Can you put a price tag on a habit?

Seven years ago, I found a cockroach floating in my coffee cup.

At the time, I was working as an ESL teacher in a crumbling building in a not-particularly-great neighborhood.

Our receptionist’s computer was stolen off her desk in the middle of a work day. Once, our grammar lesson was interrupted by a man urinating against the glass door of our street-level classroom.

I earned $34,000 a year at that job. With a master’s degree and all the debt that goes with it.

It seems strange to credit the creation of one daily habit with getting out of that job, but it’s the truth.

My daily writing habit got me out of that (Fulfilling but exhausting! Extremely underpaid! Sort of dangerous!) job.

And if I look at how much I earned as an ESL teacher and how much I earn now, over the course of seven years …

My daily writing habit is worth $280,000. At least.

That doesn’t include the value I place on the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for myself. That doesn’t include the friendships I’ve made, the trips I’ve taken, the opportunities I’ve had.

That’s just a cold, hard, math-based fact about how much more money I’ve earned because I developed a daily writing habit.

And I bet you have your own version of this.

How much money would you save if you finally kicked your mindless online shopping habits? If you stopped smoking? If you stopped going out for cocktails four nights a week with the coworkers you don’t really like?

How much more money would you bring in if you developed a daily habit of emailing a professional peer? Or spent an hour every morning working on your book proposal?

I realize it’s a little unusual to attach a price tag to a habit, but I’ve found it to be a really effective way to sort of shock me (and maybe you?) into making change.

We all know we should drink more water, take our vitamins, network, charge our phones outside of our bedrooms, but it’s easy to put off change for “some other time” or to underestimate how these good habits could change our lives.

But attaching a monetary value to a habit can shock us into taking action.

Eating more fruits and vegetables could save me thousands of dollars in medication because I’m predisposed to Type 2 diabetes.

Charging my phone outside my bedroom means I’ll sleep better. Sleeping better means I’ll get sick less (and work more + earn more). I’ll snap at my friends, stepsons, and husband less (and spend less on therapy and apology gifts).

You’re smart. You get it!

If my cold, hard numbers have convinced you, I want you to know that the live version of my course Make It Stick Habit School is open for enrollment right now and class starts on March 25th!

What you’ll gain from Make It Stick Habit School LIVE

  • A specific-to-you plan for changing your habits
  • An understanding of why your attempts at habit change have failed in the past
  • Science-backed strategies for avoiding temptation and reinforcing good habits
  • Methods you can apply over and over again, to any habit you want to make or break

You can start to break bad habits+ build good ones today for $97!

After you sign up, you’ll immediately have access to

  • 8 video modules + 17-page workbook
  • audio versions of those lessons so you can listen to them at the gym or in the car
  • Our private Facebook group
  • 4 live q & a sessions
  • Weekly emails + accountability challenges

Truly, these methods helped me develop the daily writing habit that lead to my career, break the procrastination habit so I could get my M.A. while working two jobs, and end my impulse spending habit so I could pay off $50k in school debt.

But don’t take my word for it!

This is the magic formula. I’ve been trying to build a regular fitness habit for a decade, but I wasn’t allowing myself room for any deviation whatsoever. Now I have a whole collection of mini ‘bookmark’ activities that I love to do, so that when I can’t get in a ‘real’ workout, I’m still moving my body every day and maintaining my habit. – Erin G.

I loved Habit School! 1. Because it helped me realize why all my other good habits have slid right off me. And 2. because it actually. Made. Good. Habits. STICK! I’m not kidding you. It just worked, and it made me feel amazing. I’ve been able to replicate that same success over and over, with little habits that I was so discouraged about not being able to accomplish before. It is a whole new way of looking at how you behave, and it has really and truly helped me make steps towards being the Nora I want to be. – Nora M.

This ish works! Class starts March 25th and I’d love to see you there!

P.S. If you want to know more before you commit to the course, join me tomorrow over lunch and ask me all your questions about habits or watch my free, 30-minute video workshop 4 Sneaky Ways To Break That Bad Habit This Year.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash



In the past 18 months, I’ve successfully kicked two bad habits, which I’m really proud about. 😀

1: My mindless “buying of throwaway fashion items”. I justified it for years, because it was “only” 10 here, 15 there… No big deal. But then I realised I’d reached the point where it was sometimes pushing 100 pounds a month, for nothing. Since realising that, I’ve maybe spent 100 pounds in the last 18 months, and I don’t miss clothes shopping AT ALL.

2: My other bad habit was NOT moisturising my face (I have terrible, TERRIBLE, like “flake off my face” bad skin”. Then I randomly thought, what would Jonathan Van Ness from ‘Queer Eye’ say about that?! Jonathan would tell me it was terrible to neglect myself like that! And you know what? I’ve moisturized every day since, and my skin looks great. 😀

Sarah Von Bargen

That’s so great! I’m sure you’re saving yourself sooooo much money in the long run!


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