Random Thoughts

Finding It Hard To Balance Finances And Fitness

As some of you aware, not only do I blog here, at No Credit Needed, but I also have a fitness blog, No. Calories Needed.  Over the past month, I have really started to focus on my health (and losing weight).  Currently, I’m down 12.6 pounds (as of yesterday) – and I’m going to the gym (at least) five times a week.  I’m in the zone, so to speak, and I’m starting to feel about my weight reduction just like I felt about my debt reduction.  I’m (almost) 100% focused on getting in shape.

Which leads me to my current situation.  I’m finding it hard to find the time to really focus on my finances.  In fact, most of the drive and determination, which once led me to shop for better deals and look for bargains, is now focused on losing weight and going to the gym.  I’m not saying that I’ve become lazy or that I’m not paying attention to my money – I’m just not paying as much attention to my finances as I have in the recent past.

Perhaps this is a good thing?!?  Maybe I need a little more balance in my life.  I’ve certainly put a lot of time and effort into creating systems and structures for managing my finances – and my financial house is in pretty decent shape.  Perhaps it’s time to take a little breather – relax just a bit – so that I can really focus on getting in shape, which, as I noted before, will eventually benefit me financially and physically.

What about you?  Have you ever found that you can only “focus” on one thing at a time?  For me, I have to jump in with both feet and go as hard as I can for as long as I can.  That’s what led to my successful debt reduction, and I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to lead to successful weight reduction.  Right or wrong, my heart, soul, mind, and body are all focused on one, very important, goal.  I am going to lose weight (and be healthy).  If my finances have to take a back seat, for a short time, then so be it, but I feel that this is something that I have to do.  I mean, what good is it to save for retirement if I have a heart attack at 53?

Thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions?  I’d love to read them.  I’m really trying hard to find a proper balance, but I also know that when I set my mind to do something, I have to go “all in” – or I just will not move forward.

17 thoughts on “Finding It Hard To Balance Finances And Fitness

  1. If you have developed good money habits, you should go on financial autopilot for a while and “maintain.” Getting fit is an important goal and once you get there, you can enter a maintenance fitness phase as well, freeing up energy for other goals. While you are working at that fitness goal, keep in mind that eating well and getting healthy will save you money in the long run as well.

  2. I have found that when you make your changes “Lifestyle” changes they become engrained and you really don’t have to think about them to make it work. I eat healthfully and excercise but I don’t specifically make time for it each day. I’m the same with finances. I’ve been frugal & watching them for so long I do it without thinking now, a quick look over each week is enough to keep me on track.

  3. I find that I’m a lot like you. You have been inspiring me on your No Calories Needed blog. I’m still having difficulties with my financial goals – have to figure out a way to balance both. I guess I need to do the “Just Do It” thing, right?

  4. I’m going to challenge you – because I’m doing both and feel like I’m doing them well. I don’t think it’s an either/or decision. I think it’s all about focusing on what is important. And I think you have enough mental energy to focus on two important things at once. So kick yourself in the butt.

  5. About 2 months ago I decided to get fit and be healthier. I think I will have to check out No Calories Needed. But yes, I do find it hard to stay focused on more than one thing at a time. Right now I have 3 projects and there are some days I feel very overwhelmed. But I have to remember that I don’t have to do them all perfectly. If I beat myself because I didn’t I only worked out for 20 mins rather than 30 then I will give up. I just try to make a little progress everyday.

  6. Yep – I actually paid a couple of thousand dollars for some professional training, and because I am also focused on getting my finances in shape I am finding that I am pushing to make sure I get the proper return on my investment.

    Also, both activities takes time to educate ourselves. It is not just about changing habits, but to learn what is best. Even with financial and fitness coaches you still need to find the time to learn about yourself and the path you want to chose for yourself.

  7. NCN – Way to go, first of all! 12 lbs is no joke. Keep at it.

    I loved this post and can really relate. I’m kind of the same as you in that I tend to have success with whatever it is that I’m focusing on at the time. My advice is to take the passion and run with it. How often in our lives are we motivated enough to truly make changes in our health? Not much for me…it comes in waves. Right now I feel like I’m transitioning between a passion for finance back to fitness. Your post inspired me a bit in that regard.

    Dude, stay with it! Screw the blog and finances (except the basics) if it means you’ll spend more healthy days with your wife and kids.

  8. I definitely don’t have time to do everything I want to do and in the past week it’s fitness that’s fallen by the wayside. Getting in shape is a committment I started a few months ago and I’m definitely feeling the benefits, I feel less tired, stronger and my stress is under better control. But I just started blogging a month ago and for a newbie it’s time consuming, this past week I’ve only been to the gym once and it shows. I don’t have advice on how to have it all, I’m trying to learn that myself. If you’ve got your financial house in shape, it should be able to handle some neglect.

  9. I think having a balance in life is important and one shouldn’t focus too much time on either the finances or the health issue. You’re going to drive yourself crazy and waste so much of your time. Constantly worrying and messing with your finances also defeats the purpose of putting your bills on autopay and having a budget, IMO a budget is supposed to help you from stressing over everything.

  10. This is a timely post for me. So far I’ve found it impossible to pay off debt and lose weight at the same time, however I’m now at a place where I need to concentrate on my heallth more.
    I’m trying to apply the same principles to weight loss, as I did to my debt.

    well done on losing 12lbs 🙂

  11. My advice to use is to make sure that all of your fitness changes are sustainable. Many people – myself included – tend to go gung ho into great health habits, then follow that with a few months off. It would be better to make small gradual changes then dive in head first.

    That being said, I don’t think there’s any problem with forsaking finances somewhat for the sake of fitness. Just make sure you keep a good balance, and don’t give up on anything altogether.

    Keep up the good work!

  12. I have this exact problem all the time. It’s exhausting. Today I REALLY wanted hot chocolate, first freezing day of the season here… so the option was drive-through at $2.25/cup or grocery store for package of 8 at the same price… I went for the 1 shot deal since I knew if I bought 8, I’d drink 8. And I hardly ever crave that stuff, but if it’s around, I’ll drink it… so frustrating. Don’t have a solution, but I’ve been thinking about it all day… Oh, and Zen Habits wrote a post on focusing on one goal at a time, I meant to email him, because it’s not like I can spend the next 3 years focusing on getting out of debt, and just throw my health/weight to the side…

  13. This is an interesting post. I also am getting my finances in order as I work on my neglected fitness level. It IS hard to focus equally on both. But I see it overall as finding balance in life in general. Maybe at first we have to really focus on our spending or our eating and exercise habits, but as we train ourselves into better behaviors, incorporate new habits that we have carefully cultivated, we won’t have to “focus” as hard.

    I read an article recently — wish I could dig it up — but it found that people who had several goals for improving their life as part of a weight loss goal were more successful that people who only focussed on weight loss. That idea has kept me believing that I CAN be overall better in everything I do, and that my original thought to only focus on one thing at a time may not have served me well…

  14. Over the summer, I focussed very, very heavily on educating myself on personal finance and getting myself onto a sound path out of debt. I’m now more financially comfortable than I’ve been in a long time, just knowing that I have a small emergency fund and a solid debt-reduction plan.

    During that intense period, my weight loss plateaued, but the financial peace-of-mind I have achieved is well worth it. However, I might not feel it was quite so worth it if I had gained ten pounds over the same period. I think that the key is to make sure that all other goals are being (at least) maintained while you throw yourself into whatever is motivating you at the time. This is easy with your finances – if you’ve done the legwork, you can put them on auto-pilot while you focus on your weight-loss. Maybe you’re not checking the stock market every day to take advantage of the deal of the century, but you’re basically on track while you take care of other, equally important goals. Congrats on 12 pounds and thanks for a great blog – I am conducting my own “no credit needed” experiment thanks to you and it’s working very well, but that’s a comment for another day!

  15. I am goint to agree with you on this one from my perspective. I started being more frugal with money and looking for bargains a few months ago. I lost 35 lbs 2 years ago, and I have found in the past few months its been harder and harder to be as motivated about the fitness. I just think my focus has been more on the money. But I need to find a good balance between the two, because they are both as important.

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