Crush Your New Year’s Resolutions – and Make Some Money While You’re at It
Need some help keeping those New Year’s resolutions? Already?
Don’t beat yourself up. You’re not alone. A landmark study from the University of Scranton found that one week into January, 23% of “resolvers” had given up. And according to an analysis of more than 800 million user-activities by fitness app Strava, the most popular day last year for people to break their resolutions was Jan. 19, aka “Quitter’s Day.”
But what if you gave yourself an incentive not to quit — not on Jan. 19 or ever? And what if that incentive was money?
Common New Year’s Resolutions – And How to Monetize Them
Here are five of the most common New Year’s resolutions. We’ve paired each one with a strategy to monetize it to help you stay on track.
1. Quit Smoking
We’ll spare you the lecture on why smoking isn’t the best thing to do. But if you want to quit, there’s help out there. And, because it’s such a hard habit to give up, you can get paid a handsome amount to participate in smoking cessation studies that track your progress.
Generally speaking, in-person studies will compensate you more than virtual studies. Here are a few opportunities:
- Maryland residents: a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) study in Baltimore needs right-handed participants between 18 and 60 years old. Earn up to $1,690.
- South Carolina residents: the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is recruiting for several smoking studies through an initiative dubbed “Project Quit.” Compensation varies by study.
- Android and iOS users: Harvard’s Center for Addiction Medicine is recruiting adult smokers to test out its smoking cessation smartphone app (re-recruiting in April 2020). Earn up to $195.
- Everyone else: Check Clinicaltrials.gov’s interactive map, which aggregates worldwide smoking-related studies.
2. Get In Shape
“You know, you just see a pair of jeans that you used to wear and think, man — what happened?” Angie Richards told The Penny Hoarder.
Over the years, Richards saw varying levels of success dieting and exercising, but the weight didn’t stay off. That’s when she decided to make a change.
Using HealthyWage, a weight-loss challenge company, Richards crafted a personal challenge: She bet that she could lose 40 pounds in six months. Instead, she lost 52 pounds — and gained $1,200.
To make a challenge of your own, use HealthyWage’s calculator and select a weight-loss goal between 1 and 200 pounds, a wager of at least $200 a month, and a time frame between six and 18 months. At the top, the calculator will show you how much you can earn by meeting your goal.
Want a lower-stakes method to lose weight? Walking is a sustainable way to stay active, and there are several companies that will pay you to get a-steppin’.
- People Walker: This is a side gig app that will pay you to walk and talk with people in your area. There are a few different categories applicants can choose, including teaching someone about a certain topic during your walk or simply going out and exploring the town or a nature trail.
- Sweatcoin: Using GPS location data on your smartphone, Sweatcoins can track every step you take. Each step earns — wait for it — Sweatcoins, which can be donated or redeemed for money, prizes or even a trip to Borneo.
- Rover, Wag or any dog-walking app for that matter: Animal lover? Dog walking is the side gig for you. Myriad apps will pair you with local pet owners who need a helping hand. (Be sure to log your steps to double up on earnings!)
3. Make a Second Income Stream
One wildly popular second income stream is the side hustle. Before you join an estimated 50-to-80 million gig workers, consider what’s ahead for the gig economy in 2020.
Many times, gig work is glorified as a way to break your 9-to-5 chains. But the reality isn’t always peachy. To ensure you don’t get stuck in a cycle of never-ending work, create clear financial or professional goals; give yourself an end date; set boundaries so that your Thursday night Uber rides don’t seep into Friday and then the weekends. In other words: Your side gig needs an exit plan. Think of it as a baby business plan.
4. Sleep More
Is 2020 going to be a year of self-care? Then getting enough sleep should be topping your list if it isn’t already. And yes, you can literally make money in your sleep.
Large mattress companies conduct market research and pay people to test their products. Recurring opportunities are available through Mattress Firm, as the company hires “Snoozeterns” — interns who have snooze-related responsibilities 30 hours a week at the company’s headquarters in Houston, Texas.
Sleep studies are another lucrative method to turn your Zs into Gs. In our sleep study guide, contributor Jillian Shea documented how she got paid $12,000 for 11 days of snoring. Disclaimer: Not all sleep studies are for the faint of heart. Some include rectal thermometers and isolation (meaning no access to your phone or computer).
5. Earn a Higher Salary
This goal can materialize in one of two ways: You either land a job with higher pay, or you ask for a raise. Both options should result in (the sometimes dreaded) salary negotiations.
Negotiations are a time for you to think about your financial needs and to use the tight labor market to your advantage to score a higher salary. But it’s a little harder than waltzing in the room and saying “Hey Boss, I want more money.”
You have to do your homework. To help you prepare, we talked to expert career coaches and hiring managers in our seven step guide to negotiating a higher salary. Yes, the process will be nerve-racking but once you emerge from the negotiations with more money, you’ll be able to congratulate yourself for the single highest-earning conversation you’ll ever have.
(Until next year, of course.)