All the more so it is proper to prepare oneself and take precautions to avoid any transgression. Therefore, one should constantly remind himself that if he does stop to think about his actions, then it is inevitable that he will transgress those sins that have grown accustomed to and no longer view as sinful. One should think about the penalty and the disgrace of every sin and negative trait, but then one should contrast that with the reward one receives for keeping mitzvos. This is what he should think: Why should I go against the will of my Creator, the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed is He, just for a momentary pleasure? Why should I not take pity on my soul to protect it from the chastisement I will receive on account of the sin? Oh, how the wicked will suffer! Is it not better that I withdraw from the sin, and then I will receive reward for that withdrawal? I would rather keep every mitzvah that comes my way, for I am a Jew! And so, I hereby accept upon myself with all my might to be careful and guard myself from the following sins… and to behave in accord with the good and proper path. One should think these types of thoughts or say them out loud, and also write them out so they can be in front of one’s eyes as a constant reminder, and then the person will be successful in all his ways.
Likewise, even when one is about to do a mitzvah, one should not rush into it the moment the thought to do it comes to mind, because there are things that seem to be positive, and the person believes it is a mitzvah, yet in the end it results in a sin, or the person comes to regret it, which only undoes what the person has done. Therefore, one should think ahead about everything, to see what the consequences will be. Think things through to the best of your ability, and only then step forward to do it. God A-mighty will then assist you.