Sometimes we speak of “living below our means” as if it is an arduous practice that requires us to stifle our desires and make tough decisions about what we should not buy. This is one way to look at it but when it comes to budgeting there is a much easier perspective to take. Living modestly because you want to.
I lace up, pull the door closed behind me, deeply breathe in the air, and take the first step of what will ultimately set the pace for a run. When I first got into running some years back, I did it whenever I felt like “blah.” Sorry for the lack of a descriptive word, but “blah” is really the emotion I felt that triggered a desire to run. Not only would running help lift my mood and make me feel better about those cheese tots I had at lunch, it was free and could be done anywhere I started feeling the blahs creeping up. Gradually, I ran more regularly throughout the week and longer and nowadays, I try and run at least 4 times a week. Running clears my head, gives me energy, and provides a great beginning or closure to the day.
In the weight-loss and body building oriented book The Four Hour Body, author Timothy Ferris talks about the power of just paying attention. People who weigh themselves daily tend to lose weight whether or not they engage in any other behavior change. Without consciously trying to “eat better” or “exercise more,” by paying attention to what you are doing, you end up making better decisions. The best part is that it feels “effortless.” When you are aware of your weight daily, you naturally make better choices without trying.