The 8 Best New Habits I Built in 2015 (#7 is My Favorite)

my top new habits

I love new habits. The good ones, of course.

They are a sign we’ve been working on improving ourselves, have dedicated the necessary time and effort to develop them, have hacked the process of ingraining a new behavior and managed to stay consistent.

That’s great.

And to show you that I’m not only writing about all that, but actually taking action upon it daily, here are the best new habits I built this year:

1. Starting small.

Whatever I put my mind to, I know I should be starting small.

It’s like that with any habit we try to develop, and with anything big we want to achieve in life actually.

Great things start small. So I learned to break projects, goals or tasks down to smaller steps, then into even simpler and tinier ones. Then, I could start without feeling overwhelmed and take one action a day that could let me feel accomplished.

2. Accepting things I have no control over.

Truth is, many of the things in life depend on outer factors, like other people, daily circumstances, or life itself.

Too many of us spend our days trying to change what can’t be changed. I’ve been aware of that for a long time now but it’s this year that I finally let go of that ridiculous desire.

I feel so free and content now that I don’t try so hard to control everything and simply accept the fact that many things aren’t under my control.

3. Working on the ones I can control.

What I can do, however, and what we should all be doing, is taking action upon what we do control. That’s our habits, our mindset, the way we react to what happens in life, and how well we spend our time each day.

4. Tracking stuff.

Since I started tracking, I’m more productive and can see things that don’t work and do something to improve them.

5. Saying what I think.

I simplified communication so much by being direct and just sharing what’s on my mind instead of trying to guess what the other person is thinking about.

I suggest you do the same. We waste a lot of time and worries daily – and even ruin relationships – by making hints, trying to please others, not asking what we want to know, not saying it when we like someone, etc.
I stopped all that.

6. Prioritizing.

That’s a habit too, yes, as it’s something we should do all the time.

Life is sometimes a constant battle against distractions. It’s our job to stay focused on what we believe in and work on what we want to achieve. For that to happen, we need to prioritize daily and put the activities and things connected to our goals before anything else.

7. Not letting others talk me out of my goals.

Now that I’ve defined what I want and don’t want in life, and am doing something to get closer to my goals all the time, I’m also ruthless with them.

Consciously or not, other people are making us live by their standards and try to talk us out of what we’ve planned. That’s just one of the many distractions on the way to building a lifestyle we’ll be happy with.

So we need to be aware of that all the time. To stay focused on what we truly want and not let other people and their opinion and expectations get in the way.

8. Being ruthless with my most productive time.

I experimented a lot and found my most productive time – the first part of the day. Since then, I’ve been making the most of it by doing my work during that period without allowing people to bother me or myself to think about or do other things.

I made progress with many other habits and changes in my behavior and mindset too. But these are the best and most practical ones.

What about you? What are the top new habits you built in 2015?

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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