April Showers Bring the Tax Man!

April is upon us and if you live in the U.S., you know that April 15th is Tax Day. Pay the piper day! We have to pay a portion of all the good income that we have made to the government. It actually costs us to receive the fruits of our labor!

Might sound like a crazy concept – paying for something you’ve earned – but actually all things have a cost. You can actually budget for that. If you know that you need $60,000 to live, you can determine how much income you need to produce minus your taxes to make sure you have your $60,000 leftover. Pretty easy concept. But how does this apply to healthy habits?

Well, we know that poor health decisions have a cost. It’s easy to see – you smoke and end up with lung cancer, you overeat and end up with indigestion, you’re sedentary and get out of breath walking through the parking lot.

Wise health decisions ALSO have a cost. What!? You mean “earning” your good health has a cost? Yes! Think of it as your earned “good health tax.” And you can budget for it. In fact, a LOT of healthy habits FAIL because people have failed to account for the cost of the habits themselves.

Before starting your new healthy habit, take a moment to “budget.” Where are the costs of this new behavior? What extra energy will you have to cough up to achieve this habit? What money might be involved? What are the emotional costs? What external support will you need? What will this cost? 

Take this example. You want to start exercising again. You also work 9 hours a day, have a kid who needs childcare, and are married. Before you dive in, you budget the monetary, energy, and time costs:


  • Cost of the gym
  • Cost of new shoes 


  • Cost of an extra hour of childcare – asking your neighbor/spouse to keep your kid a little longer 
  • Cost of the soreness/fatigue in that first couple weeks


  • Cost of shifting your sleep schedule to get to work early/leave early, possible missed “special spouse connection” after your kid gets to bed 
  • Cost of time usually taken to prep dinner while you are working out

After you’ve taken a comprehensive look at your “budget,” ask yourself these questions:

Is starting this new health habit reasonable to do at this time? 

Would another time work better? 

Will scaling back the behavior and then increasing over time be an option?

Am I willing to “spend” the time/energy/money to cover the “costs” of my new habit and the results it brings?

Exploration of “taxes” will have you empowered and clear in your commitment to your health habits. You never know what you may discover. Success is right around the corner and easier to attain when you’re willing to pay the admission fee. Happy Tax Day!

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