I’ve lost 25 pounds in just over 3 months. No, this isn’t a weight loss blog but this information is important to my financial journey.
6 months of same old same old
I had gotten a Fitbit July 2016 and wore it almost every day. Days I didn’t work I got around 2,000 steps and days I did work I would hit 4,000 sometimes 5,000. Once every other week or so when hiking with Hubs and the dog I would hit the magical 10,000 steps and the little party would happen on the Fitbit.
For so many months I would be frustrated at my low numbers but feel like unless I walked around the neighborhood everyday (In Alaska in winter!) I would NEVER hit 10,000 regularly.
Then everything changed
At the beginning of December 2016, the middle school I work at was having standardized testing, my duty was to walk the halls and relieve teachers as needed. I was excited, this was it. I KNEW I would hit my 10,000 steps each of the testing days.
And simply I did. I went to work each day wearing comfy shoes and just started walking the halls… walking and walking and walking. I could have stood still at the end of a hall and just waiting for a teacher to poke their head out. But instead, I saw this as an opportunity to get those steps in.
After that week. It hit me and I just said to myself “I am going to hit 10,000 steps each work day”.
Looking back, I now realize this was two things, 1. I made a defining statement, not a “I wish” or “I plan” but “I AM”, and 2. I set realistic parameters for the goal, “each work day” that meant 5 out of 7 days in a week. The next thought surprised even myself. Instead of thinking “oh I can’t do that”, my very next thought was “ok how can I do that”. Spending the previous few months slowly building my confidence in my ability to work at losing weight and doing it (around 20lbs at that point) was changing my thoughts.
Building on my success
Now I realized instead of standing at the door during lunch duty, I could walk all around the tables. Here was 30 minutes every day I was just standing there, now that I realized I could be getting steps in here was a chance. For the month of December 2016, I got my 10,000 steps in every work night before I went to bed. Some nights this meant I would walk in circles around my living room to get those last 1000 steps (that happened once a week or so). Hubs would sit on the couch and say how cute it was that I was so dedicated, and then ask me to grab him a drink on my next “lap”.
I will –NOT- I will try
That little bit of saying “I am” made me feel like it wasn’t even a choice, If I had said “I will try” I don’t think I would have ever walked circles around my living room let alone do it once a week. “I will try” gives you permission to not meet the goal, to tell yourself “well I tried”. In my mind getting those 10,000 steps just became something I had to do each day, no question about it. I now take the longest ways to each class, during breaks I pace the room if I can. While I wait for my lunch to heat up I walk around the breakroom.
This January I’ve upped my work day step goal to 11,000. Weekends I still average 2000 steps and I’m cool with that. But weekdays I have no choice, and I’m hitting my 11,000 now.
“a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Chinese Proverb
Now how did all this change my financial life?
During the Christmas break I reread The Millionaire Next Door. The first time I read it the only feeling I got was “wow I’ll never be a millionaire”, “I can’t start a business moving with the military”.
This time I read it and somehow my mind was just different, I had more confidence in myself from mastering the 10,000 steps a day goal I set. Now I said to myself “I can be a millionaire!”. In fact, one of the millionaires talked about in the book was 54, worth $3 million and never made more than $80,000 a year in his life! Well crap, I figured between Hubs and I we made $80,000 or close to it. So I sat down to do a net worth calculation. Now all I could think was “what steps do I need to take to become a millionaire?”.
I grew as a person
And so this blog is born and my life is on this new path. All because I gained self-esteem, confidence and started changing my outlook on life thanks to the goal of 10,000 steps a work day. Somehow this little fitness goal has changed my life, lord knows my doctor has told me for years I needed to get in 30 minutes of exercise a day. I also knew I needed to save and invest. My life and self-esteem had always told me “no”, “you can’t”, “people like you don’t invest in stocks”, “people like you don’t hit 10,000 steps in a day”, somehow now looking back that’s no different from “Man will never walk on the moon”. Somethings may seem overwhelming but to quote my favorite author:
And so, what is the first step you need to make?
- Do you need to really add up all your debt to figure out what you truly owe?
- Do you need to finally open a IRA?
- Do you need to sit down and make a real budget for this month? (read more about budgeting here)
- Do you need to log in and see where your student loans are at?
Take that first step right now!
Below is a video that I love! It is an animated book review that can start to change your thinking and your life!