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7 habits of the financially successful, and why you should copy them

One of the best routes to personal success in any endeavour you undertake is to learn from the actions of those who have done it successfully before.

As a financial planner, I come into contact with, and help, many financially successful people, both in the course of my work and through background study I carry out into personal finance more widely.

So, I feel I can give you some insight into my observations and research when it comes to the habits of successful people.

With that in mind, read about some of the lifestyle habits I’ve noticed financially successful people acquire and benefit from.

To avoid covering some of the same ground I’ve gone over in some previous articles, I’ve tried to focus on non-financial traits as far as possible – although, as you will appreciate, there is often some crossover in this regard.

1. Always be ready to challenge your routines

In my experience, successful people are rarely happy with the status quo.

While routines can be good, especially if you are under pressure and have a busy lifestyle, it can often help to take a step back every now and again to ensure you’re doing everything as efficiently as possible.

Often, this can be about how you’re spending money, but it can also help to review other elements in your life because they can all affect each other.

It’s good to maintain a sense of balance, however. While it’s positive for you to challenge yourself, it’s often sensible not to make too many changes to your routines at the same time. Instead, ensure you review the changes you make after a suitable period to check that they are as effective as you’d hoped.

2. Aim to be proactive rather than reactive

Common among successful people I’ve met is a constant desire to be in control of their lives.

To an extent, this touches on the previous point about challenging routines. But it also brings up a wider point about being proactive, rather than reactive, and always being prepared to take matters into your own hands.

By doing this, you can feel more in control of your life.

For example, facing up to problems when they occur, rather than procrastinating or avoiding them entirely, could stand you in good stead and prevent issues from snowballing out of control.

Clearly, this may resonate strongly with you when it comes to managing your finances. Remaining in control of your money is one of the most important factors in securing your financial future.

3. Give yourself time to think

In a lot of books and articles I’ve read about financially successful people, one thing I’ve noticed is how many of them use meditation as part of their daily routine.

Devoting time to switching off and recharging your mind can be invaluable. It can help reduce your stress levels, increase concentration, and improve the quality of your sleep — all of which are beneficial to highly successful people.

Indeed, a study published in the US by the National Library of Medicine, revealed that meditating for just 13 minutes every day can help enhance your attention and memory for up to eight weeks.

Beyond that, a less structured approach of simply stopping and thinking when you have an important decision to make can pay dividends. Such an attitude can improve the quality of your decision-making and ensure you aren’t making hasty choices you later regret.

4. Get help from experts

The most effective people in business are often the ones who are the most adept at delegating and are not afraid to recruit people who are cleverer than them.

Some of the most successful business people in history have been renowned for the quality of the people they had working for them. Indeed, even the legendary Scottish-American industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, once said that “no person will make a great business who wants to do it all themself or get all the credit.”

It comes from a keen understanding of being aware of your own limitations and willingly calling on others for help and guidance when you need it.

5. Automate as much as you can

Thinking about everything you need to do all the time can be exhausting. This can lead to mental fatigue and, by extension, poorer decision-making.

One way to reduce the amount you have to think about is to automate as much as you can.

The less you have to worry about the better, because the very activity of worrying that you might forget something can be distracting in the extreme. As a result, this can diminish your effectiveness in more important matters at hand.

At a simple level, this may mean creating calendar alerts for yourself for key events so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting.

Once that fear is removed, it will leave more room in your mind for far more constructive matters.

6. Broaden your mind

When it comes to education, try not to rest on your laurels.

Successful people tend to be inquisitive in terms of finding out things, and acquisitive in terms of new knowledge.

This doesn’t have to equate to regimented study or new qualifications. Reading is a relatively inexpensive hobby. It’s also time-consuming, which leaves less time for more expensive hobbies and activities, or even impulsive financial decisions you later regret.

It can help calm you down and give you a non-work subject to focus on. It’s also a great way to unwind at the end of a busy day.

7. Maintain your fitness

You’ll have no doubt come across the stereotypical image of a successful businessperson pounding away on a running machine while fielding calls on a series of handheld devices.

While that’s an extreme archetype, normally portrayed for effect, there is truth in the idea that maintaining a high level of fitness is not only good for your health, but also for your brain.

Regular exercise, especially when it’s something you enjoy doing, can lift your mood which in turn can enhance your decision-making.

Get in touch

If you’d like to talk through any of the issues you’ve read about here, then please get in touch.

You can call me on 07769 156 250.

Please note

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

Foster Denovo Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.