If you think becoming rich is about luck, think again. It may have more to do with how you spend your day, beginning with the hour you wake up.
Financial planner Tom Corley spent five years observing more than 350 “rich” and “poor” people, how they live, work and even sleep and captured them all in his book, "Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals." He defined “wealthy” as earning at least $160,000 annually and holding at least $3.2 million in assets. “Poor” was income under $30,000 a year and less than $5,000 in assets.
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“I realized, it’s not so much what’s going on in business, it’s the daily habits, the activities, that are the reason for your wealth or your poverty,” says Corley.
Corley found that rich folks often take advantage of those wee morning hours. Specifically, 44% wake up three hours before their 9-to-5 job. In those hours they focus on self improvement, reading educational material, like trade journals or industry blogs. They’ll squeeze in a workout, too, which Corley says leads to a more productive day at work.
Keep a Running List of Tasks
Once they reach their offices, the wealthy don’t waste time. Most maintain a daily to-do list and check off 70% of their tasks each day. And they’re not just obsessed with short-term plans. Seventy percent of the wealthy surveyed set long-term goals, as well.
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No Long Lunches
Taking a long, leisurely lunch isn’t a wealthy habit, either. Instead, 55% network, wheel and deal between bites.
Speaking of eating, rich folks are big calorie counters. Corley found most wealthy people limit alcoholic consumption and keep junk food snacks to just 300 calories per day, not just so that they can fit into their skinny jeans. “Wealthy people are healthy people. To wealthy people being healthy is about making more money,” says Corley. “If they’re healthy they have fewer sick days, they’re exercising, they have more energy, they maintain health their entire lives so they can work longer careers.”
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Consider this before spreading the latest workplace rumors: 79% of low-income people admit to gossiping, compared with just 6% of wealthy individuals.
Finally, when it’s time to punch out at the end of the day, how do you unwind? Head to the bar? Veg out in front of the TV? While most wealthy folks reported activities such as networking, volunteering and socializing, Corley found a majority of those struggling with their finances spent more than an hour on recreational Internet use, and were twice as likely to hop on Facebook every day.
What’s your most financially fit daily habit? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit.