Sometimes it seems people have the magic touch that provides them with an easy path to wealth and success. However, unless someone inherited a fortune, they likely had to work very hard to get to their current status.

In many cases, those who outwardly look successful do not actually have the financial situation that matches appearances.

If you want to be successful and financially secure, you need to be ready to work hard and put forth the effort to achieve your goals.

Mediocrity today equates to being broke or otherwise financially stressed.

If you want to achieve something better in life, you need to change your habits, create a plan and get started working on it today. Here are some tips:

5 Tips for Wealth and Success

1. Setting Goals

You may have a general goal of being financially secure and not having to worry about how you will pay next month’s bills.

However, you need a more specific goal so that you can create an actionable, long-term strategy that gets you to your desired point.

Some people have a desire to live a truly extravagant lifestyle. Others want to live modestly, travel a bit and not have to worry about finances. Define your goals and prioritize them.

For most people, paying off all debts is the first milestone event that they need to reach.

This includes paying off car loans and mortgage as well as credit cards and other debts. Therefore, your first action item in your plan will involve a debt reduction and elimination strategy.

Make your plans S.M.A.R.T. That means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based.

Depending on your situation, some of your financial goals will be short-term, some long term. Setting goals is a work half done in achieving dreams, and you are more likely to get there if they are realistic.

As James Cash Penney, founder of the nationwide successful department stores said:

“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.”

2. Start Saving Up

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People who are already living on a tight budget think that they do not have enough money available to make a huge dent in debt reduction efforts. The thought of saving money on top of making extra debt payments can seem impossible.

When you do not have money available in savings to pay for expenses related to setbacks and unexpected events, though, you usually have no choice but to charge your credit cards back up.

You simply must have an emergency savings account available to draw from.

In order to find money to save, you need to consider all options.

For example, if you have a recreational boat, sell it. You can eliminate your boat loan, gas, insurance, and other related expenses.

You can also take on extra work as needed, and you can use this money for savings and debt reduction.

Many people are wasting money on regular expenses and purchases that are simply not necessary.

Identify ways that you can cut back, compromise, and you could potentially find a few hundred extra dollars or more to work with each month. Be patient with your financial plan and frequently track and revise all expenses.

When it comes to creating the right financial habits, every dollar counts. That’s a necessary step on your journey to reaching wealth and success.

3. Work on Your Future

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To find an extra buck to allocate toward debt reduction and savings, you may need to make significant sacrifices. These are sacrifices made today so that you can have a more enjoyable and stress-free tomorrow.

When you put your future first, you will be on a better path that helps you to achieve your goals.

Remember that debt costs you money each month in the form of interest charges.

Late payment fees, service fees, and other additional fees may also add up. Simply eliminating your debts can help you to save a tremendous amount of money. The more money that you can allocate toward debt reduction today, the more money you can save on debt-related charges going forward.

Making sacrifices and living on your own terms is essential for wealth and success.

Some steps that you can take include downsizing to a smaller home and becoming a one-car family. You can even sell the car and move closer to work to cut expenses.

You can organize a yard sale or sell unused items online. Getting rid of an old bicycle or unused juicer might mean putting an extra dollar to your debt-reduction account.

Also, you can become minimalist for a certain time and avoid buying anything except essentials. Only buy items that are needed and buy them on sale or with coupons when possible.

Take Warren Buffet for example. Worth billions, he still makes sure his breakfast doesn’t cost more than $3.17.

Stop spending your paycheck dining out and make plans to reduce social expenses as much as possible. Only visit family out of town once a year or invite them to visit you instead. Understand that you do not need cable TV and eliminate this unnecessary expense entirely.

The more that you can cut back through lifestyle changes, the faster you can reach your goals. These sacrifices may seem uncomfortable at first, but you will get used to them. In fact, when you begin to see that you are making progress with your goals, you will see that these temporary sacrifices are well worth the effort.

4. The Joneses Are Broke

It can be hard to see your friends buying a beautiful new home or neighbors getting a fancy new car. You understandably may feel pressured to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. Things are often equated with wealth and success

Change your mindset and how you view the accumulation of things.

Understand that the Joneses had to spend a lot of money to buy those things.

A new house comes with a large mortgage payment. A new car comes with auto loan payments for years. Think about all the extra money you have available to save and invest in your future because you have chosen to live frugally.

Buying things means that you are spending money.

Money spent on more liabilities while you are not debt free is not a road to wealth and success.

When your friends realize that their purchases have driven them to the poorhouse while you are enjoying a more leisurely life free of debt, they may see that your frugal, minimalistic lifestyle is actually more enviable in the long run.

You have one life to live, and you need to live it on your terms.

You cannot find happiness, success and wealth when you are constantly trying to live up to ever-increasing standards that are set by those around you. Set your own standards and live by your own rules.

Your standards and rules should be developed based on the specific goals that you have for your life. When you take these steps to live like no one else, you can find the success and wealth that you desire regardless of what income bracket you are in.

5. Sometimes, Giving Up is Actually Good

There’s more than enough pop and rock songs out there about the need to never give up or give in to make sure that we all know that perseverance is the path to success.

And that’s not even including all the many movies that tell the same story.

Did Rocky give up on his dream? Nope. But movies and songs don’t tell the whole story, which is that sometimes you really do need to know when to quit, and there’s science to prove it.

Researchers often look into the causes of success and failure. And sometimes their findings can definitely go against the popular narrative of just keeping on going until what you’re doing works.

One study found that focusing on the outcome of your work can actually have a negative impact on your ability to achieve it, because you’re better off staying in the moment. Like a sports team who take it one game at a time rather than focusing on the championship.

It’s also better for your health if you’re less goal-oriented.

That’s because studies show that if you disengage from your goals, you tend to get better sleep, fewer headaches, better skin and less constipation. It can also lead to an increase in C-reactive protein, which has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and early aging.

On a less physical side of things, being laser-focused on one aspect can mean you miss out on better opportunities that come along. And this is certainly true when it comes to staying in one job rather than moving around looking for something better.

Giving up might feel like a failure, which is why some of us are so afraid of doing so. But it’s much better to give up than to continue with a task until you actually fail, which can lead to feelings of demotivation and make it harder to succeed in the future.

Meanwhile, sticking stubbornly to your plan, can also lead to desperation and the temptation to try and achieve it via unethical means, while giving up and finding a new goal helps to build your emotional agility and self-awareness.

Of course, we’re not suggesting that you should read this infographic from Net Credit and immediately quit your job or your band or that really difficult jigsaw you’ve been trying to finish for weeks now.

The important thing is to know that sometimes walking away from something can be the best thing for your health, state of mind and even your hopes of achieving success in the long run, no matter what soft rock songs and Rocky films might tell you.

If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, but if it’s not worth doing, go find something else that is.

About The Author

Michelle Laurey is a freelance writer who especially enjoys researching and writing on a rainy day. She loves producing stories on entrepreneurship, productivity, lifestyle, and relationships. Outside her keyboard, she spends time visiting cozy coffee places or takes long urban strolls with her boyfriend. She fights her fully embraced cheesecake addiction with spin classes.