Your Money

Financial discipline is easier than it seems. Search online about saving money and you’re likely to see articles about how people who spend money on coffee every day are losing millions of dollars in potential long-term investments. Discipline is not about avoiding your daily coffee. It’s about knowing what you enjoy and giving yourself permission to spend in those areas but having the discipline to cut out other non-essentials.

Your Life

We know there is more to life than ending with a pile of money. After the birth of my first child, Elyse, I spent some time evaluating where I needed more discipline. Although I focused on these four areas below for me, they can be just as applicable to you.

  • Staying Healthy. There are plenty of days I don’t feel like working out. It takes discipline to motivate yourself (a little caffeine doesn’t hurt) to stay active and live a healthy life. Creating a written workout routine, I would argue, is the single best thing you can do to stay consistent. There are always legitimate things that come up out of your control, but commitment to exercising is an excellent way to improve your quality of life and overall mood.
  • Setting a Bedtime. Kids often think one of the great things about being an adult is you don’t have a bedtime. But, it actually can be detrimental. It’s tempting to stay up until all hours of the night binge watching Netflix. It’s hard to have the discipline of a strict bedtime but is well worth it. Not only does a good night’s sleep help you feel refreshed in the morning, numerous studies have shown quality sleep increases intellectual and physical performance.
  • Extra-curricular Reading. I heard someone on a podcast say a quality education can make a person smart, but a well-read person is wise. It’s so much easier to turn on the TV and “decompress” after a long day. It takes discipline to commit to reading worthy books, but over the long-term being well-read will likely lead to success in all areas of your life. (The two books I’m reading right now are “The Sports Gene” by David Epstein and “The Behavioral Investor” by Daniel Crosby).

More Reading: Investment Strategy Basics: How to think about portfolio construction

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