Most affluent individuals did not come into their wealth by chance; instead, they made it happen through hard work and tenacity. The key to accumulating wealth lies in cultivating advantageous habits that promote financial success. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

If you’re eager to improve your focus and reach success in life, these 20 wealthy people habits are the perfect way for you to kickstart your journey. Let these practices guide and enlighten you as they have done for many others!

1. Rise early.

There have been many sayings about the advantages of waking up early, and for a good reason – rising before dawn is an effective way to success. Millionaires don’t spend too much time in bed since they need to achieve so much daily. Ultimately it’s clear that getting out of bed earlier works wonders!

[Related: 6 Successful Women Share Their Morning Routines]

After devoting five years to studying the lives and practices of wealthy and impoverished individuals, Thomas Corley put pen to paper for his book Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. His research concluded that 44% of affluent people awoke three hours before their work commenced, while only 3 percent among the lower economic strata did likewise.

2. Refrain from checking email first thing.

What could wealthy folks accomplish with those extra morning hours? Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t perusing emails. The affluent understand that there is a more beneficial use of their time in the early part of the day than endlessly scrolling through email notifications.

The wealthy make it a point to begin their days with healthy activities such as meditation or journaling, reading something educational, or getting ahead on an important project. Additionally, they focus on nourishing their bodies with nutritious meals and physical exercise. Moreover, instead of making email the primary priority in the morning hours, affluent people prefer to leave those tasks for later in the day.

[Related: The Brief: This Study Will Make You Take Bedtime Very Seriously]

3. Healthy diet.

Health is an essential component of wealth, and the affluent take this seriously. Corley discovered that 57% of wealthy individuals monitor their calorie intake on a daily basis while only 5% of poorer people commit to such vigilance – Additionally, 70 percent from the former category stick within 300 calories for junk food items unlike 97 percentage from the latter group who exceed it by far.

Eating healthy is practically a must-have for those in the wealthy circle, but more so than anything else, it’s to ensure they live longer and retain the ability to accumulate even more wealth.

4. Get fit.

Eating right is a must for the wealthy, and exercise follows suit. Even though millionaires are often busy with their affairs, they still make time to get in some physical activity – as reported by Corley’s study, 76% of affluent individuals do aerobic exercises at least four days per week compared to 23% of those who lack wealth. Staying fit appears to be an integral part of maintaining success!

5. Set a single, clear objective for yourself.

When it comes to gathering wealth, the wealthy have a habit of setting ambitious goals and then pursuing them with extraordinary focus. Every action they take is done with their primary goal in mind—even when that goal appears almost impossible or far-fetched. It’s this intense concentration that allows them to attain what others can only fantasize about achieving. According to Corley, 80% of affluent individuals are dedicated to one particular ambition while just 12% of those struggling financially prioritize a lone desired outcome.

[Related: 6 Ways to Deal With Post Grad Job Search Stress]

6. Write down goals.

Establishing objectives is a must if you want to become wealthy, yet if that were all it takes then everyone would be prosperous. The affluent recognize the significance of clearly stating their goals and documenting them carefully; this winning habit has served them well.

While having a wide-reaching ambition of becoming well off is noble, this alone does not constitute a real goal. Establishing definitive objectives means designing something measurable such as earning $X by a certain date via Z actions.

Accomplishing one’s goals requires consistent and dedicated action, something the affluent is very familiar with. According to Corley, 62 percent of wealthy individuals review their objectives on a daily basis – in comparison to 6 percent of people struggling financially. What separates the rich even more is that 67% put those ambitions into writing; demonstrating how goal setting can be an incredibly effective tool for success.

7. Create a daily agenda.

In order to attain the ultimate ambition of wealth, one needs to complete a series of smaller goals. It is no coincidence then that 81% of prosperous people make use of daily task lists compared to only 19% among those with less affluence. On top of this, 67 percent of Corley’s research revealed that most wealthy individuals accomplish 70 or more items on their list each day! Evidently, creating and implementing a practical schedule is key to leading an affluent lifestyle.

8. Believe that time is gold.

Wealthy individuals tend to devote themselves wholeheartedly towards their goals, forgoing other activities. For them, time is an invaluable asset; a commodity that shouldn’t be squandered on trivialities such as social media use or any non-productive task. They understand that any moment spent carelessly equates to real financial losses in the end.

The wealthy perceive their income differently than the majority of individuals: by focusing on how much they should earn per hour, and understanding what monetary opportunities are lost when engaged in tasks that don’t generate returns. This assists them to circumvent the leisure activities that many people indulge in daily.

9. Be thrifty and spend your money wisely.

It’s said that one must lay out some capital to generate income. That being said, non-affluent individuals don’t tend to consider the fact that if you expend more than your earning capacity it won’t equate to riches – instead, it’ll just mean having less money left over. So while investing can provide certain financial gains, there is a limit as far as how much an individual should be willing to part with for this cause.

The wealthy understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and practice it on a regular basis. They may have enough disposable income to purchase expensive items without consequence, but instead, they choose not to overindulge. Their money-savvy approach involves careful comparison shopping paired with negotiation tactics so that they can get top value for their finances while still saving more than spending. Creating realistic budgets is an essential part of this strategy – one which affluent individuals make sure to adhere too!

[Related: 10 Millennial Spending Confessions You Can Definitely Relate To]

10. Not rushing lunches.

While it may seem counterintuitive, the wealthiest among us understand that taking breaks is essential to maximizing their productivity. By indulging in a long, leisurely lunch break of an hour or more each day, they are able to reset themselves so that they can come back ready to put forth even more concentrated efforts into work. Time away from work allows you and your mind necessary restorative periods—so take advantage of every opportunity for respite and better equip yourself with greater success!

11. Read a lot—but not for pleasure.

According to Corley, the wealthy population overwhelmingly support reading as a means of personal growth and education – 86% specifically. Comparatively speaking, only 26% of those in lower socio-economic categories share this enthusiasm for literature. Evidently, an appreciation for books is essential on the path to prosperity and financial security.

It is not only the amount of reading material but also its type that matters: The wealthy prefer to read nonfiction, predominantly self-improvement texts. What’s more, a whopping 88 percent dedicate at least half an hour every day to absorbing such knowledge!

12. Launch yourself into the unknown by taking calculated risks for maximum reward.

Wealthy individuals recognize that taking risks often allows for greater opportunities, but they are typically more calculated than reckless. They understand what is at stake and plan accordingly in order to endure any losses if the risk does not play out as expected. By having a contingency plan in place, these rewarding risks can be made with confidence and lead to even higher returns on investment.

13. Forge relationships to succeed!

To achieve success, the affluent comprehend that it is vital to associate with successful individuals. Establishing networks with other wealthy people or those who have the ambition and capacity for affluence is essential for one’s own prosperity.

According to Corley, 79% of prosperous individuals spend at least five hours each month socializing in various settings – be it through attending a seminar or having coffee with others. Comparatively, only 16 percent of struggling people network on a regular basis. This allows the wealthy to surround themselves with those who have already achieved success and adopt their mindsets accordingly.

[Related: How To Make Your Networking Conversations More Meaningful]

14. Recognize when to take a step back and rest.

Although wealthy individuals are no strangers to hard work, they also recognize the value of taking time off for personal growth and leisure. This is why they usually refrain from working late into the night.

Understanding that overworking yourself will only lead to exhaustion, inefficiency, and poor performance is essential for success. The successful ones know how to apply this knowledge in their lives, as they separate themselves from work at 5 or 6 pm each evening and don’t come back until the following morning – according to Inc. This way, they ensure they are well rested and recharged when coming back the next day so that their productivity remains high throughout the entire week.

15. Make a difference by contributing to the greater good.

Generosity is a signature trait associated with those who are wealthy and prosperous. This has been evidenced through the ages, from philanthropic figures such as Nelson Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie to modern-day moguls like Carlos Slim and Bill Gates–all of whom have made it their mission to contribute back to society in meaningful ways. By giving back via charity or other forms of support for local communities, the rich demonstrate not just financial success but moral integrity too.

16. Avoid television.

Corley’s research revealed that the wealthy dedicate less time to television in comparison to their poorer counterparts; 67% of affluent individuals watch one hour or less daily, while only 23 percent of those in poverty stick to this schedule. Furthermore, reality shows are not favored among the wealthiest – just 6% prefer them over other forms of entertainment compared with 78 percent from lower-income backgrounds. Evidently, wealthier people choose more advantageous methods for using their hours instead.

17. Avoid gambling.

Winning the lottery can make anyone incredibly wealthy in an instant, yet those who have made their wealth don’t rely on luck. Instead, they trust that taking certain actions and developing positive habits will open them up to opportunities for luck.

It’s no surprise that only 6 percent of affluent individuals regularly indulge in lottery games, as opposed to the enormous majority of impoverished people (77%) who do. Rich folks understand that luck can be crafted through persistent effort and concentration; a lesson not everyone seems to have learned yet.

18. Regulate your emotions.

It may be assumed that the wealthy can afford to be unfettered in their communication, but they understand that not every expression should be vocalized. Having strong relationships is paramount for financial prosperity and airing one’s thoughts can corrupt them. In contrast to 69 percent of impoverished people, only 6 percent of affluent individuals frequently voice what’s on their minds.

19. Speak less and listen more attentively.

In order to be successful, wealthy people understand the importance of effective communication and have mastered the art of listening. To ensure they comprehend others’ perspectives, they devote five minutes intently listening for each one minute spent speaking. This not only assists in furthering relationships but also encourages lucrative opportunities that contribute to their wealth-building endeavors.

20. Don’t retire.

In contrast to the typical American retiree, who retires at 61 according to a Gallup poll, many wealthy individuals prefer not to call it quits until they are 70 years old — and this is by choice. It’s easy for them to maintain their luxurious lifestyles due to their spacious savings accounts and substantial retirement portfolios, yet that doesn’t stop them from continuing in their career pursuits – because they want to!

Staying in the workforce longer can be a great way to accrue more wealth. The desire to remain healthy is linked with this aim, and wealthy people often choose not to retire since they generally savor their work. Consequently, continuing employment is both inviting and calming for many.

Final Word

Although money isn’t the solution to all of life’s troubles, it is a strong indication that someone has enthusiasm, aptitude, and determination. Give these habits of wealthy people an effort in your everyday living and laboring, so you can place yourself on the path to not only greater wealth but also a better lifestyle.

This article was originally published on Money Crashers.

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