The 5 steps of our brain’s reward and planning system

David D. Nowell writes in Psychology Today a post about the neuronal loops between different parts of our brain and how some of these loops influence “motivation, focus, time- and goal-management”.

According to Mr. Nowell, there are five cognitive elements that make up the reward-and-planning system, his denomination for the corticostriatal loop.

  1. Anticipate the end-goal
  2. Identify the tasks and subtasks
  3. Sequence and problem-solve around likely obstacles
  4. Block out distractions
  5. Get the reward

As you can read the details on his blog, I will conclude with one more advice from the author: “In fact, before you even get started on step #1, fast-forward to the end and get inside how it’s going to feel for you. Before you invest your valuable time and life energy, get crystal clear that this is the thing you really want. Then ask the question again, a little deeper this time, is this really what I want?”


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