3 life hacks I love

Ramit Sethi

I recently put together a free ebook sharing some of my favorite tested life hacks on productivity, losing weight, waking up earlier, going to the gym more, texting VIPs (girls/guys), and more.

Includes contributions from: BJ Fogg (director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, Mark Sisson on health, Neil Strauss on changing behavior, Josh Kaufman from the Personal MBA), and more. Download here.

I also ran a contest to collect my reader’s favorite stories of how small tweaks can have a HUGE impact on your life.

Here are three tweaks I loved. Each one wins an iPhone 5 (check your email):

“Girls I met at bars would keep asking me, ‘Where’s your drink?'” (by Wilding P.)

I quit drinking years ago due to some pretty severe health conditions, and the girls I met at bars would pummel me with a relentless barrage of questions like: “Where’s your drink?” “Want a drink?” “What are you drinking?” and 174 permutations thereof.

So one day, out of pure frustration, I decided to test some responses. I chose these 3:

  • Number 1: “I don’t drink”.
  • Number 2: “I’m not drinking”.
  • Number 3: “I quit drinking”.

Response 1: “I don’t drink” would naturally be met with responses like….

  • “WHAT THE F**K…are you serious?”
  • “Are you a MORMON?”
  • “You MUST be a virgin too? LOL LOL LOL”.

Response 2: “I’m not drinking” would attract similar, yet more subdued revulsion such as….

  • “Why not? You know it’s Friday night right?”
  • “Are you ALWAYS this boring?”
  • “Geez! Okay pussy-boy!”

However, when I whipped out response no.3: “I quit drinking.” The results were a ‘lil different….

  • “OMG, I’ve been trying to find a boyfriend who doesn’t drink for AGES!”
  • “I wish I didn’t have to drink. I’m SO jealous!”
  • “How do you party and not drink? That’s impressive…”
  • “But…guys HAVE to drink! You must be REALLY confident…”.
  • “You HAVE to tell me how you did it!”
  • “You must save like…SO much money!”
  • “Wait…you NEVER get hangovers?”
  • “Wow!”
  • “I really admire that!”
  • “You’re my hero!”
  • …etc.

Let’s just say this tweak changed my life for good ;).

“They say you will earn an average of what your peers earn” (by Gabriel E.)

I lost 70 lbs in college, which seems like a bigger deal that it is. First, I started hanging out with a bunch of gym buffs, then, after making enough connections, I got a job at the campus gym. Next thing I knew, I was inundated with health advice and I was following it all, checking calories, carbs, reading the books.

They say you will earn an average of what your peers earn and I have seen first hand that this concept bleeds into almost any area of your life.

Birds of a feather flock together. Do not brown nose, but actually befriend people that are like what you want and you will see things happen.

“Counting calories has never worked for me…” (by Sally S.)

Counting calories and sticking to a rigid diet and exercise plan has never worked for me. About 15 months ago I tested simply adding 5 fruits and veggies per day, and set an intention to do any kind of fun physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day every day. Result: lost more than 20% of my body weight and recently completed my third sprint triathlon at age 58.

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I love how one small tweak can change everything forever.

If you’re curious, you can get the ebook free to get more tweaks that you can apply right now.

Check out 300+ user-contributed life hacks — plus the tested life hacks I put together for you in this ebook — right here:

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  1. Christiano Kwena

    I have used the ‘I quit drinking like’ and it works wonders, not that I knew that initially, but whenever I tell a woman that I quit drinking, even when not in a place with alcohol, I get a remarkable and pleasand reaction.

  2. Mihir

    I took a stab of some of Tim Ferriss’ pointers on Slow Carb meals just from his website (hadn’t even read his 4 Hour Body book). All I did was start eating a completely new breakfast (egg whites, no dairy, black coffee), changed my lunch a bit, and didn’t add any significant new exercise or physical activity. I literally lost like 10-15 pounds within a month, putting me at my lowest weight in probably 10 years.

  3. Wilding Penderis


    I’m on Ramit Sethi’s blog AND I won an iPhone 5. TWO uber-awesome things at once!

    Ramit you’re the man and I’ll be a loyal, cult-like slave to your every command till I die.

    So pumped!

  4. Bud Hennekes

    But.. but.. Ramit.. you went to Standford. 😉

  5. Arun Kumar

    Thanks for “I quit drinking” formula, Earlier when I used to say ‘I don’t drink’ they would say why don’t you ask if they have milk for you.
    With people around me and in my life, I know for sure it takes discipline of hero to quit drinking.

    Buy the way do you count beer as alcohol?, charlie sheen doesn’t and he sticks to beer bottle when he quits drinking. 😉

  6. Brie B.

    Hah, I never would have guessed I was a statistical outlier on the “I quit drinking” thing, but my responses would be the exact opposite of what that guy found. Of course, it also never would have occurred to me to ask, “Where’s your drink?” so maybe it’s that his sample is a little skewed.

  7. Coco J. Ginger

    This is great! You are my hero too. :] CHEERS!

  8. Jared

    It is definitely all about the presentation. It’s amazing how a simple word change or different associations can transform a major aspect of your life. I recently learned this myself but never thought of using that line about drinking, it’s a good one.

  9. Lars

    I did the “I quit drinking” at a party last saturday, and the exact thing as described above happened to me.. got a lot of positive feedback, and “I wish I could do that”.
    It works!

  10. Randy Guzman

    Thanks for sharing.I got a lot of ideas from your post.

  11. Orrin

    I like taking pauses from drinking. Every couple of months, I’ll take a month off drinking and similar to this I found the best explanation has always been to say “I’m taking this month off drinking”. People always get super curious and impressed by the discipline, instead of thinking I’m boring if I just say “I’m not drinking”.