An inventory of self-improvement methods that I've kept up for more than a year.
(as of Nov 2018)
- Daily 30-min breath-monitoring meditation
- Meditation calendar: cross off every day you meditate
- Daily 15-min auto-meditation: do activities, such as using the sauna, that feel like meditations
- Place hand on diaphragm while obsessing in bed
- Turn on your headlights every time you start the car.
Studies show that cars with headlights on by default are safer.
- Don't ever put your car keys on the chair, on floor of the car, or in the trunk.
Never lock yourself out
- Don't journal your introspections
- Put your alarm away from your bed
- Every 3 months collect your income statements and itemize them
- Every 15 days categorize your expenses on Mint
- Put receipts for grocery purchases and leftovers on your fridge and then cross off items you eat
- Write an x in your phone for every drink you plan on having that night, then delete an x for every drink you have
- Timed stretching: use an Apple Watch to set 18-sec timers for stretches
- Lazy stretching: do as many stretches standing up as you feel like, then do the same on the mat
- Set a 1-min. timer for brushing your teeth at night
- High-rep weight-lifting: do 20-plus reps until tired or failure per muscle group
- Only wash armpits, groin, and feet in the shower
- Use an Echo Show to reach out to loved ones who aren't good with phones
 Certain timers can only be practical if they're extremely easy-to-use.
 Timers are more effective at compliance than counting in your head or estimating a length of time.
- Charge your phone away from your bed when you sleep — Great for getting yourself out of bed, but phones are also good for distracting away from over-introspection
- Hold your razor loose to prevent knicks — I use an electric now
- Take the first two numbers of your monthly spending and convert all purchases into those units — It made me penny-wise, pound-foolish
- Drink a maximum of 1 drink per day
Definition of method
method: a neologism for any mantra, system, shortcut, life-hack, or idea that you repeat in your head in order to bring about a desired behavior.
method abuse: when you repeat a method so much that it does more harm than good.
Methods are like programs you run in your brain. They operate much like daemons, which are continuously running programs, like servers.
Habits vs. methods
Habits aren't the same as methods. For example, I have a habit of organizing my bed every day. Even though I don't want to, most of the time, I nudge myself to do it every day, and it happens that I make my bed every day. I have no rule that I need to do it; it's just that it bothers me when I see it messy. Habits are natural and self-renewing, whereas a method occurs when you have to make a conscious and deliberate effort to renew the practice, otherwise the method will fade.