Whether it be professionally or personally, something that people close to me know is that I am always looking for a challenge. A challenge is exactly what I got myself into when a group of friends signed up for a Half Ironman last year and I decided to join them. A Half Ironman is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run. The race was set for May 22nd of this year and we all started training towards the beginning of 2022. What I found throughout my time training was that there are a lot of similarities between completing a race like this and what we do with our clients in building financial plans.
The first similarity, and probably the biggest between the two, was having a plan. Each week, it was important to have a training plan in place to be able to follow and make sure that I was spending enough time on each discipline so that I would be prepared. From a financial planning perspective, this is the exact same in regards to the importance of having a plan. A proper plan allows you to check in with yourself to monitor progress and also see what it is that you need to be doing to achieve your financial goals.
A close second to having a plan in place is discipline. I have always liked to workout in the morning to get it out of the way, but with a race date in place, it was more important than ever to be sure I was waking up before work to get the workouts done. With financial planning, outside of having a plan in place, discipline is just as important. Without having the discipline to stick to a plan, you’ll only be able to accomplish so much.
When trying to stick to a plan and remain disciplined, it is often hard to do it on your own. That is where my training partners came into play. We would swim, run, and bike together each week, which made it so much easier. It made me show up each time knowing that I was held accountable and that I was going to do the training with a group. That is where we come in for our clients. We are there to help build the plan and, although we cannot provide them with the discipline – we can be there to help keep them accountable to the plan. We do this through regular check-ins and reviews, which are there to keep a plan on track and make changes where necessary. It makes it so much easier to stay on track with your plan when you know that there is someone there to help provide advice and guidance.
Whether it’s trying to achieve something athletically, financially, or just that you are passionate about, it takes a combination of things to help you achieve that goal. Trying to achieve something big isn’t going to happen overnight. I am sure we have all heard the 10,000 rule to success or the saying “after 20 years I am finally an overnight success.” But, with a plan, some discipline, and a group of people around you who truly care, it can make your journey to success that much easier. My goal was never to win the race, it was to finish. The next time I do a race won’t be to win either – it will simply be to do better than the first time.