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Have you ever wanted to be a millionaire? Maybe you’d settle for being a basically dependable citizen with money in the bank? It’s the little things that add up, and here in today’s post are my top ten success habits!
But first – a disclaimer. Don’t let your desire for success turn into humanism. The ultimate drive for success should be the pursuit of excellence for the glory of God. He deserves the best you can give! A healthy relationship with God is the number one key to success for many reasons. Today’s post is just dealing with some extraneous tips.
OK…maybe we need another disclaimer. Just because I’m putting a list of my top ten tips for success on the internet does not mean that I consider myself a successful person. Trust me, these are goals for myself, not achievements. Many of them were based off of some extended conversations I had on a recent road trip; those conversations made me think about being intentional with my life. I got a good wake-up call, and I think the following ideas are valuable enough to share with you, my readers who are learning and growing right along with me. I can’t take credit for being original with the following ideas because none of them are original with me. According to Solomon, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes), and all these great ideas were definitely being implemented in many successful people’s lives centuries before I was born. I’m merely gathering information and regurgitating it into a hopefully-palatable form. (Wow, that was a disgusting metaphor.)
1) “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” (Benjamin Franklin) Going to bed early and getting up early breeds a more productive attitude (and that’s coming from a night owl).
2) Treat food as necessary for life, not as a means of entertainment. Are you taking seconds because you’re hungry or because you’re just bored? Try chewing your first helping a little slower.
3) Exercise a little bit most days – be consistent. Don’t set unrealistic goals that you’ll never be able to maintain long term, but don’t be afraid to push yourself. Above all, be consistent. Start with 15 minutes a day. If you want to work up from there, go for it! If not, at least you’re exercising 15 minutes more than you used to. Exercise wakes up the body and mind, increases productivity, tones muscles, helps you sleep better, releases endorphins, and just generally improves quality of life. I am not naturally an energetic person and sometimes I feel like sitting down for half an hour in the middle of a 2-mile run, but I always feel like a million bucks when I’m done just because I powered through and accomplished something.
4) Don’t skip church. I enjoy going to church, but let’s be honest – sometimes when Wednesday evening rolls around and you’ve had a hard day full of picky customers, flopped ideas, and an afternoon of unexpected errands, you’re tired and just feel like crashing on the couch. But you know what? If you go to church with an open heart, you’ll come back blessed, even if you’re really, really tired. God blesses faithfulness. Maybe you need to be a blessing to someone else. Look outside yourself and you’ll be refreshed. This principle applies to many more areas than just church attendance.
5) Read books. Continued education is a requirement for some professions, so why not for life in general? Knowledge is power. An understanding of humanity and the ability to intelligently converse in many topics are valuable assets. Reading develops the mind and inspires creativity. The Bible is the most valuable textbook, but other books, especially biographies and informational works, illumine as well. There is a place for well-written fiction, but the more I pursue excellence, the more I am drawn to real-life narrative. If you’re entranced with Christian romance fiction…maybe you should broaden your horizons and taste something genuine, then compare the two.
6) Keep social media to a minimum. Be present in the moment – your moment. Not someone else’s moment. Use social media as a tool, not an escape from reality.
7) Drive used cars. According to this infographic, a new vehicle depreciates by 9% the instant you drive it off the lot and continues depreciating to a total of 19% in the first year. Let someone else foot the depreciation bill! Side note: making payments on a depreciating asset is not smart. If you want to get rich quick, make a habit of not making payments. Interest is killer.
8) Treat your credit card like a debit card. Again, interest. Some people don’t like credit cards because of the potential pitfall of credit card debt. If that’s a snare for you, by all means cancel all credit cards. However, I think credit cards can be used for advantageous purposes: 1) they can aid you in developing a good credit score if used correctly, and 2) you can use them to rack up air miles and save yourself money on trips you would be taking anyway. Word of advice: do not use your credit card to buy gas from companies that charge you 10 cents extra for purchasing with a credit card. You’d be better off buying a plane ticket out of your own pocket. I ran the numbers.
9) Don’t make a habit of eating out or going to Starbucks. I ran the numbers on this too in that blog post called “Starbucks or a House?” There’s more to life than being a frappuccino sucker.
10) Pay loans off as quickly as possible. Interest, again. It adds up – to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars before you can blink.
Do you have any tips to add to my list? Any successful experiences of your own to share? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments section below!