WATCH: Are You Satisfying Your Brain When Making a Change?

Today, I’d like to talk about the ‘Fourth Law of Behaviour Change’ which is ‘Make It Satisfying’. And this all comes from the work of James Clear and his fantastic book ‘Atomic Habits’ which I highly recommend.


“Brain Wants Immediate Rewards”

So, in order to make a new habit satisfying, you need to give yourself quick and immediate rewards because the ‘Brain Wants Immediate Rewards’. The brain often discounts rewards in the future and actually, likes to have something that’s an immediate reward. And that’s simply because we evolved that way for hundreds of thousands of years. If there was an opportunity to get some food, take it right away. And that’s just part of the way our brain works. And you can utilise that when developing a new habit but make it satisfying.


“Motivate You To Repeat”

And give yourself an immediate reward because that will also ‘Motivate You To Repeat’. And it’s repetition that gets it into a habit, gets it to be automatic, so that you can have your long-term reward that you want in the future.


“Seek Little Rewards”

So, ‘Seek Little Rewards’. For example, when I’m starting my new habit of running, I put away a little bit of money every time I do the run. So that after a month or so, or even just maybe three weeks, I can get myself a massage. So, it’s my little way of building up the resources to be able to have a massage and that’s my reward for that daily run that I want to do.


“Track Progress and Consistency”

And also, it’s really useful to ‘Track Progress And Consistency’. Because building up a habit needs to be not only satisfying but something that you are actually consciously aware of, how you can progress. But also, how you can be consistent. Because it’s the repetition that’s going to make it a habit. That’s going to help your brain make those neurons wire together, fire together and wire together.


“Make it Public”

And then also, a really useful tip is to ‘Make It Public’. And make it public with people who you care about or people who you really respect and say this is what I’m going to be doing for my new habit. This is the new habit I’m forming. This is the way I’m going to be doing it. So, then you can in a way be accountable to them, because they’re going to want to see you do that new thing.


“Four Laws”

So, when it comes to developing new habits, remember all ‘Four Laws’ which are you know, ‘Make it Obvious and Conscious’, ‘Make it Attractive’ so that something that you want to do, ‘Make it Easy’ so that you reduce friction, and then above all ‘Make it Satisfying’ by giving yourself rapid rewards and instant rewards for the little bits of incremental improvement you make along the way.

And above all when it comes to changing behaviour, Stay Curious!


I would be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions about any of the above so drop me a line at

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With best regards,

David Klaasen 

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©David Klaasen – 2014