What to do when motivation doesn't last

Building new habits, being a writer in India, and some amazing book recommendations

Hello friend

Welcome to this week’s edition of Be Your Best Friend with Anangsha, the weekly newsletter that knows motivation alone is rarely enough to build habits that last.

Today, I want to discuss a book that changed my life over the past year. In April 2020, I read Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, the book that explains building any new habit is a combination of the three:

  • Motivation, or your desire to execute the behavior.

  • Ability, i.e. your capacity to execute the behavior.

  • Prompt, or your cue to execute the behavior.

According to the author (who is also the founder of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University), you can incorporate new behaviors into your life when motivation, ability, and a prompt converge simultaneously.

This got me thinking about all the times I’d planned to start a new habit, a new routine, but failed. Most often, the reason I failed was that I tried to do too much in too little time.

I wanted to lead a healthy life, so I aimed to work out for one hour each day.

I wanted to build a writing habit, so I aimed to write one article every day.

After the first few days as my motivation ran dry, I found it harder and harder to stick to these new habits. Before long, I’d already given up and started blaming myself.

Reading this book made me realize that the key to making lasting change in life is to start small.

Pick a habit that

  • you do at least once a day,

  • takes you less than 30 seconds to complete, and

  • requires little effort.

Keep repeating this while slowly increasing the dosage, and you’re all set to successfully building a brand new habit.

And so, here’s what I did:

To start leading a healthy life, I did one sit-up each time I opened the refrigerator.

To build a writing habit, I pledged to write one Tweet a day.

Micro-habits, but harder to say no to. I kept increasing the dosage, and today, I can write 3-4 articles each day without breaking a sweat. I can work out for 30 minutes each day while also walking 10,000+ steps. And the best part - I am so used to doing these, that they don’t feel like work.

If you’re trying to build a new habit, I’d strongly suggest you to read Tiny Habits. It’s an incredible book with actionable takeaways that can change your life.


Videos of the week

I made another reaction video in Hindi, this time, of the movie Udaan. More than a reaction video, this one is an honest take on how most parents in India react when their children want to pursue unconventional career paths.

I’ve also shared my own story of how my father told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life when I said I want to become a full-time writer. You can watch the video by clicking here or on the link below.

I also published four short videos of about 30-seconds each talking about what it means to be a writer in India. You can watch them here:

  1. 5 Things You Need More Than Talent to be a Successful Writer (27 seconds)

  2. The Most Important Lesson For Freelancers | Building Email List | Multiple Income Sources (51 seconds)

  3. 3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Journey As A Writer (47 seconds)

  4. How Long It Took Me To Make Money By Writing in India (25 seconds)


Book recommendation of the week

Malice by John Gwynne
Genre: High fantasy

A Black Sun is rising. As the old prophecies say, he will gather forces, grow in power, and destroy the whole world to leave his evil legacy behind.

The only one who can counter him is the Bright Star, a warrior chosen by the Gods themselves, the only one who has a chance to save the world.

As the Gods plot and plan against each other in these troubled times, the mortals have schemes of their own. What happens when Gods and mortals clash? Who will win in this battle of wills when the stakes are so high, it could mean total annihilation of everything mankind knew?

“History is of value. If more of us took heed of the mistakes of the past, the future could be a different thing.”

If you’re a fan of high fantasy, this book will quench your thirst for epic plots, memorable characters, cinematic battle scenes, and world-building so intricate, you’ll be left gasping in awe.

But the book here


Stories I recently wrote

I was caught up in other projects this week, so I didn’t get much time to write. I still managed to publish two stories on Medium:

  1. How I Earned 9x My Job’s Salary from 5 Freelance Income Streams: This is a detailed breakdown of the time I invest in my freelance streams and how much I earn from them

  2. 5 Most Anticipated Books to Read in Summer 2021: This story is about five interesting books coming out in Summer 2021 that I’m super excited to read. You can browse through the list and pick a book that piques your interest.


An article I enjoyed reading

This week, I loved how refreshing What Your Music Taste Reveals About You by Jon Hawkins is. As Jon writes:

“Whether you’re a metalhead, a jazz enthusiast, or an opera lover, we all have our favorite artists. But why are we drawn to different types of music? Why do some of us love the thought of aggressively smashing a guitar while others yearn for relaxing coffeehouse jazz sessions?”


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That’s all from my end today. I’ll see you again next week. Till then, stay strong. Keep smiling and be awesome.

With love,
Anangsha.