By Nancy Alexander, PT, CSCS
I recently read an article in Forbes titled, “Optimize Your Life To Optimize Your Finances,” by Scott Danner, Top Advisor (November 14, 2022) which I found analogous to other areas of our lives. In it, a strategy is proposed to reflect on your life and create financial goals for the future. I want to share this approach with you here.
“Your life story has many components and facets to it,” Danner said. “Our philosophy about life optimization includes the acronym LIFE, whose letters stand for love, impact, faith and energy.” I propose that this same acronym can and should also apply to our physical health and ultimate fitness goals. In fact, LIFE can help define them.
Danner explains here the acronym and its meaning:
L = Love. Who is important in your life? Who do you want to help? Who motivates you to be better?
I = Impact. What do you do in your life? Have you found meaning and purpose in your life that will lead you forward? What jazzes you? What do you want your impact to be?
F = Faith. Who or what is bigger than you? It can be based in religion but it doesn’t have to be. What is important to you? What makes you a better person?
E = Energy. This is about your how. How do you invest in your life? In your health? How do you invest your valuable energy. And how do you create your own energy, your vibe?
This translates so well to our health, doesn’t it? In my book, “Get UP! Defy Aging with Movement,” I approach this subject head on.
How did you go about saving for your next phase? Do you have a pension? Do you have a retirement account? What other ways did you invest and save your money? Why did you do that? Why did you forego spending the money you were earning at the time? Why did you tell your employer to take a percentage of your earnings out of your paycheck and put it into your 401(k)? Why? I suspect you did it to invest in your future. You did it to help make your future years on earth enjoyable and fulfilling, right? You did it so you could perhaps travel and spend time with loved ones. You did it to celebrate this part of your life. Did you use that same discipline and effort to invest in your health so you could have the physical capacity to do these things?
Think of movement as investing in your future. Every time you move, every time you exercise, you are putting money in your body bank. You are building up your savings to do the things you want to do. You are investing in your body to make your next years your best years. Your physical health is like money in the bank. It enables you to do the things you want to do with your life.
Movement is functional. Movement is life. Move, and remember the returns will make you rich.
Want even better news? You can start at any time. It doesn’t matter where you are now. We all have our own starting point. Respect it, own it and move on. Decide what is most important to you right now and make a plan.
Furthermore, take action. A plan in your head is not enough. Pick one small step in the right direction, do it and enjoy the satisfaction you will feel by having just started. That can be fuel enough to keep you going.
What drives you? What is important to you? With whom do you want to spend your time? What do you want to do, be or have? Let life guide you.