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Invest in Yourself: 8 Simple Habits That Separate the Rich from the Poor

Janet Miller

While there are certain habits of the rich that only wealth will grant you access to, there are many simple habits that those who are not yet wealthy can learn to adopt as well.

The rich have habits that improve themselves and their lives over time.

They protect their time wisely and are conscious of how each day is spent.

Related Article: The Art of Being Present: Building a Company Culture Rooted in Mindfulness

Here are seven habits that differentiate the rich from the poor.

1. The Rich Read,  A Lot

Reading is an activity shown to engage the brain on an intellectual level. It stimulates the brain, something that’s missing in many people’s hobbies or interests outside of work.

Poor people are far less likely to read on a daily basis. Also telling is the choice of reading material. Rich people tend to read far more self-improvement and educational materials while poor people read mostly for entertainment.

When reading the newspapers, the rich tend to focus on the editorial and business sections, while the poor may spend more time on the gossip sections.

2. The Rich Invest in Themselves

Rich people don’t just stop learning after their formal education. To them, learning is a lifelong endeavor.

They are constantly adding to their knowledge and applying it to their careers and investments.

Poor people are less likely to take advantage of valuable time to self-educate and improve their prospects for the future.

3. The Rich Understand That What You Eat Affects Your Productivity

Eating healthy has been shown to have a large positive effect on performance at work or school and can dramatically increase energy levels.

How the food is made is important as well, for example, using food steamers helps lock in nutrients and retain natural vitamins and minerals in the food.

With higher energy levels, it is no wonder why rich people are able to be so productive with their time.

4. The Rich Exercise Regularly

Exercise is just as important as eating right. It may seem contradictory to some, but exercising actually boosts energy levels.

That may be difficult to believe after an exhausting workout for the first time in a long time but exercising has been shown to increase energy levels when done on a consistent basis.

Higher energy levels means more focus and more productivity. The rich build exercise into their daily routines easily, for example by having a pull-up bar at home.

By keeping themselves fit, the rich are always ready to perform at their peak levels.

Related Article: Is Your Job Killing You? How to Stay Healthy at Work

5. The Rich Set Goals

Setting goals forces individuals to visualize the required steps to arrive at a desired result. This leads to more efficiency, better direction and less stress.

Without goals, achievements appear to be more far less attainable. The rich set goals on a daily basis, whether they be big hairy audacious goals that will take years to achieve, or even just very minor goals that will aid in achieving the larger ones.

Small daily goals let you know that you have achieved something for the day, resulting in a feeling of accomplishment and motivation to set more goals.

6. The Rich Make To-Do Lists

Keeping a to-do list is an organizational tool which allows rich people to be more productive. In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to lose track of all the tasks that need to be done on a day-to-day basis.

To-do lists are a constant reminder of what is next on the agenda. 

7. The Rich Spend Their Time on Stimulating Activities

Instead of watching TV or playing computer games compulsively, the rich spend their free time very carefully.

They make conscious choices and design their days carefully to ensure the optimal use of time. The rich are learning machines.

They find time for stimulating activities that allow them to grow, reading, learning new skills, picking up new hobbies, exploring new places, meeting new people, giving back to the community.

Intellectually stimulating hobbies have a positive impact on mental dexterity and productivity, and allow the rich to improve themselves continuously. 

8. The Rich Understand the Odds 

Perhaps due to different levels of education in regards to gambling, but on average, poor people spend their time gambling far more than their rich counterparts.

Gambling is an activity in which the house always wins in the long run. A very small number of people get lucky, but overall it is a losing proposition.

The rich understand the odds and may gamble recreationally, but are not addicted to gambling. 

When it comes to daily habits of the rich versus the poor, it certainly appears that rich people engage in habits that are more likely to improve their lives.

Related Article: 10 Work Habits of Unsuccessful People—And How to Correct Them

Rich people make more responsible use of their time. They tend to be more organized and make more effective use of their time.

However, these habits are accessible to everyone and anyone can learn to adopt the same habits in their daily lives.

Image Credit: Fizkes / Getty Images
Janet Miller Member
Janet Miller is a serial entrepreneur and reformed workaholic. She was previously a senior project manager at a Fortune 100 company. She writes extensively and has been featured on Fast Company, The Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha.