Sometimes when you are in a routine of budgeting, saving, or getting out of debt you forget to include in your planning the activities you enjoy doing. Yes I am going to talk about that all important word BALANCE. I have found that when we push ourselves too hard to save for something or pay off debt we can easily deprive ourselves of the things we enjoy the most. Yes I have been just as guilty as anyone else, but now I truly believe you need to enjoy the journey you are on and not regret a thing along the way. Last summer I took the opportunity to participate in an activity that used to bring me such joy as a child and teenager. When I was nearly 3 years old, my parents enrolled me in tap dance classes. I couldn’t appreciate it then, but over 15 years of ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and African dance lessons inspired me and kept me in shape. I began to thrive on the different moves my body could make. I spent many hours every week practicing routines and my parents spent lots of money (remember: moderation is key). For them it was an investment in a past time that I grew to love, for me it was recreation and my own personal creative expression. While I did not become a professional dancer nor did I aspire to be, I grew to appreciate the art form and to this day attend performances that inspire the dancer within me.
A few years ago, I enrolled in a Hip Hop dance class that has challenged me to come outside my box. I felt invigorated, refreshed, and 10 years younger. It has changed the way I view my budget. I consistently tell my clients and workshop attendees to incorporate goals into their budget for motivation and to develop positive saving habits, but I learned that some of the smaller things like a $40 dance class should fit as well. Of course the budget numbers should balance, but the items listed should be balanced as well. This class has helped me in more ways than I anticipated. I get a few hours each week to myself and it is a great form of exercise. It also allows me to refocus on my priorities when business must get done. I’ve also witnessed a great leader in action. My dance instructor has been teaching for 14 years and moves with such grace and passion that sometimes I can’t take my eyes off her. She never writes down the moves that are taught. They simply come from her heart. She is absolutely driven to dance. That is how we all should be about the work we do. I feel that way about helping people gain control over their finances on a regular basis. It gives me pleasure to see my clients reach levels financially they’ve never before achieved.
My challenge to you this month is to find out what activity you or your family members enjoy that would bring about the same excitement and motivation I have found. I now refuse to allow 10 years to go by before I enroll in another dance class. What steps are you going to take? What is currently missing from your routine that would bring back a spark of enthusiasm, excitement, or a refreshing? Take action today!