Spring is finally here, and with it comes the opportunity to kick one’s own ass up to a new level of satisfying performance. Thus, I thought we Mustachians might work on our health and fitness this month, even while maintaining the usual focus on exceptional finances.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to look where the fields of fitness and finance intersect, which is of course right in your driveway … in the Motorized Throne* of your automobile.
At an Intellectual level, we both know that the less time and money you spend driving yourself around, the richer and healthier your life will become. But down at the Excuse-making, Complainypants, and Emotional levels, you feel you need every tonne and horsepower of your car for daily life. Your entire world is based around that beautiful machine, and you’ll be damned if Mr. Money Mustache is going to rip it away from you using only the power of his keyboard.
So let’s just take it easy for starters. Let us agree that cars (and in the US, personal trucks) can be used for both good and evil.
When they are blasting you and your family along on the interstate, past the amber waves of grain of the Great Plains, or up across the glaciers and spires of the Continental Divide, while the stereo rocks and everyone sings, cars are undoubtedly a Force of Good.
On the other hand, while they are wedged into an overcrowded parking lot making six-point turns between pauses to wait for shopping carts to roll slowly past, cars are not quite as empowering. And when perched impotently on the lift, dripping strange fluids as your grim-faced mechanic explains the upcoming repair bill, they also fall short of their common role as a bodypart augmentation.
So how do we separate the Good from the Evil?
Well, Duh, we obviously just stop using them for local errands under 3-5 miles, when we should be using our feet or our bikes.
But since it’s only the first of the month, I’m going to make it even easier. For this month, why not just try to make yourself AWARE of when you are using your car, and when you are not.
Just start a little chart with five columns, and stick it on your fridge. “Day, Car, Bike, Feet, Comments”. Pre-fill the “Day” column with 1 through 30, the number of days in April.
|1||100||0||5||Drove to Las Vegas|
|2||0||5||2||Bike tour of park with friends|
Then every day, just mark down the number of miles you traveled using each method of transportation. Write a comment, or a thought, or an excuse in your “Comments” column.
By becoming aware of what you do each day, you might just find yourself shifting your transportation habits. Especially since you’ll be showing all of us your chart at the end of the month. Awareness, after all, is the first stage of ass-kicking.
*”Motorized Throne stolen from D. Cain, Raptitude