Note: This was first published as an article, Pay Yourself First: The Key to Wealth and Weight Loss on Technorati.
How would you like to increase your net worth dramatically this
And….how would you like to trim down and get in your best shape
ever this year?
Interested? I thought so. Most of us would like to do both.
One of the oldest, most hallowed recommendations for investing and
increasing your net worth – even to the point that you can become
financially secure and independent – is to “pay yourself first”.
This one principle is so important, it’s biblical in nature.
The idea is to invest in yourself first, before you pay the first
bill. Take money right off the top and put it into some sort of
savings or investment account. If you can set this up to be
automatic, even better.
Then, the power of compound interest will work its magic for you.
And, over time, your initially modest monthly savings will grow
and grow into a substantial amount.
The same principle can also help you if you wish to enhance
your health and fitness.
In one of the newsletters I receive, a contributing physician
discussed a study that was done by Ohio State University’s Center
for Human Resources.
They found that significant decreases in weight are associated
with significant increases in wealth. For example, people who
shed 50 or more pounds saw an increase in wealth of $10,000. (Not
sure whether this was an increase in income or net worth.)
The researchers make the point that workplace discrimination
against obese or overweight people is the cause. And I’m sure
that’s part of it.
But I don’t think that’s the entire reason. There are plenty of
pleasingly plump, overweight and obese people around these days.
In fact, 60% of the population in this country is overweight or
obese. So working with an overweight person is pretty common.
Here’s another possible explanation:
I would venture to guess that the people they surveyed in the
study felt entirely different about themselves after they lost
all that weight.
Not only did they feel better about themselves, they probably
had more energy AND more confidence.
These are the kind of benefits you can expect when you put the
“Fire Up Your Metabolism” Program to work.
It’s not only about losing weight, leaning out and looking
better. The more important benefits are the intangible ones:
the way you feel about yourself, the increased energy you have,
the feeling of wellbeing you have when you do something good
At any rate, this study got me thinking about the subject of
compensation. Not monetary compensation, but giving yourself
some thing or some experience as a reward.
You could call it “managed compensation”. Here’s how it works:
There is a natural cycle of work and struggle followed by rest
and reward. You see it throughout nature. For example, the
gardener tills, plants, fertilizes, waters and weeds for many
weeks or months. The reward is the beautiful garden of
flowers, or the delicious fresh vegetables.
You can see it throughout history, going back to biblical
times. The Hebrews wandered for 40 years in the desert before
they were allowed into the “promised land”. God worked for six
days, then rested on the seventh. And so forth.
You probably see it in your daily life as well.
You crank and crank on an important project for work. When it’s
finished, you not only have the satisfaction of a job well done,
but you or your company may be rewarded as well. (Hopefully you,
but most companies don’t work that way.)
So, how can you apply this to getting active, exercising,
eating better, or taking any other type of action that can help
improve your health?
Well, as you plan your day or week, build in little rewards
for yourself – to be enjoyed IF you complete the activity or
task you assigned to yourself.
After you work out, allow yourself a nice meal to replenish
your muscles and energy levels. And /or take a nice hot shower
and relax for a few minutes.
If you’ve eaten really healthy all day, allow yourself a nice
dinner. Maybe even a glass of wine or some dessert if you’ve
been really good.
I am an avid reader of all types of books and magazines. My
better half will attest to this. In fact, I’ve been accused of
being a “book hoarder”. (I like to think of my books as
Anyways, when I have completed a project that took a lot of
effort and time, I like to reward myself with a trip to the
bookstore. Browsing through the shelves can be very relaxing.
I enjoy purchasing a new book I’ve been wanting to read, as
well as the serendipity of discovering an interesting book I
was unaware of.
As a twist on all this, you might make the activity itself
For example, most people look at exercising as something they
“have to do”. So how about flipping this? Make your workout
After a hard day at work, frame your workout as your chance to
get away from all the crap and do something just for you. See
yourself moving those muscles and breaking a cleansing,
de-stressing sweat. Think about how good you will feel when
you are done.
It’s worth a try. Let me know what you think.
You Can Do It!
Karen Van Ness
P.S. If you’ve been telling yourself you should get started
on an exercise program…if you’re ready to lose weight….if
you’d like more energy and control over your body — then the
“Fire Up Your Metabolism” Program may be just the ticket. To
discover how the combination of deep breathing and dynamic
movements can help you reach your weight loss goals, click here.
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011