How Both Fitness and Finances Can Be Part of Your New Year’s Resolution

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By Casey Franken, CFP®, Wealth Advisor / Investment Manager

Honestly, is 2020 over yet?

Many of us are looking at 2021 and will make resolutions when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve – a couple of the common categories are physical fitness and financial goals.

Personally, I never thought there was such a high correlation between fitness and finances until I went back to the gym. I was out of shape and wanted to add some muscle mass.  Over the course of 2 years, I gained over 20 pounds of muscle and was lifting substantially more weight in all categories.  When I was starting my physical fitness journey, I reached out to a high school classmate who was a personal trainer at Great Life.  I was given a spreadsheet with a list of different exercises for each day of the week.  It was intimidating at first since I was out of shape and didn’t know what many of the exercises were.  During the first month, I was incredibly sore and could barely get out of bed some mornings.  The following months, each exercise started to get easier and I was able to increase the amount of weight for each lift; which helped to experience results.  I was eating roughly 4,000 calories per day and worked out 5-6 times per week.  I was obsessed with beating my personal records and it became an addiction; albeit a healthy one.

This feeling helped reflect on another challenging journey that was in the recent past; paying off my student loans.  I remember looking at the grand total of my loans and helplessness instantly filling my body.  How in the world will these ever get paid off?  Ultimately, I was able to get them paid off by paying off the highest interest balance on each loan account and gradually worked my way down the list.  I celebrated each time I paid off a loan and remember how much motivation it provided to keep working hard; especially when I clicked the button on my computer to make the final payment.

Since being in the gym, I have discovered these top takeaways between fitness and finances:

Results are not achieved overnight

  • Stepping on the scale every day will not likely help
  • Staring at investment accounts and chasing performance is not advised

Focus on small wins to help gain momentum

  • Celebrate financial wins along the journey: big or small
  • Celebrate getting stronger – even if you can just increase the weight by one pound on each exercise

Intentionally plan out schedule

  • Pack a gym bag every day
  • Meal preparation for the week can help you reach your goals
  • Set up automatic investment plans

Track your progress

  • Use fitness tracking applications (Personal favorite: MyFitnessPal)
  • Utilize financial planning software (such as Quicken or Mint.com)

Hire a coach

  • Personal trainers can help with accountability and achieving goals
  • Consider a financial advisor, preferably with a Certified Financial PlannerⓇ

New Year’s resolutions are very common but I would suggest setting measurable goals instead.

This could mean finding a workout buddy or talking to a financial advisor to help with getting started.

One of my biggest takeaways from my financial and physical wellness journey is “a body in motion, stays in motion.” This easily parallels our financial lives as well.  Once you start saving, it becomes a habit and you don’t even think about it every time more money is deposited into an account.  Getting started is one of the biggest obstacles I see as a financial advisor along with friends or family that talk about going back to the gym; but never do.  Open up an investment account. Pay off small debts. At Pinnacle Wealth, we are committed to holding our relationships accountable and strive towards helping them pursue goals.

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