Cultivating Good Habits
Updated: Mar 24
By Novi Wealth Partners
How many times have you set motivating New Year’s resolutions that you’re genuinely excited about, only to have them shrivel up and die before February?
Picture this: you finally finish setting up your fancy new home gym and commit to using it 3 times a week. On January 2, you have a good workout. You work up a sweat. The endorphins are flowing. But the next day, you’re sore, so you take a break. The day after that, you’re tired from work. And the day after that, you have to get groceries. And the day after that…well, you get the picture.
Sound familiar? Don’t be too hard on yourself. We’ve probably all been Mr. or Mrs. One-And-Done-Exerciser before. But what if this year you didn’t set New Year’s resolutions? What if instead you set New Year’s habits? If you’ve already broken your resolutions, here’s a second (better) chance to start 2021 off on the right foot.
Why Habits Are Better Than Resolutions
Unlike resolutions, which are usually grand visions of being more productive at work or losing weight, habits are small routines that you gradually build into your life until the action becomes second nature. Achieving a resolution requires you to build habits over a period of time, but the reason we’re not good at sticking to our resolutions is because we want to reach the goal now.
With habit-building, the reward comes from doing the habit itself, rather than achieving the end goal. When the habit is the goal rather than the resolution, you’re more likely to achieve the change you’re striving for. Here are 3 of our favorite good habits, all of which are practiced by successful people and offer daily benefits to your life.
1. Wake Up Early
The first habit we recommend is to wake up early and incorporate a morning routine into your day. Successful people everywhere tout the incredible advantages of waking up early. Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his mornings at 3:45 a.m. to work out and answer emails, (1) and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz starts his day with a bike ride with his wife, arriving at the office by 6:00 a.m. (2)
Waking up early isn’t always easy (and you don’t have to wake up at 3:45 a.m.), but here are some actionable steps you can take to make waking up early a habit instead of a goal:
Start waking up earlier in 30-minute increments, gradually waking up earlier each day.
Move your alarm clock away from your bed.
Turn on the lights as soon as you wake up.
Start your morning with an activity you look forward to, such as taking a walk or doing yoga.
2. Read Personal Development Books
People who cultivate good habits tend to have many good habits, rather than just one or two. One of the best habits you can cultivate is to read personal development books—and to read them often. Personal development books will inspire you to create more good habits and keep you on track when your motivation inevitably slips on bad days.
Jeff Olsen, author of the personal development book The Slight Edge, recommends reading just 10 pages of a personal development book a day, arguing that “over a period of just one year, you would have read…the equivalent of one or two dozen books of life-transforming material. There is no question…that your life will be changed.” Think of all the good habits you could learn!
3. Pay Yourself First
Finally, part of cultivating good habits involves healthy financial habits. Healthy financial habits free you from financial stress and make it easier for you to spend your money on things that bring true value to your life. To make this possible, you need to become a good saver. And to become a good saver, you may need to change your mindset about how you save money.
Warren Buffett once advised, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” We could not agree more with this sentiment. If you don’t have a vision for where your dollars will go, you’re more likely to spend these dollars without discretion on unnecessary household items and expensive dinners out.
Instead, each time you get a paycheck, decide how much you will save and transfer that money to a savings account right away. You’ll be much less tempted to spend that money on unnecessary expenses if it’s not sitting in your checking account.
Connect With Like-minded People
When it comes to creating and maintaining good habits, you need a support network. If no one else in your circle is concerned with creating good habits, your habits aren’t likely to stick. This is why it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people who want to see you succeed.
There’s no area where this is more important than your financial habits. Meeting your financial goals takes commitment and sacrifice, so you need to surround yourself with people who support the sacrifices you’re making. Partnering with a like-minded financial professional such as our team members at Novi Wealth Partners can be the first step to creating better financial habits you’ll actually stick to. If you’re ready to make a change, call (609) 921-7002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Novi Wealth Partners
Novi Wealth Partners is an independent, fee-only comprehensive financial planning firm dedicated to empowering clients to discover their definition of true wealth while providing the confidence to achieve it. With 20+ years of experience, we have found that most people don’t care about money, but instead, they care about what money can do for them and their loved ones. As a result, we focus on guiding our clients to find their unique vision for their life and developing a plan to help them live out their values. Our goal is to truly understand our clients on a personal level and help them navigate life’s many changes.
We are located in Princeton, New Jersey and we service clients both locally and nationally. There are four CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® practitioners in the firm, all of whom are members of the prestigious National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). We prioritize a team-based approach, which allows us to deliver comprehensive financial planning, investment management, tax planning advice, retirement planning, estate planning advice, risk management advice, and concierge level wealth management. We are committed to providing each of our clients a level of service as unique as they are and we are proud, as Fee-Only™ financial advisors, to offer unbiased financial expertise. To learn more about Novi Wealth Partners or to get started on your financial journey, visit our website or connect with us on LinkedIn.