Meta (FAQ)

What are Action Experiments?

 

The Opposite of a Thought Experiment. Or, if you like, the logical outgrowth of a thought experiment.

 

What do you mean about thought experiments?

 

I’m talking mainly about the kinds of things that you think about doing but don’t actually try, rather than the more technical way that physicists and philosophers talk about thought experiments.

 

Like what?

 

Like writing your own novel, learning the tricks of the iceman, trying to solve autoimmunity problems, obesity, or just getting together with some friends.

 

But why?

 

Because it’s there. I made a New Year’s resolution to take my ‘wellness’ more seriously. I adopted the simple mnemonic “PIES” for Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual to describe the kinds of wellness that I want to work on.

 

How can I expect to see the results of your experiments?

 

Mainly, right here. Part of the experiment is meta, which is an experiment about the experiments. I’ll be delivering different content in different ways throughout the year – video, podcast, and blog – just to see what ends up being popular where, if any of them.

 

How will you know how things are changing?

 

Great question. The Critical first step is to have a baseline to compare things to. So what I’m going to do is make sure that I’m following some “best practices”. These are things that I know are good for me, but I might or might not be doing them right now. I want to talk about 1. Why I’m doing these specific things instead any number of other things, and 2. How I’m implementing them in my life. My sincere hope is that you, by listening to me, will learn something about either 1. What to do. Or 2. How to do it. I believe that most people already know what to do. What I doubt is that everyone knows both.

 

What are these best practices?

 

  1. Meta – what I’m doing and why – the entire project in a nutshell (you are here)
  2. Goals vs. Systems
  3. The idea of having ‘best practices’/solid base. If you have ‘em you know what they are. Simple exercise to draw them out.
  4. Habitizing ala BJ Fogg. Implementation intention + small, specific habit + celebration
  5. 2 week (ish) experiments. Tim Ferriss, design your life Dave Evans
  6. Why I’m implementing and doing them “backwards”
  7. Scaffolding – look at your daily routine and figure out what needs to happen. Home gym? Place to read? Place to meditate? What scaffolding do you need and do what you can to put that stuff into place/
  8. Weekly routines – the weekly review – GTD whys and hows
  9. Weekly routines – preplanning meals – Fat Loss Happens on Monday
  10. Weekly routines – time with friends –  Being Social =/= Social Media

 

End of blog, start of podcast

 

  1. 9:50 – Lights Out – podcast- meta – defining and executing
  2. Read – podcast – topic “reading is fundamental ‘n’ shit”
  3. PJs on/lay out clothes – podcast – topic: sleep habits, waking habits (implementation intentions)
  4. Close DS and US baths (wipe down) – podcast – little and often – Mark Forster
  5. Close the kitchen (dishes, wipe down) Setup coffee for next day – podcast. Why to “close” the kitchen. Fasting.
  6. Lay out Journal/Wallet/Keys for next day- podcast “Putting the day on Ice Skates”
  7. Describe 3-6 MITs for next day – podcast “The Ivy Lee Technique/The Big Rock Paradox”
  8. IB0 x day # – computer off – podcast “Marginal gains”
  9. 8pm – Phone off and plug in electronics – podcast “Sleep Habits Part 2: Why I am too dumb to have my phone by my bed (and so are you)”
  10. Eat dinner with Steph – podcast “Keystone Habits”

 

End of podcast, start of vlog

 

  1. Workout – vlog – “The Workout – a summary of What/Why/How”
  2. Walk dogs/weighted vest – vlog “Brain effects of cardio and being outside”
  3. Lunch- break fast/food journal/phone on – vlog – “On Food Journalling”
  4. 8 am Deep Work – vlog “Deep Work Review – Cal Newport”
  5. Make Bed – vlog – “The Magic of Anchoring/Cueing and the delusion of self- consistency”
  6. PLP – vlog – “how to get ripped in six months/HFT”
  7. Meditation – vlog “Why to start/how to start meditation”
  8. 10 Ideas – vlog “how to become an idea machine”
  9. Morning Pages – vlog “How to give yourself advice”
  10. 6 am Wake/Weigh/Measure – vlog “What Gets Measured gets Managed”

 

What order are you going to do these in?

 

Since most of these are daily, I’m actually going to do them in reverse order: starting with the last items of the day, first, then layering on the previous thing, then the previous habit, then the previous.

 

So, for instance, bedtime is at 10pm, so my first habit will be putting the lights out at 9:50. Day two will be reading for at least 10 minutes before I turn the light out. Day three will be brushing my teeth. Day four will be putting on PJs. And so on. But the repetition is what matters. Like a countdown. 1. 2, 1. 3,2,1. 4,3,2,1. And so on. You get more and more reps of the last thing so it helps ‘pull you’ through the day. This is a technique that you can use to memorize speeches, which is where I learned it. Start with the last sentence, then the second-to-last and so on. This way it gets stronger as you go. And if you find your ability to concentrate, focus,and willpower waning as you get towards the end of the day, your habits get stronger and stronger. (tk – add the memorization from end to beginning).

 

At least that’s the theory.

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Other than that, no.

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