Now that the weather is turning favorable, many are excited for outdoor activities, beach vacations, and healthy living, and being more mindful about how you treat your body.
Apply that positive and motivated mindset to your money life. Think about devoting time to being more mindful towards areas of your finances that could use some tuning up.
The first step in any rational plan to improve your health is to see your doctor for a physical examination that will assess your ability to undertake an exercise program. Just as your body deserves a thorough analysis by a qualified medical specialist; your financial life should be put to the same level of scrutiny by a qualified financial professional.
Of course, you hope that your physician has excellent education credentials and graduated somewhere near the top of his/her class. You want your doc to examine you from an objective point of view (not in the pocket of Big Pharma), be Board Certified, and appropriately experienced.
The same is true for your financial advisor. While the physician who graduated last in the class is still called a Doctor, you’d likely think twice before making an appointment with him/her.
When it comes to your finances, you want your financial advisor to be free of conflicts of interest and skilled at helping people advance their financial goals. Even the person who sells commission products is called a “financial advisor.” Know that all “financial advisors” are not necessarily qualified to handle your finances.
You want your checkup to be thorough and provide peace of mind that you are sound and healthy. The same is true for your financial advisor—he/she should have your best interest in mind, truly understand and value your goals, and know and communicate what obstacles might be in your path.
Revving up your body for a more active and vibrant life can include tactics like modifying aspects of your lifestyle, your food intake, and letting go of old, unproductive beliefs. You can refocus your money life by gaining clarity over your purpose and deciding what must happen in order for you to live aligned with your values. I call these your Money Musts.
Improving your health and your financial life have many similarities. Consider the following:
1. In both cases, unexpected changes can occur without warning.
2. Both are complex and multi-dimensional.
3. Both require your attention and active involvement.
4. Neither comes with a guarantee of success.
5. Both areas are replete with conflicting opinions and information.
6. Only you can determine what is right for you.
7. Both demand that you ask questions and demand understandable answers.
As you begin your new spring exercise program, be prepared for rainy weather, sore muscles, and maybe even a setback or two. After all, even the most dedicated can be distracted by other influences. The same is true for your financial situation. Be prepared for market volatility, job loss, or family issues — only a few factors that can throw your plans into turmoil.
Life brings what it brings and your job is to exercise your inner resilience to help you deal with the unexpected challenges that happen without warning. Even if you anticipate some potential situations that might create disruption, you probably won’t anticipate them all.
Sometimes it’s impossible to predict these things.
As you embark on the journey to both physical and financial health and vibrancy, remember to be cautious, aware, and prepared for what may come. And most importantly, work with someone professional and qualified. Happy spring!