I was painfully making my way through a 14 mile run early on a Saturday morning. I was at mile 10, and struggling to find the energy or even the desire to pick up my feet and keep running.
“If only I weighed less, this wouldn’t be so hard,” I thought to myself.
Last October, when I crossed the finish line of the Twin Cities 10 mile race, I instantly decided I was going to run the full marathon in 2014. I had a full year to get lean, train hard, and run my best marathon ever. Yet here we are ten months later, and I weigh exactly the same. I’ve been training hard, working out 6-7 days a week, but when it comes to the nutrition aspect, I haven’t been doing so well.
Let’s not mince words, I’ve been half-assing it.
If you’re not familiar with the phrase, “half-assing it,” let me give you an example. It’s when you go through a day eating all your fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water, only to eat two hot dogs, a bowl of ice cream, and some left over pizza after 11pm.
I’m cheating myself from achieving my full potential by half-assing my commitment to eating right.
I could keep going working out like a beast, but paying little attention to the food I put into my body. I would get to race day, and I’m sure I would successfully finish. Maybe I’d even complete the race faster than any of my previous three marathons. But it wouldn’t be the best I could be, and that’s disappointing.
I read about, and even know some people that do the exact same thing with their finances. By many indications they’re doing just fine. But they don’t live on a budget; at least not one they write down and track on paper, in a spreadsheet or in financial software somehow.
Lots of excuses are used:
- They’re just not the budgeting type
- They spend less than they earn, so not having a budget is no big deal, right?
- I don’t like to place restrictions on my spending, I like to just go with the flow.
- Don’t have time.
Much like my marathon training, if you’re going through life without a budget, you’re half-assing your finances.
You might be living below your means. You might even be saving for retirement, and have an emergency fund. But if you had a budget, a spending plan, or whatever you want to call it, you’d be doing even better.
If you don’t have a budget you have no idea how much you spend on certain activities during any given month. Do you know how much you spent on gas last month? If you don’t, maybe if shown the number you might decide you need to cut back on your traveling because you weren’t comfortable with that number. How about dining out? Are you sure that you’re OK with the amount of your hard earned cash is being handed over to the wing place down the street each month? Maybe if you knew the number you might decide to eat at home a little more.
The point is, you can get by with half-assing your finances , but you’re cheating yourself from getting the absolute most out of the money you work so hard to earn.
Are you half-assing your finances? Are you OK with that?