Time/Money/Health Debt Snowball
Years ago, a running buddy made a comment that stuck: “It seems life requires you to pick 2 out of 3 among time, money and health. You sacrifice health to earn more money… sacrifice money for time… sacrifice time to boost overall health. We get to choose but one of the 3 must be sacrificed.
That brings us to the next phase in our BE-coming journey: the Time/Money/Health debt. I’ve slowly come to realize the key to this riddle might just be to turn our focus from “accumulating excess” to “eliminating debt” in these 3 areas. Yes – my friend was correct in identifying the “pick 2” alternative if the goal is accumulating excess. However, if we shift our focus to eliminating the debt in any/all of these three, our worlds open up to BE…coming.
If you remember the FREED WILL diagram provided in our August 8th column, the little clamp in the top left corner told the story. It’s not having an excess of the big 3 (time/money/health) that allows us to live a full life of positive impact. Rather, it’s the debt incurred in any of the three that limits our opportunity to do so. “No Margin – No Mission” is typically applied to business but it hits the nail on the head here. Financial debt = constant elevation of stress-induced cortisol at every turn. Self-created health issues = limited energy we can devote to any pursuit and physical ability to do so. A tightly packed schedule = no room to take a breath. As such, we either must take the “BE” off the table (constant survival mode) or inadvertently limit our movement forward (“coming”).
Unfortunately, our society rewards extremes. The new car/fancy vacation may increase debt, but that’s easy to hide behind credit cards & 2nd mortgages. The Ironman or Ultra distance training earns plenty of kudos from friends/training partners, but the 20+ hrs/week on top of a full-time career requires every moment be “optimized” (for training – not living). And of course, it’s easy to shrug off the extra glass of wine or nudge back our plans for an active lifestyle another year… until it’s not and we either face major health issues or experience our worlds (our “freed will”) shrink due to lack of energy, mobility and function.
I get it. This phase of the BE-coming journey can make the eyes glaze over. We’ve all heard it before. Easy just to delete and repeat. But what if today was the start of something new? When Rachel Cruz joined us on the Catalyst 360 podcast, she discussed the illogical but oddly effective “debt snowball” strategy, which can be applied to any of the Big 3. Pick your smallest debt (regardless of interest rate) and devote yourself to paying it off. Once complete, you move to the next smallest, but with additional available resources. It’s a proven financial debt strategy but one we can just as effectively apply to time and health. Hope is a powerful resource. When we look at our overwhelming debt in any/all of the Big 3, hope gets crushed and we remain stuck in place. Rather than trying to address “everything,” pick your smallest “debt.” Maybe it’s an extra 30 min of sleep. Stop worrying about all other “debts” across the Big 3 and focus only on ensuring you get that extra 30 min of sleep every single night for the next 30+ days. Once that’s solidly established, then – and ONLY then – pick your next debt to clear. Maybe it’s a short morning walk… taking a few minutes to watch the sunset vs. another Netflix show… or knocking out a credit card debt. ONE at a time… creating a (time/money/health) snowball of progress on our way to BE…coming.