Turns out the underpinning knowledge of complex self-behaviorism like “habit chains” and “free energy from transitions” is not obvious. So, here’s the how part. This post is the why part.
All desirable things can be used as ends to motivate behavior changes. When we act impulsively, it’s to satisfy short-term desires. When we act deliberately, it’s to satisfy long-term desires. If you can’t be arsed with long-term desires, it’s usually because your short-term situation has sucked for long enough that you’ve given up on a relatively deep level. If someone were stuck underground for ten years, they’d be very impulsive. But they’d get a huge rush of elation just from seeing the sun, and this dopamine association would motivate behavior in the future. This is a very basic need that was going unmet.
You have more deficiencies than I do, in all likelihood. On a macro scale, in terms of human needs, you’re missing more of the ingredients that make for a happy person. You can sometimes work out what basic needs are missing in your life from your impulses, as explained here. Then again, a lot of people are just really impulsive (like blacks) and can never be anything else. If you’ve been highly self-disciplined in the past, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re capable of self-discipline within the proper environment.
So to trick your emotions back into long-term focus, you use short-term desires as micro-rewards to train behaviors with predictable long-term payoffs. Make sense? Example: Long term I want to wake up every day at 5 AM and exercise. To start, I wake up every day and dress in exercise clothes…then undress and take a shower. But if I do that first step I get a treat. Eventually it becomes a habit that’s easier to follow than to break. This is how you build the systems that Scott Adams talks about.
If you have questions please ask them so I can figure out where people are starting from.