In Times Like These

The easiest and smartest move may be to do nothing

What do I do now? There's probably not a person in America who hasn't asked themselves that question in recent months.

What do I do now...

...that it costs me nearly $100 to fill up my car?
...that I'm behind on my mortgage?
...that food costs are staggeringly high?
...that my house is worth less than my mortgage?
...that my 401(k) was crushed by the wrecking ball once known as Wall Street?

What do I do now?

The easiest move is to do nothing, and in some cases it's also the smartest. Don't buy a hybrid if you don't really need a new car. Don't sell your house in such an awful market. As for your stock portfolio, don't panic and do something you may regret later.

But these times also call for action. In the midst of chaos, those who will ultimately emerge stronger, fitter—wealthier—are not cowering in the corner. They're pondering the kind of moves that will put them ahead of the pack when the smoke clears. They're paying off debt, seeking good business opportunities, and even buying stocks of strong companies (not banks, obviously) that are now "on sale" due to overall market drama.

My parents taught me to focus each day on things I can control—and leave everything alone. Focus on my study habits rather than whether my professors were being fair. Focus on my own work ethic on the job rather than how my boss might feel about me. Focus on pursuing excellence rather than chasing rewards.

In times like these, as we come to the end of perhaps the nation's most traumatic year in our lifetime, we must all focus on what we can control: ourselves, our families, our relationships.

Yes, your job could disappear tomorrow. But today you can focus on doing your best work and updating your resume. You can prepare for tomorrow, whatever may come.

Yes, everything seems to cost more. So become a better, savvier shopper, for clothes, food, anything. You can control how you spend a dollar even if you can't control its value.

Most of all, in times like these, times of increased stress, we must focus on our bodies and minds. It's no time to curtail your fitness regimen, or dive into fast food and poor eating habits. It's no time to become a remote control-clutching couch fixture, watching the economy go up in flames.

What do I do now?

Set higher fitness goals and create a strategy that will allow me to achieve them. Commit to better eating habits. I'm investing in myself so that when the smoke clears (and it will) I will be a stronger, fitter, better person. What are you going to do?

Onward,
Roy S. Johnson
Men's Fitness
Editor In Chief

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