Manufacture a habit to push through your motivation dip and encourage consistent learning and practice using the Hook.
The Hook model is simple. It consists of four inter-related phases that need to be repeated to become solid; trigger, action, reward and investment.
Remember, repetition is key to its successes.
Rewarding your success
There are many ways to reward yourself after taking positive action, but they can be grouped into three categories; self-rewards, search rewards and social rewards.
Self rewards suit learning habits best. These related to positive feelings of self-efficacy associated with completing a body of work/study as well as the feeling of increased competence when moving towards mastery in a particular area.
Frequent testing and assessing your knowledge works well here because you can see your improvement. Increasing the challenge level of the test also indirectly reflects your improvement.
A quick note here! Testing here refers to any means of challenging your learning. It can be a previous exam paper, building something or engaging in a challenging situation or problem that needs to be solved. Not all learning takes place at a desk!
Search rewards work best when working on projects or when you are trying to identify your strengths, weaknesses and prior knowledge. These rewards are associated with the search for resources and information.
Engaging in a challenging problem or project and immediately seeking to correct or supplement answers and solution can offer its own reward.
Another note here! Studies have found that one of the biggest differences between exceptional students and highly achieving students is the number of practice exams they engage in. It is this repetitive, focused improvement and reflection of your learning that leads learners to excel.
Social rewards are fuelled by connectedness with others. Engaging with group discussions, groups projects and problem solving sessions can all strengthen the social reward aspect of your Hook habit formation.
Final tip! Reward yourself in multiple ways when learning to reinforce your positive learning habit.
When to reward and how frequently?
There have been many studies done on the effects of different reinforcement/reward schedules and it has been shown that schedules of reinforcement that offer rewards at irregular intervals and later decrease in frequency of reward allow for strongest habits to form. The downside is the habits take longer to form.
So reward yourself with success irregularly and frequently at the beginning of your studies and then decrease the rate of reward gradually over time.