“How you do anything is how you do everything.” – T. Harv Eker
After hearing this quote, I started paying attention to how I did things. Did I do them too fast? Did I lose focus? Did I hesitate? Did I have a good attitude? Did I give 100%? I realized that the quote really is true for me. How I did one thing was how I did everything.
Now it makes more sense to me what professionals like Suze Orman mean when they say your money is a reflection of you. What this means is that if you want your finances to be better, a good place to start is by examining yourself. Before you can fix your finances, you have to work on yourself.
And sometimes, it’s the simplest habits that can be life-changing. That’s what this list is about.
1. Define your vision and set goals – yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily
Having a vision for your life, on which you can set goals, is so important to being happy. You’ll know your “why” and you’ll intentionally move in the direction you want your life to move toward. Having goals that are in line with your vision will help you achieve what you want in life, whether it’s for your family or your career or anything in between.
This is what I did when I quit my job as a lawyer to become a financial planner and blogger. Now, I make money doing what I love. I even make money blogging and from freelance writing. And the income potential is amazing!!
2. Commit to lifelong learning
When you learn, you grow. And like Anthony Robbins said, “if you’re not growing you’re dying.” Intentional living means continuing to learn and grow.
3. Read daily
One of the easiest ways to learn is to read. By reading every day, you’ll absorb new information and grow yourself mentally. (Check out my favorite books here.)
4. Regularly feel uncomfortable because you’re outside your comfort zone
If you want to grow, you have to get out of your comfort zone. What you’re comfortable with is what you already know. If you want to know more, and grow more as a person, you have to learn new things, which means getting out of your comfort zone. If you practice getting out of your comfort zone, over time, you’ll get used to the discomfort and view it as a sign that you’re growing (And who doesn’t want that?).
5. Keep your commitments – no matter what
One of my favorite motivators is T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. From him, I learned that if there is one thing you can do for yourself it is to have integrity. That means, keep your word – to other people and to yourself. If you say you’re going to do something, you better do it. No matter what. And if something better comes up, too bad. You made a commitment and you better keep it. If you practice this, you’ll be in such a small group of people that others will trust you and want to do business with you. And now that you know this, watch other people and how often they don’t keep their word. You’ll notice it more and it’s shocking.
6. Organize your life (your home, your office, your finances, etc.)
If you organize your life, you’ll have a clear mind, and you’ll know exactly where you stand in all areas of your life. By organizing your space, you’ll feel better and be more productive. I talk a lot about organizing on Financegirl, so hopefully these resources help!
7. Sleep, eat healthy, and exercise
Sleep restores us and give us energy to do things with a clear mind and at 100%. Exercise is a stress reliever, it helps you control your weight, increases your energy, and combats disease (heart disease, for example). And by eating healthy, you’ll also control your weight and feel better overall. (Note: I just summed up healthy living in three sentences. There are no short cuts; just do it.)
8. Believe in something and commit to practicing that belief
Think about what you believe in. Whether it’s God, a higher power, or nothing. Be intentional about it and practice that belief. You’ll feel good about being committed to whatever it is you believe, which will make you feel stronger (and strength attracts money).
Take time to relax or meditate alone. You’ll clear your mind, relieve stress, and gain internal peace. This means doing nothing and it also means reflecting on your past choices and thinking about them deeply.
10. Have a lot of fun
For achievement oriented people, having fun isn’t always a top priority. But taking time to have fun is important to your overall wellbeing. You’ll feel better, be more balanced, and produce better work. Don’t forget to have fun!
11. Surround yourself with people you want to be like
If you want to be more successful, surround yourself with successful people. If you want to be a better Christian, surround yourself with other practicing Christians. The bottom line is that peer pressure is a true phenomenon – we’re heavily influenced by the people with whom we spend the most time.
12. Say “sorry” when you’re wrong
Part of being accountable to yourself and having integrity (not to mention an important leadership skill), is being able to say sorry when you’re wrong. And when you say you’re sorry, say it like you mean it – do not say “I’m sorry if…”. Saying “if” in an apology negates the whole thing. Admit when you are wrong and express your deepest regrets and move on.
13. Say “no” without feeling guilty
If you’re a people-pleaser, this is a tough one. But practice will make it easier. Learning to say no without feeling guilty will ensure you keep your priorities in order (and not someone else’s). It will also help with the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality.
14. Give people the benefit of the doubt
You attract what you are. If you’re positive, happy, successful, and honest, that’s who you’ll attract. Next time someone does something that seems disappointing or frustrating, give them the benefit of the doubt that there was a positive intention behind the act. In doing so, you’ll attract other people who think this way, you won’t fall into a victim mentality, and you won’t waste your finite energy on negative things you cannot control. It’s a win all around.
15. Volunteer / donate (time or money)
If you’re a giver, people will give to you. By giving your time or your money, others will give you their time and money. Not to mention you’ll feel good doing it.
16. Express gratitude
By expressing gratitude, you are focusing on the present moment and appreciating life. Showing gratitude will bring on positive emotions, which will leave you happier and with good energy (and if you have good energy, you’ll attract other people with positive energy).
17. Know yourself
Take inventory of yourself. Think about how you think.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
So, be careful what you think because it will become your reality. If you think you’re unhappy and unsuccessful, then that’s what you are. And vice versa.
18. Stand In Your Truth
Standing in your truth means that you don’t have ear muffs on; you’re not ignoring what’s happening in your life. You take responsibility for your life and you act accordingly. Being honest with yourself about everything will keep you grounded and ensure you make good decisions. For example, you may want to go on vacation and think you “deserve” it, but this is just you feeling entitled. Or, you might think about going into debt because you are planning your “dream” wedding. But the reality is: if you can’t afford it, then just don’t do it.
19. Do everything in moderation, including moderation
Balance is a way to well-roundedness, and extreme anything leads to extreme everything. So, do what you can and don’t sweat the small stuff!
What do you do to be better? Has improving yourself led to improving your finances?