A habit can be broken down into three steps – a trigger, a routine and a reward.
Boredom – Checking one’s phone – Dopamine
A particular day of the week – Zumba session – Endorphins
Anxiety – Reaching for a dessert – Gratification
While setting a new habit, the cue and the routine are emphasized, and the reward is often neglected. The Pomodoro technique is built in with a 5 minute reward after 25 min of focused work. Not many people are successful in adopting the technique – mostly because they don’t take the five minute reward after each session.
Another important factor is to set yourself up for success to enjoy your reward guilt-free by setting easier targets to begin with. You’re more likely to succeed in developing a habit of daily meditation if you start with 2 minutes a day rather than 20 minutes a day.
Before you start a new habit, design your rewards carefully.