Motivation is a double-edged sword. It feels great when you have it, feels like everything is easy and you’ll have no problem achieving your next big thing. Full of energy, ideas and the urge to get started.

On the other hand, relying on it is a mistake. If you only do your stuff when you feel motivated, then you’ll never finish anything. One of the greatest waste of time is to start something and never reap its benefits. There are certainly cases when you decide it doesn’t worth your time any more and cancel it. This is a valid point. But you must be aware that you are not ending it because of laziness.

Building habits on the other hand does not rely on motivation. It certainly helps to get started, but after the initial period, it becomes automatic.

During the past few months I picked up quite a few activities that I do every single day. I hardly ever miss one; it’s something I am proud of. The idea that I might stop doing some of them actually frightens me. Building and maintaining habits build confidence, and I know I can count on myself. If I begin to break my habits every now and then, all would fall apart quickly. And that is a frightening thought.

Motivation withers away in a few days. Habits last long. Next time you feel the urge to start something extraordinary, postpone it a few days. Your motivation will fade, and you can then decide if you really want that thing or not. You might start fewer things, but finish more. And that will change your life in the long run.