Sport and fitness has always been a big part of my life. Whether it’s training for triathlons, competing in road cycling races, or just having a hit of tennis with the kids, it’s something that I contribute consistent effort to.
Over the years, I’ve noticed some similarities between staying healthy and living a wealthy (whatever that means to you) life.
I do a lot of my own cycling training, but when there is a bigger goal I’m focused on I get a coach involved. He helps me develop a more disciplined regime, gives me a daily training schedule, and determines the results he expects me to achieve each week.
Having an expert, who can look at things through a different set of eyes, and set out a plan and structure for me, allows me to just put my head down and do the work only I can do – the hours in the saddle. I don’t have to think about it. I just have to do it.
It is the same with creating a financial plan. When you have someone more experienced than you, help put together a plan with clear outcomes, and create some structure around the process, all you have to focus on is playing your part in making it happen.
I got frustrated this week because my office was messy. I’m normally a very organised person, so it was interfering with my ability to focus. So I took some time, threw away a bunch of paperwork I didn’t need and instantly felt more in control and able to concentrate on more important things.
With my training, if I don’t have training times planned and organised around my family and work, it’s much harder to make happen. A little bit of planning goes a long way.
With my finances, everything’s organised too. There are systems in place and all the paperwork’s in one spot, so it doesn’t distract me. Instead, it empowers me and helps me make smarter decisions.
When you start hitting goals with your health – weight loss, a distance run or a personal best – you start to pick up momentum. When you achieve things it gives you confidence and pushes you a little bit further the next day.
When you start to hit financial goals – a savings target, a debt paid off, or an investment made – you also build momentum and motivation. And that helps move you towards reaching the next target.
Of course, when you lose momentum, it can sometimes be hard to pick back up again. And that’s where a coach, for health or wealth, can help get you back on track.
With my cycling, I have both a team I’m part of and an individual coach, and they both help me achieve my goals. I find having accountability to someone that respects me, won’t be negative towards what I’m trying to achieve, and truly supports my goals, is essential to my success.
For your wealth, your team might be your spouse and family, or it might also be your financial planner.
The key is to find someone to help keep you accountable, and you’ll find sticking to your plan gets a whole lot easier.