An inventory of self-improvement methods that I've kept up for more than a year, as of Dec 2018. A "¹" means its inactive.
- Put your alarm away from your bed
- Don't ever put your car keys on the chair, on the floor of the car, or in the trunk — Never lock yourself out
- Use an Echo Show to reach out to loved ones who aren't good with phones
- Always place your phone in your pocket with the screen facing your thigh — Prevent cracks from bumping into sharp objects
- Keep a hand sanitizer where you place your keys
- Charge your phone away from your bed¹ — Great for getting yourself out of bed, but phones are also good for distracting away from over-introspection
- Keep a breathalyzer in your car¹
Do something deliberately
- Drive chill or kind of slowly
- Hold your razor loose to prevent nicks
- When the floor is slippery, twist your ankles to calibrate how slippery your shoes are — Useful in icy conditions
- When the road is slippery, slam on the brakes to calibrate how slippery it is
Repeatedly invoke a system
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- Character Counts¹
- Aspiration Method¹
- The Memory Book¹ — Only needed it in High School
- Cognitive therapy¹ — The main benefit may just be in the first six months
- Brush your teeth every night — Otherwise, seeking 99% compliance leads to 85%
- Turn on your headlights every time you start the car — Studies show that cars with headlights on by default are safer
- Stop all-the-way at stop signs or intersections
- Stand away from elevator doors until they fully open — Prevents absent-mindedly rushing in when people are exiting
- Never use the knob lock when closing doors — Most easily preventable source of lockouts
- Always drive the speed limit¹ — You'll never get a ticket
- Drink a maximum of 1 drink per day¹ - Drinks plural is a whole different limit
Appropriate uses of writing
- Put receipts for grocery purchases or leftovers on your fridge, then cross off items you eat
- Cross off every day you meditate
- Don't journal your introspections
- Write an x in your phone for every drink you plan on having that night, then delete an x for every drink you have
- Take the first two numbers of your monthly spending and convert all purchases into a point-system¹ — It made me penny-wise, pound-foolish
- Timed stretching: use an Apple Watch to set n-sec timers for stretches
- Set a 1-min. timer for brushing your teeth at night
"Laziness is good"
- Take the path of least resistance when dealing with red tape — Sometimes I just resubmit paperwork with a few changes to see if it will get through
- Do as many stretches as you feel like at the gym
- Place hand on diaphragm while obsessing in bed — Serves as a pseudo-meditation
- Only brush your teeth for 1 minute every night — Otherwise, attempting 2 minutes in the morning and at night leads to non-compliance
- Fill up the gas when convenient if it's below a quarter full — Never be late because you didn't allot time to fill an empty tank
March-to-your-own-beat health practices
- 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 hand sanitizer after touching serving utensils at buffet tables or when at mixers with hors-d'oeuvres
Do something here that leads to something there
- Reduce fapping for increased game
- Avoid porn for increased game¹ — Uncertain if this or low-fapping is the key
- Daily breath-monitoring meditation for reduced anxiety
- Daily pseudo-meditations for reduced anxiety
- Practice 30-min. of breath-monitoring meditation daily
- Practice 15-min. daily of pseudo-meditations, such as using the sauna or sound baths
- Every 3 months collect your income statements and itemize them
- Every 15 days categorize your expenses on Mint
- Execute the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up system yearly¹
- e.g. "I'll only watch TV tonight if I brush my teeth first"
Do the small, easy steps first
- e.g. Open your bills and throw away the envelopes first
Place objects where you want them to remind you
- e.g. Putting your mail by the foot of your door, so you remember to take it on the way out
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.
Self-improvement methods are also similar to method acting, whereby an actor summons a memory or trigger in order to have their behavior naturally match the emotions that a scene requires.
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.