According to behavioral psychologists, it takes 21 days to develop a habit. If you do something for 21 days straight, it turns into a habit. This is true regarding quitting alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. This rule also applies to exercise. In fact, it can apply to many other things in your life.
Use this rule to your advantage when it comes to saving, researching investments, and investing money. These three activities determine whether you’ll retire comfortably. These three activities determine the amount of cash you’ll have to enable you to live your standard of living you would like for yourself and your loved ones.
When it comes to realizing your financial goals, the hardest part is starting. Sure, setting goals can be easy. Who hasn’t put their arms behind their heads and day dreamed of lounging on a tropical beach somewhere without having to worry about the bills? Who hasn’t dreamed about rolling into town in a nice big car or going home to a nice big house in the best part of town?
The truth is dreaming about money is easy. What people have a problem with is breaking up the dream into doable and scheduled goals. That Mercedes is not just going to drop onto your lap. You have to work for it. Goals will get you there. The problem is starting. This is the hard part because this means sacrifice. Sadly, this concept of sacrifice is increasingly rare-people want to eat their cake now and worry later about the future.
If you start on a ’21 day’ program for saving, you mentally condition yourself to break your habit of instant gratification. Instead of eating your cake now, you put it in the fridge for later. The same goes for your money. Instead of blowing that cash now, you set aside a little bit every day for 21 days. If you are able to stick to this schedule, you have acquired a new habit of saving a little bit of your income every day.
After you are able to save a little money daily, it can be a few dollars at first, and this has developed into a habit, the next step is to step up your game and take your savings to the next level-research investment opportunities. For 21 days straight, get on the Internet and research investment opportunities. Don’t feel you have to pull the trigger on any opportunity just yet. Just browse and get a feel for the different legitimate investments you can put your money in.
Once you have reached 21 days, you have established a habit of being open to investment opportunities and, more importantly, training your personal analytical skills to effectively size up and compare opportunities. Keep your two habits going for several months-putting your daily savings at the bank and investment research-before stepping up to the next level.
Once you have gained a high level of familiarity with investment opportunities, it is time to commit-make an investment. This won’t be a 21-day habit but a 12 or 6 month habit. Every month or every other month, put your savings into a investment. It could be stocks or bonds or any other investment that beats inflation. By doing this, you won’t be short on cash and need a cash advance on short notice. If you keep this up, you will retire with a nice nest egg and your money will work for you instead of you sweating for your money-all thanks to the 21 day habit.