Make 2016 the Year of Good Habits

New Year

Habits are the center of our daily existence.  90% of what we do everyday is habit based. How you start your day, your visit to your computer, IPad or cell phone, exercise or not, what or where you like to eat, how you relate to people and more.

As we begin 2016, I didn’t have any “resolutions” in mind, but when I thought about it from a habits perspective, I decided to consider any habits that I thought were bad for me and focus on eliminating or minimizing those and replacing them with better ones.

I started by the decision to stop viewing problems bigger than they really are.  I tend to blow problems up and have them ruin my day.  I was reminded that if you hold a little dime close enough to your eye, it can totally block your view of the sun.  In other words, you can take a little problem and make it HUGE if you decide to do so. “This to shall pass” is one of my new motto’s.

My second habit to change is to get off the couch and help out more around the house. I’ve decided my grandmother was right when she told me years ago watching TV was a giant waste of time.  I need to find something else to do with my free time and believe it or not, I decided to use that time to do a little extra house work.  I’ve actually taken to making breakfast and lunch for my kids everyday, cleaning the kitchen and doing some of the laundry.  I am hoping there is a solid return on this investment when my wife catches on to what I am doing.  Certainly making it a habit to think more about the needs and wants of your spouse is a winning habit.

When I run out of things to do in the house, my new habit is to either take a walk or go to the gym.  I’ll continue to do this until the “Fountain of Youth” is actually discovered.

Yesterday, I met with a newlywed couple in their twenties and part of our meeting discussion was about the habits that would lead to financial success.  While they were focused on what return they might make on their $10,000 initial investment, I shared with them that this wasn’t nearly as important as creating the habit of having money pulled every month from their checking account and put into savings and investment accounts. THIS IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FINANCIAL DECISION THEY CAN MAKE.  Ideally, start as soon as you can and save 20% of what you earn.  If you can start this at a young age you should be very successful financially.

I have a lot of successful retired clients and they all had one habit in common; they all lived well below their means starting with owning a home that didn’t engulf a huge share of what they earned.  In most cases it was paid off by the time they retired. Most of them tend to hang on to their their cars long after they are paid for. They shop with a list or avoid shopping altogether unless they need to go.  This keeps them from impulse buying and whipping out a credit card very often. These are all habits of highly successful people.

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What are some other healthy habits financially or otherwise that might help our readers in 2016?

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