The idea of self-experimentation has several benefits:
- It removes the possibility of failure. You’re testing the effectiveness of an idea, possibly someone else’s idea…you’re not testing yourself!
- You’re actively attempting to enhance your life. You have a goal and a plan to achieve it. You’re taking action.
- You analyze the results of your experiment and then, once you know what works for you (and what doesn't), tweak your actions move even closer to your goal. What could be more effective than this?
Experiment in your life, be curious, and enjoy the process of discovery:
1) Choose a theory or two that you’d like to test. There’s plenty of self-help advice to be found. Find an interesting theory and test it. Pick out a money-making program or a workout program. Try eating vegetarian, eliminating gluten, or test out the health benefits of “oil pulling.” Find something that interests you and has the potential to impact your life in a positive way.
- Other ideas include diets, changing sleep patterns, dropping a bad habit or adding a new/positive one, meditating, fasting, [ahem…shameless plug] releasing emotional blocks using clay [ahem], or anything else you can think of.
- You can use someone else’s plan or develop your own. What interests you the most? Educate yourself by actually measuring your own results before and after.
2) Learn what you need to know. Get the necessary materials and map out your plan. For fun, write down your predictions of how it will work out. (Keep in mind, however, that we are doing this to make positive change, so go into this experiment with positive expectations and keep an open mind. The placebo effect has been proven over and over – if you believe it won’t work…it won’t.)
For example, imagine that you want to see what will happen if you limit yourself to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. You decide to:
- Track your carbohydrates, body weight, blood pressure, mood, and waistline.
- You commit to sticking with the diet for four weeks and taking measurements before you begin and after each completed week.
- You theorize that you might be hungry and tired at first, but expect those symptoms will disappear after the first week.
- You predict that you will to lose 3 pounds per week and lose inches off your waist.
- Put your hypothesis to the test. Perform the experiment on yourself. Follow your plan and see what happens. Find out if you were right or wrong in your predictions.
- Evaluate your data and formulate a conclusion. What did you learn? Could you tweak the process to improve it? Or was it a horrible idea that deserves no further investigation?
- Consider the next step. What do you want to do next? Do you want to continue down the same path or choose a completely different topic?
Do you have a hard time making changes in your life? Try viewing aspects of your life through the eyes of a scientist. Be the witness. Create your theory and test it:
- Will making 10 prospect calls each week guarantee an appointment with a client? Who knows? Put it to the test and find out.
- Can you do one additional push-up each day until you’ve reached 100 push-ups? Find out.
- Will dressing more professionally at work result in receiving more respect? Dress up every day for a month and see.
There’s no reason to wonder. You have yourself to experiment upon. You can find out definitively what does and doesn’t work for you. Imagine all the incredible changes you could make after a couple of years of living this way!
What is your experiment going to be? Please share...it will be interesting to see how our experiments go!