I decided to start running after years of hiking and working out in a gym. And let’s be clear – I hate running. But there comes a time in life when you need to be able to exercise wherever you are to wear off those calories. I worked my way up to 5 minutes, then 8 minutes. I sort of figured that’s how I’d have to work into this new activity.
Then a friend, who is a strong runner, said one thing to me: “If you can do 10 minutes you can do 20. If you can do ½ hour you can do an hour.” It changed my whole mindset and liberated me. I felt like I could be successful faster rather than plodding along, edging my time and distance up bit by bit. All I had to do was 10 minutes and then I could double that time without much effort. Sure enough, I ran 16 minutes the very next time.
Re-Frame Your Thought Process Toward Saving
My approach to becoming a runner was Framed for me in a different light, and it motivated me. I had been limiting my capabilities based on my own mindset. The same might be said about how we manage our money. Most of us feel like we should save more. So now let’s look at the chart in the link below from Putnam Investments. Based on age and income, it gives you an idea what others – your peers – have saved. NY Times Putnam Investments.
At 40 years of age, with an income of 80,000, the highest savers already have $231,000. If you’re 50, with an income of $100,000 and you’ve saved $179,000 you’re a median saver, but not anywhere near the highest savers. Wow. Now you have factual social comparisons that suggest you might be able to save more if you haven’t saved as much as others. Hmmm. The gauntlet has been thrown down. If they can do it, you can do it. When reality is framed so that you can compare yourselves to peer benchmarks, more people step up to the plate and take on the challenge. As a matter of fact, Putnam noted a 28 percent increase in 401(k) savings from 7.5 percent to 9.6 percent of salary. Call it Keeping up with the Joneses if you wish. Are you up for the challenge?
Thanks to my neighbor Anna, who really is helping me learn how to run!
Carrie Rattle is a Principal at BehavioralCents.com, a web site for women focused on the psychology of money behaviors. She has worked in the financial services industry for 20+ years and hopes to inspire women to better prepare themselves for financial independence. Thoughts always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.