What My Quarterly Weigh-In Was Like
Keeley is a virtual FinGym client coming up on 6 months with (uh-maze-ing) trainer Jenn. In her spare time, you’ll find her blogging, playing with her pup, or downloading a new podcast.
Have you ever worked really, really hard on something that NO ONE ELSE SEES?
It’s like hitting the gym and eating right every single week. Sure, you feel great because you know you’re forming good habits and working towards your goal. But when you show up and no one can tell any difference (or worse, your jeans have the audacity to fit the same as they always have!!), it’s more than a little disheartening.
Before joining The Financial Gym, that pretty much summed up my relationship with my finances. I was grinding like crazy trying to figure out my debt, my savings, or how on earth to stick to a budget, but no one saw all the work I was putting in. Heck, I could barely see results myself, which of course, made it that much easier to throw my hands in the air and give up. So, when I heard about a financial planning service I could actually afford, I took the plunge.
Fast forward three months:
I’ve had my financially naked session. I’m focused on my most important financial goals and I know which ones are on deck. I’ve got a game plan, a budget, and a monthly check-in that reminds me to stop and think about my finances regularly. The only ‘grinding’ these days is done at home to ease my latte habit.
Up next? My first quarterly weigh-in.
Before the Call
In the months leading up to my weigh-in, I’d been working consistently toward my financial goals. That’s to say, a targeted, limited number of goals, which was a radical new tactic for me, as someone who usually tries to tackle everything at once. I was keeping a close eye on my Training Zone where I could see progress happening...but, no ‘victories’ just yet. And of course, the holidays had come and gone since I’d joined The Gym. Which meant I was feeling some serious guilt about my totally unbudgeted holiday shopping.
My monthly check-ins had always been motivating (in part because my trainer, Jenn, is one of the most authentically upbeat humans I’ve ever met) but they’re quick and task-oriented. A longer, more in-depth review sounded a smidge intimidating because we would definitely have to talk about the goals I’d missed.
During the Call
Once the weigh-in got rolling, I realized I was worried for nothing.
Yes, there were financial goals I hadn’t achieved yet. Yes, my Christmas shopping was over the top. But Jenn was totally focused on the bigger picture: Am I financially healthier than when we started?
We started out with a quick overview of my accounts. We didn’t just talk about their numbers the day of - we were comparing those numbers I revealed during my financially naked session to their counterparts today. Talk about eye-opening!
My emergency savings (my very top priority) showed serious growth. Like, better than it had ever been, I’m-proud-of-this-number, kind of growth. No, it wasn’t the goal number just yet - but for three months of saving? It was pretty darn good.
Jenn was so excited to see the progress I had made toward my goals, so positive and validating, I realized that I had been so focused on everything I still needed to do, I hadn’t really recognized my own achievements! The progress I had been noting all along was, in fact, the victory I should have been celebrating.
She also reminded me that, like losing weight, becoming financially fit doesn’t just take work - it takes time. Even though I know now how to improve my financial health, I can’t do all of it by sheer force of will. Paychecks are finite, so there’s a limited amount your accounts can grow each month (side note - the Gym is also a great resource to help you negotiate your worth and make those checks a bit bigger).
Of course, we discussed the areas that weren’t so stellar, but never from a place of judgement. I wasn’t thriving in those areas in the current conditions, so we talked about what I could be doing differently to change the environment, rather than changing the goal. And because I already felt so proud of my progress, I was motivated to make changes! Instead of feeling like I’d messed up, I was convinced I could do even better next time. After all, I made so much progress already!
After the Call
It’s been a few months and my next quarterly weigh-in is just around the corner. This time, instead of worrying about all the things I haven’t gotten to yet, I’m focused on the list of things I have crossed off. Moreover, I’m not thinking about the goals or milestones nearly as much as I’m thinking about how much my relationship with money has changed on a day-to-day basis.
After only a few months with The Gym, I’m headed to where I want to be financially. I know my safety net savings is there (and growing!), so I don’t have to stress when an unexpected expense pops up. I know there’s some fun money in my budget each month, but I also know that I’ll be happier in the long haul if I respect my budget when that money has run out.
Hitting my financial goals hasn’t just been easier because Jenn knows her stuff (and she really does) or because she has helped me achieve some major improvement already. When it comes to a serious, sometimes slow, journey like becoming financially fit - goal setting is only half the battle. Having someone to evaluate and celebrate with every once in a while makes all the difference.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Financial Gym process and how our team of Financial Trainers can help you reach your goals, schedule your FREE 20-minute consult call here.