I realized something about myself recently. I’m not good at self-discipline. I’m successful because I’m an awesome multi-tasker, not because of my stick-to-it-ness.
This has to change.
I recently reread a book called “Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals” by Thomas C. Corley, which I highly recommend reading.
Corley is a CPA, who over the course of five years studied the habits of 233 wealthy people and 128 people living in poverty. He asked them to track their daily behaviors in personal and business settings.
Over the course of five years, he was able to identify over 200 daily behaviors that set the wealthy apart.
For example, successful individuals were early risers, accomplished daily to-do lists, avoided gossip, and limit internet usage.
Wealthy individuals maintained a daily checklist and 70% of them focused on their daily task list.
One of the stats that really struck me was the fact that 79% of low-income people surveyed admitted to gossiping, while only 6% of wealthy individuals got sucked into the office watercooler gossip.
Yahoo Finance published some of the stats related to these behaviors if you are interested in more details.
Corley’s project began as a result of a client who seemed to be doing everything right in the business arena but was still unable to make payroll. After months of research, Corley was still struggling with how to help his client.
Only after asking about his personal life did Corley realize the true issue.
Success isn’t just about what happens in the office, it is about your daily habits.
All of our small daily habits affect who we are. It is our daily habits that make us wealthy, not the big moments.
When I manage my time effectively and am making conscious decisions that help me improve myself, I’m going to be happier and more successful.
It all boils down to the fact that:
“Successful people are the masters of their thoughts and emotions.”
Corley turns these daily habits of the rich into personal promises that should be reviewed daily.
- I WILL form good daily habits and follow these good daily habits each and every day.
- I WILL set goals for each day, for each month, for each year and for the long-term; I WILL focus on my goals each and every day.
- I WILL engage in self-improvement each and every day.
- I WILL devote part of each and every day in caring for my health.
- I WILL devote part of each and every day to forming lifelong relationships.
- I WILL live each and every day in a state of moderation
- I WILL accomplish my daily tasks each and every day; I will adopt a “DO IT NOW” mindset.
- I WILL engage in rich thinking each and every day.
- I will save 10% of my gross income every paycheck.
- I WILL control my thoughts and emotions each and every day.
Simple stuff huh!
The really successful habits in life are simple. Of course, actually keeping each promise daily is a bit more work.
As I was reviewing the list, I realized that I already did a lot of the stuff subconsciously.
For example, I eat fairly healthy and exercise a couple of days each week.
So that means, I’m already accomplishing #4 right?
No, not really. I’m doing it haphazardly. I’m not actually forming life-long healthy habits unless I’m setting specific and measurable goals. I must actually work towards achieving my goals.
It is easy to rationalize with myself and say that I’m doing good enough. However, if it isn’t a conscious decision each and every day then it is just me being average.
How You Can Incorporate Rich Habits Into Your Life
To incorporate rich daily habits into your life, you have to start.
Choose a daily habit to improve and go for it.
MY GOAL: Each day I will put together a task list.
My task list will be realistic and accomplishable. It will include personal and work-related tasks that need to be finished that day.
My goal is to finish at least 70% of the tasks on my daily list.
**Editors note: Download my Free Daily Habit Tracker Printable to help you track your progress on your daily habits.
I recently started a new course called Make Over Your Mornings. It is a simple 14-day course that is all about learning to optimize your mornings. The classes emphasize how important the first two hours of each morning are to the rest of your day.
I’ve always been a morning person, but having an intentional morning plan has made a huge difference in my productivity.
Little Things Can Have a Big Impact On Our Lives
The content of Corley’s book isn’t rocket science. The whole book Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals is only 89 pages. I finished it in less than an hour, but my goal is to have this book affect me for a lifetime.
The Makeover Your Mornings Course is a 14-day challenge that is designed to take 15 minutes of your day. The increased productivity I’ve gained from the lessons have easily saved me more than 15 minutes every day.
Sometimes it is the little daily decisions we make that have the biggest impact on our financial future.
PS. If you are looking for additional personal finance books to add to your reading list, I recommend checking out this post – 5 Books That Will Change the Way You Look At Money. She literally wrote the exact same book list I would have recommended if I had written this post.
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