“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,”Aristotle said. And that’s good advice. Yet some habits are hard to start or stop. Like, smoking, for one. Or . . . complaining about your boss.
Other habits, however, are fairly easy to adopt, if you are 100 percent committed to changing. Those are the habits I want to address here.
If you are looking to build wealth, you’ve got to begin with your habits. After all, your habits, like the rudder on a ship, will guide and direct your life with relative ease — once they are set in place. So, let’s look at six habits you can start implementing today to immediately begin acquiring greater wealth.
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1. Wake up early.
Life is probably a bit crazy for you. However, it’s likely significantly less crazy before everyone else in your home wakes up! This is why it’s important to wake up early in your quest for greater success.
In my favorite business book, The One Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan use the analogy of a car running out of gas each day. Thus, the earlier you do your most important tasks, the easier it will be to move your business consistently forward.
As I have talked about in Entrepreneur, the secret to waking up early is not allowing your brain to make decisions. In other words, create morning routines and habits that force you to wake up! Then, get to work!
2. Define goals and benchmarks.
If you don’t know where you are headed, how do you know when you’ll get there? Or, how do you know you are on the right track? Defining goals and setting benchmarks is an easy habit to acquire, as you can make this part of your morning routing.
Each morning, I sit down and review my goals and the progress I’ve made on them. This helps me keep the main thing the main thing and helps me make sure I don’t deviate too much toward the “shiny new things” that are all around.
3. Read more.
Reading may not seem like a habit, but ask any heavy reader, and he or she will tell you it is! When these people go a day without reading, it’s as if something is wrong. Reading is a powerful way to grow your wealth because it enables you to test-drive the mind of an author, learn what he or she knows and gain insight into how to improve your life.
Aim to make reading a habit in your life — both for business and pleasure. It doesn’t take hours a day, either. Just 15 minutes a day can help you burn through dozens of books a year, and it only takes one idea to turn you into a multimillionaire.
4. Time-block your schedule.
Another habit you can incorporate into your daily routine is time-blocking. Time-blocking is where you set appointments with yourself to accomplish your most important tasks. For example, this morning I time-blocked an hour to write this post, and here I am writing it.
There will always be a million different things fighting for your attention. Getting into the habit of time-blocking will make sure your most important tasks — the ones that will make you wealthy — will get done each day. For more on time-blocking, check out “This Productivity Hack Completely Changed My Life, and It Can Improve Yours.”
5. Meet weekly with people smarter than you.
You probably already have several habits that involve other people, like going to church or playing community softball. Those habits are great, but I want to also encourage you to develop the habit of regularly meeting with people smarter than you. This could mean joining a weekly mastermind group, asking a local mentor out to coffee or hiring a professional coach.
As I’m sure you’ve heard before, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with! So, make sure it becomes a habit to level up your friendships.
6. Ask ‘why’ to every ‘no.’
One of the most annoying habits little kids get into is asking “why” to everything a parent says: “Why can’t I touch the stove?”
“Why can’t we go to the zoo?”
“Why do I have to pee standing up?”
While it might be annoying, this habit is actually highly beneficial for kids trying to make sense of a big, confusing world. Somewhere in life, though, we lose this habit. We start to accept what we’re told and do things because “that’s just how it’s done.”
However, if you want to build serious wealth in today’s world, you need to disrupt the way things are done. Disruption begins with asking “why” to every “no.” So get back into the habit of asking, “Why?”
Overall, building good habits can transform your life and help you achieve levels of success you’ve only read about! And the great thing is, some habits don’t need to be difficult to implement. Instead of seeing wealth-building as a huge, daunting task, why not try adopting a few (or all) of these actions into your routine? In a year’s time, you may look back and be amazed at the progress you’ve made.
Hopefully you’ve now gotten a few good ideas for habits you can add to your life to find greater success and build incredible wealth. Now, go set that alarm clock!
[This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.]
What habits have you adopted this year that have helped you achieve bigger, better things?
Let me know with a comment!