What You Need to Know About Change and Developing Habits

change and developing habits

Changing and developing habits are two of the most important processes that are part of your personal growth.

Smiling at one person each day can make you friendlier and more positive about life. It can also make others like you and want to spend more time with you.

Saying something nice like thank you every now and then, or making a little compliment to someone you love, can fix a relationship and make it last a lifetime.

If every week you get up 15 minutes earlier than the previous one, in 2 months you’ll be a morning person, getting up 2 hours earlier than you do now without realizing it or making any effort, and will have more time for yourself that will help you plan your days and get stuff done in the early hours.

If you stop visiting second-hand shops (like I did because it was an awful habit of mine to buy more clothes than I actually needed just because they are so cheap) and buy fewer clothes through the year – but better ones that actually belong to a proper brand – you’ll become stylish, look more professional and fashionable, be more confident and feel good about yourself.

My point with all these examples is that tiny changes like these have a huge impact on our life after some time.

Why small changes matter the most?

Most people underestimate things like flossing just one tooth, meditating for just one minute or running for five.

But that’s how habits are created and it’s the only way to make a permanent change in our lifestyle without using up our willpower and trying hard day after day.

Stuff like that matters the most simply because our behavior (and who we are and what our life looks like) consists of repeated actions – good or bad, often done unconsciously – which is what brings success and happiness. Or the lack of it.

[tweetthis]The good news is that we can start our transformation at any moment.[/tweetthis]

Honestly, the only time it’s too late is when we’re dead. Any other time you consider not right, too early, too late or else, is an awful excuse you make and a lie you keep telling to yourself.
So stop that and see the possibility of change that’s everywhere around you.

So far, so good.

But change scares us. And that makes us dread making even small steps that take 30 seconds of our day.

What causes that is our attitude – we’ve always connected change with effort, sweat and doing stuff we don’t like and want.

Why change scares us and what to do about it?

We think about it all the time, we worry, think we may fail and feel hopeless, insecure and lose point in doing anything at all.

You try to plan how your transformation will look like, you constantly remind yourself of the thing you’re trying to give up or do more or less of.

All that makes even the smallest action like not eating the whole packet of biscuits but only 2/3 of it, or smoking one cigarette less a day, feel like something big, which is the main event of your day and prevents you from enjoying any other thing you do.

Then it’s time to change that attitude.

Ditch your expectations, don’t complain, don’t speak about the little daily change, don’t compare it to the way other people make changes, don’t prepare for it.
In fact, don’t think about it at all. Just do it.

Something that will be of great help is to put it right after something you do each day (that will be the trigger and your reminder) and have a small reward after that.

For instance, after you get up and brush your teeth, do your daily dose of flossing/meditation/exercise/etc. In the beginning it must be the tiniest action possible that takes no time.

And then have tea/coffee or breakfast, or something else that you usually do after that and enjoy. This will be like a reward for the new thing you just did.

That’s the best way to start developing habits without any pressure and trying too hard.

But what if you want to make another type of change, like to stop doing something?

Small steps are also the solution here.

If you want to stop buying stuff online, start by reducing it to once a week (assuming you do it twice).

If you find yourself checking email every 20 minutes, start by not doing it before 9 a.m. Then choose a bigger interval.

You get the idea.

The two most important things to keep in mind about change and developing habits

[tweetthis]Whatever it is that you want to change, do it in small steps, for a short time.[/tweetthis]

The second thing to remember is consistency. It doesn’t matter whether you want to develop, replace or give up a habit. What you need to do is repeat the action (or the lack of it) every single day/week/month/etc.
Without consistency, there won’t be any progress.

Being the most positive person for a day will bring you joy, maybe even a new admirer. But then you’ll go back to being negative.

But if you notice only one of your many negative thoughts for the day and replace it with a positive one, after some time you’ll become happier, will be surrounded by other optimists, will have new friends and will always grab the attention with your new personality.

See also:

How small changes make all the difference in your life
How I changed my life
How simple mini habits can change your life

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income