Leadership

5 things you should do for 5 minutes every day to be exceptionally successful

These habits only take five minutes out of your day, but they will snowball into enormous success over time.

The ultra-successful may seem larger than life, but if we break down the habits of millionaires and billionaires, we can see that their small, personal, daily routines are just as crucial as the big business decisions they make. The ultra-successful know better than anyone that small habits can yield big results.

Here are five of their mini-routines you can incorporate into your day to become wealthier and more successful.

Visualize your journey to the top

Take five minutes every day to picture what you want in life, and ask yourself if you did something that day that moved you closer to your goal. If not, picture what small steps you can do to catalyze that change.

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According to writer Neil Gaiman, this little trick helped him become one of the most successful authors of our time. "Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be … was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal. And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right."

The trick to this routine is to not ideally wish or dream. This habit might start in your head, but it needs to turn into an actionable, concrete game plan over time. A study from Harvard showed that people who have goals are 10 times as successful as those without goals, and those who write them down are three times as likely to reach them as those who don't.

Author Neil Gaiman
David Levenson | Getty Imates
Author Neil Gaiman

This could look like putting money into your savings every week, or making a to-do list, or taking the time to learn a new skill a few minutes every day. These little stepping stones are essential to reaping massive amounts of personal and financial success.

Save money like clockwork

In terms of financial success, a quick thing you can do to instantly take a step towards more wealth is to automate your savings. Even if we intend to save our money, we're only human, and sometimes we forget or spend more money than we realize. However, if you automate your savings, that money is instantly tucked away where it's harder to spend carelessly, and easier to use for investing or bettering your financial future.

If you're not sure how much money to set aside, I suggest using the practical 50-20-30 rule, which calls for categorizing spending and allocating 50 percent of your income on needs, 30 percent on wants and activities, and 20 percent on bettering your financial future (like investing).

Be uncomfortable for five minutes every day

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do one thing every day that scares you."

Wealthy entrepreneurs and powerful executives didn't get to where they are by living inside their comfort zone. For many of us, risk isn't something we're comfortable with, and that's why taking five minutes out of your day to try something new is so important. Doing this on a regular basis trains your brain to be okay with a challenge or to feel comfortable with putting yourself out there, even if the result is failure.

This could be as simple as trying a new food, asking for help, talking to a new person, or requesting feedback from a peer. It could be something bigger like investing your money or learning how to say "no."

Therapist Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo also advocates stepping outside your comfort zone as means to success. "Breaking your own mold can only make you stronger and more confident to reach higher levels in your professional and personal life," she says.

The more successful you are, the bigger the risks and the more likely you will face criticism. If you've primed yourself for that reality by participating in little actions like these everyday, you'll be golden.

Oprah Winfrey
Getty Images | Fred Watkins
Oprah Winfrey

Jot down five new ideas a day

"The truth is you have to have great ideas that solve problems to make money. If you do, you will attract money like a magnet," writes Steve Siebold, a self-made millionaire who's interviewed over 1,000 of the wealthiest and most influential people of our time.

One way to incorporate this concept into a quick, daily routine is to jot down five new ideas every day. They don't all have to be groundbreaking or even that great. The point of this simple exercise is to turn your mind into a well-oiled moneymaking machine that is primed to come up with new innovations and novel solutions that will make you rise to the top.

Take five minutes to work on yourself

One thing the separates the incredibly rich and prosperous from the rest of us is how they utilize their down time for self-improvement. That's why everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates swear by taking time out of their busy days to learn new things and improve.

So instead of binging on "Game of Thrones," look for productive things to do during your time off and in the gaps in your day. You could take five minutes to read a short article, learn a piece of a new skill, knock out 20 push-ups, or do a quick five-minute stretch routine. You could meditate or listen to an audiobook on your way home from work. Improving yourself is essential to moving closer to realizing your success.

Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City serving high-net-worth individuals. She is also the chief investment officer and Portfolio Manager at LexION Alpha, her systematic hedge fund that will soon be open to new investments. It is one of the only women-owned and run hedge funds in the nation.

This article originally appeared on Medium.

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