Habits, both good and bad, can have a huge impact on the direction of our lives. They can influence our health, productivity, success, and general happiness. Making a habit of exercising daily helps our bodies stay healthy, while a habit of eating junk food every evening can have the opposite effect.
Creating good habits within our personal finances is also important. They can help us reach our goals a lot faster. For example, getting in the habit of writing a budget every month gives your finances direction and allows you to make the right choices with your money.
Tom Ziglar said, “The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.” Whether you’re trying to become more successful with your money, health, career, or otherwise, here are 4 habits you should start today.
Read More Non-Fiction
Reading is a fantastic way to relax while still allowing your brain to grow. While fiction stories boost creativity and imagination, non-fiction books can equip you with knowledge and skills to push you further.
I'm not implying that reading fiction is bad, but I do what to encourage you to add a little non-fiction into your literary diet. Find books that cover topics you’re interested in or are eager to learn more about. It could be something that could help you in your career, personal life, or just give you some knowledge in an area that you’re curious about.
The Pew Research Center performed a survey on American’s and their reading habits. 28% of Americans said they hadn’t read a book in the last 12 months. That means if you make a habit of reading non-fiction regularly, you’ll have a leg up on a good portion of your peers.
Become a Student at Commute University
The average commute time to work in America is 25 minutes. That means we spend just under an hour a day in our cars. How can we better utilize that time?
I recommend you become a student at Commute University. The tuition is free and the classes are based around whatever subject you’re interested in!
To attend, all you have to do is trade in your favorite radio station or iPod playlist for an audiobook or podcast. What if you used the 50 minutes in your car every day to learn something new?
Track down good books on your career field that might help you earn more money or land a promotion. Find good CDs on a language you’ve always been interested. Or, if you’re looking for free information, there are thousands of fantastic Podcasts that cover practically any topic you can imagine.
I started implementing this almost a year ago and have loved the results! Not only have I learned a lot about a variety of topics, but I found that it makes me more productive when I arrive at work. My mind has already warmed up and I’m better prepared for the day.
Set Goals for Yourself
Setting goals for yourself gives you direction and helps you become more purposeful throughout the day. Not only that, but it ensures the important things get done and we don’t waste time on the more frivolous things.
Start by writing down a long-term goal. This should be something you hope to accomplish in the next 1-5 years. Maybe it’s a career change or an income goal. Whatever it is, be sure you write it down.
At the beginning of each week, write down two to three small goals for the week. These can be anything, just make sure they are attainable and help you get closer to your long term goal. If you average 10 sales a week, setting a goal for 50 this week may not be realistic.
While your long-term goal can be somewhat broad, you want your short-term goals to be specific. For example, if your long-term goal is to change careers, one of your short-term goals might be to spend 30 minutes researching that career field this week. Maybe you just want to read a book on the subject or sign up for a class. These things will ensure you are taking steps toward your dream job.
Secretly Do Random Acts of Kindness
Giving to others not only helps them; it can completely change your spirit and how people perceive you. Selfish people are easy to identify. They are constantly asking, “What’s in it for me?” Doing random acts of kindness, for both strangers and the people who matter most, will drastically improve your life.
Here’s my challenge to you; do it secretly. Find people in need around you and help them in a way that ensures you’ll receive no recognition. Pay for the car behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru. Leave an extra-large tip the next time you go out to eat. Anonymously donate to a charity that you are passionate about.
If everyone made an effort to take care of the needs of others, no one would have to worry about their own needs being met.
We are creatures of habit. Which habits will you implement?
Which habit will you try? Leave it in the comments below!