Taking the First Step

In a week’s time, I am ending my maternity leave and heading back to work. This is my second child, so I have not had a full night’s rest for the last three and a half years. That has been also my excuse for not going out for a runthere is always a reason.

I did not sleep well last night. (like, always)

I need to go to work in the morning.

I don’t know if my pelvic muscles from childbirth have recovered.

I am managing so much already, I don’t have anyone else to take care of the baby

The truth is I can put it off for the next ten years with the above reasons. However, this morning, I woke up relatively fresh (the baby only woke up 3 times), and my husband planned to work from home. So I left the baby with him, quickly squeezed into my sports bra, put on my running shoes and out the door I went!

I know the first run is always going to be the hardest. I have not had a cardio workout since I was pregnant with my first in August 2015, (do childbirths count as a workout?). My goal was simple: 3km, no time limit, and no stopping to walk.

As I was running, I pondered how my experience could be related to financial planning. Here’s what I realized:

1. Just Start

Many people procrastinate in starting their financial planning because they imagined that it was going to be difficult. There is always going to a thousand and one reasons why starting is difficult. I just need one to start. Because I want to and I know I need to.


2. Setting Achievable Goals

Just like I am not going to have a six pack in one day, financial planning isn’t going to make me rich in a year, or even 10 years. But, just as with exercise, financial planning is going to help me get stronger for the long run.  Start setting achievable goals and be disciplined to stick to it.

3.  Managing Expectations

I know I am not going to run like I did when I was 18, polishing off an 8km or 10km without aching. Who am I kidding? I am 20 years older, okay, 21 years. I have not exercised in 3.5 years. Something’s got to give. In finances, if I am near 40, don’t expect to work like you have the energy of an 18-year-old. Be honest with yourself as to whether you can carry out your plan.


Lao Zi said, “千里之行,始於足 (A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step). To be honest, to me the journey commences at the moment of decision.


Author: Tina Ho