Daily Inspired #15 - Getting Rid Of Bad Habit & Build A Good One


The Topic

Wasting time on browsing mobile phone. This is a habit that many of us wanted to get rid but finding it to be difficult. For example, when we open a podcast app to listen to some educational contents, after a while we will tend to open social media app and scroll through. In the end, we are stuck. I find some interesting tips to overcome this situation through an article.

The Learning Points

Set an agreement to yourself

This is a way to make an agreement to ourselves in a formal way. The reason behind this action is that it is not because we have no self-control, but there is a lack of agreement between the subconscious me and the conscious me. To be achieving something, we need something else to become a restraint, an accountable reference for ourselves. Thus, with just a verbal agreement to ourselves will not suffice. It is like making our own affirmation list, it is good to think it out loud but by writing it out is the strongest of all.

Set an agreement with a period of time. That will give us some time to accumulate the output and see the result. The recommended time is 21 days where it is not too short which may cause insufficient data or it is not too long which we may end up giving up. Every 21 days is a stage where we have a specific action to take. Once we accomplished the 21 days, then only we continue the next stage. By right, within 3 rounds, which is around 60 days, a habit will be formed. For example, this writing has been continuously done by me for the 15th days, so I am still left with 6 days to finish up this phase. So let's do it and see how I can perform.

Set a reasonable goal and reverse engineer it

It is important that we set an achievable goal plus measurable, preferably it challenge 70% of our capability. For example, I will be cooking or driving for at least an hour for the day. Thus, with this one hour, I will need to listen to the podcast and not wasting the commute or cooking time. With that, every day I will be spending at least 30 minutes to improve my knowledge. The next challenge would be transferring the knowledge received into my "second brain" which I have this challenge to myself. Don't set the target too high like we need to study at least 2 hours per day which in reality, we can't even stay put and read something for 30 minutes.

Set a reward system

This is the fun part to decide what I can reward myself after achieving the target. Guess I can have something to "buy" for every 21 days of completing a specific target. This is good as I have a lot of stuff in my bucket list, including my wife's stuff haha. Setting a reasonable budget for each reward would be important as well. As of now, I would say a budget of around RM100 would be just nice for every stage of completion. Then, with the target being raise over time, the value that I can generate through this practice will increase. With that, I can relatively increase the value of the reward. Note that by writing this down and share it on HIVE, it is also another way to reward me and earn some reward which is equivalent to the stated value.

Also, not forgetting that breaching the agreement is a big thing. Like a reward, as punishment, I will need to wait longer for the reward to be realized. Therefore, I must be disciplined in getting myself accountable. Another way to workaround is to have a person that I could report my progress to and take me accountable for not doing. Every failure I will need to pay a certain amount of money to that person. For now, my wife is the person who is taking me accountable. So far so good, hopefully, I earn reward more than being punished.

Make it physical and obvious

From the article, it says that printing out the agreement and have myself signed the agreement is the best way to go about it. With that, I will feel the formality and seriousness in doing this. Besides, the agreement should be located somewhere obvious. The agreement can mention something like that: I had made an agreement on 18 September 2020 until 9 October 2020 will write a daily thoughts journal about what I learned that day. The time required to write is 1 hour and the format should be in TOPIC, at least 3 LEARNING POINTS and 1 INSPIRATION point for takeaway. Again, make sure that the goal is aligned with what we want ourselves to become. Therefore, my ultimate goal of building the "second brain" is on the way through this small action.

Set a free buffer period

Lastly, do give ourselves some free and easy time where we can enjoy doing some sinful things like browsing through social media from time to time. We can set after writing this write up, I can get around 15 minutes of social media browsing. In one way, it craves my desire to peek on my social media, and another one is to prevent me for having a guilty feeling for doing this when I have the time to read and write but choose not to. Just keep it simple and make up my mind that fulfilling the agreement is the priority.


I find this very interesting as it is about an interaction between myself. With this method of interaction, I get to play two roles with one is the enforcer while the other one is the executioner. In life, we need to wear many hats and think differently in their respective roles. This is how amazing our mind can work and this is what makes us human. Therefore, I personally think that mastering this skill would get us to a new height in life. It is worth it to go and challenge ourselves with small tasks and targets. Eventually, we will be able to build a positive habit loop that will benefit us forever.


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