Two books recently got me thinking about the role of personal responsibility in achieving health and financial security. In “Financially Fearless,” Alexa Von Tobel shares strategies for taking control of your financial situation, while in “Eat Move Sleep,” Tom Rath shares strategies for taking control of your health. Both illustrate that our health and financial fitness are largely in our control, and that we can – and absolutely should – take responsibility for improving them.
Rath makes a compelling argument that “the majority of your risk in life lies in the choices you make, not your genetics” – and he’s living proof, as he inherited a rare and life-threatening genetic condition, yet he has managed to keep it relatively under control through diet, exercise and good sleep habits. Similarly, Von Tobel shows that a bad financial situation doesn’t have to trap you forever, and that there are effective ways to take control of your finances and become financially fit. Both demonstrate how even small choices and behavior changes can help put us on the right path to health and financial security.
The news increasingly includes evidence that health and financial security are interrelated – through things like nutrition/diet, exercise/activity, sleep, stress response, etc. – and the connections just seem to keep getting stronger. I predict we’ll continue to see more research coming out around this fascinating intersection of health and wealth.
While having the right protections in place via insurance products is a key part of any personal health and financial security strategy, it’s also important to remember that our day-to-day behaviors and personal strategies play a critical role as well. And, just as anyone who’s trained for and run a marathon will tell you, it takes many small steps over time and commitment to achieve the goal, as well as a bit of experimenting to figure out what strategies work for you. If you think of it, this is a great analogy for achieving a big goal like health and financial fitness.