Money & Fitness – why we do what we do

Tara Gillespie

Sometimes we get things stuck in our head – I am this way and that’s the way it is.

I realised this when I went to a physio with a knee injury from marathon training.

The first question she asked me was: “What strength work have you been doing as part of your training?”

The rather naive me said: “I don’t do strength work, just cardio”

She proceeded to inform me that the chances of me completing this marathon (and all the training that goes with it) without working on leg strength were about as good as me out pacing Mo Farah around the same route…

If I wanted reach this goal, I was going to have to change my mindset!

In a similar vein to my “I don’t do strength work” statement, I often hear people say “I am bad with money” or “I don’t do investing”.

Ok, so why is it that we do the things we do? People don’t do things just because they are easy. That would be a massive over simplification.

People do things when there is a clear connection to their personal aspirations. When there is real meaning! But sometimes it is hard to find the connection between the action and the aspiration!

For me the connection between strength and conditioning and running the marathon only came when I got an injury and spoke to an expert. Now I know, I will change my habits and make time to do it!

It can be hard to see the connection between building your financial knowledge and spending time understanding your money and your long-term aspirations.

Controversial though this might be… I don’t believe in saving for savings sake. Just like I don’t believe in lifting weights for the sake of having bigger muscles. It needs to do have a bigger purpose, it needs to help me achieve things that are important to me. Having £10,000 in my bank account is not something deeply important to me. But what is?

According to the inter-web-net the reasons we do things are:

To gain freedom

To feel good

To have fun

To help others we care about

To reduce stress

I think we can all agree that anything that ticks some or all of those boxes is worth doing. Even if it means giving up something in the short term.

It is pretty obvious that exercise (even strength training..) ticks almost all of them.

But it might be less obvious that taking control of your money and being financially smart can allow you to do EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE!

I’ll give you a moment to think about that…

Money plays a role in almost every big goal you might have! This could be specific stuff like going travelling or buying a house. Or it could simply not having to worry about money every month, or having the freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Or maybe even just not having to work for ever and ever.

With that in mind, here is something for you to do:

Think of what is important to you. The big stuff. Write it down!

Think of how money is connected to it. There might be more than one way. Write that down too!

For me, it isn’t about the money. My goal is to take control, to have financial freedom!

Making that connection is only part of the battle. Now you need the financial physio to tell you which muscles you need to stretch and strengthen!

More on that to come…