Habits

9 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day

5 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider

What you do today matters. In fact, your daily habits may be a major determinant of your wealth.

"The metaphor I like is the avalanche," says Thomas Corley, the author of "Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals." "These habits are like snowflakes — they build up, and then you have an avalanche of success."

Corley spent five years studying the lives of both rich people (defined as having an annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or more) and poor people (defined as having an annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less).

He managed to segment out what he calls "rich habits" and "poverty habits," meaning the tendencies of those who fit in each group. But, Corley explains, everyone has some rich habits and some poverty habits. "The key is to get more than 50% to be rich habits," he says.

And what are those rich habits that are so influential? Here are a few:

1. Rich people always keep their goals in sight.
"I focus on my goals every day."
Rich people who agree: 62%
Poor people who agree: 6%

Not only do wealthy people set annual and monthly goals, but 67% of them put those goals in writing. "It blew me away," says Corley. "I thought a goal was a broad objective, but the wealthy said a wish is not a goal." A goal is only a goal, he says, if it has two things: It's achievable, and there's a physical action you can take to pursue it.

2. And they know what needs to be done today.
"I maintain a daily to-do list."
Rich people who agree: 81%
Poor people who agree: 19%

Not only do the wealthy keep to-do lists, but 67% of them complete 70% or more of those listed tasks each day. 

3. They don't watch TV.
"I watch TV one hour or less per day."
Rich people who agree: 67%
Poor people who agree: 23%

Similarly, only 6% of the wealthy watch reality shows, compared to 78% of the poor. "The common variable among the wealthy is how they make productive use of their time," explains Corley. "They wealthy are not avoiding watching TV because they have some superior human discipline or willpower. They just don't think about watching much TV because they are engaged in some other habitual daily behavior — reading."

4. They read … but not for fun.
"I love reading."
Rich people who agree: 86%
Poor people who agree: 26%

Sure, rich people love reading, but they favor nonfiction — in particular, self-improvement books. "The rich are voracious readers on how to improve themselves," says Corley. In fact, 88% of them read for self-improvement for 30 minutes each day, compared to 2% of poor people.

5. Plus, they're big into audio books.
"I listen to audio books during the commute to work."
Rich people who agree: 63%
Poor people who agree: 5%

Even if you aren't into audiobooks, you can make the most of your commute with any of these commute-friendly self-improvement activities.

6. They make a point of going above and beyond at the office.
"I do more than my job requires."
Rich people who agree: 81%
Poor people who agree: 17%

It's worth noting that while 86% of rich people (compared to 43% of poor) work an average of 50 or more hours a week, only 6% of the wealthy people surveyed found themselves unhappy because of work.

7. They aren't hoping to win the jackpot.
"I play the lottery regularly."
Rich people who agree: 6%
Poor people who agree: 77%

That's not to say that the wealthy are always playing it safe with their money. "Most of these people were business owners who put their own money on the table and took financial risks," explains Corley. "People like this aren't afraid to take risks."

8. They watch their waistline.
"I count calories every day."
Rich people who agree: 57%
Poor people who agree: 5%

Wealthy people value their health, says Corley. "One of the individuals in my study was about 68 and worth about $78 million. I asked why he didn't retire, and he looked at me like I was from Mars. He said, 'I've spent the last 45 years exercising every single day and watching what I eat because I knew the end of my career would be my biggest earning years.' If he can extend his career four to five years beyond everyone else, that's about $7 million for him."

9. And they take care of their smiles.
"I floss every day."
Rich people who agree: 62%
Poor people who agree: 16%

Enough said.

SEE ALSO:  10 Ways Rich People Think Differently

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