According to Professor Robert Mooradian of Northeastern University, millions of Americans are dealing with the emotionally and physically taxing consequences of debt every year. We all want to make our financial goals, like getting out of debt, a reality, but few ever make it without changing their everyday habits.
Before we get into the list of habits that will change your financial goals and eventually your life, we need to get two basic concepts down:
The Snowball Effect is a concept revolving around the idea that doing a little bit of something every day will, over time, add up (or snowball) until it catapults you toward your goals. If you ever played in the snow as a child, then the message attached to snowballing will probably resonate with you.
A snowball doesn’t happen out of nowhere. Simply put, you start with a tiny ball, no bigger than the size of your palm and you pack more and more snow onto it until you can place it on the ground and start to roll it. Gradually the snowball will grow and grow as you push and push, until it’s so big that you might need help to push it.
The snowball effect is the concept many business owners and investors utilize in their day to day routines, and you can do it for personal goals too.
The money savvy individual knows that money doesn’t grow on trees. It grows over time through habits.
The 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle) is considered a universal law. In a nutshell, the 80/20 rule is when 80% of SOMETHING comes from 20% of SOMETHING ELSE. Implementing the 80/20 rule, it’s generally recommended that you center 80% of your focus on 20% of the most important tasks of the day. Doing so, might just increase your profit by an additional 80%.
Both concepts are the crux of a business, a brand or a person’s success. Remember them when you’re reading these habits, and remember them when you are tempted to give up or feel that you don’t have enough time to do these things each day. It only takes 3 weeks to create a habit, likewise is only takes 3 to break a bad habit. With all of that information in mind, here are 7 everyday habits that will help you realize your goals:
1. Make a To-Do List
According to Dave Ramsey, 81% of wealthy people do this regularly. To-do lists can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make them- just be sure that you are realistic about it and not making it too long.
2. Read for at Least 30 Minutes
Educating yourself about positive things such as self-empowerment, tips for success, finance books, marketing and sales etc., is so intrinsic to your success that if you had to skip all the other habits, this would be the one to keep.
3. Watch Less Than 1 Hour of TV
Welcome to the modern world. We now have more distractions than any of our ancestors would have dreamed of. Television, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and more, are just a click of a button (or a mouse) away. Every hour spent on TV is essentially an hour of wasted time investment.
4. Record Every Dollar Your Spend
Are you one of those weird people who like to carry a mini notepad along with you everywhere you go? If so, this will be easy, if not, this is probably one of the most difficult habits to create. Just remember, 3 weeks is all it takes to have a new, fully formed habit! Utilize that rule of thumb and eventually this will be like clockwork for you.
5. Be Physically Active for at Least 30 Minutes
Physical activity, whether that’s going on a leisurely walk, a hike, a bike ride, or spending a little time at the gym, is an awesome way to clear your mind and streamline positive decision making. You don’t need to be a gym rat to be successful, but just a little bit of this everyday will eventually help you to feel more confident, clear minded, and satisfied with your life.
6. Check Your Accounts and Investments
This is one of those habits that can be a little annoying or stressful at first, but checking your accounts on a daily basis do two major things for you: first, they clue you in on your progress as you reach toward your goals and second, you can’t rely on the bank to catch hackers and identity thieves every time they make an attempt to get your information. The slightest oddity in your statement can notify you of fraudulent activities.
7. Budget All of Your Expenses
Spending less than you make will go a long way, and sometimes the only way to be aware of what you can and can’t afford is to create a daily budget for yourself. This list can be of anything you want, but it’s best to just focus it on the things that you spend money on everyday i.e. eating out (not recommended when you are trying to save), groceries, gas, coffee or “other”.
Related: The Complete Guide to Budgeting
Hopefully this list gave you an easy and simple foundation to go off of. Please feel free to add or take away whatever you want from this list. Everyone is different when it comes to financial goals and needs, so even if this list isn’t a perfect fit for you and your lifestyle, the goal is to inspire you to get control over your finances and make your dreams a reality. Three weeks is all it takes to make these things into habits! Just three! The only thing that can hold you back now is yourself.