Life Advice: What can people start doing now that will help them a lot in about five years? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights .
Answer by Stan Hayward on Quora :
Keep a diary.
Write down the key points of what you did each day. Doing so might seem trivial, but it will show how you spend your day.
Write down thoughts you have for doing even simple things like buying something. What you write will show you where your money goes.
At the end of every month, do a summary of what you have done, and mark out things you have achieved or failed to achieve. This review should include your income, health, buying items, fixing things.
Put a value on your time. If you assess your time as being worth $20 an hour, then assess everything you do at that rate. So if writing and posting a letter takes half an hour, then it costs $10.
Give yourself short-term goals. Write down what you hope to achieve in the next month. Then assess how well you did it. If you failed, then write down why.
Have an exercise plan, and try hard to stick to it.
You need to plan your personal life like you would plan a company. Put a value on what you do, who you know, how much you pay for anything, and how much your possessions and actions further your goals.
Keep a clear record of your outgoing cash and your income. This record is not for accounting, but just to see if your lifestyle affects this in a way that courses a need for adjusting.
Get rid of excess baggage. This covers items you don't need, habits that are distractions, friends who you will not miss, hobbies that absorb your resources.
Mix with people who have similar goals to yourself. (This does not mean never mix with anyone else.)
Don't assume you will ever have time to do things you can't do now or soon.
Learn the difference between Urgent and Important.
Don't rely on others to solve your problems. Try to solve all your problems even if they can be solved with money or help. Learning how to fix a dripping tap may seem needless, but it gives an insight into problem solving.
Find out how other people solved their problems or failed to.
Take an interest in people. Success comes from knowing how people work, not how things work.
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