Gymaholic, a fitness-based website and app, espouses the motivational mantra: “Be patient — focus on giving everything during the process. Results will come with time!”.
It is an example of one of the many ways the ethos and key headlines behind fitness regimes overlap with financial planning.
The basic principle of strength training involves repeatedly overloading a group of muscles with varying degrees of intensity, volume, and frequency to achieve gains over time.
Financial planning focuses on creating a strategy to align your finances with your long-term goals and build towards unlocking your dream lifestyle.
Read on to discover four ways understanding the concepts behind strength training can show you how to benefit from financial planning.
1. Strength training and financial planning require an understanding of your objectives and long-term goals
When you begin a strength training programme, you’ll have certain targets in mind. You’re likely to design your workout plans with these at the core. Whether it is your selection of exercises, dietary choices, or working alongside a personal trainer, your decisions are likely to be influenced by your desired outcomes.
Financial planning has the same ethos at heart and your long-term goals will be factored into any decisions that are made about your finances, such as:
- The financial products selected
- Your retirement saving plans
- Any cashflow decisions
- Streamlining your debt obligations
- Developing your investment portfolio.
A good financial planner is likely to spend the early conversations you have getting to know you, your financial background, your dreams and goals, and your tolerance to risk to ensure the plans that are developed are specially tailored to your specific needs.
2. Strength training and financial planning rely on smart, well-informed, and diverse plans
If you are working towards strength training goals, you are unlikely to just show up to a gym and jump on the nearest machine or pick up the closest set of weights.
You are likely to have spent time making educated decisions about the right exercises for your body and how they are going to benefit your long-term aims.
This might include:
- The frequency of your gym visits
- Which muscle groups you focus on each day
- How long you spend on each exercise before moving on
- The weights you use and when you switch to heavier options
- How long you spend working out each day.
You are also likely to make further decisions to support your choices such as tailoring your diet and having a post-workout routine. You may purchase specialist equipment to support your plans.
A financial plan works in a similar fashion. Your financial planner replaces exercises and gym equipment with financial categories and their associated products such as:
- Savings vehicles such as ISAs
- Mortgages and credit options
- Pension schemes and contributions
- Investments with a focus on diversification, security, and long-term gains
- Vital protection
- Tax relief options
- Estate planning.
The selections made in these various areas are likely to be determined by your personal circumstances, tolerance to risk, and long-term goals.
3. Strength training and financial planning need commitment to the work, a patient mindset, and a long-term view
You are unlikely to show up to the gym for a week and walk away with your ideal body. Your body requires time to build muscle mass and improve on a cardiovascular level.
Time is a vital ingredient for financial planning as well. If you want positive outcomes within days or weeks, a financial plan is unlikely to show significant results. A plan is designed to achieve your long-term objectives over longer time periods — 5, 10, 20, or 30 years.
Maintaining your plans, adapting when necessary, and focusing on the long term, is likely to see you achieve your desired growth over subsequent years.
Time can benefit the various elements of your plan including your pension schemes, savings, and investments, which are likely to increase due to your ongoing contributions, relevant growth, and any compound interest/returns gained over time.
If you want significant growth in the gym, you may exercise more, use heavier weights, increase your calorific intake, and use supplements, but the more strain you put on your body to achieve bigger goals or speed up aims, the greater the risk of suffering injuries.
Financial planning can work in the same way and you may be able to increase your gains through increased or higher-risk investments. However, there is also likely to be a greater risk of suffering potential losses and halting your progress.
Remember: financial planning focuses on the long term not the short and benefits from a patient mindset. Don’t overly focus on short-term gains or periods of instability. Keep your eyes trained on the bigger picture.
4. Strength training and financial planning pay off with persistence, ease over time, and can leave you in a healthier position than when you started
It can be easy to lose focus on your fitness or financial goals, as you may not start to see the positives for months.
If you have started a strength training regime in the past, you may have felt deflated after a few weeks of hard work as your muscles remain superficially the same, and may have been tempted to abandon your plans. But it is important to persist and persevere, as the work you’re doing is strengthening your underlying muscles and preparing the foundations to see those long-term gains.
Simply put — building muscle takes time.
A financial plan works in the same way. You may work alongside a planner developing your strategy, taking on new products, investing funds, and altering your budgets, but not see any tangible returns in the short term. But the steps you take are setting you up to achieve the growth you desire over the long term, and it is vital you stay the course.
The more muscle you build, the easier it becomes to train and build even more. The longer you persist with your financial plans, the more you are likely to see the benefits.
Eventually, you could arrive at your long-term goals and finally unlock your dream body or desired level of retirement, and find yourself in a far healthier position than when you started.
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According to a study by HSBC, financial and physical wellbeing have a lot in common, so taking a fitness-focused approach to your financial plans may be a beneficial change to your mindset.
If you are interested in receiving coaching and developing a plan to strengthen your finances over the long term, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0345 505 3500.
This article is no substitute for financial advice and should not be treated as such. To determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances, please contact us.