Over the past several years, CrossFit has taken the nation by storm as one the newest and fasting growing fitness crazes. CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as a “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement.” (wikipedia.com). If you have ever seen a CrossFit Workout Of The Day (WOD), they are short duration, high intensity, give it all you’ve got workouts for about 20 minutes. They include things like box jumping, pull ups, rowing, and even flipping large tires. What the workout is intended to do is concentrate on building your core. Think about the core being your foundation. If the foundation of your house is strong than it will stand no matter what elements come at it over the years. Imagine the workout routine if we had something called Financial CrossFit.
Here are three exercises for your Financial WOD:
1) Credit Card Scissor Kicks – The scissor kick is an exercise that I’ve seen people do, where they are lying flat on their back and first place their hands underneath their bottom. Then, they lift their legs about six to twelve inches off the floor and then kick one leg up and one leg down, without letting their legs touch the floor. This is a very tough exercise. One WOD you should be doing is to focus on your ‘core’ by eliminating all of the bad debt. You should get focused for 5 minutes of your financial workout every day by tallying up your debt to see where you stand until you can do it by memory. If you have built up lots of debt from credit cards, then get on the financial scissor kick by cutting them up until they are paid off. Do not cancel them, but make a debt payment every WOD until you eliminate the bad debt.
2) Net Worth Box Jumps – The net worth for most of you is merely tallying up everything you own versus everything you owe. Most people barely look at their net worth yearly and sometimes not for multiple years. How can you know your more core number without ever taking a look at it? That is like never looking in the mirror to see if your WOD’s are helping you lose fat and gain muscle. Box Jumps are an exercise I’ve personally tried, where you stand still on the floor and literally propel yourself up on to a box and then jump back down. Now try it 10 or 20 times in a row. Not quite as easy as it looks. Tabulating your net worth should be easy. Take everything you own versus everything you owe and there you have it. If you put a net worth calculation as your financial box jump every day, you would focus on this ‘core’ metric more and quickly see how it alters your decision making.
3) Profit and Loss Pull Ups – The other major financial WOD is knowing how your financials are doing within your company. All of us have a finite amount of energy. The idea behind CrossFit is that you can make substantial gains with short bursts of energy through concentrated exercises. One great financial WOD would be to do a profit and loss pull up. Merely take the day that you are in and calculate on a notepad; a) what you made that day (take your overall income and divide by 365 days) and b) track what you spent that day. Did your financial body make a profit or a loss? What could you have done differently in your financial workout to make positive gains to your core that day?
I have a great deal of respect to the people who are CrossFit enthusiasts. Not only do they work hard during their exercise time, most of them also adopt a lifestyle that is conducive to having a healthy body and life. If you add some of these Financial CrossFit exercises to your money routine, do you think your bottom line would be better off? Share with me a financial CrossFit exercise that you think would be a smart money move for people.
CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Editor in Chief of Your Smart Money Moves
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc – The Leaders in Gen X & Y Financial Advice and Services
Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.
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