Pay yourself first.

One of my recent goals has been to set up a solo 401k for myself. To be honest, it’s been a goal since I started my business a few years ago. But like any of those “of course I know I should be doing this” things, I have dragged my feet about this for years when it comes to setting it up. I made excuse after excuse, but finally, with my husband’s sweet, but firm, urging, I decided that it’s time to invest. Literally. So as of yesterday, the account is open.

And I can’t help thinking back to this surprising encounter a few months ago.

pay yourself first | kourtney thomas fitness

Did you catch that? I know it’s a little blurry, but basically, this is a kickass plan of action for every dollar that comes into this guy’s pocket. My husband’s tattoo artist! I was so impressed when I saw this. I mean, I know tattoo artists make a lot of money, so it would make sense that they’d want to take care of it. But we also have this kind of skewed perception/bias of them, that they’re totally irresponsible weirdos. Definitely not the case, and it kind of pushed me over the resistance hump. Like, if this guy has himself this together? I have to start putting in my 10% before anything else.

Now, I know you know this isn’t actually about the state of your 401k. Your money is your business. But let’s talk about the obvious parallels to your health, shall we?

How many times do we put everything and everyone else before ourselves? Especially before taking care of our bodies and our minds? I don’t mean to harp on this (Well, maybe I do, a little.), but if we can’t set aside 10% for ourselves before all else, exactly what state are we going to be in in 20 years? 30? 50? Tomorrow?

Moving your body, making time to exercise, consciously not buying crap to fill up your pantry, taking the time to cook healthy meals for your family and yourself, doing whatever you need to do to combat stress – these are all part of this “pay yourself first” idea.

I’m sure there are people in your life who are continually telling you that this is important, and you continue to ignore them or put it off. I’m sure you know that taking care of yourself will make you feel good, and may even help you reach some physical goals you have for yourself. I know that you may feel like that’s just a little too selfish, like there are other people or things that take precedence, and you can wait.

But the reality is, you have to start now.

Just like a 401k, you won’t get the benefit unless you start contributing today. You have to make the initial investment in order to reap its benefits down the line. A healthy mind and body in your 20s and 30s and 40s will not only prolong your life, but it’ll prolong the quality of your life. And by taking care of yourself, you’re always better prepared to take care of others.

Sometimes, investing is boring and tedious. But it’s essential, and its positive effects in the long term far outweigh the short term annoyances of the occasional setup and contribution.

So is it really that big of a deal to start investing just 10% in yourself right now?


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