create a Habit with Rewards
There are two forms of rewards that can come with completing a habit. There are the rewards that are intrinsic to the habit itself – the rewards that automatically come from completing the habit, for example the sensory feelings from smoking. And there are also rewards that are closer to “treats” that you can give yourself for completing the habit. An example of an intrinsic reward for exercise would be the release of endorphins you experience and the increased sense of focus and energy that you feel throughout the day. These are direct rewards caused by the exercise itself.
An example of a treat reward would be watching your favorite sitcom whenever you get home from a gym session. Here, the reward of watching a sitcom is a treat because it is something you are choosing to give yourself as a reward for completing the habit. This distinction is helpful when working to build your own habits, as you can better understand and build the processes which enable you to put positive habits into place and destroy negative habits.
The intrinsic rewards of a habit cannot be altered a great deal. The only way you can manipulate these is to perform the habit better or worse to experience different levels of intensity. For example, if you have the habit of going out with friends every week, you are going to experience the endorphins from the laughter, sense of connection, friendship, etc., that are part of the intrinsic rewards of this habit. Increasing the effectiveness of the habit would be a way to increase the intrinsic reward. This might mean going to more exciting places together or perhaps working to bring more good energy and love to the occasion. Doing this will help you have a “better” time and experience more intense intrinsic rewards, i.e., you will feel a greater sense of connection to your friends. Working to do habits better is therefore an excellent way to make them easier to build and easier to keep in place. If you perform the habit better, you will experience better intrinsic rewards from completing the habit. Exercising more effectively will cause your body to change faster, cause more endorphins to be released, and give you better energy levels throughout the day. By experiencing greater intrinsic rewards you are much less likely to stop exercising, which means that if it is a new habit it will stay in place more easily, and if it is an old habit it is less likely to be pushed to the side by other influences (perhaps you’ve got a new health habit, or have taken