This is the fourth news article of a series that will continue over the next few months.
Are you finding that your emotions and childhood experiences are influencing your health and personal finance behaviors? Adults develop beliefs about health, eating, and money from their family and surrounding culture (e.g., media advertising). They may eat the same foods, for example, or tithe the same amount to their church that their parents did. Even if an individual’s behavior is exactly the opposite of their parents’ (e.g., not smoking in a family of smokers), the parents probably still had an influence.
So What is “baggage”? Baggage” is the false, and often irrational, set of feelings and beliefs, which distort people’s thinking and affect their health and financial behaviors.
Here are some examples of health baggage:
• Diets don’t work.
• Good people die young.
• You can’t change bad health genes.
• Skipping meals is a shortcut to becoming thin.
• All snacks and desserts are bad.
• Exercise is painful and/or unnecessary.
Here are examples of financial baggage:
• Net worth = self worth.
• Money is a tool to use for power and control.
• Money is an end, not a means to an end.
• Hard work is always rewarded.
• I’m not smart/capable enough to earn a lot of money.
• Live for today—the future doesn’t matter.
• High debt is normal.
• The man should make all the financial decisions.
• You must work long hours and neglect your family in order to earn a good income.
• You’re not supposed to talk about money.
• Buying expensive gifts proves that you love someone.
Your current health and financial decisions are influenced by what you’ve seen and heard since childhood.
Are you ready to break free of negative thought patterns that have been weighing you down emotionally, physically, and financially? Put them in writing and you can start to address them. “Understanding your baggage” is a critical first step on the path to health and wealth.
Health: (1) Make a list of your “health baggage” and reflect about why you came to adopt certain false and/or negative beliefs about health behaviors. (2) Convert each example of health baggage into a positive health message. (3) Share a positive health message with a friend.
Wealth: (1) Make a list of your “financial baggage” and reflect about why you came to adopt certain false and/or negative beliefs about financial behaviors. (2) Convert each example of financial baggage into a positive financial message. (3) Share a
positive wealth message with a friend.
What is stopping you from building your health and wealth? Get outside your comfort zone on a daily basis and begin your actions steps to improve your health and wealth. If you want to build self-confidence quickly, you have to put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable as often as you can. As a matter of fact, you should do this every single day. Step outside your comfort zone on a daily basis.
Materials for this article came from an award winning Rutgers Cooperative Extension program, “Small Steps to Health and Wealth ™”, designed to help people simultaneously improve their health and personal finances.
Rachel Lockwood is the Family Consumer Science Extension Educator with Pittsburg County OSU Cooperative Extension Service. For more information related to this topic or related FCS programs contact Rachel at 918-423-4120, email Rachel.email@example.com or on Pittsburg County OSU Website http://oces.okstate.edu/pittsburg/ or find Pittsburg County OSU Extension Center or Pittsburg County OHCE on Facebook.
Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local governments cooperating. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected status and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.