“Reap A Destiny” (Wiser Next Week: On Habit, Motivation & Willpower)

Reap A Destiny (Wiser Next Week: On Habit, Motivation & Willpower)

About the Wiser Next Week Series: These entries will involve posting my book, Wiser Next Week, chapter by chapter, freely available to the public. Additionally, I’ll be recounting a story about something I’ve learned based on the chapter’s topic since the months that have past when the book was published in December 2018.


Setting A Pace

When I was an accountant, I didn’t really have a social life, nor anything going or me in that manner when I finished university. So when I set out on the endeavor of writing and publishing a book, I had a schedule established.

During the weekdays I would sit on the floor of the lobby of my workplace during lunch breaks with my laptop and write. All the while dancing around questions on what I was doing. And once I was finished with work for the day I would walk up to my uni (about 40 minutes), find my favorite spot and keep on working like I was still a college boy. Sometimes I would dozz off during these evening work hours from mental exhaustion through crunching numbers all day and physical tiredness from standing at my standing desk and all the walking.

Nonetheless I persisted.

Weekends would be similar, except I didn’t have to work so I walked directly from my apartment to campus. I remember during school holidays, spring, summer & winter breaks, building hours were limited or closed all together. I would still make the journey to campus. I would try to find a building that was still open to work in. I had an app on my phone that would disable all the distractions (ie. Youtube, web browsing) for a set duration with a countdown clock. I set a goal of writing X number of words before that clock expired and then I could take a phone break.

The Pomodoro Technique

This is similar to the Pomodoro technique of 50 minute work followed by 10 minute break except I had a goal I needed to reach (word count) before I could indulge in a mindless Youtube video.

Pretty soon I kept this routine without needing the motivation to do it. I had developed the willpower to keep at it even during times I didn’t feel like it. In other words I had made a habit of working without thinking.

Part of the reason Forrest Gump was successful was because of his ability to stay focused (habit) and not get caught up in the politics of others.

8 Steps To A New Habit

Stephen Guise in his book Mini Habits: Smaller Habits Bigger Results outlines a method in creating a habit:

  1. Choose Your Mini Habits and Habit Plan
    1. One Week Flexible Plan: Choose one habit try it for one week. After a week, assess the difficulty and stick with it or add more. 
      1. Imagine the hardest days. If you can do something on the day you’re bone tired, stressed, and busy, you can do it every day.
  2. Use the “Why” Drill on Each Habit
    1. Once you have your habits, identify the why: Why you are putting in the effort, why you want to build this new habit, why will this new habit will help you achieve your goals. Continue to ask why until you’ve found the core. In other words, begin with the end in mind. 
  3. Define Your Habit Cues
    1. Identify the triggers that will lead you to perform the habit. There are two main triggers:
      1. Time Based: Performed at a set time during the day.
      2. Activity based: Performed after another activity. (I used time based where I worked during evenings, lunch breaks and weekends)
  4. Create Your Reward Plan (I watched YouTube once I hit my word count)
  5. Write Everything Down (I didn’t do this, I kept to myself)
    1. You are more likely to follow through on tasks if a sense of accountability is set up. 
  6. Think Small
    1. Small, consistent doses over time strengthen the willpower muscle, which allows you to do more. Let the extra come from you, not your requirements. See the extra as “victory laps”, after you’ve already won the day’s battle. 
  7. Meet Your Schedule and Drop High Expectations
    1. Keep your goal small on paper and in your mind. Don’t set a small requirement but intend to perform a much bigger one. 
    2. Instead of quantity, seek consistency that will embed in your subconscious mind.
  8. Don’t Jump the Gun
    1. Doing too much too quickly results in burnout. Be consistent and patient.

In the end it all worked out for me. I developed a habit for writing, worked like a robot and got my book published.

Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny. Stephen Covey design by Kingston S. Lim

Here is the “On Habit, Motivation & Willpower chapter of Wiser Next Week. Take it and implement it into your own life.


Previous Chapters

“I Didn’t Know How to Do Laundry” Wiser Next Week Intro

“The Spray & Pray Teacher” Wiser Next Week: On Emotions

“Show Them Your Greatness” Wiser Next Week: On Fear

“Psychological Ownership” Wiser Next Week: On Loyalty

“Strategically Smile to Get What You Want” (Wiser Next Week: On Happiness)

“Your Body is a Car” (Wiser Next Week: On Health)

“The Gift of Time and Age”(Wiser Next Week: On Aging & Death)

“Project Your Life 5 Years Ahead” (Wiser Next Week: On Regrets)

“You’re Doing it Wrong” (Wiser Next Week: On Mistakes and Failures)

“Align Principles With Action” (Wiser Next Week: On Goals and Persistence)

Action is Courage (Wiser Next Week: On Persistence)

”See Things As They Are, Not How You Wish Them To Be” (Wiser Next Week: On Perception)

“Grab It By The Reins”(Wiser Next Week: On Opportunities)

“Ask And You Shall Receive”(Wiser Next Week: On Finding Solutions)

“A Part of What You Earn Is Yours to Keep” (Wiser Next Week: On Money)

“The 5 Principles of Entrepreneurship” (Wiser Next Week: On Entrepreneurship)

“Making A Living Vs. Making a Life” (Wiser Next Week: On Work and Career)

“Why Do Things You Suck At?”(Wiser Next Week: On Prioritizing)

“We Become What We Think About” (Wiser Next Week: On the Controllable and Uncontrollable)

“Check Your Adjectives”(Wiser Next Week: On Attitude)

“When Lightning Strikes Twice” (Wiser Next Week: On Change)


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