Updated: Mar 1
Negociate Credit Solutions - Author Lauren Heekes
Breakthroughs don't change your life. It’s the small things that we do everyday that have an impact on our lives.
Investing in the small things, that we regard as a hassle, can lead to more important changes in our lives. Think about what needs to be done each day to supercharge your life
Let’s compare this concept to compound interest. Most of us would rather take R1,000.00 now than money that grows over time in a compound interest investment account – say over 5 years.
What’s interesting is that those that take the immediate payout end up with significantly less money than those who opt for the investment over time. This “live for the moment” culture stops people from investing.
The point is that if you want to have a completely different life in a year, you need to start now, and you need to start small. Here are some habits you can start implementing now that can radically change your life in a year and best of all they are simple habits that are easy to apply.
1. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired). If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and encourage you to do another task.
2. Reach out to one or two people who you'd like to work with. It could be a potential employer or client you'd love to work with. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Embrace it. You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
3. Write a few sentences each day. Have a book you want to write or a business plan you have been contemplating? Put something to paper each day and build on that idea. All it takes is one paragraph each day and the idea will grow and formalise into something amazing.
4. Instead of reading through a lengthy bank statement at the end of each month and trying to make sense of it, make a habit of checking your bank account at least once a day. It helps you to get a grip on your finances and keeps you mentally in tune with your financial situation. It’s also a great way to pick up any errors quickly.
5. Maintain your everyday life. Make your bed, complete your chores, cook, clean and exercise. Stay on top of work assignments and finances. It’s not the big things in life that make a difference, it is the small day to day necessary things that we complete that lead us to success. It doesn’t always have to be a victory lap.
6. Start considering the needs and wants of your future self over the ones you have right now. Commit to making choices to the benefit of your future self. Living only in the present it is quick path to self-destruction.
7. Be proactive and responsive. Don’t leave things to the point where you are left with an insurmountable backlog that will leave you stressed and miserable.
8. Don’t let anger get the better of you. When something upsets you, stop and first think about it. Figure out why it upsets you and if it's actually worth getting your knickers in a knot about. Take a deep breath and respond in a considerate manner.
9. Listen to yourself. Eat when you are hungry. Sleep when you are tired. Denying those needs does not mean you are busy and important, it just means that you are setting yourself up for a breakdown or burnout.
10. Improve your environment and the people you spend the most time. Surround yourself with like-minded people who encourage your growth, thoughts and ideas. Take a serious look at who you follow online and what their presence does for you. Declutter your home and office. Your surroundings have a silent and subconscious impact on your day to day life.
11. Take immediate action when you want to do something. To really move your life forward, you need to act on your ideas before you convince yourself not to. We call this the 5 second rule.
12. Read more. If you don’t like reading it's not an excuse to stop learning, growing and developing yourself. Follow people on social media that post or share interesting articles and ideas. Read a news story in the morning. Listen to an audiobook. How much you read is directly related to your self-growth and success.
13. Scroll less. Train yourself to limit your "scroll" time each day. Be mindful that you're not spending multiple hours a day effectively doing nothing.
14. Take note of what prompts unhealthy behaviour like procrastination. Also take note of what you're doing when you feel most at ease, most inspired, or most frustrated. Eliminate things that encourage unhealthy behaviour to help you direct your life.
15. Practice saying "no." Your energy is limited each day. You should not feel bad about saying "no" to some things. It is ultimately a means of self-preservation and your energy should be put towards productive behaviour.
16. When you have a self-defeating thought, distract yourself with something productive. Get better at diverting your attention to something that helps you, not negative thoughts that can lead to a spiral.
17. Work your ideas. Having great ideas doesn’t only lead to a successful life. Come up with an action plan that allows you to implement them.
18. Use what you have. Instead of impulse buying, challenge yourself to wear what's in your closet, or eat what's in your pantry.
19. Drink one more glass of water. Don't worry about pressuring yourself to get the recommended 8 cups in a day. Just focus on drinking one more. Then, when that's part of your routine, add another.
20. Eat one less unhealthy snack. Let’s face it, going on a diet sucks. Rather focus only on giving up one unhealthy choice a day. It will eventually become habit to make healthier choices.
21. Make sure that you are contactable and that your info is up to date. Your personal online presence is the new résumé, so make sure you are consistently updating and improving it, making it easy for others to understand what you do and how to reach you.
22. Begin each day asking yourself: "How can I change my life today?" Get out of the mindset that you have to "get through" the day. Be willing to see things differently, and put effort in trying to make each day a step in the right direction to achieving more success.
Lauren is a registered member of the National Credit Regulator. Prior to that, she worked as a Financial and Technical consultant for McGregor-BFA (Now INET-BFA). McGregor-BFA provided Trading and Market related data as well as Investment management software to Asset Managers, University Business Schools and Investment entities. Thereafter experience was advanced to the Property Market working as a Project Manager for Propertyi. But it was her career at the IEB in Adult Education that inspired a passion of hers to educate consumers about responsible ways of managing their financial lives and the long term advantages of doing so. It is her belief that financial education should be taught from an early age. By doing so we can create a country that is truly economically stable, driven not only by work ethics, but by becoming Financially Independent too.
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