When I decided to change my life in order to be more successful, I knew I had to revamp my entire thinking. I drank too much, ate crap food, did not exercise, slept in late on my days off, never read books, rarely networked, never made my bed and lacked a plan of any kind.
In order to change, I researched what habits successful people implemented and started mimicking them. After all, I was not reinventing the wheel and I knew if I could pinpoint the common characteristics of successful people, then I could simply copy them and follow the path they had already paved!
And it worked. I started getting up early, making my bed, exercising, eating better food, developed a life plan, started reading again, started networking more often and stopped drinking alcohol. And all of this I did in a very short period of time. I refer to this habit overhaul as “designing my life.” There was no time to be lost as I felt I had already wasted enough of my life, so I made a lot of changes at once.
I wrote a post in January that to this day is still my most popular having received over 2500 views, entitled Top Things Wealthy People Do That Non-wealthy People Do Not. This is that list and to this day I live by each of these religiously:
1. Wealthy people watch television less than 1 hour per day…pretty self explanatory. Watching television is a waste of time. Find something more productive to do with your time like goal setting or reading or exercising.
2. They live within their financial means. Statistically they allot 25% of their income to housing, rent or mortgage. 15% to food. 10% to entertainment. And 5% of their net annual to holidays/vacations.
3. Have no credit card debt. This goes with living within your means. Most credit card debt is accrued buying unecessary things that you could not otherwise afford. It only goes to reason that if you live within your means and are not focused on unnecessary spending you will have no need to accrue credit card debt. Also wealthy people’s mindset is to put themselves in the best situation for success and they realize that credit card debt is one of the largest hindrances to success as it limits mobility.
4. Spend time each month networking. It is not who you are, but who you know. Going back to our golf analogy you quickly understand that in order to get better at the game you must play with players that are better than you. In instruction we often tell our students to start playing with golfers of better skill level. That way they can see what better golfers do and how they act on the golf course and these habits will help them get better.
5. Do not gamble/play lottery. Self-explanarory
6. Read non-fiction daily. Wealthy people understand the importance of self improvement and read to expand their knowledge.
7. Slow to speak, quick to listen. This one surprised me as it was on every list on every website as a habit of wealthy / successful people. The Dali Lama once said “when you speak you are repeating what you already know. When you are quiet you may learn something new.”
8. Have daily written goals/to do list. And having their goals written down daily they complete about 70 percent of the tasks on the list. Writing down goals each day keeps their day productive, focused and makes reaching long-term goals easier
9. Avoid toxic people. When you surround yourself with like-minded and focused individuals, it makes reaching your goals much easier. Plus you can learn from those around you if they are geared toward success as well. Let naysayers find someone else to hang out with. If you want to be successful you do not have time to waste dragging along people that want to cause drama in your life.
10. Have a mentor. Of the successful people interviewed, almost 100 percent of them had a mentor in their life that they attribute most of their knowledge and success. Having a person that is willing to help you and teach you is critical to success.
11. Have a single life goal/know their purpose. This is the desire we have spoken of often. Successful people and wealthy people know what they want and have an unquenchable desire to achieve!
12. Exercise every day. You must take care of your temple.
13. Wake 3 hours prior to work day beginning. This is usually the time that exercise, sending and replying to emails, and meditation occurs. It sets the tone for the entire day.
14. Believe good life habits produce good “luck” and bad life habits produce bad “luck.” Wealthy people do not become successful because of luck and unsuccessful people are not unsuccessful because of bad luck. Your life is what you make it and the better your life habits the better your chance for success.
I believe that success begins when your life-habits point toward success. Watching lots of TV, gaming, lack of written goals, over-eating, gambling, unnecessary spending, sleeping in and similar bad and wasteful habits will create a certain lifestyle. If you want your life to change for the better and you want to find a higher level of success, then you must change your life-habits. Take some time and evaluate your habits to see how they compare to the 14 habits listed above and then think about the level of success you have/are achieving in your life. Maybe it’s time for a makeover??