How to make huge improvements

How to make huge improvements

If you want to improve your life, you have to be committed and start from the right foundation.

The typical person could make considerable improvements in less than a year.

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Self Improvement

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For many, the major obstacles to the good life is the abundance of temptations keeping us in the same place:

  1. Put up barriers that constrain the activity within predetermined limits.
  2. Make a rule. "Only one episode of television per day."
  3. Use the power of consistent conditioning. "I only use social media on weekends." Now you won't think of checking it on a weekday.
  4. Set barriers that prevent you from engaging. Use an app to control social media websites.
  5. Set barriers you can't easily overcome. Give your friend the password to unblock your social media, so you can't disable it.
Read 30 minutes, each day

Working towards any goal is the most important thing you can do. The second most important is to read books about how to do it better.

Every person can read thirty minutes per day during the in-between times in their schedule. You can commit more, but you shouldn't commit less.

Writing expands our memory by giving us a buffer to store thoughts before they fade from our memory. Writing also enables self-reflection. When you write down a long series of thoughts and then read it, you simultaneously articulate an idea and critique it.

Write weekly in your notebook about your current struggles, ambitions or plans.

Exercise sharpens your mind and improves your mood. It is also entirely under your control.

It is recommended that you start with an exercise schedule that involves exercising at the same time every weekday so that it quickly becomes a habit. If you feel you are too busy, focus on high-intensity workouts for 20-30 minutes at a time.

Ensure that you speak with someone who is ahead of you in at least one dimension of their life, once per week. If you're working on your health, have a conversation with the person who is fit at the gym.

The biggest mistake we can make with self-improvement is to be too introverted.

Set yourself a time for bed and a wake time. Then stick to it. A consistent sleeping schedule allows you to predictably plan all the other things you intend to do.

  • Don't hit the snooze button, but practice getting up immediately.
  • Set aside the hour before bed for reading, journaling or quiet hobbies. It will make falling asleep easier.
  • Keep the same wake time on weekends as it is much easier to maintain.

This could be a new restaurant, a new activity, event, or just walking in a part of town you've never been to before.


A problem of productivity is that we tend to stick to activities we know are rewarding and tend to avoid trying new things that may be a waste of time. Adding some randomness in your calendar may offer profound results.

Write down whenever you spend money on anything. A spreadsheet can be used to track your spending.

The good life is easier to attain if you're able to budget for it, such as using saved money to buy books.

The productivity system is not just about getting more work done - it's about organising all of your goals and efforts.

When it comes to self-improvement, people can face two problems:

  • They don't feel they have enough time or energy.
  • They fail to follow through.

A productivity system, built correctly, solves both of these problems.

Having a big project you're always working on helps to keep all the other foundational practices together. A project that will last 1-2 years works best to maximize effort.

Four major kinds of projects that can be rotated are career projects, learning projects, fitness projects, and creating projects.

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RELATED IDEAS

The Missing Practice

One practice of having a good life is to have regular conversations with people smarter than you or at least a bit ahead in some areas of life you care about.

Yet this practice is often omitted. People may think that they should start doing this, but admit that they find it hard to strike up a conversation with someone new.

Are You Missing This Essential Foundation for a Good Life? | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

Ever-growing To-Do List

With full-time commitments like University or Job tasks could be hard, but one can always find some spare time. This time could be invested on self-care and family time among others.

A long to-do list with saved browser tabs of courses to watch or books to learn. Our to-learn list is long and ever-growing, skills that we want to maintain and master, harder to fit it in our schedules.

The Key to Find Time for Learning | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

Spare capacity and growth
  • Avoid thinking of spare capacity as the lack of things on your calendar. Since we’re never really doing nothing it’s rare to see people talk about cultivating it directly.
  • The amount of progress you’re able to make depends on your spare capacity. Without time and energy to invest in your personal development, your life will stay as it is.
  • Spare capacity is a neglected topic; people don't usually talk about cultivating it directly. You see articles about how to do something in only six minutes a day, rather than expanding your capacity so you have more than six minutes to do it.

The Value of Spare Capacity | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

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