• Exercise aerobically 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week.
  • Track your eating.
  • Eat less than 300 calories of junk food per day.
  • Avoid fast food
  • Floss daily.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours a night.

Author Thomas Corley mentioned in the interview I heard that he had discovered over 200 daily habits that distinguished the successful from the unsuccessful. I ordered his book in the confident expectation that it would list those habits. Nope.

However, there is a series of Promises. “Rich Habits Promise Number One” is “I will form good daily habits and follow these good daily habits every day.” In order to do this, we should list our bad habits — in my case, it’s clear that eating more than 300 calories’ worth of junk food per day is one of them — and then invert them. I would therefore write, “I eat more than 300 calories’ worth of junk food.” Then next to it I would write, “I eat no more than 300 calories’ worth of junk food.”

It’s surprising how quickly a few chips at lunch and dessert in the evening add up to more than 300 calories.

Some bad habits and good habits are given as examples at this point: returning phone calls right away, remembering names, calling a prospect each day, and paying attention to dates that matter to other people are all among the examples of good habits. But at this point I guess we’re on our own in deciding which habits are good or bad, and there’s no indication of how many we should work on — 200? It doesn’t say.

Promise Number Two is, “I will set goals for each day, for each month, for each year, and for the long term. I will focus on my goals each and every day.” I’m down with this one. And I already do this, but I’m not sure that I always complete 80% of my goals. I also don’t always have a written list. So I can improve in this area.

Promise Number Three: “I will engage in self-improvement every day.” I’m big on self-improvement, too, though I sometimes think that’s a flaw, especially since I don’t always succeed with my efforts at self-improvement. Corley’s research suggests that it is not. He gives examples, including joining a trade organization, reading, increasing skills, and learning. I think this is already natural for me, but Corley says to set aside 30 minutes each day. And maybe I don’t do that. There are times when I feel too busy to try to improve my skills. And I also work on improving skills that are not related to my work, which he doesn’t mention.

Promise Number Four is “I will devote part of each and every day to caring for my health.” Here’s where the list at the top of this post comes up. There are more promises, but this seems like a manageable number of daily habits to improve. I’ll add the items from Promises 1-3, and once I’m seeing green on all of them, I’ll move on.