We’re An Atomic Habit!

Have you ever had the experience where you’ve never heard of a person, or a theatre, or type of ice cream, but as soon as they or it enters your universe, they’re everywhere? This is the story of Gifting Sense and James Clear’s “Atomic Habits”. Someone mentioned to us that we were aligned with another Financial Literacy NPO called First Generation Investors (a fantastic program for High School students without access to fundamental stock market knowledge). We had a call with FGI, where one of their co-founders, Dylan Ingerman, asked us if we had read “Atomic Habits”, a book about small but easy to maintain habits, that can be the source of incredible power? We hadn’t, but were intrigued enough to order it and dive in. And we have been left with one burning question ever since: How is it that we have been operating in a parallel universe with Mr. Clear, and been completely unaware of his work?

For those of you who don’t know about the Gifting Sense project, our work or mission, we are an organization dedicated to getting children ready for all of the personal finance decisions that lie in their future. We are relentless advocates of early FinLit, in particular, teaching children how to think before they buy, before they even get to High School. We believe that thinking before buying is the cornerstone of financial literacy, which is why we believe giving children the habit of thinking before buying is one of the best gifts they could ever get, and we don’t think it’s that hard a gift to give. In other words, we now understand we are the architects of an “Atomic Habit”.

An “Atomic Habit” is a tiny behaviour that can lead to remarkable results. And James Clear believes that bad habits (like asking for a wish-list item without considering its’ full cost, or how much you will really use and appreciate it) repeat themselves not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. Mr. Clear believes that we fall to the level of our systems, rather than rise to the level of our goals. Which is why we find his work so exciting. We’ve built a free, safe, and easily repeatable system that families can use to change their spending behaviour for the better!

An “Atomic Habit” is a tiny behaviour that can lead to remarkable results. And James Clear believes that bad habits repeat themselves not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. Mr. Clear believes that we fall to the level of our systems, rather than rise to the level of our goals. Which is why we find his work so exciting. We’ve built a free, safe, and easily repeatable system that families can use to change their spending behaviour for the better!

Habits need to be obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying to stick, according to Mr. Clear. When children understand that calculating the DIMS Score for a possible purchase is non-negotiable, takes three minutes on a free and safe digital worksheet, and can help them get what they really want, will use and appreciate for an upcoming holiday or birthday gift (not to mention reduce waste and protect the planet), those four criteria are satisfied. Try it out in your family or classroom and watch being financially responsible move from boring to rewarding.

By engaging children with an easily repeatable way to assess if a possible purchase is worth asking for, or placing on a wish-list, before any money is actually spent (read wasted!), we have moved being financially responsible from boring to rewarding. Families everywhere are experiencing increased happiness, reduced waste, and a smaller carbon footprint, just by insisting that their kids calculate the DIMS – Does It Make Sense? Score for a possible purchase, before it is made.

Educators know that learning and change most reliably arise through the magical combination of internal motivation and an environment that supports that motivation. So apparently does Mr. Clear. Can you think of a time when a child is more highly motivated to answer a question than when the question involves what they might like to receive for a holiday or birthday gift? Can you think of an environment that more easily supports answering that question with care, then one that requires three minutes completing a straightforward and accessible digital worksheet, designed to set you up for success?

If you’d like to see how easy it is to give your students or children the habit of thinking before buying this November, please click on the pink or green buttons below. If you want to know more about how to build simple but powerful routines into your everyday life, pick up Mr. Clear’s book. Either way, we hope you’ll feel supported and understood in your quest to improve your family’s well-being. “The real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results (although they can do that), but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.” And we are all over today’s grade-school-aged children believing they have control over their personal financial futures. Because of course, if we give them the right amount of knowledge early enough, they do.


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