15 little life hacks you can use today

Ramit Sethi


Today, I will share some of my other favorite tests. In fact, the ones I’m going to share with you are a LOT more interesting than a 66% increase in sales.

When we talk about tests, most people love to fixate on tactical tests like split-tested subject lines, opt-in forms, pricing pages, etc.

But there are even cooler tests.

Like how to increase your gym attendance by 300%.

Or how to talk to women at a bar.

Or how to floss your teeth, be happier, or increase your energy level.

The beautiful part about these tests is you can make one simple tweak and see massive results.

Think about it…

What if you could make one small tweak to your business and radically improve profits. Wouldn’t you want to know what that tweak was?

Or think about your social life. What if you could radically boost how much you impress people when you’re meeting someone at a bar or event by changing just one word? (Hint:  This is why you never hear me describe myself as a writer.)

Or think about your health. Everyone SAYS they should go to the gym more often. What if you could triple your gym attendance with one embarrassingly simple step?

This isn’t hyperbole, you weirdos. These are all real tests I’ve personally run that deliver real results…over and over.

Now I want to share them with you.

Plus, I decided to call up a few friends and ask them for their best tests. People like:

  • BJ Fogg, one of my mentors and the director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab and founder of TinyHabits
  • Neil Strauss, NYT bestselling author of The Game
  • Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo at, the store for entrepreneurs
  • Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint and founder of
  • Nicholas Kho, co-founder of and Real Social Dynamics
  • Neil Patel, co-founder of and
  • Paras Chopra, founder of
  • Ryan W. Johnson, founder of
  • Jordan Reasoner, co-founder of
  • Mike Williams, founder of
  • Scott Young, founder of
  • Sarah Hughes, co-founder of
  • Josh Kaufman, bestselling author of The Personal MBA and founder of

I collected all their favorite tests into an ebook.

Oh yeah: The ebook is free for you.

I could have charged a pretty nice amount and easily made this a 6-figure day. I could have even price-tested it!

But there are some things that are just right to do. I want to share this with you, for free, because I want you to see the power of REAL tests. Of knowing that a testing mentality means it’s OK to fail over and over (e.g., I have a “Failures” tab in Gmail, and if I’m not adding at least 5 failures/month, I’m not trying enough).

But there is one thing I ask: In exchange for making this free, I want you to apply just ONE of these tests to your life. When you see that they work, I know you’ll see the power of starting to test everything. If you can commit to using one test, please download the ebook with my compliments. But if you simply want to treat this as intellectual entertainment — as something you skim and discard — then let’s not waste each other’s time.

One last thing: Some hear “tests” and zone out. They get bad flashbacks to school. These delusional weirdos are completely missing the point. Tests don’t mean chalkboards and bad grades. They mean taking your assumptions and trying a few different approaches, and simply recording what works and what doesn’t.

You can test your eating…your spending…your approach with men/women…your gym attendance…almost ANYTHING.

And in this book, you’ll get a shortcut to a few life tests you can use TODAY.

All for you. All free. It’s my special thanks for reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Here’s the download link:
Little Life Experiments

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  1. Jonathan

    Wow, I already had so much respect for you, seeing Mark Sisson’s name, and one of the best primal lifestyle sites on the web, mentioned by you just made you totally that much more epic IMO!

  2. Marty Salin

    Dear Ramit,
    I have been reading your blog for years.
    Some very good advice, thank you very much.
    I’ve also recommended it unhesitatingly to friends whom I thought might benefit from your wisdom.

    OK, I’ll make this short and sweet, this is NOT really criticism, I am just pointing out a common error.
    You wrote, “Like how to increase your gym attendance by 300% … Everyone SAYS they should go to the gym more often. What if you could triple your gym attendance with one embarrassingly simple step?”
    Which is it? 300% or 200% … quadruple or triple?

    Perhaps a mistake just made in haste? MANY people make it!

    Much success to you in the future, and to your readers and clients.
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    Cheers—Marty Salin (Bangkok, Thailand)

    • Ramit Sethi

      Haha. Good point. I am pretty bad at math.

  3. John

    Just thought I would mention that the name and email fields don’t have labels, so I wasn’t sure what to put untill I got the error message.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Thx, we will fix

  4. Richard

    Just an fyi: your download process is having problems (too busy? great problem)
    I got time-out errors and when I reloaded the page, it tells me I haven’t confirmed
    But no email came, not being filtered out as spam by gmail as far as I can tell.

    • Stephen

      Same here. I am already on your mailing list so I’d assume your software isn’t sending another confirm mail because of that.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Please check in 20 minutes…the system is pretty overwhelmed right now, but the email will come.

  5. Sheridan Saint-Michel

    I just wanted to say thank you. I have been a avid reader and purchaser, starting with your guide to kicking a$$, and I really love the fact that you have a finance blog that focuses on psychology, self improvement, and real wins.

    You have really changed the way I look at money, and frankly the way I look at life.

  6. Chris Horner

    Wow Ramit, you really continue to deliver. Principals I’ve already learned from your writing and courses have more than paid themselves back. Many times over in fact. Will look forward to exploring this too. Thanks!!

  7. Brock C

    Ramit, I look forward to reading this. Your stuff is always high quality.

    I thought I would mention one test I recently used myself to improve gym attendance. I noticed that the main impediment to my going more often was that I kept forgetting to prep a gym bag the night before (my schedule doesn’t allow working out at night – it’s 6 AM or nothing).

    So I stopped taking a bag entirely. Now instead of getting showered and dressed at the gym, I just drive home. I haven’t missed a workout since.

    (Why was I taking a bag at all? Habit. I used to have a long commute and a gym near my office, so driving back home wasn’t a practical option. But I moved to a new house this July and got a new gym that’s three minutes away. It took me a couple months though to realize my old routine was sub-optimal. Oh well, better late than really late)

  8. Susan

    I so want to download this, but no e-mail came and can’t find it in my bulk file. I’ve been on your newsletter list for a long time, so was sort of surprised you said I wasn’t subscribed. What more need I do? Thanks.

  9. Doug

    I’ve noticed you are using a lot more video. I’m not guessing that is the test your talking about here. Is it helping conversions? A lot, or a little?

  10. Mike

    Thanks Ramit!

  11. Tim Rosanelli

    The best experiment I’ve ever run…


    The test: To see if my wife can tell the difference between top shelf and bottom shelf Vodka in her Cosmos.

    My wife loves Cosmopolitans. I make them for her all the time. Her favorite Vodka is Belvedere Vodka ~ so she thinks. I read that people can’t taste the difference in Vodka. I want to test the idea of perceived value in the packaging.

    Two years ago, I started pouring other Vodka into a Belvedere bottle to see if she would notice and to save a little money. It started with middle of the road Vodka like Smirnoff then I got brave and started grabbing the cheapest Vodka available. Every once in a while, my wife would hit the store or was with me when I bought it so we would go back to the Belvedere for a bottle. I thought this helped the experiment because I wanted to make sure she didn’t acquire a taste for the cheap Vodka.

    After two years, I can tell you that she never noticed the difference. It’s interesting to note that she would taste the difference if I varied the other ingredients but never the Vodka. Apparently, the Vodka was the least important factor in the taste and the bottle was the most important factor.

    I focus on this idea of perceived value all the time in my business now.

    • Ramit Sethi

      I LOVE IT!!

      Have you told her? How did she react?

      People tend to react pretty poorly to tests like this, so be careful. Maybe YouTube it for fun though.

    • Tim Rosanelli


      Are you crazy!? I don’t think I’ll ever tell her. LOL! I’ve thought about telling her because we go out to dinner and she orders a drink with the top shelf stuff in it and I end up paying the extra cost in the check. HaHa!

      The funny part is that I have a bunch of bottles of cheap Vodka hidden in my basement that I pour into the Belvedere bottle. When one of the cheap bottles running out, I bury it at the bottom of the recycling bin under other stuff. It’s a whole covert mission!

      I’ve even served it that way to Guests over the holidays ~ cheap Vodka in a Belvedere bottle. Once at the Liquor Store, a lady asked what Vodka was better. I spoke up and told her it didn’t matter. When I told about my experiment, they lectured me on all the differences. Obviously, all the differences didn’t matter in the taste.

      BTW, I tracked the cost. We save $800 to $900 dollars a year because the cheap vodka is a quarter the cost.

  12. Kris

    Test: How to wake up at 5am every day.

    Inspiration: Like many people, I noticed on days I got up early by some miracle, the day was infinitely more productive. I’d always wanted to get up earlier, but I just resigned myself to “I’m not a morning person.” Then I came across an article about habits of billionaires. Every one of them work up between 4:30 and 6:30 every day. I decided to give it one last go.

    Versus: Go to bed at the same time every night vs wake up at the same time every day.

    Test – Sleep Like Clockwork: Many pieces of conventional wisdom say, go to bed at the same time every night, you’ll get the same amount of sleep, you’ll wake up early. For instance, say you want to get 8 hours of sleep, and want to get up at 5am like me. You should go to bed at 9pm. So I did. Every night for a week, I went to bed at 9pm, and assumed I’d wake up at 5 after the full 8 hours of sleep my body needed.

    Results: As a 21-year-old, going to bed at 9pm SUCKS. I wasn’t tired, there was more to do, I couldn’t go out at night, and guess what, I wasn’t waking up any earlier than normal. Why? In reality, I wasn’t falling asleep until 11-12 o’clock. And even then, my sleep was constantly interrupted. The next day, I’d end up waking at 8pm or so, just like if I wasn’t trying to get up early.

    Test 2 – Wake Up Like Clockwork: Next strategy, forget going to bed. I set my alarm for 5am and come hell or high water, I was up at 5. For one whole week. I would go to bed only when I was tired, but no matter what, if I went to bed at 9pm or 3am, up at 5.

    Results – For the first three days, I thought about giving up the experiment. I didn’t even want to keep my eyes open at 5am, let alone get out of my comfy bed. But, as the days went on, I began waking up on my own about 4:58 and shutting the alarm off before it rang. I found that if I got out of bed immediately, it was much easier to stay out. And getting to the alarm before it goes off is a great incentive.

    I also found this had no hindrance on my social schedule. I was in bed by 11 most nights, a perfectly reasonable time. And if I wanted to go out late, I could. I’d be tired, but I could. Sometimes circumstances stop you from going to bed at a certain time, which would have ruined idea number 1. However, I have yet to come across a circumstance which requires me to wake up later.

    To this day, I get up at 5am every morning. Even holidays and weekends. I go to bed only when I feel tired. My body knows I’ll be up at 5 no matter what, so it knows when to shut down to get the maximum benefit. I read until I have to reread a page because of lack of concentration, then it’s bedtime. My days are far more productive now than ever.

  13. Michael Belk @ethical behavior

    These are some interesting life hacks. I guess you can not tell what another person is going to do until they do it.

    Making is a little easier than most of us think it is.

  14. Ashley

    Nice marketing, but let’s be honest. You’re sharing this because you believe the following:

    1). The e-mails you collect will be worth more than the profits you can expect from selling such a book. AND
    2). The goodwill you receive will also benefit your business and blog

    That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate this ‘free’ ebook, but as the saying goes: “When you don’t know what’s being marketed, the answer is probably you”

  15. Aimee

    Thanks a lot Ramit for sharing this. The tests has really shown a simpler way to establish better habits. I tried the ‘establishing floss habit’ (although in different context) so far, the results were positive. Thanks again!

  16. Isaac Johnson

    My favorite test-I committed to using a food/symptoms journal to see if I really did feel better when implementing changes to my diet. I always wanted to try eating completely gluten free, and other tweaks, but never fully committed. By committing to keep a detailed food journal and noting any symptoms, I could see a quantifiable improvement in how I felt, and even declining health when I strayed. This encouraged me to keep making changes to my diet based on the feedback from the journal. I ended up curing myself of a chronic, “un-curable” digestive disease (ulcerative colitis)

    test: committed to journal food/symptoms everyday
    action: better adherence to changes in diet
    result: Cured my chronic disease-Improved health

  17. Sunil @ The CPA Profession

    one hack, rather a productivity habit that has greatly benefited me in life is batch processing, from checking email, to snail mail, to paying bills and making phone calls. when first implementing, I tried it for 30 straight days and the benefits were screamingly apparently. test passed with flying colors

  18. Rob

    I LOVED the Ramit sad face – OMFG LOL.
    I let the timer run out half expecting a video to pop up with an angry Ramit telling me to leave already.

    • Ramit Sethi


  19. Tahnya Kristina

    Hey Ramit,

    This is a great post, I’m going to include it on the Dinks Finance weekly roundup. I heard you speak at FinCon and I’m your new biggest fan 🙂

  20. Mariama Strieder

    Hello Ramit,

    I have just caught on to your awesomess. My husband and I currently have $500 each set aside ready to start a ROTH IRA. He’s 25 and I’m 24. We want one that we don’t have to pay annual dues on it. What would you recommend start our Roth IRA with?

  21. Nick K.

    Hi Ramit,
    Downloaded the book and its good, two hacks in particular stand out to me, the $1 challenge not to criticise behind someone’s back. This is a constant thing I do and after reading the book I’m positive my professional and personal life suffer due to my behaviour (though I’m way too tight to give away a dollar each time, must find a solution.)

    The other is marking the calendar to show progress, I’m implementing this for a personal project and when it works will continue with all the other incomplete crap I’ve got going, A teacher once wrote in a report card I” lack the stick-ability to complete tasks” and this has happened throughout my life with my personal projects (somehow work projects always get completed).


  22. Seth


    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now and have yet to be disappointed. I’m actually a freshman in college and attribute my scholarships and college acceptance to an attitude of consistently improving myself despite the numerous obstacles that stood between me and my goals. I was (and still am) an avid tester of life tricks – so I loved this post!

    I liked the 15 life hacks and thought I’d share my own ‘LifeHack’ which got me out of a drug-ridden nowhere town and into an Ivy League on a full-ride scholarship. It wasn’t a radical lifestyle change, extremely cumbersome, or even very difficult. It is a small change that YOU or anyone can implement into their lifestyle immediately and see immediate returns. Sound too good to be true? Read for yourself.

    -How to make others believe in you (your cause, product, etc)-

    I noticed around 8th grade that a pessimistic, negative, and whiny attitude about things in my life was toxic and more often than not pushed opportunities away instead of bringing anything in. I noticed all of these successful people in the world and wanted so badly to be successful and wealthy so that I could be charismatic and happy like them. “Wait a minute,” I thought to myself one afternoon, “maybe it’s the other way around!”
    Once that occurred to me, I thought to make a little experiment of my own life.

    The Experiment
    Instead of seeking circumstances and self validation through the outside world to make me more charismatic, passionate, successful, (insert noun of your choice here) I decided to change myself first. I forced myself to be the charismatic, impassioned, and confident self that I imagined I could be one day given enough external validation.
    (If you want the details there, email me at and I’m happy to discuss how I did that)

    The results were dumbfounding – by merely instilling confidence in myself, putting a passionate drive to be successful behind my character, and acting charismatic my entire life changed. Teachers started giving me better grades, girls who never batted an eyelash at me began to get crushes on me, I went from a nobody to one of the most popular kids in the school in less than a year. The best part? It was a positive feedback system – if my whiny ass attitude started to creep in my whole life was affected negatively and it prompted me to continue focus on being the person I wanted to be TODAY not some distant date in the future.

    People these days, my generation especially, has this idea that life should be handed to them. That without certain things happening in their lives they are unable to be the person they want to. I completely disagree with that. The idea that you need “X, Y, and Z” in your life before you can be the person you want is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. If you want those things, anything, be the person first and the rest follows.

    By being confident in myself and goals – more confidence (through myself and others) followed.
    By being passionately driven to succeed – my own internal gas tank filled up and I could do even more.
    By being charismatic – I learned real charisma and attracted people to me.
    By being WHO I wanted to be FIRST, WHAT I wanted came to me AFTER.

    The Takeaway
    We are inundated by ‘Get Rich Quick’, ‘Lose that Belly’, and ‘Self Confidence’ schemes. The truth behind all of them though isn’t how well they are written or what the idea is – the truth behind those success stories is the individual’s ability to conquer him or herself internally. Once you’ve done that, implementing any self improvement hack into your life is a breeze. Read all of Ramit’s blog and it’s filled with EXCELLENT advice and methods that really work – if you actually do them. The biggest difference between being successful and a failure is your own willingness to implement these ‘LifeHacks’. If you want to go to the Gym way more and like the idea, DO IT. Reading and thinking about these self improvements isn’t worth a damn unless you actually give it a shot. The biggest takeaway of my life was realizing that it was my choice every moment to be successful or not. That I had to make these choices on the inside FIRST before I saw any return on the outside.


    P.S. Ramit, I’m at school in NY. If you’re ever around, I’d love to meet you in person. Keep up the site, it has a lot of good stuff in it.

  23. J

    My goal: to write in my journal every day, come hell or high water.
    First try: Put a freebie blank notebook and pencil by my bed so that I see it every night and will remember to write in it. Results, so-so. Sometimes there are week-long gaps.
    Second try: Put a journal by the bed, but this time it’s one I bought, with a nice cover and attractive pages. I figured that if I spent the money on it, I would be more inclined to use it. Results, better, but not perfect. There were still some gaps in writing here and there.
    Third try: Put by the bed a purchased journal with dated pages for each day of the year. Results: Great! The desire to leave no blank pages caused me to write even when I was tired or it was late.
    I love it when I can find what works.

  24. M

    What worked for me regarding regular workouts: I literally use little stick-on stars on my calendar for every workout I complete. I have a goal of 7 stars a week (there are days I run and do pilates and they get 2 stars). I use different colors depending on the workout, and I have a planned schedule of which workouts I do on which days. Except for days when I’ve been too sick to work out (I think that’s been around 5 days, three of which were last week), I have a perfect record and I’m in month 3. If I have an event that prevents me from getting a workout in, I move it to a day that’s normally a rest day. Easy.