Fiscal flexibility lessons from Pilates

I have been going for Pilates off-and-on (read more off than on) for the last 5 years. I lacked core strength and Pilates was a great way to build it. Every time I went, I liked it and wanted to go back, but life always seemd to get in the way. So, recently I decided to give Pilates a fair shot for one year and see if I like the results. Well, I am happy to say that it’s been 6 months and I am loving the transformation.
Developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a series of exercises using apparatus designed to improve physical strength and enhance mental awareness among other things. But you are probably wondering, why am I getting a lesson on Pilates in a finance blog. Thank you for reminding me.

Certified Pilates and Barre instructor Sandra Greenberg promotes Pilates as a technique that enhances efficient movement and self-awareness:

“In Pilates the principles that are applied are control and concentration of, and breathing with, movement that creates a rhythm with precision.  The results of all that is stamina, improved posture and core strengthening.”
The point is that improving your personal finances is like Pilates – it’s about small and efficient changes and enhanced mental awareness. Here are Joseph Pilates’s quotes and what they teach us about fiscal fitness and flexibility.
 You will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 and have a completely new body in 30 sessions.” This is the perfect advice about perseverance. Start with a weekly review of your finances, especially when you first take the plunge in personal finances. The truth is that you won’t remember to take everything into consideration when you take a first crack at it. So, it is a multi-week exercise to account for weekly, monthly, quarterly expenses. Most people who go through this exercise report finding multiple savings by just paying attention.

Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” And I would say fiscal fitness is a close second. Happiness or emotional fitness is not a given. Those who have it need to keep it up, and those who don’t need to find it. Many aspects of our lives create happiness. Being fiscally fit or secure is one of them.

Everyone is the architect of their own happiness.” Commitment is the key to getting things done. Make changes to your financial well-being by having a plan. Read my last month's blog post on how to get started by following these simple 5 steps.

Anyone who has been practicing Pilates for a while probably has less appreciation for a curl up than someone who is just starting out. But if an experienced Pilates practitioner jogs their memory a little bit they might be able to recall just how hard it is the first time you try something like 1-100’s or grabbing the ball between your ankles and then doing sit ups and bridge poses. Just thinking about my own struggle through some of these reminds me of how sore my core used to get with what I now fondly recall as ‘the good pain’. Nothing is ever easy when you first begin. But with sheer determination, commitment and continuity you will achieve the goals you set yourself out to do.

To close, let's turn again to Joseph Pilates, “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking, nor outright purchase” resonates deeply with financial fitness. Small changes can lead to big results. But you need to take action. You may not be able to get through everything you want to when you first try, but eventually you will get the flexibility, stamina and results you are looking for in your personal finances.

If you have questions that go beyond what I covered in this blog, I’d love to help you out!  Join my mailing list to receive personal finance tips in your inbox. 


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