Do you want to make more money? Of course you do. But you don’t have to win the lottery to make more income, nor do you have to suffer through years of formal education to guarantee yourself a higher salary. In fact, there are a handful of basic lifestyle changes you can make—some of which can unfold immediately—to make yourself statistically more likely to earn a higher income.

Lifestyle Changes to Earn More Money

These are some of the biggest habit changes you can make to net yourself a higher income:

1. Get a good night’s sleep.

According to a study by RAND Europe, sleep deprivation may be costing us a collective $411 billion every year in lost productivity. Even the loss of an hour or two of sleep can be detrimental to your cognitive performance, limiting your ability to focus, slowing your reaction time, and stifling the formation of new memories. You’ll think and perform slower, and over time, you may even suffer physical health problems from your consistent lack of sleep. Investing in a better quality mattress, scheduling your sleep so you get at least 8 hours a night, and avoiding substances like caffeine and alcohol before bed can all help you sleep more consistently. When you show up to work thinking clearer, feeling healthier, and getting more done, you’ll be more likely to earn promotions and raises.

2. Exercise every day.

How often do you exercise? One study found that exercising regularly can help you earn 9 percent more than your lazier counterparts, on average, every year. Other studies have found similar results, showing that obese women make up to 18 percent less than their physically active, fitter counterparts. Exercise has a number of benefits that could potentially increase your earning potential, including reducing your stress, keeping you more disciplined and routine-oriented, and giving you more energy throughout the day.

3. Eat healthier foods.

Empirical studies have concluded that eating healthier food can reduce your risk of productivity loss by as much as 66 percent. On top of that, eating healthier tends to reduce your risk of various diseases, from diabetes to heart disease, reducing your reliance on sick days and helping you get more done every day. That increase in productivity can help you earn a higher salary—and on top of that, you’ll set yourself up for a longer lifespan.

4. Be more assertive.

When someone challenges one of your ideas, do you stand up for it or back down? Being more assertive in your day-to-day life can help you stand your ground on bigger issues, like negotiating your salary, or sticking to your guns during a pitch. Intuitively this makes sense, but scientific research also backs up the idea; assertive people make more than their timid counterparts. If the thought of being assertive seems to contradict your character, or seems overwhelming, start by warming up with smaller-scale endeavors, such as asserting yourself in conversations with friends and family members.

5. Be less risk averse.

Finally, learn to take more calculated risks in your life. If you’ve ever been reluctant to leave a questionable job because you’re afraid of the unknown, this piece of advice is for you. Statistically speaking, there’s bound to be a better-paying job for you out there somewhere, so if you’re unhappy in this one, why bother sticking around? Taking the risk in asking for a higher salary, leaving a job for another opportunity, or even pouring your savings into your own business as an entrepreneur can help you land a higher salary eventually—even if your first attempts fail. But you have to take the risk if you want the reward.

Correlation and Causation

Before you ask your boss for a raise simply because you’re sleeping better, take a moment to contemplate the difference between correlation and causation, and the complex role that causation can have in relation to your income. Some of the above lifestyle changes will have an immediate and clear effect on your abilities and behaviors, but some are merely correlated with higher-income individuals.

That means people who are likely to earn a higher income are more likely to engage in these activities, but the activities themselves may not lead directly to a higher income. For example, self-disciplined people tend to be better performers, and also tend to exercise regularly; however, that doesn’t mean that exercising more will naturally make you a better performer.

Still, it’s worth adjusting your habits and behaviors to improve your overall lifestyle. Even if these changes only have a marginal effect on your eventual income, the positive change will help you feel better—and make you more satisfied with your life no matter how much you make.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Jessica and I am an independent journalist, freelance blogger, and technology junkie with a passion for music, arts, and the outdoors. One of my greatest passions and joy is assisting communities and business owners. My utmost desire is to help people and business owners to succeed and prosper in their personal and business affairs. I share, comment, write and edit popular news stories.