How Winning with Money is Like Losing Weight

Winning with Money is Like Losing WeightAlong with the New Year’s resolution to manage finances better, the resolution to lose weight is probably one of the most common ones every year.

I have discovered that in a lot of ways, winning with money is like losing weight. Let me show you why I believe that.

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, although I do like to set goals. This year I went a little more formal in my goal-setting approach. I used Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life to establish goals for 2014 in 7 areas.

One of those areas on the wheel of life is the physical. I gave myself a very specific target weight reduction goal and a target date of June-30-2014. Once I had a goal set, I needed a plan for execution.

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The Background

I have had a life long struggle with my weight. I have tried a number of approaches and techniques, but there has only been one method that really worked for me. About 13 years ago I lost about 70 pounds using that method.

I got to my desired weight goal and I felt great as for the 1st time in my life I had slayed the weight giant. But as if often happens in life, you can get distracted. I got away from what worked for me and over the last few years I gained all that weight back.

So, as I looked for goals for the New Year, I knew I had to do something about my weight so I committed again to the one program that worked for me so many years ago.

I have only been back in it for a few weeks but I am happy to report that I am already on track and about at 15% of my goal.  There is still alot of work ahead of me, but great progress so far. I promise to keep you posted.

Winning with Money is like Losing Weight

So how is winning with money like losing weight?

What have I learned that can help you on your journey towards financial wellness?

  1. You need a plan to get on track with weight reduction. Similarly you need to have a plan for your money. Without attention and focus, you will drift and will not be able to hit your goals.
  2. The plan needs to fit you and your family. It has to be something that works for you. I found something that I know works for me with weight reduction. There is a lot of personal finance advice available today. You have to pick something that works for you and stick with it.
  3. There is a level of sacrifice required if you are going to change anything in life. In my case, my weight reduction plan requires that I get up early on Saturday mornings to make weekly meetings and face the scale. I know that’s what works for me. So I miss on sleeping in on my day off, but it is worth it. With your money situation you will need to sacrifice something in order to change it. Maybe you sell that nice car that you love so much and get a beater so you can get rid of a high monthly payment. Maybe you take more hours at work. Maybe you skip family vacations for a couple of years while you get out of debt.
  4. The mechanics of both winning with money and losing weight are simple. There is no mystery. For weight reduction, you have to eat less and move more. You have to pick the right kind of foods, drink your water, etc. With money, increase your income (via more work) and decrease your expenses (by eating at home more, getting out of debt, etc.). In either case, there is no magic pill or software that can help you. It’s up to you.
  5. What’s difficult in both winning with money and losing weight is the commitment to stay with the plan for the long haul. Your financial situation may be daunting but you did not get here overnight. It took me years to put all that weight back on. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. So I have to stay committed to the outcome for the duration until I hit my goals.

You have to do the same if you are going to achieve victory with your finances.

Conclusion: So What?

I taught adult Sunday School for a number of years and at the end of a lesson I always liked to leave the class with a challenge or application in the form of this question: “so what?

What does all of this mean to you? It means that you need to decide what your approach for your money will be. Either you will get on a plan that works for you or you won’t. Either you will change your financial situation or you won’t.

But the fact of the matter is that you can change your money situation if you make the decision to do something about it. If you get mad enough or scared enough about where you are headed, you will change.

I know I finally got concerned enough about my health to do something about my weight. I am back on a plan. I have had good weeks and bad weeks so far, but I am sticking with what works.

Question: What will you do to change your financial situation? 

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