The Financial Fitness Cliff
There’s something about the beginning of a new year that prompts us to reflect on the past and think about the possibilities of the year ahead. Many of us engage in the annual ritual of making New Year’s resolutions, where we mentally commit to changing things that we think will make our lives better or happier, such as losing weight, or not smoking, or exercising more.
According to Amy Charland, health and wellness coach at Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program, “30 days is a common timeframe for putting new habits into practice. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be done in a month’s time.” That last point is particularly important. In 2016, fitness chain Gold’s Gym, crunched their membership data to determine exactly when their new members started losing their New Year’s Eve enthusiasm. That date was February 9th, forty days into the new year.
Gold’s Gym took this information and rolled out a new national advertising campaign called the Fitness Cliff, a reference to that date when many gym members began to lose their willpower. As part of the campaign, Gold’s Gym also created a memorable acronym out of the word “cliff”:
C – Can’t find the time;
L – Lacking a game plan to keep you going;
I – Ignoring your commitment and falling into old patterns;
F – Frustrated with lack of early results;
F – Forgetting why you started;
It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to switch our thinking from our health to our wealth. Some of you may have made New Year’s resolutions to save more money toward retirement starting in the new year. Or maybe this is the year that you decide once and for all to spend within your means. How about paying off those credit card balances? Or giving more to charity? Or perhaps you are approaching retirement and you would dearly love to have that home mortgage paid off before you get there.
C.L.I.F.F. can also apply to your financial life, of course, especially if you are consistently frustrated with your progress toward meeting financial goals. Even if you didn’t make any financial resolutions this year, it’s still only mid-January. In that case, maybe you should start with letter “L”: Lacking a financial game plan. At Coyle Financial Counsel, we’ve been creating financial game plans for families for over forty years. That’s our specialty. That’s what we do best.
If you go to Gold Gym’s website today, you will find that their current Fitness Cliff date has moved to February 22nd. They also now call that day Commitment Day, where they offer members a chance to recommit to their goals and to receive a “free customized 30-Day Fitness Plan with one of (their) certified personal trainers.” If you think it’s time for a recommitment to your financial plan, you don’t have to wait until February 22nd to call your Coyle financial advisor. Today can be your Commitment Day.
John serves as Chief Investment Officer for Coyle Financial Counsel and is responsible for overseeing the investment process. John’s prior experience includes managing institutional fixed-income portfolios for corporations, pension funds, non-profit organizations and foundations at several large, global asset managers. With more than 20 years of institutional investment experience, he is energized by helping individuals understand the role investing plays in meeting their long-term financial goals.
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