The ultra-successful may seem larger than life, but if we break down the habits of millionaires and billionaires, we can see that their small, personal, daily routines are just as crucial as the big business decisions they make. The ultra-successful know better than anyone that small habits can yield big results.
Here are five of their mini-routines you can incorporate into your day to help you become wealthier and more successful (whatever that means to you).
1. Visualize your journey to the top.
Take five minutes every day to picture what you want in life, and ask yourself if you did something that day that moved you closer to your goal. If not, picture what small steps you can do to catalyze that change.
According to writer Neil Gaiman, this little trick helped him become one of the most successful authors of our time. “Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be…was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal. And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right.”
The trick to this routine is to not ideally wish or dream. This habit might start in your head, but it needs to turn into an actionable, concrete game plan over time. A study from Harvard showed that people who have goals are ten times as successful as those without goals, and those who write them down are three times as likely to reach them as those who don’t.
This could look like putting money into your savings every week, or making a to-do list, or taking the time to learn a new skill for a few minutes every day. These little stepping stones are essential to reaping massive amounts of personal and financial success.
2. Save money like clockwork.
In terms of financial success, a quick thing you can do to instantly take a step towards more wealth is to automate your savings. Even if we intend to save our money, we’re only human, and sometimes we forget or spend more money than we realize. However, if you automate your savings, that money is instantly tucked away where it’s harder to spend carelessly, and easier to use for investing or bettering your financial future.
If you’re not sure how much money to set aside, I suggest using the practical 50–20–30 rule, which calls for categorizing spending and allocating 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants and activities, and 20% on bettering your financial future (like investing).
3. Be uncomfortable for five minutes every day.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Wealthy entrepreneurs and powerful executives didn’t get to where they are by living inside their comfort zone. For many of us, risk isn’t something we’re comfortable with, and that’s why taking five minutes out of your day to try something new is so important. Doing this on a regular basis trains your brain to be okay with a challenge or to feel comfortable with putting yourself out there, even if the result is a failure.
This could be as simple as trying a new food, asking for help, talking to a new person, or requesting feedback from a peer. It could be something bigger like investing your money or learning how to say “no.”
Therapist Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo also advocates stepping outside your comfort zone as means to success. “Breaking your own mold can only make you stronger and more confident to reach higher levels in your professional and personal life,” she says.
The more successful you are, the bigger the risks and the more likely you will face criticism. If you’ve primed yourself for that reality by participating in little actions like these every day, you’ll be golden.
4. Jot five new ideas down a day.
“The truth is you have to have great ideas that solve problems to make money. If you do, you will attract money like a magnet,” writes Steve Siebold, a self-made millionaire who’s interviewed over 1000 of the wealthiest and most influential people of our time.
One way to incorporate this concept into a quick, daily routine is to jot down five new ideas every day. They don’t all have to be groundbreaking or even that great. The point of this simple exercise is to turn your mind into a well-oiled moneymaking machine that is primed to come up with new innovations and novel solutions that will make you rise to the top.
5. Take five minutes to work on yourself.
One thing the separates the incredibly rich and prosperous from the rest of us is how they utilize their down time for self-improvement. That’s why everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates swears by taking time out of their busy days to learn new things and improve.
So instead of binging on Game of Thrones, look for productive things to do during your time off and in the gaps in your day. You could take five minutes to read a short article, learn a piece of a new skill, knock out 20 push-ups, or do a quick five-minute stretch routine. You could meditate or listen to an audiobook on your way home from work. Improving yourself is essential to moving closer to realizing your success.
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