Hope for your financial life and beyond

Health, Wealth and Moments of Clarity

moments of clarityThe personal finance blogosphere takes the accumulation of wealth seriously. One can literally read hundreds of posts each day espousing the virtues of saving more and spending less in the hopes of one day reaching financial independence. That’s the pinnacle of wealth accumulation we strive for – the day when our money makes more for us in a year than we could make for ourselves in a year. That’s a sweet place to be.

So we spend much time and focus in this area of our lives. Researching. Writing posts. Sharing with others. Developing our blogs. It’s all part and parcel of the gig.

I can tell you, having been at this for almost a year now, blogging can eat you up if you allow it. So can working too hard at your day job. So can spending too much time watching television. So can updating Facebook all day long. So can any activity or hobby taken to excess.

By definition, when we overindulge in one area we naturally neglect other areas of our life that need attention. It’s impossible to give maximum total attention to every facet of our lives at the same time. Something inevitably has to give.

In addition to our personal finances, another area we sorely neglect is our health. There was a time in the not so distant past when this was true of me. I was consumed with my work. I was not getting enough sleep and I rarely exercised. I was sluggish, not eating well and sat around for most of the day. And the numbers on the scale kept getting higher and higher.

Then, to quote Zangief from Wreck It Ralph and Street Fighter II fame – “I have moment of clarity.” That clarity came in two separate events.

Two Personal Moments of Clarity

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A Momentary Lapse of Discipline Almost Ruined My Dream

Basketball on floorI hate dilemmas. Four weeks before the most important half-marathon of my two year, mid-life running career, I’m being asked to play in a pick up basketball game to help our high school boys get ready for their state championship playoffs. It’s a great opportunity for a bunch of the staff to “man up” and help the boys knock off some rust before playoff time.

Plus, I love basketball and in another life (high school) I was fairly good at it. Also having been a coach for about 13 years before retiring my clipboard in 2010, I had helped develop many of these players in their middle and early high school years. How much fun this would be to engage them on the hardwood and assist in their mental and physical preparation for the upcoming tournament. I really wanted to help them out.

There is one problem however. I’ve got a race coming up. I’ve been diligently training for three months pushing toward my goal of running an under two-hour half-marathon. What if I’m unfortunate enough to get hurt in this game?

A strained muscle. Maybe a twisted ankle. Or the dreaded tweaked groin. These things happen in basketball all the time and could derail my opportunity to train and potentially reach my goal. Is this fun and rewarding endeavor worth putting my body and my dream at risk? What in the world should I do?

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When Was the Last Time You WOWED Yourself?

Bring Your Best

Can you remember the last time when you completely exceeded any and all of the expectations you had hoped for? Remember how it sort of left you breathless in disbelief? I had one of those days this past Sunday and boy, did it feel good.

As those of you who have been reading here for a while know, one of my goals for the year was to run a half-marathon in under two hours. I’ve been training for the Publix Georgia Half-Marathon in Atlanta since December and was pretty encouraged lately by my training times. Still, there are so many unknowns on race day…like your stomach not digesting the pre-race meal well, getting tripped by another runner or poor weather conditions, just to name a few.

While I felt prepared, you could not have convinced me a week ago that I would be able to pull off this kind of effort.

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I’m at the Top of the Hill…Should I Go On?

Hilly RoadI’ve been running consistently now for almost two years. In that time, I have learned that runners face many mental and physical challenges. From the everyday muscle aches and pains, to the mental exhaustion of a four-hour marathon, to getting yourself out of bed for that 30-degree winter morning run, there is much to overcome.

The obstacles we runners may despise the most are hills. I don’t mean gradual inclines in the road or the gentle rolling hills you can fairly manage. I’m talking about the long, steep, crush-your-pace kind of hills that make your heart feel like it’s going to pound out of your chest as you climb to the peak. These are brutal especially when multiple ones are strung together in a short distance. Up and down, up and down, peak then valley, peak then valley…ugh!

I’ve had a lot of experience running hills because they surround me where I live. I’m actually thankful because by running them, I have been better prepared on race day. During all my training though, I have found this to be true – it’s both exciting and intimidating at the top of a hill.

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My Goals for 2013

2013 GoalsA few days ago in her post “How to Stick with an Exercise Program,” Jordann at Making Sense of Sense noted that one key to following through with an exercise goal is to share your intentions publicly. There is great power in making our intentions known because it makes us accountable to attempt the follow through.

Sharing goals also connects us to others. When I read how someone is working through the process of pursuing a goal, it inspires me. It gives me encouragement to know that others have faced similar challenges and were able to overcome them.

With that in mind, I would like to share my goals for 2013. Not all of them fit into a category on the SPLASH Goal plan I outlined in my last post. But I believe they are basically SMART goals that will be of benefit to me this year. So, in no particular order:

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