Most of us probably have some sort of investment plan for our money but do we have a plan for our most valuable asset of all – our health? I’m constantly amazed at how most of us can find time to put in extra hours for our employers, follow the stock market, and fret over whether or not our money is growing yet we don’t have time to chop up fresh vegetables for a salad. Perhaps if we started to invest just as much if not more time in our well being, many other areas of our lives would fall into place.
Think of it this way. Is excessive monetary wealth worth it if we are overweight, undernourished, depressed, and can’t move very well? For me feeling good is where it’s at. I’m not averse to having lots of money but no thank you if my health has to suffer! I can’t control what the markets do or whether or not the dollar is strong. What I can control is the quality of food I eat, how much I exercise, and to a certain extent who and what I allow into my life and how it affects my peace of mind.
I find it fun to take some of the same advice for investing your money and apply it to investing in your health. When investing money you want to get the best bang for your buck and investing in your health is no different.
Write down your investment goals. When you invest your money, you usually have a goal in mind like building an emergency fund or saving money to take a trip abroad. Take the same concept for your health and come up with two-three very clear goals. For example, my goals are:
- Feeling light in my body and light in my mind.
- Keep my weight under control and my body strong and flexible as I age.
Keep it simple and don’t over-extend yourself. Like everything in life, simplicity rocks! Don’t over-complicate matters and come up with complex plans and goals. If I wanted to invest some of my money, I wouldn’t start off trading the foreign currency markets (Forex) because I would have no earthy idea what I was doing. I might be able to work up to that with some education and practice but in the beginning investing in some simple stocks might be easier for me. When setting health goals, I would not be very successful if I aimed for eating only fruits and vegetable that I personally grew myself and hiking ten miles in the Santa Monica Mountains every single day. These goals would be next to impossible for me because first of all I’m a horrible gardener and a ten mile hike each day would leave me little time for anything else. Set goals you can reach right away and then work your way up to more advanced ones.
Choose your investments. Now it’s time to choose what we want to invest in. As mentioned above, we want to keep it simple so we succeed and more importantly so we reap the benefits of our efforts. I choose to invest in the following:
- A thirty -sixty minute walk each day. It’s doable for my schedule and I live in a neighborhood that’s conducive for walking plus I live just a few miles away from a terrific state park with a wonderful hiking trail.
- A 90 minute yoga class 4-5 days a week as well as a home practice on the days I can’t make it to class.
- Spending time in the kitchen. It would be easier to order in each night or buy food that was already prepared at the grocery store but I’m spending more and more of my time these days in the kitchen. I may not be making everything from scratch but I try to do so as much as possible.
- I’ve cut back (although not completely) on keeping up with politics and current events and am focusing more on listening to and reading materials that inspire me spiritually. Right now I’m into the works of Arnold Patent. His teachings really resonate with me and make me feel empowered.
Be a long term investor. Most get rich quick schemes turn out to be disasters or worse yet require actions that are illegal or immoral. Slow and steady wins the game. Invest in your health for the long term. Although you will most likely start seeing results right away remember that good investments build on each other. Then comes the fun part-Watch your investments grow!
(If you’d like to read more about living simply and changing the way you think about wealth please consider reading my book which is available in paperback or Kindle: REDEFINING THE MEANING OF WEALTH: DISCOVERING PROSPERITY AND FORTUNE IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE.