If you believe in something that is realistically attainable and have the right attitude (mindset) coupled with realistic goals, you more often than not will be successful at reaching the prize. The challenge comes when our head knowledge (knowing the right thing to do) hasn’t become heart knowledge.
For instance, EVERYONE knows that eating more fruits and vegetables is the right thing to do. Nobody argues this fact. Yet this fact has a hard time travelling the 12 inches from our brain to our heart. Sadly, it usually takes a few rounds in a boxing match with a health issue like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity to provide enough motivation to travel the 12 inches. Those 12 inches are the hardest to travel in every area of our lives, whether it is food, finances, exercise, reading, or not texting while driving.
Or take the world of finance. EVERYONE knows that it is better to start your retirement planning earlier than later. For example, if you start investing $167/mo ($2k/yr) in mutual funds (avg. rate of return 12%) at age 19, and do that till you are 26 and then stop (investing a total of 16k), at 65 you will have $2.3 million—Wow, 16k becomes $2.3 million! Ahhh, the miracle of time and compound interest! But if you are a late bloomer and start saving $167/mo at age 27 until the age of 65, at 65 you will have $1.5 million. Even though the second person invested 78k, they never caught up! (Adapted from DaveRamsey.com)
It is the same with eating fruits and vegetables. Starting earlier here, however, pays immediate health dividends (unlike finances), with a large payout in our retirement years (like finances). Time is definitely on the side of our children and the 20- and 30-somethings. If they embrace eating well, they will reap a more vibrant and healthy life for years to come. But for the over 40 crowd, we better get after the goal of eating better NOW!
Most of us reading this newsletter have already travelled that first 12 inches because we are getting a box of good, but each of us probably has room to improve our health! How about a goal to do one more thing this week that will improve your health now and in 20 and 30 and 40 years! It could be something as simple as one more glass of water or one less glass of soda. It could be eating a salad a day or going for a brisk walk (even when it is raining!)
Right now, you have already thought of one or two things. Do them and travel those 12 inches for yourself and your family. It will be worth the effort. The sooner you get started, the healthier you will be.