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Why streak goals work

Two powerful motivators of behavior are loss aversion and consistency.

Loss aversion means we hate losing more than gaining. Loss leads to suffering. Suffering is bad.

Consistency means we like when our past behavior matches our present and future behavior. No resistance, no internal conflict, smooth sailing.

When you start a streak, you’re creating a new precedent of your behavior and setting an expectation of consistency for the future. It creates an open loop in your mind that you need to close and re-open tomorrow. If you don’t, you’re not consistent.

We also hate losing the streak number accumulated. Losing means a sudden downward trend we seek to avoid.

One caveat, if you do lose streak, create a habit of getting back in the saddle as soon as you can. The loss can produce a strong feeling of negativity, erasing all the gains in the process.

Loss aversion, consistency, open loops. It’s a powerful combination.

Use it wisely.