From the title of this post, you might think this is going to be about finances. Wrong! Instead, I wanted to share how I apply this mantra to my health. I’ve had a hard time the past few weeks getting motivated to run during nap time. Nap time, you see, is a sacred time for me, as it is for most stay-at-home moms. That precious 1-2 hr block of time is all about endless possibility! I could read…or watch guilty T.V. (I love the CW!)…or bake a delicious vegan dessert….or run. I was falling into the habit of doing the former rather than the latter, until my husband gently nudged me. He reminded me that I’m happier when I make running a priority and when I set fitness goals for myself. So now when the girls go down for naps, I tell myself, “Pay yourself first, then you can go watch T.V.” In other words, make the time investment in your health before you do anything else.
This principle can be applied to all aspects of your health. Pay yourself first by eating a fruit or veggie before you reach for the sweets. Pay yourself first by remembering to take a multivitamin in the morning. Pay yourself first by menu planning so you won’t be tempted to grab fast, nutrient-bare convenience foods when you’re hungry.
Paying yourself first is certainly important in retirement planning; we never see a portion of the paycheck because it goes right to investments. But remember–you won’t enjoy that retirement nearly as much if your health is poor, so pay yourself first when it comes to health, too.