Atomic Habits Book, Law 4:Make it satisfying
Law 4:Make it satisfying
Anything that provides a positive sensory feedback Is easier to adopt like a minty toothpaste which makes us feel more refreshing than a usual one is more enticing to buy. This is basis of the fourth law make it satisfying. The cardinal rule of behavior change is what is rewarded repeats, what’s punished gets avoided. positive experiences and emotions cultivate habits, negative ones destroy them. The first three rules of habit formation cause things to occur on the first go the fourth law is responsible for recurrence of the very behavior that led to the reward. The catch here being that we are looking for immediate satisfaction.
When our actions provide immediate outcomes
The environment is termed as an immediate return environment when the outcomes are promised in future it is termed delayed return environment.Its observed that usually good habits provide delayed return like success for hardwork in future which may seem like a pain at the very beginning,whereas negative habits provide instant gratification as in case of smoking which alleviates stress temporarily but in the long run causes lung cancer.Thus it is implied that immediate reward is repeated and immediate punishment is destroyed. Thus we need to pair up our delayed return system with some instant rewards to form a good habit like treating kids with chocolates to reward them when they do their homework on time inversely we have to pair some immediate pain with immediate return providing bad habits like a swearing jar to get rid of the habit of profanity. Simple positive and negative reinforcement can make the habits more enjoyable and eventually the intrinsic rewards will kick in like satisfaction,reduced stress etc to make you feel much better about yourself and make the habit repetitive.
Tracking your habits by measuring progess on a daily level like crossing off everyday you showed up to gym can help us visualize the goal,make our prospects feel interesting and be so satisfying that Tracking in itself becomes a reward.It is essential to not break the chain as bad days hurt more than good days help.If you do slip up make sure to not repeat the slip up on next day and bounce back,missing once is a mistake missing twice is a habit in the making.Measuring the wrong parameters can also prove to be detrimental to the process like if you measure your weight regularly and don’t find the desired change you are more likely to slip instead one can measure how one exactly feels about his skin,how did one sleep which might give them the right indication on the improvements in their health.As Goodhart law states “Any measure that becomes a target is no longer a good measure”
The inverse of 4th law of good habit formation is make it unsatisfying and a more advanced version of it to make it immediately unsatisfying. Whenever there is an immediate pain associated with activity what we are doing we tend to refrain from it like a late fee enables us to do timely payment however the immediate pain should bear more cost than immediate reward,the cost of laziness should be more than cost of excercise. A habit contract can add a social angle to the follow up of behavior which makes the consequence of not adhering to the behaviour painful and public.Thus when trying to improve at something you can reprimand yourself by creating small bits of pain like giving 100 Rupees to your friend or loved who shall act as your accountability partner when you did not finish your 10 mins walk on the given day.This is how you make an activity immediately unsatisfying and social responsibilities compounds our commitment level