Over the last few days, we’ve seen some of the world’s top athletes compete at the NFL Combine. Their physical and mental toughness is built over years leading up to the event. Many of the athletes train from young ages with a goal to exceed in the event.

When it comes to personal finance, much like with fitness, you must be goal-oriented. Every action you take puts you closer to your goals. So check up on your financial fitness by putting these exercises on your radar.

More reps, less debt

The big men on the field take pride in the bench press exercise. They’re asked to lift 225 pounds as many times as they can. That’s a lot of weight to lift, but you might also say the weight of debt is just as heavy.

Paying off debt is similar to heavy lifting. It’s hard to do and can strain you financially. Whether you exert all of your effort at once with a lump sum payment or you rep it out with payments over time, it’s the first area you need to attack when you’re getting financially fit.

Pay as much as you can toward debt with the highest interest rates. This will save you money in the long run.

Sprint ahead to short-term goals

The 40 yard dash is a staple of the NFL Combine. This quick sprint is over in a flash – some prospects clock in at 4.3 seconds! There’s no doubt your short-term goals are more distant than the mere 4 seconds it takes these athletes to complete the drill. However, a year’s time can pass by before you know it.

Typically, short-term financial goals are things like a wardrobe upgrade, new TV or new car. You should expect to meet these goals within one to three years.

There are multiple ways to meet these goals. You may invest in a certificate so you can earn interest on your savings over a set period of time, or you may simply choose to save more aggressively. Whichever route you take, be sure it makes sense with your current budget and financial needs.

Invest in a long-term strategy

When you hear about NFL teams investing in long-term strategy, it usually starts with a quarterback. Quarterbacks are given the largest contracts, and are expected to take their teams all the way to the Big Game. At the NFL Combine, they’re scrutinized not only for their physical abilities, but their decision making as well.

There are plenty of great quarterbacks who took time to grow into greatness. In doing this, their teams reaped the benefits of their franchise’s investment. You should treat your long-term investments the same way.

The last thing you want to do is dismiss saving and investing for retirement. Retirement may seem far away, but small steps today, like opening an IRA or contributing a few extra dollars to your retirement plan, will benefit you in the long-term. Patience will be another key to your success. As you make regular contributions to your accounts, avoid tapping into the funds and let the power of compound interest work for you.

Start working toward your goals

Everyone has different goals, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t achieve greatness in the end. It’s all about how you prepare yourself for the road ahead. Being on top of your finances will bring you confidence, which hopefully translates to all areas of your life. The more you plan, the better you will perform on the financial field!

Navy Federal is federally insured by NCUA. NFL and NFL Combine are trademarks of the National Football League.