What is the optimal protocol for self-reward after achievements?


To set up an optimal protocol for self-reward after achievements, it's important to choose a consistent interval to reward progress and maintain motivation. suggests picking a milestone that can be maintained consistently, like assessing and rewarding oneself weekly, which is often the most manageable and effective schedule 1. Additionally, understanding the dopamine, reward, and motivation pathways can help maintain motivation through the use of random intermittent reinforcement rather than rewarding every achievement, which can diminish the potency of the reward and reduce motivation over time 2 3.

Reward Schedules

Andrew discusses how to set up a reward schedule to maintain motivation and track progress towards a goal. He suggests picking an interval to assess progress consistently, such as weekly, and rewarding oneself mentally for making regular progress.

Huberman Lab

The Science of Setting & Achieving Goals | Huberman Lab Podcast #55

It is crucial to not reward oneself every time to avoid reducing the potency of the reward and motivation. Instead, the use of an intermittent reinforcement schedule, rewarding randomly, is recommended to keep motivation high and increase the probability of long-term success 3. This approach involves self-rewards for progress, like simple mental acknowledgments, while avoiding creating a predictable pattern that the brain will adapt to, which can reduce motivation 3.

An illustrative story from 's graduate school days, shared by him, underscores this concept. His advisor taught him not to celebrate every significant win immediately, which instilled a habit of intermittent reward for achievements, rendering successes more motivating and fostering sustained pursuit of goals 4.