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The sun is setting a little earlier each night and there’s a hint of fall in the air. But I’m squeezing every minute out of summer that I can! And one of the new activities I’ve really enjoyed recently is spinning.
Spinning is a group cycling exercise class. I started spinning at my local YMCA at the suggestion of a friend and now I’m hooked!
After months of attending spinning at least 4-5 times a week, I thought I’d share some takeaways connecting personal finance and my summer fitness routine.
5 Money Lessons From a Summer of Spinning
1. Spending money on a gym membership is totally worth it if you use it.
It’s tough to see money leave your account each month when you can probably figure out ways to exercise for free. But spending money on yourself and your wellness matters too. (This can be a real issue if you are a saver.)
If you enjoy working out at a gym and it motivates you to stay fit, try to make it a line item in your budget. Being proactive with your health will hopefully save you more money down the road too!
2. If you spend your days at home, going to the gym gets you out around other people.
As a teacher and school administrator, I was used to being around more than 1,000 people every day. Now that I’m semi-retired and have an online business, I spend most of my day at home.
Whether you work from home, are a stay-at-home parent, are retired, or run a business from home – days can get long and lonely. This is especially true if you’re an extrovert.
At spinning, we laugh and sing as we ride. We even celebrated a woman’s 80th birthday. (Yes, 80 years old and you’d never know it!) You can meet new friends at the gym or maybe even find new mentors or customers.
Meeting your social needs is very important to your health and your finances. Loneliness can be costly to your physical and emotional health – and to your bank account.
3. Put ‘first things first’ to get things done.
Putting systems in place and building good habits has helped me to achieve many personal, professional, and financial goals. But just like you, I often have many things competing for my attention.
So I’ve tried to use what I learned from Stephen Covey’s, 7 Habits for Highly Effective People to put first things first. And this summer, I put my health and wellness first. And it’s worked.
I get up and head to the Y first thing in the morning. Then, I have the rest of the day to do whatever I want and need to get done. In the past, I’d put my family or work first and while they were both important, I’m important too.
Whatever it is you're focusing on, put it first and it’s more likely to get done. If applying for a new job or starting a new business is important to you, put that goal first and devote time to getting it done.
4. Being ‘coached’ is a really smart move.
I started as a competitive athlete when I was six years old. After being coached for 16 years, I took over and started coaching others at 22. Thirty years later, I still enjoy coaching others – not just in sports – but in life, too.
But I’ve been in the habit of working out alone for years and I realize what a big mistake it’s been! I work out a lot harder (in a much shorter period of time) when I have a ‘coach’ leading the workout. I also see more results.
Following a coach’s lead saves me time and mental energy that I can devote to my family, business, and other goals.
Even if you feel confident about managing your health, career, or finances, don’t discount how much a coach can help. New ideas and a different perspective can move the ‘needle’ from good to great on whatever you’re working on.
5. ‘Set the bar’ high and only lower it if you need to.
Are you guilty of setting safe goals because you lack confidence or don’t want to fail? I know I’m guilty of that. While I’m mostly happy with the success I’ve had in life, I’m also too conservative at times.
So instead of holding back in my spinning workouts to finish strong (OK, so I’d just be able to finish at first!) – I shifted my mindset to starting strong instead. If I had to slow down or stop toward the end, fine. But I wasn’t going to finish a ride and wish I worked out harder.
- Do you skip applying for jobs you aren’t sure you’re qualified for?
- Are you afraid to negotiate a starting salary or a raise?
- Do you save money instead of invest?
Start strong, set the bar high, and you’ll end up further ahead. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
Final Thoughts on a Summer of Spinning
I really enjoyed the months of spinning class because I’m working out harder, meeting people, and having fun. My YMCA membership is definitely worth the cost to me.
But I do need to make sure I try some different classes to keep learning and growing.
Building habits and automating parts of your life is helpful, but revisiting your goals and taking action is the key to continue making forward progress.