“The secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”- Albert Gray
There is no secret formula to success. It’s all about habits. Habits determine our success. What we do regularly and incorporate on our day-to-day activities influences what we become. It is easier to live in our comfort zones and just do what we want to do. We shouldn’t accept that. We ought to step out of our comfort zones in order to achieve the greatness that is within each one of us.
The three habits below will guide you to your goals.
Time is the most valuable commodity we have. When you put off until tomorrow that which you could easily do today, you delay everything you want. You are postponing your success story for one more day.
It takes discipline to get around procrastination. Once you stop procrastinating, you will create a habit of sacrifice, prioritizing your tasks, and working hard. When something becomes a habit, you tend to do it without even thinking about it.
One of the things we like procrastinating is our personal finances. We want to save later, invest later, and pay our debts later. We don’t want to start saving for retirement today, after all, “we are still young anyway,” we tell ourselves. We don’t want to start today because we “don’t have enough money.” Stop doing that. Stop telling yourself that. Prioritize your personal finances. Make better money management a habit.
Take advantage of time to start saving and investing. The earlier you start the better. Take for instance a common example of Mary and Anne both aged 25, who contribute to a Guaranteed Personal Pension Plan which offers an annual compound interest rate of 11.25%. The table below shows that if Mary starts saving early, even if Anne contributes more later, Mary will still end up with more:
Again, when it comes to saving, investing and building your pension, the earlier you start the better.
Habits are formed when we are consistent. So you have decided to start saving? Good. Be consistent.
When it comes to personal finance, one of the things that can help you become more consistent and build better habits is a good budget. But a budget in itself is never enough. You have to follow it. This will need a lot of self-discipline and willpower to keep you focused on your goal.
Be Goal Oriented:
Connect your desires to a strong purpose that can only be achieved if you build good habits. Have a goal. Have many goals. Your budget should be guided by your goals. Save with a goal. Invest with a purpose. That can also help you be consistent.
Successful people have a strong purpose that makes them form the habit of doing things they do not like to do in order to accomplish their purpose. One fundamental fact of life is that you need to understand where you are aiming so that you can start shooting towards it. Know what you want and define the path to get there and no obstacle should stop you until you have achieved your desired results. It is the strength of the purpose itself that is the catalyst.
One of the things that stop us from chasing our dreams is the uncertainty of life. Especially financial uncertainty. Build an emergency fund to protect you from the unforeseen eventualities that may lead you astray in your journey towards financial freedom. An emergency fund in itself helps you achieve financial freedom. It’s the cushion you lean on to avoid falling in the debt trap.
[Read more: Planning for a Financial Emergency.]
The successful person is the one who is so goal-oriented, that they are tough enough to put up with the difficult moments that are required for them to reach their goals. A successful investment portfolio takes time to build, just like having a fulfilled life. In order to reach where we desire, having the right attitude and a strong willingness to build habits that keep us on top of our finances is a must.
Most successful people have tales of the seemingly insurmountable barriers they encountered in their journey to where they are now. However, no written or spoken words can drive you into the direction of achieving your dreams if you do not change the little things that can keep the door to your success closed.