Tag Archives: Motivation

The FULL COST of Smoking Cigarettes

This is how smoking is usually pictured when the cigarette companies used to freely play mind games to convince you to smoke.

Nowadays, not many would argue the fact that smoking is bad for you. It’s linked to lung cancer and heart disease, and is associated with nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.¹ Yet so many people, even some I know personally still smoke despite the health consequences.  Besides ruining your physical health, smoking can also seriously ruin your financial health.

The upfront cost of smoking
Cigarettes aren’t cheap. Prices per pack vary from $5.25 in Missouri to $12.85 in New York, but the national average comes out to around $6.28.²’³ Smoking a pack per day will run you $44 per week, $188 per month, and $2,292 per year. Over 20 years you’ll have spent $91,671 on cigarettes. You’ve literally burned almost 6 figures!

If you got it like Granny, then ‘burn baby burn’, I guess.

Health care costs of smoking
Besides the up front cost, there are more subtle costs associated with what I’ve heard some say is their way to relieve stress. Extra doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital bills, and other treatments all cost money, and smoking increases your chances of needing those at some point in your future. In total, smoking-related illness costs the United States over $300 billion per year.⁴ Smokers also have to face higher insurance costs because of the health risks presented by their habit. All told, smoking one pack per day costs around $15,000 a year, or $40 per pack.⁵ Having $15,000 go up in smoke sounds pretty stressful to me.

The opportunity cost of smoking
Opportunity cost is a concept covered in economics and business courses. So unless you’ve taken both at the K-12 and collegiate level like I have you might be drawing a blank here. In a nutshell, it’s FOMO realized. In other words, (for my non Gen Z & Millennial readers) what are you missing out on because you decided to spend resources on a different option.

In our smoking scenario it means what could you have done with that $15,000? Did you want to start building a business but found yourself short on start-up funds? Maybe that could be the foundation of your child’s college fund or inheritance. Or is it that vacation you desperately want to take (of course while still keeping your physical distance; not trying to sort out catch dat ‘rona). Is your habit costing you the potential to live on your terms and start building your future?

Anyone who may be reading this and is struggling to quit smoking, I understand that it’s hard but keep trying. I want to see you reach your full potential and stop missing out one life-changing opportunities. Check out these resources from the CDC. And share your story in the comments.

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

(2) https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/cigarette-prices-by-state/

(3) https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/why-you-should-quit/how-much-will-you-save

(4) https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/economics/econ_facts/index.htm#:~:text=Smoking%2Drelated%20illness%20in%20the,%24300%20billion%20each%20year%2C%20including%3A&text=Nearly%20%24170%20billion%20for%20direct,due%20to%20secondhand%20smoke%20exposure

(5) https://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/benefits/events/flyers/tobacco-free/hidden-cost-of-smoking.pdf

Morning Habits You Can Start Tomorrow

Most of our mornings aren’t very fun. We roll out of bed, maybe hit snooze a few times, and then crawl into work feeling groggy at best.

Or lately, crawl to our established or makeshift home offices if you’re not an essential worker. But it doesn’t have to be like this. The morning hours can be times of relaxation, focus, and self-improvement. Here are a few practical habits that can take your mornings from pointless to productive!

Go to bed early
I know, none of us want to hear this one. Too reminiscent of enforced childhood bedtimes. Who hasn’t stayed up too late watching just one more episode of your favorite show on Netflix, Hulu or Disney+? Don’t expect to wake up feeling motivated.

A productive morning starts the night before. Try to stay away from screens before going to bed (at least one hour) and make sure you turn in at a reasonable time. You may also want to dial back when you wake up. Having a quiet hour or two before everyone else wakes up is a great way of freeing up time to invest in things you care about. Just remember that your new sleep schedule will take some time to adjust to!

Exercise first thing
One of the best habits to fill your new-found morning hours is exercise. It’s a great way to get your blood flowing and boost your energy. Plus, the feeling that you’ve accomplished something can help carry you through the day and boost your confidence.

Check out some of our past exercise posts!

Prioritize your tasks
But let’s say you’ve started getting up an hour and a half earlier and you work out for 30 minutes. How are you going to spend the next hour before you start getting ready for work? One great habit is to start planning out your day and prioritizing your tasks. Write down what specifically you want to accomplish and when. You might be amazed by how empowering it is to make a plan and to see your goals on a piece of paper. Start off with your biggest task. The morning is when you’re at your peak brain power, so commit your best efforts to the hardest work. The feeling of accomplishment from knocking out the task will carry you through the smaller things!

Mornings don’t have to be rough. Incorporating these tips and habits into your daily routine can help make the first hours of the day a time you look forward to. Start inching your alarm closer towards sunrise and use that extra time to absolutely crush your day!

Losing Wait

Absolutely loving the blog post Losing Wait from Mary Kay’s CMO Sheryl Adkins-Green! Obviously she’s not talking about the weight that most people resolve to lose every new year, but the “wait” she mentions is just as if not more important.

I’ve decided to replace my “wait” with “S.T.A.R.T” also, but before I do for one last time…
• “S= Start smaller to achieve bigger. In other words, I break my goal down into manageable and achievable segments, instead of a big chunk that will overwhelm me.”
Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, developed a great tool for doing this called a dreamline. As I tweeted, I finished my most recent dreamline a few weeks ago and have already started the steps towards reaching some of them. It’s a great tool because it forces you to dream big and then you go back and consider the financial costs involved in reaching those dreams. Too often we let the money stop us from dreaming instead of realizing that we find money to do things that we are passionate about and truly want to do.
• “T= Target a specific time each day to work on my goal, even if it’s only 30 minutes. I literally schedule it. I make an appointment with me and I keep it!”
appointment book
•” A= Ask for help and accept help. So often, we’re so busy doing for others that we feel that we can’t or shouldn’t ask for help. Yet we all have at least one friend or family member who is willing and able to support our goal. We just need to ask!”
• “R= Reward my progress. It’s important to celebrate each success along the way, no matter how small. Plus, who doesn’t love a reason to get a new pair of shoes?”
•”T= Treat time as my most precious resource and make every minute count.
I am a professional in my entrepreneurial pursuits and in my day job but so often find that my time is not being respected as a higher paid professional’s time might be. Remember no matter what your job or lifestyle, your time is yours and you have the final say in how it will be used. Don’t allow others to waste your time because it’s the one resource you have no way of recovering. So lose the “wait”.
What are you going to “start” when you lose your “wait”?