Tweak Your Habits to Increase Your Income

Filed under: Financial Fitness

Business WomanIt’s often said that success is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. So what accounts for all of that perspiration? Generally speaking, it’s hard work, attention to detail… and good habits. In fact, good habits account for everything from work ethic, to personal fitness, to feelings of satisfaction in life. Therefore, we could argue that your daily habits are the secret to success!

Of course, most of us have developed a variety of habits over the course of our lifetimes, and some of them aren’t all that productive. When personal trainers work to get a client into better shape, they focus on snuffing out those poor habits and replacing them with new ones. So our focus is often on changing habits, or adopting healthy new ones, when we seek greater success in our personal and professional lives. If you’re self employed, you can use the same habit tweaks as personal trainers, and get in better shape both physically and financially!

Find your motivation. Seek to understand the deeper reasons for your new habits, and they are more likely to stick. (Think: “I want to support my family” versus “I want to take a trip next month).

Shift from “goal” thinking to “process” thinking. It can be difficult to stick with a new habit, especially at first, so learn to shift your thinking in the meantime. When you engage in your new habit, focus on how it’s helping you right now, and how it feels good today. If you focus too much on that long-term goal (even though it’s in the back of your mind), it can be discouraging to stick with new habits on a daily basis when it’s difficult to see progress toward that goal. Think, “I accomplished a lot today” or “It feels good to unwind after a long workday”, instead of “If I keep this up, I can afford a new car in two years”.

Remove temptation from your environment. Dieters often remove junk food from their houses. If you’re working on your professional skills, though, you might have to remove other forms of temptation. Do you spend too much time on Facebook instead of working? Sign out of the website, so that those notifications don’t pop up in the corner of your screen. If the TV is a distraction, turn it off during the work day.

Track your progress. Stay accountable to a friend or other loved one; report to your spouse, or someone else, at the end of the day. Share your progress toward your goals.

Prevent relapses. There will be times that you’re tempted to revert back to old habits, and you probably already know your triggers. Do you engage in self-limiting behaviors when you’re bored, sick, lonely, or stressed? Draft a plan for those times and implement it. You need to keep your healthy new habits alive, even when temptation strikes.

Build your new habit into your schedule. Your new habit won’t become a priority on its own; you have to make it a priority. If you’re devoting more time to work, for example, that won’t happen unless you pencil that time into your daily schedule. Say no to anything that interferes with work, and schedule other events around professional time; not vice versa. Your new habits will contribute to a new life, so organize your priorities accordingly.

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