Rich HabitsWe love talking about productivity and how it impacts our work, health and relationships, so when we came across this Yahoo video about “Daily Habits of the Wealthy,”we couldn’t help take notice. In it, personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi asks the question: is there any correlation between our daily activities and our financial fitness? The answer is a resounding yes, according to Tom Corley, author of the book, “Rich Habits – the Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” Corley spent five years studying 350 rich and poor people, delving into their habits for life and work. He discovered that the income divide had more to do with daily habits than any other factor.

This might seem a little cliché at first glance. However, a look at Corley’s findings from his five-year study revealed that the wealthy tend to have consistent daily routines that promote mental and physical well-being, longevity, productivity, advantageous business and community relationships and even, interpersonal communication. In his book, Corley hopes to encourage everyone seeking prosperity with daily principles that can dramatically improve their lives.

Rather than “write it off” (get it?), we thought we’d observe some of his findings and see if there were any lessons to be learned.

  • to dos for a good lifeRise early. 44% of wealthy people rise three hours before work. during that time, they focus on: self-improvement, like 30 minutes of reading industry information (88% wealthy vs 2% poor) and exercise (76% wealthy vs 26% of poor).
  • Create a daily to do list. 81% of the affluent complete 70% of their daily to do items compared to 19% of low income people.
  • Set long-term goals. 70% of wealthy reportedly do so in contrast to 3% of the poor.
  • Network during lunch. 55% of the well-off optimize lunch hour, while only 2% of low income individuals do so. 
  • Keep tabs on their daily caloric intake. The majority - 57% - of wealthy track daily calories in comparison to 5% of the poor. 70% of the well heeled tend to limit junk food intake to 300 calories per day compared to just 3% of poor people. Alcohol consumption is monitored as well, with well heeled generally limiting themselves to no more than 2 drinks per day. The takeaway? The wealthy have a stronger drive to stay healthy for income generation, both in the short-term (better health and less weight = more energy and fewer sick days) and for the long-term (a longer career equates into more lifetime earnings).
  • Don't gossip. It’s a common pastime for the poor, with 79% admitting to talking about others, while just 6% of wealthy say they do (or admit to, anyway).
  • Focus on after work activities that lead to advantageous business relationships and community service. Wealthy people say they often spend time networking, assisting nonprofit organizations, coaching, teaching, attending school or acting as board members. But the majority of those struggling with finances (77%) spend more than an hour per day watching TV, especially reality shows, whereas only 33% of wealthy say they spend more than one hour a day at the tube.

Still think its bunk? The numbers are hard to argue with, but we believe that there’s much more to a person’s income level or happiness than one study reveals. What we can glean is that anyone can improve their life by being consistent with a daily routine that promotes mental and physical well-being.

There are many things in life that we can’t control, but we can choose whether we set and pursue goals, how we spend our downtime, what we think and how we treat others. It’s a good reminder that our habits affect our lives, so plan to excel, no matter your financial status.