Triggers -> Thoughts -> Actions -> Results
This is the pattern. This is how we seduce ourselves to act against our own self-interest.
Triggers are neither good nor bad, they just cause us to think a certain way.
Often, we fixate on a result and we try to use our willpower to change the consequence of our actions. But we end up right back where we started, don’t we? (How many New Years Resolutions have we abandoned?)
The problem compounds when we don’t reach our goals. We become a bit more deflated and cynical. Which in turn feeds our thoughts and then our triggers.
Will power is not the answer. We use enough of it to go through a normal day. Rather, we need to look at our environment for answers:
How can I create a system where it will supply the right kind of triggers?
You only make the decision once to create an automatic deposit that contributes to your 401K.
You decide once to blog every day for the rest of your life.
Cognitive load is real. Make your decisions once. Create a system where the triggers lead to desired results.