I've been going to Pilates off-and-on (read: more off than on) for the last 5 years. I lacked core strength and knew Pilates was a great way to build it. Every time I went, I liked it and wanted to go back, but life always seemed to get in the way. So, recently I decided to give Pilates a fair shot for one year and see if I liked the results. Well, I'm happy to say that it’s been 8 months and I'm loving the transformation.
Developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a series of exercises using apparatus designed to improve physical strength and enhance mental awareness, amongst other things.
But you're probably wondering: what's Pilates got to do with my finances? As in-home Personal Trainer and Certified Fitness instructor Jennifer Kelly said:
“It's about the effort however big or small. But to see results, you have to keep at it."
Just like Pilates, improving your finances is about small changes and enhanced mental awareness. As Joseph Pilates said:
“You will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 and have a completely new body in 30 sessions.”
This is the perfect lesson on perseverance. Start with a weekly review of your finances, especially when you first take the plunge. The truth is that you won’t remember to take everything into consideration when you take the first crack at it. So, to account for weekly, monthly and quarterly expenses, you'll need to treat this exercise as a journey. Most people report finding savings just by paying attention.
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness," said Pilates.
And I would say fiscal fitness is a close second. Happiness or emotional fitness is not a given. Those who have it need to keep it up, and those who don’t, need to find it. Many aspects of our lives create happiness. Being fiscally fit or secure is one of them.
Joseph Pilates also said: “Everyone is the architect of their own happiness.”
In the same way, commitment is the key to getting things done. Make changes to your financial well-being by having a plan.
Read my recent blog on how to get started by following these five simple steps.
Anyone who has been practicing Pilates for a while probably will have less appreciation for the exercises than someone who's just starting out. But if an experienced Pilates practitioner jogs their memory a little bit they might be able to recall just how hard it is the first time you try a new Pilates move. Just thinking about my own struggle through some of these moves reminds me of how sore my core used to get with what I now fondly recall as ‘the good pain.'
Nothing is ever easy when you first begin. But with sheer determination, commitment and continuity you will achieve the goals you set yourself out to do.
To close, let's turn again to Joseph Pilates:
“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking, nor outright purchase.”
This resonates deeply with financial fitness. Small changes can lead to big results. But you need to take action. You may not be able to get through everything you want to when you first try, but eventually, you will get the flexibility, stamina, and results you're looking for in your personal finances.
If you have questions that go beyond what I covered in this blog, I’d love to help you out! Get in touch with me through my Pepperlane profile for a list of upcoming classes or coaching opportunities.
Sumeit Aggarwal is a Personal Finance Literacy Coach and Advocate from Lexington, MA. She believes financial capability is a lifelong endeavor and a critical skill for personal success that requires mastery of financial education and behavior. She has over 20 years of experience as a trusted adviser to leadership teams in consulting, financial analysis and operations. Sumeit holds a graduate degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University, an MBA from Babson College, and is a Certified Scrum Master.