Personal growth is to success as water is to the ocean. The more water there is, the bigger the ocean is. The more personal growth you achieve, the more success you’ll achieve.

Personal growth is so great because no one else can do it for you. It is simply up to you to create a mindset that fosters self-development.

Yes, some people are born into money or a successful family, but success, especially in self-development, means more than monetary funds. Truly successful people find an impeccable balance between work, social, and familial life. However, it will take practice and habits to develop such success. Luckily, there are five habits you can begin instantly (and without dropping a single penny) that may lead you on a path to intrinsic and external success.

Make your bed

It’s the first task you complete that will positively affect your mindset for the rest of the day. It may seem like a small task that is too superficial or minuscule to make much of a difference, but in fact that’s completely untrue. Its minuteness is exactly what makes it so spectacularly powerful.

The Power of Habit author, Charles Duhigg attributes productivity with bedmaking. In his highly acclaimed book, he states “making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.” One of the most important parts of a bed-making habit, is that it starts at the beginning of your day, Duhigg suggests. He calls it a “keystone habit,” because it creates a spiral effect of productive behavior.

In his famous address during the 2014 commencement at the University of Texas, Navy Seal William H. McCraven, addressed the crowd of graduates with a simply proposition: make your bed, and your will succeed. Specifically, he advised “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

Eat breakfast

And… not just any breakfast. As the saying goes, this meal is the most important meal of the day—and for good reason.

Your body was just on complete mental and physical shutdown for 6-8 hours (or maybe less, if it’s a stressful week). When you wake up, you are essentially rebooting your entire system. Breakfast helps this transition. A nutritious balanced meal will give your body the energy it needs to begin the day. And not just your legs to walk to your car or your arms to blow dry your hair, it will give your brain energy to focus and concentrate throughout the day!


Take a moment to be with yourself. A daily meditation habit can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, a clearer and more precise focus, and a greater sense of self-development. Completing a meditation session upon awakening allows your mind to flow free of distractions. It is one of the few moments in your day that will help you reconnect with your inner self and inner passion—the one thing that will determine success.

Write down three goals

Goal setting is an imperative part of personal growth. Without goals and proper planning, no true success will come to fruition (except for extremely lucky and rare situations.) Like meditation, writing when your brain is beginning to reboot will allow a clear flow of thoughts. It is the truest form of your self, before your thoughts are altered and steered by distractions.

Write down three things you are grateful for

The most important part of a successful life is to understand and be grateful for the present. Staying present in the moment will aid your ability to process situations thoroughly and realistically, while allowing you to understand the impact it will have on the future. After you write down your goals for the future, take a moment to think about three things you are grateful for in the moment. Try to think of different aspects of your life each day.

In the rare case you can’t think of anything new, try to think about why. Why are you struggling to think of special moments, people, or activities in your life, and what can you do to change that.