Let’s say you want to be more disciplined about your day … you might tell yourself, “I’m going to wake every morning, meditate for 15 minutes, plan my Most Important Tasks, and then get started and follow the plan. No doubts about it.”
And then your plan gets hit by distraction or interruption, and you feel bad about it.
You try again the next day, start out well, but then at some point, you get off track and feel discouraged.
Three days into this attempt, and you feel like you are completely undisciplined, and you give up the effort.
What went wrong?
The problem is that the plan was set up to fail at some point, and then you’d feel failure, feel bad about it, feel discouraged. You might be able to withstand this discouragement and negative feedback for a little while, but no one withstands it forever.
Negative feedback loops will cause us to not do the activity.
Positive feedback loops will cause us to stay with it for much longer.
Think about the design of your plan to change your behavior: is it designed to give you positive feedback or negative feedback? Most people ignore this component entirely.