Every Tuesday at 6pm, I meet with other members of the FandM Track Club for our weekly speed workout. There are usually between 20 and 40 runners of various paces and ages. In the past, I have aligned myself with some of the fastest members of the group. Many are former college runners who usually grind me into the crevices in the track. This year, I often start the workout with this group, only to quickly be placed into purgatory, left to circle the track alone, without the benefit of the pack. I can’t keep up, I can’t even stay close enough to at least start each rep with the group. Its humbling, discouraging, and defeating.
Post workout, all runners love to know “how it felt”. Did the workout seem harder then expected, or did you exceed expectations and feel strong throughout? At present, I hate these questions, as each week, my workout leaves me less then enthused. Finally, last night, I avoided excuses, and post workout, I declared that my efforts reflected my current training. I’m reaping what I sow.
If you are wondering if I’ve suddenly transitioned to a fitness blog, I’d like you to reflect on how everything I’ve written thus far could just as easily be about someone’s financial status. Do you share your savings and investing goals with others, forming accountability? Do you find individuals who are more successful financially and attempt to align yourself with them? If something goes wrong, and your goals aren’t met, leaving you without your peer group, do you continue to plug away, or quit? Does your personal balance sheet reflect the decisions and efforts you make Monday through Sunday each week?
Running, and saving aren’t that different. At this point, my savings objectives are going pretty much according to plan, but every once in a while its important to assess your daily activities to see if anything is lacking. As I assess my running, its easy to see that my effort, and time spent training is sub par. Currently, I miss workouts, I cut others short, I’m not paying much attention to my diet, and I’m not varying my intensity. Of course I’m going to get rocked on a Tuesday night, I’m running with guys who are committed, focused, and talented. Just like I’m committed and focused on my savings and investing goals, I need to stay focused in other areas of my life as well.
Whether you want to be a runner, or financially free, your ultimate success depends on the little daily decisions you make every day. These little decisions lay the foundation, allowing you to take advantage of the bigger opportunities when they arise. No one can make a $10,000 investment, without first learning how to save $1,000, just like I can’t currently go out for a 20 mile run, since I’m not even running 10 milers right now. Every day make a positive decision that moves you towards your ultimate goal, it won’t always be easy, nor will it always be what you want in that moment, but you must stay focused on the ultimate prize.
On a personal note, I’m done messing around with my fitness, I plan to be back with the group by the end of April at the latest! No more excuses.