How to Make Good Habits Stick: A Chat with Sarah Von Bargen

Have you ever committed to a productive or healthy habit only to have it all fall apart and revert back to status quo within a month, a week….or an hour?

Yes, I’m talking about that daily afternoon scone I said I would give up forever, but by 2 pm had already scarfed down. Please don’t judge.

We all have. We’re human.

It’s so easy to talk about productivity habits, or “hacks” (I abhor that word when used for anything other than computer espionage) but it’s an entirely different thing to make them stick.

Which is why I was thrilled to talk with the charming and wise Sarah Von Bargen, lifestyle blogger at and creator of the Make It Stick Habit School.

Sarah graciously spent some time talking to us about the mental game of why we flake out on good habits, how we can ensure we don’t, and which habits have worked for her in running her business more efficiently and profitably. (Hint: Steal these!)

We talk about everything from procrastination to guilt to time management to, heck, healthy habits for content creation, analyzing your analytics and networking. And how to make them such easy habits, that your day will feel strange if you DON’T do them.

The best habits are things that are incredibly fast and very, very doable. (Tweet this!)

If you feel like your work or time is running YOU more than you are running it, please grab a notepad and click below to enjoy this video:

YouTube video

Highlights include:

How to be successful without getting overwhelmed:

  • People who were simultaneously successful and not overwhelmed are people who put good business habits on auto-pilot…Because they put these good business habits on autopilot, they removed the stress from it. 2:48

What causes us to abandon good habits so quickly:

  • If you are constantly looking outside of yourself for solutions, buying things you don’t use, procrastinating and over researching, you are going to have a hard time moving forward 7:52
  • If you can associate the physical feelings, stress headache or stomach aches, with these bad habits, you will develop a distaste for them. 11:20

Sarah’s success habits that can work for you, too (P.S. Llama farm is optional, but seriously, why would you want it to be?!):

  • In a perfect world, you will know your best work times. So if you know when you’re most strategic, you can block out your calendar for these habits. 15:45
  • I swear up and down by writing retreats. Once a month, I go to the same Airbnb, and I do 90% of my writing in 2 nights…I still write every day, but the bulk of my writing is done in two nights at this llama farm in Wisconsin. 17:49
  • Being a happy and successful business person is knowing your strengths, knowing your weaknesses, outsource properly and knowing what success looks like for you. 21:27

Powerful business success habits that you can start TODAY:

  • [Networking emails] You have to do it so often and so much that a) your day feels weirdly incomplete if you don’t do it and b) you send so many emails that you loose track of who does and doesn’t respond. 24:53
  • Once or twice a month, look at your website analytics to determine where your traffic is coming from and what things you are publishing are the most popular. 28:12
  • Updating old blog posts and re-promoting them. 29:40 

What good habits are you committing to? Drop me a line over on Twitter or the Facebook page and let me know!


Sarah is a writer, blogger, lover of cats and cheese… and creator of online courses that make your life and work happier and more productive. Read her incredible lifestyle blog, which attracts more than 14,000 visitors daily, and find out more about her courses, including the Make It Stick Habit School at Yes and Yes.

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