Some may be destined for greatness yet it's not due to luck. Successful people share a number of habits. Taking advantage of the morning hours is one custom that several of the greats have in common. Below, find morning secrets of the successful that you can easily incorporate into the early hours.
1. Stay Positive
A positive outlook creates a ripple effect. Those who reach heights of greatness don't just view the glass as half full. Each day, they awake with an unquenchable thirst for life. They are so ready, they get up earlier than most, which affords added time or a '25th hour.' Whether it's looking at a picture, listening to a song, or speaking an affirmation, get positive from the start of the day and take advantage of what it has to offer you.
2. Eat Breakfast
Denying yourself breakfast is like racing a car without fuel. Those who are successful can't afford to feel physically lethargic and mentally sluggish. Breakfast is the cornerstone to a day of great decisions, positive outlooks, and hard work. Successful people get a lot done in the morning because their bodies are kept full of nutrients. Prepare your breakfast each morning, or find a regular stop that offers a range of healthy and tasty choices.
3. Schedule Success
Each day contains the same amount of minutes, yet those who are successful ensure they take advantage of every second. Planning and scheduling is responsible for keeping successful people focused and ready for what's coming next. Use a daily planner, smartphone app, or maintain a mental list, checking off each completed task as proof of progress.
4. Exercise Regularly
Successful people develop good habits. Exercise promotes clear thought, a positive outlook, and improved physical health. Moreover, exercise releases endorphins in the body, which results in feelings of wellness and clarity. It's no surprise that successful people can't wait to exercise, reserving time in the early hours of the day. Put exercise clothes on top of your alarm clock or beside your bed, so you're immediately inspired to go to the gym.
5. Sleep Well
You may see successful people out and about during the early hours but an early rise does not disrupt a good night's rest. Sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Regardless of schedule and demands, successful people make time for rest, which allows them to perform at high levels. Prepare to get at least eight hours of sleep, invest in a comfortable bed, and use scents and sounds so you can drift off as soon as your head hits the pillow.
6. Clear Your Space
Those who meditate benefit from a clear mind. It allows for better focus. Those who are successful have a clear mind as well as a clean workspace. Clutter confuses the mind and stymies production. Use the morning hours to organize your workspace as well as to clear your mind of distraction.
7. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Successful people make winning a lifestyle, realizing goals require a marathon (not a race-like) mentality. The morning hours are reserved for motivational mantras, inspirational reading, and visualization of short and long-term goals. Each day is a means to a successful end. Successful people expect greatness yet understand winning requires unwavering dedication.
8. Find Quiet
A successful person's day may be filled with intense meetings, long travel, unexpected business matters, etc. However, the morning hours are used to find peace and quiet to help prepare for the day ahead. Successful people make time for solitude and silence. This helps successful people focus and trains their minds to block or limit distraction when times are hectic.
If you’re always paying bank fees, you might as well just flush your dollar bills down the toilet. Successful, rich people are much too money savvy to waste precious dollars on fees that can often be avoided.
Like many businesses, banks charge fees for their services. For instance, many banks require monthly maintenance fees for certain accounts. The easiest way to avoid these fees? Play by the banks’ rules.
For example, Bank of America’s Core Checking account charges a $12 monthly fee. But, you can get the fee waived if you meet one of the several requirements, such as maintaining a specific average daily balance or setting up direct deposit.
Another good tip is to “request an account review with a banker to see if you have the right accounts for your particular situation and to see if you can reduce or eliminate any fees on your accounts,” said Dave Henderson, a certified financial planner with Client One Securities. “If you are a good customer, many times they will accommodate your request to reduce costs.”
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2. Interest on Credit Cards
A credit card can be similar to eating from a tub of ice cream. You might feel a little guilty for overindulging afterward, but it’s just too convenient. Sure, it’s easy to swipe plastic money — but you won’t catch wealthy people accruing high credit card interest. They know it’s a waste of money.
Henderson said another option is to “consolidate any non-deductible debt into a second mortgage or home equity line of credit, which may be deductible depending on your particular situation.”
Once you’re out of the red, live on less than you earn. “If you can train yourself to regularly and systematically put away money for your future, you can build wealth steadily and not need to rely on credit cards or other non-deductible debt,” said Henderson.
Now, that’s truly living like the rich.
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3. Extended Warranties
Somewhere along the line — such as when you bought your flat-screen TV — you were probably asked, “Would you like to purchase an extended warranty?” A financially successful person has a simple answer when asked the question — no.
Although people want the most value from purchased products, generally, extended warranties don’t give you more bang for your buck. Often, they put more money in the pockets of large companies. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, retailers keep 50 percent or more of what they charge for extended warranties.
People with well-endowed bank accounts want to hold onto their money as much as possible. So, they do the research. For instance, check your manufacturer’s warranty before saying yes to an extended warranty. You might have more coverage than you initially thought. Also, compare the cost of potential repairs versus the extended warranty. If the repairs aren’t expensive, the extended warranty might not be worth it.
So the next time a salesperson tries to sell you on that extended warranty, shut the conversation down fast.
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4. Lottery Tickets
If you truly want to strike it rich, don’t play the lottery. This is a sure way to burn money fast — and rich people know this financial gamble doesn’t pay to play. Your chance of winning the Powerball grand prize is about 1 in 292 million. Those odds are not in your favor.
Now, take a look at the math:
A Powerball ticket costs $2. That might not be much in your eyes, but if you play twice a week for a year — and buy two tickets each time — you’ll have put more than $400 in the hole.
Don’t waste your hard-earned money on chance when you can put it toward wealth-building goals, such as retirement or college tuition. With past studies that show “you are 17 times more likely to get hit by falling airplane parts than win a lottery,” Henderson said rich people normally make a more logical choice and “invest their money in other places.” You should do the same.
“Many studies have shown that people who are considered low income play the lottery much more regularly than higher-income people who typically only play when jackpots get very large and there is more media attention,” said Henderson.
Have you gone into a store with your mind set on purchasing one thing but come out with a cart full of stuff? Maybe it was BOGO at the grocery store, so you snagged a few items. Or, perhaps it was a flash sale on your favorite clothing site, and you bought designer shoes. Whatever the case might be, this isn’t a shopping practice of the wealthy.
Successful people are planners, and impulse purchases tend not to mesh with this quality. If you want to emulate their behavior, be much more cautious with your money, said Leslie Tayne, author of “Life & Debt.”
To avoid the urge, Tayne said consider going cash only to curb your spending.
“Use the envelope system, bringing with you only a predetermined amount of money to spend at each store,” she said. “This approach will help you stay on budget and curb any habits you might ordinarily have in impulse buying and overspending.”
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6. Low-Interest Savings Accounts
Do you like stashing cash in savings because it’s secure and you can pull out money on a whim? Would you like to see more than pennies on your interest? If you answered “yes” to both, change your strategy to truly emulate a financial mogul.
Regular savings accounts don’t earn a lot of interest. The national savings account rate is a meager 0.06 percent — a stark contrast from what you can expect from a high-yield savings account.
You can find these types of accounts by looking beyond a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. Online banks, for example, frequently offer the highest return rates because they have no or lower overhead costs. Credit unions also offer attractive rates. In fact, a recent GOBankingRates.com survey found the best savings account rates in the country tend to be at credit unions, where some rates are as high and 5.00% APY and 7.52% APY.
If you’re looking to boost your wealth by making wise decisions with money, explore your online savings account options.
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7. High-End Brands
You might see a lot of designer labels on the red carpet, but many rich people don’t choose designer labels for every purchase. Though they have the funds to splurge at luxury retailers, they understand that doesn’t always mean they should.
“Financially successful people compare shop and understand the importance of both quality and cost,” said Tayne. “They may go for a cheaper item or buy the higher quality item from a cheaper store in order to make the wisest financial purchase.”
Before you buy another $200 pair of designer jeans, stop and ask yourself if it’s really worth the investment — or will $30 Target jeans do the trick? Always shop wisely, and keep your budget and financial goals in mind.