2018 is the perfect chance to start a brand new chapter. Yet while most of us set New Year's resolutions, studies reveal that fewer than 10 percent of us manage to stick to them for more than a few months. A big reason is that we see these changes as enormous obstacles rather than the result of small, daily decisions.
The power of choosing positive habits – and sticking to them for the long-term – will allow your success to compound. Trust me when I say that making the time for self-improvement this year will snowball into something great.
So, instead of waiting for success to fall in your lap in 2018, you can begin achieving it today by adopting these small yet powerful daily habits:
1. Use your free time wisely
Another culprit for not achieving self-improvement is the excuse that we "don't have enough time."
While I don't doubt that you're busy (I know I am), there tends to be more free time in our schedules than we realize. For instance, the amount of time we spend watching TV and surfing social media every year could've been used to read 200 books.
If Warren Buffett and Bill Gates can make time for self-improvement, so can you. When I started avoiding TV, I was amazed by how much my schedule opened. No matter what the habit is, you can pencil it in if you find the motivation.
2. Narrow down your decisions
Mark Zuckerberg doesn't wear a grey hoodie every day for fashion reasons. "I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community," he said.
This habit might seem tough if you have a lot on your plate, but, this year, try to simplify your life by not over-committing.
When you're pressured to say 'yes' to several things at one time, go back to your priorities and see if this opportunity is aligned with the goals you have set for 2018. In this way, you eliminate distractions and get to your finish line faster.
By narrowing down the decisions you make, you get to focus on what's important.
3. Make small but important financial tweaks
Speaking of small habits snowballing, innocuous and toxic spending habits can really snowball over time. For instance, that $3.50 latte you buy everyday might not seem damaging, but over the year it amounts to $1,278 down the drain.
To improve your financial success in the new year, try the "50-30-20 rule." The breakdown is straightforward and practical. Get the 50 percent of your income and allocate it for your daily living expenses like rent. The next 30 percent you can spend on whatever you want. Sounds fun, right? The 20 percent, the most important chunk of the pie, should directly go to your investments.
4. Save money without thinking
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 saving, 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 it's possible for you to automate a flow of money into your savings account, or, even better, an investment vehicle, it will not only be more convenient but will also help you make more down the line. You're not only brightening your financial future but you are also reserving your limited willpower for other habits.
5. Be positive
According to a research by NCBI, people with a positive mindset are generally more successful because they take advantage of opportunities and set bigger goals.
It may not be easy to shift your mind into positivity, but it can be done by relaxing and not letting your emotions consume you. Try to divert and channel your thoughts so you won't get stuck in, and with, negativity.
It will also be a big help if you practice meditation to give you peace and clear your mind.
6. Ask for help
There's immense value in learning how to ask help from others. The most successful people could not have achieved all that they have without a little help along the way. So, the next time you need an extra hand, don't be afraid to delegate or ask.
7. Start early
This tip applies to much more than waking up at 5 a.m. Financially, start saving your money and investing as soon as possible. Self-made billionaires realize the enormous value of compound interest, the way a small amount invested now can become a fortune later.
Additionally, some of the world's largest companies are run by CEOs that are under 40. You don't have to be young to achieve success, but you should adopt the attitude that it's never too early to start. Don't be afraid to take a leap in your career, even if you think you're too inexperienced. If you keep waiting for the perfect timing to take an opportunity, it may never come.
8. Set goals, don't make wishes
Thomas Corley, who has extensively studied millionaires, said that, "If you want your wish or dream to come true, you need to create goals around them, pursue those goals and achieve those goals. You need to break your wish or dream down into manageable tasks that you are able to perform."
Wishing you were a billionaire is all well and good, but it won't get you anywhere. Instead, by setting goals like "I'll save and invest an extra $200 a month", you'll get to financial freedom much quicker than you ever thought was possible.
So, keep that big-picture dream in your head, but don't forget to break it down into manageable realities.
Burnout plagues millions of Americans each year, and its wide variety of symptoms, including insomnia and stress, can eat away at your chances for wealth and success.
If you're feeling stressed and overworked, this is the year to finally end it for good. Harvard research indicates that "Our brains need a rest as much as our bodies do."
The best way to do this is to unplug before and during work.
Consider actually leaving work at the end of the day by not checking your email in the evening and focusing on something relaxing instead. During the workday, take a break every hour or so, and even take a walk outside.
10. Have a thankful heart
Often, we get too overwhelmed with the demands of work that we overlook the good things in life. We forget to be appreciative for all the opportunities given to us as well as the help we receive on a daily basis.
This year, make it a point to be more grateful. Your perception of the world changes when you maintain a thankful heart. Rather than trying to find what's missing or what's already lost, take advantage of what you have and use it to advance into the next milestone.
At the end of the day, your happiness and well-being matters most, so learn to appreciate the results of your hard work.
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 Founder of LexION Alpha.
Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook!
Don't miss: 3 crucial career questions to answer now if you want to succeed in 2018