4 simple tricks to create an addictive behavioral loop.
There might be an underrated chain of events in the self-improvement field that could impact our lives more than we even imagine:
Effort → Performance → Pleasure → Motivation
Every time you make a planned effort, you increase your performance in some direction. More performance means better achievements, which gives you more pleasure. And the satisfaction and pride enhance your motivation.
However, it all starts with effort. And it is often challenging to make it willingly without a motivational backup. Therefore, you need to close the chain into a loop that uses it to enhance motivation and the other way around.
But how do you close the cycle?
Why does the chain trigger unsustainable efforts?
Why do you do everything you do?
Why do you put in the effort and make things happen?
You do it because you want to achieve a goal. You are in the right mindset, place, and time to see struggling as a necessary step. So instead of achieving something because you worked on it, you work on something because you want to achieve it. And this is the factor that puts in motion the chain above.
If you can think of effort as the power that will make you achieve your goals, you believe in your abilities. Therefore, your abilities will increase, and you will get more pleasure from working on a project.
However, if you only see effort as the means to achieve a result, you cannot exert it over a long period because you have no motivational backup. So reframe your actions in a different shape.
How to create a loop of sustainable efforts
If you want to enhance your motivation, you must reframe how you think about efforts and see them as both the cause and consequence of your actions.
In content creation, for example, creating content (effort) should be both:
- A tool to achieve financial independence (cause) → so you create content because it will be the cause of your autonomy.
- An effect of your growing freedom (consequence) → since you are becoming autonomous, you keep making efforts.
If you reframe effort, you can build addictive behavioral loops because you transformed an action into its cause and consequence. So you can close the loop.
Benefits of Behavioral Loops
You can build addictive behavioral loops like this with any chain you want. You only need to find the link that can become the cause and effect of your actions, and you can close the cycle.
But why should you build them?
The benefits of addictive behavioral loops are helpful and intriguing.
- The loop stops your tendency to make less effort if you think you are too good.
- It gives you a way to feed your motivation without the help of any external resources.
- And it refills your pleasure needs so you can give up on most procrastinating activities.
However, you shouldn’t build cycles with many links, or they could become dispersive and lose their benefits.
How to enhance your motivation and content
Taking action and struggling to reach your goals is one of the best ways to enhance your motivation and, therefore, your content in many ways. But there are side activities that could help too.
1 — Don’t neglect positive activities.
First of all, don’t neglect other individual activities that could bring you joy.
Only because something doesn’t serve your final goal doesn’t mean it can’t help you reach your goals by helping you in other ways.
2 — Work with identity and self-regulation.
Second, work with identity and self-regulation. You are the only one who can understand if you are making too much or too less effort. So try to regulate your work and give yourself feedback every day.
Also, you need to align your effort with your beliefs and identity. So think about how you perceive yourself and use your intrinsic characteristic to feed your actions.
3 — Use psychological tricks to build habits.
Third, build a system that helps you get started when you don’t feel like working.
The worst part of any task is the beginning. But once you start working, it is easier to continue. So if you want to stay consistent, use any psychological tricks to begin.
For example, I always start my writing sessions by sketching an outline. It only takes me five to ten minutes to complete. But it helps me charing up and, after that, I feel ready to write more.
4 — Use social validation.
Use social validation as another means to enhance your motivation. When you share your progress with others, you gain a new perspective on how much you did. You understand if you worked hard enough or could have done something more. And you can also find pleasure in other people praising you for what you did.
However, use social validation carefully, or it could hurt the effort cycle. If you substitute the pleasure you take from high performance with praise, you won’t need effort anymore, and the loop will break.
Beware forced effort
Reframing the way you see efforts and transforming them in both the cause and effect of your activities can make you enhance your motivation. Yet, many motivational schemes rely on external factors and rewards to trigger the loop.
Those techniques could be helpful if you transformed the effort chain into a loop. But if you haven’t, they will mostly fail. You can use them only for short periods. And only understanding the effort cycle can make you thrive long-term.
The willingness to make an effort is a necessary trait to enhance motivation. And learning how to build a circular pattern that uses daily action to boost performance and pleasure is one of the best abilities to thrive in life or as a content creator.
But to activate the cycle, you must reframe an old and unsustainable chain view of effort and make it sustainable. And to do that, you need to visualize it as both the cause and the consequence of your actions.
As a creator, you want to bring new content because, otherwise, you won’t have any results. But you do it also because it helped you get those results in the first place. So once you transform your actions into the cause and the effect, there’s nothing that could stop you anymore.
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