They say that laziness begets laziness. And sometimes the only way to break that lazy cycle is to just do it. That first task—even if it’s of poor quality—will get the ball rolling again. Your reserves of discipline will begin to refill. So that’s why I’m writing this rambling post today. I know it’ll probably be hard to follow. I’ll be all over the map—talking about time, money, dieting, and discipline. But I need to take that essential first step.
It’s been a while since I’ve written. Looking back on the past 4 weeks of silence, I feel like other priorities in life just barely kicked this blog off the to-do list. And it got me thinking: time is a finite resource, just like money. It’s limited supply and we have to prioritize how we use it. I prioritized other activities in my life above this blog. The three of you subscribing, and the 50 Russian bots, I’m sure have dearly missed my prose!
If we can prioritize our time, then we can prioritize our money. Ideally, we’d make our monthly budget and have enough cash to do everything we want. Pay the important bills, buy some groceries and gas, have a nice meal out, go to a baseball game, and save for the future—whether that means for retirement, for this summer’s vacation, or for the unforeseen medical expense. And all of that money would be covered by our normal monthly income.
But as you probably already know, there are a lot of options in this world. A lot of different ways to spend your money—just like there are a lot of different ways to spend time. If I’m working 60 hour weeks, and maintaining a social life, and staying in shape, and traveling to weddings…where does time for the Best Interest fit in? Similarly, where does money for my savings goals come from? I’m making it a goal for 2019 to maximize my tax-advantaged retirement accounts, well, that money has to come from somewhere. In previous posts, I’ve harped on the importance of budgeting. And I’ll do it again here. A budget enables you to measure where your money is going so that you can then manage your personal finance. If I take a weekend trip to Florida, then maybe I can’t put as much into my 401(k) that month. That is, unless I sacrifice buying food—but is that reasonable? Is that tenable over the long-term? You could sleep 3 hours a night and have an extra 24 hours of productivity every week!…but is that reasonable, achievable, smart?
But discipline also plays a vital role. I’m interested in discipline, mainly because I recognize that I often struggle with it. The best way to save more money is to have the discipline to spend less. Getting out of debt? Discipline. The best way to be more productive is to have the discipline to not waste time. Want to lose weight? Discipline—working out, eating healthy—is key. Sometimes I feel like a Spartan or Stoic, disciplined to the core. No hardship can phase me! Other times I feel like I’m two steps away from eating Cheeto crumbs out of my belly button at 2pm on a Wednesday. Yikes.
Small steps. Small steps. The longest journey starts with small steps. Write a blog post. Go for a run—1 mile, 2 miles, whatever you can manage. Don’t eat those Cheeto crumbs. Say no to one extra purchase, something that you really don’t need.
Thanks for letting me get back on the horse, as painful as this post might have been. I’ll be back soon, I hope!