American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson is the first person credited with saying that “health is wealth.” It is hard to disagree with his statement. The better your health (physically, mentally, and psychologically), the better you will feel and perform each day. Optimal health makes life easier and more enjoyable. It sets you up for a much stronger future.
Many people unfortunately sacrifice their health in order to prioritize other parts of life. This approach is backwards. Making your health a top priority helps you perform better in every other part of life.
Think of your health as your most valuable bank account. Here are three steps to build up your health bank account:
1. Automate your healthy deposits by forming stronger habits.
Imagine that you want to build a big financial bank account. It’s much easier to do so by direct depositing part of each paycheck than by making manual, sporadic deposits whenever you remember or are in the mood. The same is true with your health.
Turn healthy behaviors into daily, automated habits, and your health bank account will grow faster and with less effort. When behaviors become habits, they require less effort than if you do them randomly and sporadically.
2. Don’t use healthy deposits as an excuse for making unhealthy withdrawals.
If you withdraw money from your financial bank account each time that you make a deposit, what will happen? You will save little or no money over the long-term. The same is true with your health.
Some people use any sort of healthy deposit as an excuse for making an unhealthy withdrawal. If you have ever “rewarded” yourself with junk food or alcohol after completing a workout, you have made this common mistake. Unfortunately, this approach erases your gains and prevents your health bank account from growing.
You don’t need to be perfect. Small, occasional withdrawals are fine. However, beware of making unhealthy withdrawals too often, especially big withdrawals. Otherwise, your health bank account will never grow.
3. Be patient.
If you overspend financially for years, making a few deposits into your financial bank account will not suddenly make you rich. It will take a lot of time and effort to overcome your past behavior. The same is true with your health.
Many people get frustrated when progress comes slowly with their health. However, doing a few workouts, meditating a few times, or eating a few healthy meals cannot erase months or years of unhealthy habits. The more “debt” that you have accumulated, the more time and effort it will take to overcome your past. Be patient and commit for the long-term.
The good news is you will build up your health bank account if you stay the course. It’s simple math. Make enough healthy deposits (without making too many unhealthy withdrawals along the way), and it is only a matter of time before you make progress.
Making Deposits to Your Health Bank Account
Here are some of the best deposits that you can make to your health bank account:
- Drink water
- Eat a healthy meal
- Do cardiovascular activity that makes you sweat
- Do strength training
- Get enough quality sleep each night
- Disconnect from technology
- Spend quality time with family and friends
- Volunteer for good causes
Each of these activities sets you up for a stronger future.
Making Withdrawals from Your Health Bank Account
Here are some of the worst withdrawals that you can make from your health bank account:
- Drink sugary drinks and other artificial beverages
- Drink alcohol
- Smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco
- Eat junk foods and other foods with artificial ingredients
- Be sedentary
- Get too little sleep each night
- Spend time with negative people
- Spend too much time online
Each of these activities sets you up for a weaker future.
Summary and Final Thoughts
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Health is wealth.” Think of your health as your most valuable bank account. Here are three steps to help your health bank account grow:
- Automate your healthy deposits by forming stronger habits.
- Don’t use healthy deposits as an excuse for making unhealthy withdrawals.
- Be patient.
Optimal health makes life easier and more enjoyable. It helps you perform better in every other part of your life. No matter what your health bank account looks like today, make it a priority for the future.
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About the author: Pete Leibman is the Creator of StrongerHabits.com. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, executive recruiter, athlete, and peak performance coach. His work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and CNNMoney.com, and over 500,000 people across the world have read his articles.