Financial Health

Stay tuned, because next week I put out details about the Whole Life Challenge and how you can participate in this 56 day challenge and be a part of my team. This challenge is definitely a way to get you on the road to better health. 

Sorry I have been MIA the past two weeks, I have been in Hawaii on vacation and spending time with friends and loved ones. I am back, alive and better than ever! 

This week I want to take a little different spin on health because it is something very relevant to me and the recent past and something I think is a crucial part of our overall health. 

If you haven't guessed it already, then I am here to talk a tiny tiny bit about money today and how it can contribute to your overall health. It isn't something that is on the list when I say name the top 5 things you need to do in order to be healthy but I do firmly believe that it has proved true in my life and and speak some truth into yours as well. 

As of December 8th, 2016 (yes, just days ago) I am completely and 100% debt free, no student loans, no car loans, no credit card loans, nothing. I have officially started back at the big goose egg 0. This journey has been a 2 and 1/2 year journey and has been the farthest thing from easy. BUT before I talk about any of this, I want to talk about some guidelines to your financial health and why they are important. 

Having no debt removes a big stressor in your life and could possibly lead to better sleep, eating healthier foods and even having more time to do fun things (PLAY!). The second things about finances that I would advise you to create is a budget, a written plan. In Dave Ramseys words, "give every dollar a name". This gives you the most control over your situation and puts you in walking steps towards the bigger picture, a healthier life! It can seem very overwhelming when you look 1,5, or 10 years down the road but when you look at one month, it seems a lot more manageable.  

First of all, if Debt does not cause an unnecessary and uncomfortable amount of anxiety and stress, then you need to take a second to sit back and look at yourself honestly. I distinctly remember buying a brand new car a month before I started paying my student loans and getting home and talking to my mom and saying, I guess I am a grown up now, I am not going anywhere for a while and I might as well make some bigger purchases, I am already in debt, so what does it matter?

Holy crap was I naive and  innocent for thinking that. I didn't get 3 months into paying the minimums before I was asking what I had gotten myself into.

I was finding myself not being able to do the things I wanted to do and pursue the dreams I wanted to pursue because I was stuck having to work more hours and jobs that  I wasn't interested in just to make the minimum payments, AND I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO THIS FOR 10 YEARS!? Boy do I remember my heart pumping and anxiety setting in and saying to myself that I was never going to get to do the things that I wanted to do because I was being "a responsible adult". 

After about six months of this I had gotten some really awesome advice from some amazing friends of mine to read a book called "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey, maybe a few of you have heard about it. This book changed my outlook on the helplessness that I felt and stress and anxiety that this debt brought to me.

I would obsessively check my bank account to see how much money I had after every transaction and if I was getting any closer to my dreams, because I have big dreams, and none of them involve debt.  I was talking to my friends about it and they were a little bit annoyed by me talking about money, but turns out that I am not the only one with those crazy thoughts and feelings, but I didn't have to just swallow them and waste my life away, I could do something about it! 

Creating a budget was one of the single greatest things I have done for my financial health and in turn my overall health. 

The thing I learned most from and got my most sense of peace from while paying off my debt was a budget and goals. I knew that if I could create and maintain those two things, somehow my sanity would return to me. I am not saying that because of those things that I never worried about money over the next two years and it never caused me stress, discomfort, or sadness, because it definitely did. What I was able to do though was trust in the process, and trust in the thousands, if not millions of those who had come before me and done the same thing. 

I am not here to tell you all the ways they you should handle your money and how you should feel about money but I do want you to know that there is a different way than the "typical American" and "typical life" I want you to be more, dream more, and do more. I am putting the link to Dave Ramsey's book below here and I dare you to pick it up and read it, I dare you to change your mindset and I dare you to be better. 

Hawaiian Adventures

I did all sorts of exploring and adventuring past two weeks even though I have not been on here writing to you guys. I wanted to share two of those experiences with you and show you a few photos. 

The first super awesome adventure we did was very illegal and (but apparently people do it on a very regular basis). It is called the Haiku Stairs or "Stairway to Heaven" it is a 3,922 step staircase to the to of one of the peaks on Oahu. it has 2,700 feet of elevation and is only about 1.5 miles long, which means it is a heck of a lot of vertical climbing. I do have a few photos of us climbing it but if you google stairway to heaven there are some absolutely breathtaking photos that will blow your mind.

We woke up at about 4:30 to be at the trail head by 5:30 and climbed fences and through bamboo forest and under the highway ( because the guard who gives tickets, was already there) we spend about 2 hours in the dark trying to find our way to the stairs, just after it got light we emerged and found the staircase!  We hiked for just over an hour before hanging out at the top where there was an old WW2 satellite. Then hiked back down in another 2 hours back through the mud and bamboo forests. I hope you can kind of get a picture of what it looked like when you see the photos and the highway.  

The other cool experience that I want to share is paddling out to the Mokulua islands also known as "The Mokes" It is a 1 mile paddle out off of Lanikai beach and Kailua. We strapped up and brought the cooler with goodies and set off for the paddle out. Our friend Akela told us she would keep an eye out for sharks (apparently they are pretty common out there) we got to the island were we beached our boards and relaxed a bit before heading between the islands to surf waves that came between the islands. Although I don't have an photos of the actual surfing, I do have a few photos leading up to the surfing. The waves were a fun 4-6 feet but very mushy and would die out after they went between the islands. We also did a little exploring around one of the islands to see if we could find some cliff jumping but the waves were a little too big and the tide a little too high to do anything safely and it really puts you in awe at how amazing and powerful the ocean is. Until next week where I talk about The Whole Life Challenge in January and more adventures to come! Mahalo for your support! 

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