This is the 2016 Harz–Gebirgslauf, and I am definitely not ready for the 2018 run.
When you look at a vague, long-term goal like “getting fit” or “becoming financially healthy,” do you think, “Yes! Perfect! I’ll start right now!” or do you feel more like, “Yeah, sure. I’ll do that one of these days…”
If you’re at all like me, it’s going to be the second answer. Why? Big ideas about fitness and financial wellness are themes, not goals. Themes are too big, too undefined and too easy to screw up.
So as a person who strongly believes that we all need to be physically and economically powerful, I’m going to advise you not to work on “getting fit” or “becoming financially healthy.”
Getting off the couch and moving into action becomes lot easier when we define baby steps: tasks that are small, specific and achievable.
After you get done reading this post, write out a list of five baby steps that get you moving toward your big idea. For the “getting fit” theme, example baby steps could be:
- Find my running shoes.
- Schedule a 5K race three months from now.
- Invite my friends to join the 5k race.
- Print out a “couch to 5K” run plan.
- Make a pot of overnight oats for breakfast.
For the “becoming financially healthy” theme, you can do the same thing. Remember to make your tasks small, specific and easy to get right.
If you’re in Germany or Austria, our Zuper finance app can help you define some little goals for yourself.
Depending on where you are in your financial journey, your financial steps could look something like this:
- List your bank and investment accounts (assets). Add up the total.
- List anything you owe (liabilities). Add up the total.
- Subtract your liabilities from your assets to determine your personal net worth.
- Compare your net worth to Beyonce. (She’s at $105 M, according to Forbes.)
- Figure out your basic monthly expenses.
And look at that! Things seem a lot more small, specific and achievable now.
After you baby-step through your list of five things, consider your theme, and make another list of five things. It’s empowering!
In the spirit of disclosure, I’ve already signed up for a 10K this spring here in Berlin and figured out which percentage of my monthly income needs to go into savings. So those are some of my baby steps.
Feel free to share what you’re working on, if you feel comfortable with that!