About a year ago I started to get serious about my health.
As a younger man I used to be exceptionally fit, and I could get away with all sorts of things. I could eat junk food all day and drink beer all night. But I was also working out like a madman, with the metabolism of a 20 year old.
In my middle age it eventually dawned on me that I could not live like I did in my twenties. I had to pay attention to nutrition, and I had to make a conscious effort to exercise. And for a few years I paid lip service to these things. But I didn’t really make much progress.
But then I started keeping a training journal. And now I can’t pretend anymore.
Each day I write down my weight, and what I did for exercise. The journal doesn’t lie. Either I exercised, or I didn’t. Either I slimmed down, or I didn’t.
Keeping a financial journal makes sense too. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Every now and then do up a net worth statement. Check on your progress.
Don’t worry about things that are outside your control, like temporary fluctuations in the value of your long term investments. Instead focus on things that you can control. Either you paid down your line of credit, or you didn’t. Either you made an RRSP contribution, or you didn’t.
What is measured can be improved on. Keep a financial journal and track your progress. If you stick with it you will almost certainly see results.