Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Hope you all got what you wanted from Santa and enjoyed yourself, because 2014 is coming fast!  Made any New Year’s Resolutions yet?

What are the most popular New Year’s resolutions?

According to Parade Magazine, five of the top ten relate to health, and #2 overall is “Improve your finances.”  The health resolutions include eating healthier, quitting smoking, exercising more, and reducing stress.  I’ve often seen financial resolutions like pay down debt, spend less, get on a budget, or save more money.

Money   Fried Chicken

It got me thinking about how similar these two categories are, health and finances.  The parallels between them are numerous, both in their nature and in how we relate to them.  Consider this:

– They’re both deeply personal.  You don’t just talk to anyone about your health or your finances.  We’re often either embarrassed by our health or finances, or quietly proud of them.  We can be naturally inclined to handle one or the other very well, or struggle to keep both in order.  It can  take a crisis to change our habits in these areas, and we only talk to trusted people about them most of the time.

– We all know what to do, but doing it is hard!  Exercise more.  Eat less.  Eat healthier.  Don’t smoke.  Get good rest.  Spend less.  Save more.  Plan for retirement.  Live on a budget.  Knowing what to do is the easy part – we all know!  Doing it is the difficult part.  The actual execution is where the real challenge lies.

– Both have profound consequences, in the short- and long-term.  Caring for your health nets you more energy, less susceptibility to sickness and depression, and is linked to positive results in other areas of life.  In the long term, you have a better chance of a long life, less risk of heart disease, and the chance to be active later in life – no small thing.

Money is no different.  You immediately get a virtual raise when you start living on a budget.  You can very quickly have money for emergencies, and start paying down debt.  In the long-term, think “legacy.”  You can be those grandparents that take the entire family to England for vacation (like mine did).  You can pay for your grandkids college.  You can give huge gifts to the ministries and causes that are close to your heart.  Or conversely, you can struggle your entire life and eek it out on a meager Social Security income when you’re older (assuming it still exists).

– WE are the problem in both of these areas; WE are also the solution.  Yes, external forces can affect both our health and our finances, but for the VAST majority of people, WE can fix our problems.  Yes, that guy or gal in the mirror, if you can just get them under control, you can make a change.  That one in the mirror is always causing the problems, but that one in the mirror also has the power to help you change your life forever.

So whatever your resolutions or goals are, it’s important to realize that for many of these that we’ll make, we’re the problem – but we also have the solution.

In what other ways do finances and health relate?  How have you seen that in your life?