As the saying goes, ‘the first wealth is health’, but it’s usually not until after Christmas that people start sharing their stories about health and wellbeing. Glance at Facebook or Instagram in January and you’ll see picture after picture of vitamin-packed smoothies, new gym subscriptions and sparkling box-fresh trainers as people try to balance the indulgences of the festive period with the good intentions of the brand-new year. Well, I thought I’d beat everyone else to it and get in early with my story of getting fit before it’s drowned out by the stampede to the gym in a couple of months’ time…
Setting Goals for Getting In Shape
Since joining First Wealth, I have been really influenced by the ethos that’s such a fundamental part of the business. We emphasise to our clients that life is not a rehearsal, and we believe passionately in the benefits of building a healthy financial lifestyle. We’re a young and dynamic team, too, and I’m surrounded by athletes and fitness fanatics who love keeping active and enjoying their lives to the fullest. Not long after joining the business, and taking my inspiration from the First Wealth philosophy and the examples of those all around me, I became a member of Slimming World and set my goals for getting in shape.
When my twins were six weeks old, my dad at the age of only 45 suffered two heart attacks. Although I was not severely overweight, I was starting to head down the slippery slope of too many takeaways after long days at work and a few too many glasses of wine at the weekend to wind down! With only two years to go until I reach 40, I set the task of looking after myself and planning more time in my busy schedule to do this. It was actually the photos which were taken for our company website and personal profiles that spurred me into action.
I didn’t join Slimming World on my own, this was a family affair with my sister and mum, who have both done amazingly well. The team at work regularly attend a hard-core training session at Barry’s Bootcamp. Whilst I am not up to this level of fitness yet, I still enjoy going to Aqua Aerobics, walking and swimming with the family. I very much plan on being around for my family for many years to come. I’m proud to say that by setting goals, sticking to my plan and keeping motivated I have lost 1 stone 9 lbs.
Five steps to improve your financial fitness
The same approach can apply to your finances. Putting a plan in place today to create your ideal financial lifestyle and build financial freedom for yourself, just like a plan to get fit and healthy, is the best way to achieve your goals. Knowing that you’re moving and striving towards this target every day, while also being in a position to seize life’s opportunities as they come along, will give you an enormous sense of wellbeing.
There are so many parallels between financial planning and a healthy lifestyle. Here’s my list of five pieces of inspiration that can fit into any plan for physical or financial fitness:
- Longevity: When you’re looking after your health, you’re investing in your physical future. Exercising and living more healthily today means more tomorrows. Your finances are no different. Planning financially today means a longer, healthier financial future.
- Quality of life: It’s not just the quantity, it’s the quality too. A long life can only be enjoyed as a gift it is if the quality of that life is good. We want to reach old age and have lived a long life, but also to be able to still enjoy it when we get there. Having a good level of physical and financial health is vital to do this.
- Make a plan: the best way to reach any goal – health or wealth – is by taking stock of where you are versus where you want to be and working out how you’re going to get there. I made a plan with the help of Slimming World and I reached my target. We help our clients do this financially with our ‘Where Are You Today?’ financial lifestyle planning questionnaire. Once we’ve worked out what their future goals are, we can help them put the financial plans in place to meet them.
- Living for today: It is of course important to build towards a great standard of living for our later years, but it’s also important to be able to live for today. I don’t want to look back in 20, 30, 40 years’ time and wish I’d enjoyed my health and vitality more when I was younger. It’s important to realise what a gift this is and be able to enjoy all the benefits of your health when you can. The same goes for your financial planning. You don’t want to get to the end of your life with a big pile of savings and nothing ticked off on your bucket list. At First Wealth, we believe preparing properly for the future also means building a bank of memories you can look back on in old age with happiness and satisfaction, and without regrets.
- Peace of mind: I get true peace of mind from sticking to my plan to stay healthy and looking after myself every day. Addressing my physical wellbeing gives me a great sense of mental wellbeing too, which is just as important to our overall health. Having a financial fitness plan in place can provide that same sense of psychological satisfaction. It brings a positive mind-set and an optimism which can only lead to other good things. At the end of the day, it’s one less thing to worry about, knowing you’re doing everything you can to improve your present and future financial prospects.
We’re passionate about helping you to act on this inspiration at First Wealth. Creating a sense of financial wellbeing for our clients is what we’re good at, because we understand it’s not something to put off until some distant day many years from now. Instead, it’s a plan that’s integrated with the rhythms of your daily life, from the demands and dreams of the present day right up until retirement and beyond. Health and wellbeing – physical and financial – isn’t just for someday in the future, or just for post-Christmas, it’s for every day.
If you would like some help with creating a plan for your financial fitness, please get in touch. Or if anyone fancies joining our team at Barry’s Bootcamp, please let us know and we’ll add you to our next team workout!
This document is marketing material for a retail audience and does not constitute advice or recommendations. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.