In his book “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals,” author Thomas Corley outlines what he learned when he surveyed both wealthy and struggling Americans about their habits and attitudes.
Here are a few “rich habits” he identified that are worth integrating into your professional, financial, and even personal life, to help you on the road to achieving your own goals.
The Wealthy are Goal-Oriented
Corley found that 67% of the wealthy people he surveyed put their goals in writing, 62% of them focus on their goals every day, and a whopping 81% keep a to-do list.
It’s hard to reach your goals if you’re not focused on them and they’re not your top priority, and it can be daunting to have too many goals (one reason so few people are able to keep their New Year’s Resolutions.)
A more productive approach is to prioritize one important goal, create a plan of actionable steps that help you accomplish that goal, then add those steps, tasks and habits to your daily to-do list. These three simple steps will give your increased focus and will help you move closer to that goal.
Once you’ve incorporated them in your daily routine, identify a second goal and follow the same plan. The key to success is taking it one step at a time!
The Wealthy Use Downtime Wisely
At the end of your workday, do you like to relax with Netflix, video games, or YouTube? According to Corley’s data, 66% of the wealthy said that they watch less than an hour of television a day, 63% spend less than an hour a day on the Internet unless it is job-related, an impressive 79% say they read career and educational material each day, and an equally impressive 63% said “I listen to audio books during the commute to work.”
While we all like to relax and recharge with entertaining media, that time can never be recovered for things that help you become a stronger, more successful individual like reading, networking, exercising, or volunteering for a cause you believe in.
Time is the great equalizer: we all have 24 hours a day. What you choose to do with that time can either help you to reach your financial and life goals, or distract you from it, so choose wisely!
The Wealthy Invest in Their Future
Corley’s research also showed that the wealthy live within their means, pay themselves first, and don’t overspend.
Building wealth is not accomplished by upgrading to each new electronic gadget, leasing the newest model car, and living in an extravagant home. The wealthy, according to Corley, spend less than they earn, own and maintain their cars for many years, and save a significant portion of their income. While saving money and living modestly is not as sexy as a flashy smartphone, it will go a lot further toward providing a comfortable future.
Living within your means also includes not carrying credit card balances or heavy debt. When you are carrying debt, what you earn today is paying for yesterday’s expenses. Living within your means while saving and investing a portion of your income lets you invest in tomorrow, rather than yesterday, while learning to be satisfied with what you have today.
The Wealthy are Willing to Take Risks
Another fascinating finding of Corley’s research is that 63% of the wealthy people he interviewed said they that they had taken risks in search of wealth, while only 6% of the struggling Americans he interviewed said that they had taken risks.
For many, fear of failure is a great de-motivator and can be paralyzing. When you do not fully understand something, whether it’s a challenge, a potential project, an investment, or even a social problem, it can be easier to do nothing than to act. But without risk, there is often no reward.
What Corley discovered is that, instead, rather than fearing failure, the wealthy consider failure to be part of the process and – most importantly – an opportunity to learn.
How can you face risk without fear so that you can seize potential opportunities? Educating yourself is the key step. Researching the investment, the project, or the choice, and learning about the options and risks, help keep fear and anxiety about the unknown from clouding your decision-making process.
Even with the best preparation though, choices don’t turn out as envisioned. When that happens, take a page from the wealthy: learning from those failures and experiences will lead to more opportunities and better choices down the road!
Are Your Own Habits Setting You Up for Success?
While following each of these habits may not make you rich, they will certainly help you get into a success mind-set. 68% of the Americans on Forbes billionaire list consider themselves to be “self-made billionaires,” which means that they worked hard to reach their own professional and financial goals. The true route to financial success is through discipline and steady habits that grow your net worth over time.
Do you already share these four habits of the wealthy? If so, congratulations on your focus and your commitment to success. If not, try adopting one – or all four – of these important habits and see if it doesn’t get you closer to achieving your own goals!
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