting headway with your financial or physical health until you do so. You won’t get rich or lose ten pounds overnight, but with consistent action steps, it’s more than possible to do so eventually.
Staying consistent will require you to do a few things like:
- Keep your eyes on your goal – remembering that you are saving for a house, training for a race, or working to prevent diabetes helps you stay on track
- Take your emotions out of play – there are days you’ll feel like sitting on your ass and not exercising, times when you are frustrated and want a bag of chips, or depressed and want to shop. Those times are just your feelings at the moment, get out of your own head, and do the positive thing instead.
- Give up being perfect – you won’t save every dollar you could, you won’t eat a perfect meal every day, and you probably will miss an exercise session on occasion. That’s being human and okay, on limited occasions.
- Realize it’s best to do one thing at a time – don’t try to make every change at once. You only have so much willpower and motivation. Work on one habit at a time and once you are consistent with it, add another.
- Prioritize – you’ll need to schedule time for your workouts, your financial planning, your meal preparation, and perhaps even your sleep if you want to make long lasting progress
- Don’t compare yourself to others – this is your race, your money, your life. You haven’t walked in your neighbor’s shoes, nor they in yours so don’t compare what you have or do with what they have or do.
Here are some ideas below to get you started.
Finance – Make a Lasting Difference With Consistency in Savings, Investing and Debt Pay Down
To help with consistent savings and investing or debt elimination, think automation. Take the emotion out of the action and set-up automatic contributions from your income sources to your investment accounts or loans. So instead of debating with yourself every month about investing $100 in your Vanguard account, paying extra on your credit card debt, or buying a new outfit, you make a rational decision to invest once or snowball debt repayment and forget about it. Next thing you know your investment account balance has grown considerably, or your debt is gone, and you pat yourself on the back, and your bursting closet isn’t any worse off.
Consider automating your:
- 401k contributions from your paycheck and the increase in your contribution amount annually
- Savings to your Roth or Traditional IRA from your checking account
- Investing in after-tax investments (equities, bonds, REIT’s, etc.)
- Debt pay down amounts
- Additional mortgage principal payments
- Financial tracking by using Personal Capital, Mint or other financial software
- Savings for your next car, vacation, home improvement project, or real estate investment property
Fitness – Make a Lasting Difference with Consistent Exercise and Practice Habit
Schedule your workouts. Practice a skill for 10 minutes a day. Do at least 5 minutes of activity when you ‘don’t want to do any.’ Perform bodyweight squats while you brush your teeth, jumping jacks during commercials, or ride your stationary bike while watching the news.
Food – Make a Lasting Difference by Consistently Eating Real Food
Plan your meals. Pack your lunch for work. Eat the majority of your meals at home. Buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Make a daily green smoothie. Make homemade trail mix.
Fun – Make a Lasting Difference by Incorporating Fun in Your Life
Make a game out of saving with your kids and spouse. Exercise with a friend. Do only workout activities you enjoy. Try a new healthy recipe. Do an obstacle course race.
Please feel free to add to these ideas below in the comments, letting us know what works for you.
Here are a few articles I enjoyed this week, I hope you will too!
Grant, one-half of the Life Prep Couple, shares why “Happiness Comes From Progress. So Stop Comparing!”
Ms. Liz Money Matters, poses an impactful question, “What Would Someone Who [insert your dream here] Do?”
Chelsea, from Mama Fish Saves, shows us the beauty of simplicity when it comes to investing with “The Three-Fund Investment Portfolio.”
Are you ready to make a lasting difference in your life? How are you currently being consistent? Do you need to work on any areas for a greater change? Let us know in the comments.
Wishing you another wonderful weekend!
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Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie
1 cup baby spinach or kale
2 cups almond milk
2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
water as needed for consistency
Blend greens with 1 cup of milk first.
Add remaining ingredients and blend adding water if needed until desired consistency is achieved.
Note: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is provided to educate you about nutrition, exercise, and personal finance, and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not legal, medical, or financial advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For my full Disclaimer, please view here.