You really do have the power to make significant change in your life – just do it.
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
– Lance Armstrong
As originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post on March 22, 2017
So I didn’t write this article last week, pre-Jerusalem Marathon, in the off chance that I didn’t achieve my goal, and I would have ended up with egg on my face. Turn back the clock to July 2016, I had prepared a scrumptious BBQ one night, and as usual I had over eaten and woke up the next morning feeling really sick with heartburn. I decided to hop on the scale and almost had a heart attack then and there when I saw just how much I weighed.
I had made many resolutions over the years to lose weight and, like many people, failed miserably to lose anything and ultimately ended up adding even more. But this time would be different, I said. I had just been through a stretch where a few of my clients had died, and others had told me they were very sick. I knew this time would be different. And at least until the writing of this article, some eight months later, I have managed to lose 17 kilos, and this past Friday completed my first ever full marathon.
No sports car
I don’t write this seeking congratulations or a pat on the back, nor was my successful attempt at a full marathon a “mid-life” crisis, trying to go back in time to when I was a very thin, in-shape athlete. The reason I write this is because you can break the inertia of “life” and make important changes and get yourself back on track.
How often are we asked to do something and our response is that we just don’t have time. In fact, when I would miss a training run I would say, “Life happens.”
The problem is that if we let the “life happens” excuse take over, we end up missing life! If we can’t make time for things that are important, then what’s the point?
I was once walking up a steep hill with my brother-inlaw, and I was breathing heavily. He asked, “What happened to you? You used to be in such good shape and now you can’t walk up a hill?” I responded by saying I was now married with kids, have my own company and just don’t have time. He said, “You realize the cardiology wing in the hospital is full of people who didn’t have time!”
It doesn’t have to be exercise and health. It can be spending more quality time with your spouse or children. Maybe it’s turning off the reality-TV show and spending 20 minutes having coffee with your elderly neighbor. If you know the right thing to do and you are stuck in rut, now is the time to take back control of your life and start living the way you really want to live. It’s never too late to change. You really do have the power to make significant change in your life – just do it.
This being a personal-finance column, it’s obvious what comes next. But while obvious, it needs constant repeating. No matter what your stage in life, it’s so important to organize and take control of your financial situation. I met a man who had recently retired and was worried sick over his financial situation. He owned two apartments and had more than $500,000 in investments. I couldn’t figure out what was bothering him so much.
I started asking him certain questions, like how much money he spends a month, or how much income he has coming in, and he had no clue. Then it became crystal clear what was bothering him: He had absolutely no idea if he had enough money to retire, and he was already retired.
Whether planning for retirement, living within a budget or starting a savings plan, it’s never too late to get on the path of financial security. It may be hard, and you may have other things to do instead, but take the time needed to make those adjustments, and you will be well on your way to financial independence. Don’t think that it’s beyond you. If I could become physically fit and run a marathon, there is no reason you can’t become fiscally fit.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates. Aaron Katsman is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. (www.prginc.net). Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit www.aaronkatsman.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.