The majority of logical, practical adults will tell you that luck doesn't exist, and realistically, it doesn't. There's no charm or novel practice that can somehow make you more likely to stumble into money and less likely to get caught in the rain. But in a very real sense, luck can exist--if you define luck as the probability that good things will happen to you. You see, most of the things that happen to us aren't random, but instead are products of our daily habits; for example, most self-made millionaires didn't "get lucky"; they worked hard, took risks, and invested wisely. If you accidentally lock your keys in your car, you weren't hit with a stroke of "bad luck"; you just didn't have a good system to remember your keys, like a lanyard or tether.

Because of this correlation of habits with eventual outcomes, it's actually possible to increase your luck with a handful of small daily habit changes. These are seven I've found to be particularly useful:

1. Read (or Watch) the News. If you aren't already checking the news every day, start doing so now. If you get stuck in traffic, you might attribute that to bad luck--but others might attribute that to your not hearing about the seven-car pileup on the highway this morning. If you plan a picnic that gets rained out, you might similarly blame luck--but had you read the weather report, it might not have happened. Listening to the news is a way of keeping yourself abreast of developments you haven't seen and can't predict on your own; it's like tapping into a precognitive network that can tell you portions of your future and help you avoid small, yet measurable, tragedies.

2. Pay Close Attention to Your Surroundings. Try to pay attention to everything that's going on around you. If you have tunnel vision while driving, you might not see the deer jumping out in front of you until it's too late. If you're too focused on solving one problem at work, you might miss a handful of other, more immediate problems that are growing worse by the hour. Paying attention to these details can help you avoid unnecessary negative situations; you won't be able to prevent everything, but you will increase your likelihood of avoiding such events. On average, it will make you luckier.

3. Wake Up Earlier. Waking up earlier may seem like a strange habit to increase your luck, but its effects are numerous. First, you'll have a greater chance of getting to work (or school, or anywhere) on time. Leaving earlier, too, can help you avoid the "bad luck" of getting stuck in traffic. Second, you'll be far less rushed. Waking up just in the nick of time to get ready puts unnecessary stress and pressure on you, and can force you to make mistakes and stumble where you would otherwise succeed. Lastly, it puts you in a more disciplined, controlled environment, which can help you regiment the rest of your day.

4. Exercise Daily. Physical exercise is important for your health; regular exercise can prevent a number of diseases, conditions, and other complications that arise later in life. Some would consider this increased luck when it comes to health. But regular exercise offers other benefits, too--it gets you in better shape, so you're more likely to "luckily" catch that bus or make it home before it rains. Exercise can also help you stay more focused and energetic throughout the day, giving you a greater chance of completing your tasks and your work successfully.

5. Keep an Open Mind. Lucky people tend to have open minds when it comes to new opportunities and problem solving. For example, they may be more open to a new experience and consider themselves lucky when that new experience goes well. A close-minded person would remain firmly in his or her routine, or would have already made up his or her mind about whether the experience would be enjoyable. Open-minded people also tend to look at problems in a broader context, giving them more opportunities to see and approach the simple solution to them. In a sense, they solve problems faster and easier--making them appear more lucky.

6. Hedge Your Bets. Hedging your investments is a wise move in personal finance--if you invest in a number of different markets and a number of different vehicles, you'll be far more tolerant of any unexpected shifts, and over time, you'll see compounding returns on your principle even after economic downturns. You should hedge your bets in life the same way--building multiple skillsets, establishing professional relationships with many people, and so on. The more diversified your life is, the easier you'll be able to tolerate unexpected shifts and setbacks, and the more lucky you'll seem.

7. Think About the Bright Side. People who consider themselves lucky also consider themselves to be optimists. If you think about that for a moment, it's not hard to understand why. Optimists are always looking at the positive things in their life--they may have equal amounts of opportunities and setbacks, but because they focus more on the opportunities, they feel like they have more than they actually do. As a result, they feel luckier and happier. Some people are more naturally optimistic than others, but you can still practice optimism by focusing on the positive more than the negative in your own life. Doing so will make you feel luckier almost immediately.

Make these seven habit changes in your life and start experiencing better luck. Of course, this doesn't mean you should start playing the lottery or betting on horses--but you will find yourself more capable of seeing positive outcomes.

Published on: Sep 14, 2015