E.g. teeth-brushing habit: trigger - wake up, action - brush teeth, reward - freshness mint (or other) taste in your mouth. That's basically why a taste was added at all to a toothpaste -- to create a habit loop. Before that teeth-brushing powder/paste was tasteless and resulted in bad sales.
The same habit loop structure is used a lot to change bad habits or to integrate new habits in sports, military, etc. There is a very good book about it by Charles Duhigg:
"The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business"
Check out these two books, they really changed how I approached learning and really anything that involves time/practice/dedication.
The Power of Habit
Talent is Overrated
I learnt this from reading the book "The Power of Habit" . It covers the whole affair in detail, well worth a read.
>I think that, the more you do, the more you want to do... Which is one reason why unemployment is so terrible, and why successful people seem to have about 30 hours in a day...
Read the Power of Habit - it elaborates on how the human mind works and how we can reprogram our brain to form any habits we want to, with the right amount of willpower and persistence of course.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Yeah... once you have a good feel for what's pretty easily doable in terms of finances (or fitness), it's hard not to notice when people are just failing hard at it.
It's kind of sad that people get into routines and mindsets that lead them to such lackluster results. Reading The Power of Habit helped me identify some problem points and make pretty simple changes to better my health (my financial habits were already locked down). It's hard to make the initial observations to identify and eventually replace bad habits that would facilitate being in good shape or being financially stable. And there's no reason to really think about trying if you assume it's out of reach anyway.
Had this easy read on habits recently talking about the basal ganglia being one of the primitive brain structures, so it makes sense that other animals would be just as susceptible to weird and inaccurate cause and effect beliefs.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg has some valuable insight into stuff like this.
In particular, he references what he calls "keystone habits." They're different for everyone, but for example, some people find that making their bed in the morning makes them more likely to be productive through the rest of the day. For others, it's exercise. Or flossing. Or packing a lunch.
After reading this book, I made it my New Year's resolution to both make my bed and floss every day. I was a good 95% successful with the resolution, and I still am several years later.
It hasn't changed my whole life, but I find that with a tidy bed, I'm more likely to pick up dirty laundry. And once my bedroom is neat, I want my kitchen neat too...
I'd recommend picking one thing that takes just a few minutes a day and committing to doing it for three weeks. See if just doing that doesn't help you break the cycle.