Warning: Habit-forming.

Recently I have started a new diet: the No S Diet. The concept is very simple: no sweets, snacks, or seconds (except on days which start with S). I started around the holidays, which actually wasn’t hard at all because holidays count as S days (they’re “Special”). However, I didn’t really get into it that much until recently. I can’t really tell if it is working yet, because it doesn’t have strict weighing guidelines like the previous diet, but I feel like something has changed in my life. There is a bunch of text on the page about why it works, but the basic concept is that you should be forming habits which are healthy. It is much easier to get into a healthy habit if it’s not hard to remember what the habit you’re trying to reinforce actually is. It makes it much easier to feel guilty when you fail in enforcing the habit as well, because you can’t make complicated excuses (“this is okay because I excercised off those calories”).

The No S Diet also has the bonus of being easily combinable with basically any other diet you can think of, unless that diet specifically requires you to eat sweets. I’m thinking of combining it with the hacker’s diet, which definitely appeals to my accountant side. The problem I had with the previous attempt at the hacker’s diet still exists, unfortunately - I still don’t have an easy way to keep track of my calories. I am considering dropping a few bucks on a calorie counter database for my new Palm, which may help in that regard.

I have noticed that most of the things which are now being termed as “lifehacks” are actually just habit-forming. The No S diet is a habit for eating, Getting Things Done is a collection of habits for todo lists and projects, and Early Rising is a habit for sleeping and waking up. These are not new ideas, they are just smashed into the new fad: improving your life through good habits. The accountant in me wants to do more than just that, so I am thinking of making a drupal module or two to keep track of my progress (and subsequently broadcast it to the world).