15 Little Life Experiments That Will Change Your Life

life hacks

I test every little thing in my business… from call-to-action buttons, headlines and pricing plans to even my design colors. I can confidently say that over the last five years, I have made a few extra million dollars because of testing.

But there is one big issue!

Over the years, I’ve optimized my business through testing, but I haven’t optimized my personal life. What I discovered, just like business, you can optimize yourself so that you can do things like wake up earlier, have better relationships, work out more effectively and even make more money.

Want to change your life? Then follow these 3 little life experiments.

Just like testing in business, before you start fine-tuning yourself, it’s best to learn from other people’s experiences. So my buddy Ramit Sethi interviewed me and 14 other people to come up with some ways you can optimize your personal life.

Here are 15 little life experiments that will change your life:

How to increase your gym attendance by 300%

If you are like my buddy Ramit and I, you probably have problems getting yourself motivated to go to the gym. Every morning, you probably groggily wake up and say, “ugh…I know I should get up…” and then roll over and go back to sleep.

It happens day after day even though you genuinely want to go to the gym.

Ramit finally realized that “motivation” alone has very little to do with successfully changing behaviors. He started testing different techniques: adding gym to his calendar or going to bed half an hour earlier. He would test different approaches for two weeks, noting the outcome in a wiki.

Sadly, he got mediocre results.

But when he sat down to analyze why he wasn’t going to the gym, he realized: his closet was in another room. That meant he had to walk out into the cold, in his boxer shorts, to the other room, shivering while putting on his clothes.

It was easier to just stay in bed.

Once he realized this, he folded his clothes and put them on his shoes by his bed the night before. When he woke up the next morning, he would roll over and see his gym clothes sitting on the floor. In fact, he couldn’t get up without stepping on them!

The result? His gym attendance soared by over 300%.

Key Takeaway: What tactics could you use to increase your gym attendance? Could you find a workout partner? Hire a trainer? Or simply use the “folded-clothes” approach? My suggestion: test them all.

How to text-message important people (and girls)

Don’t you hate it when you text-message important people or even girls and they don’t respond? Well, Nick Kho figured out how to get people to respond to his text messages 90% of the time.

Here’s how:

Immediately after getting a phone number of a beautiful woman or an important person, send them a text message that states:

Amber, it was a pleasure to meet you. Save my phone number in your phone because if you are like me, you don’t answer unrecognized calls.



Over 90% of the time, you get an almost instant response of something to the effect of, “lol. I’m so like that too. Will do and it was great to meet you.”

This works because the text makes the recipient feel important. It demonstrates that you have the intent to stay in touch with her after your encounter while simultaneously showing that you are someone that has a higher value and an active social life.

Nick has found that this script helps a lot in removing phone flakes because many people, men or women, business or otherwise, really don’t answer unrecognized phone calls.

This is a major problem for a lot of guys who have great interactions with a woman they just met or a very important contact who is busy, especially if it was their first encounter with that person from an initial cold approach.

In addition, when you call the recipient you’ve met after using this script, she is 3x more likely to answer the phone because you are no longer an “unrecognized” caller.

Key Takeaway: Follow-through is just as important, if not more, than approach.

How to double sales (and halve refunds) by eliminating risk

Do you want to double your sales? Well, of course! Who doesn’t, right? Jordan Reasoner ran a test on his business that not only doubled his sales but decreased his refunds by half.

Here’s how he did it:

Jordan helps people with digestive diseases like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis naturally treat their symptoms with diet. In 2007, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening digestive disease, and this diet was so effective, it saved his life. He took his experiences and techniques and wrote an ebook to help other people with similar problems.

During the first year, however, he had a big problem: his customers didn’t trust him. Why would a sick, skeptical person try a $37 ebook? Why risk throwing away more money on yet another treatment that won’t work? Refunds were high, and people were still afraid to try the diet.

That’s when he decided to eliminate peoples’ risk completely by testing a more confident 365-day guarantee against his original 60-day guarantee.

What happened blew his mind. Refunds dropped by 44% (from 9.25% to 5.14%)…sales doubled (roughly 100% increase)…and customers sent in more success stories than ever!

It happened all because of trust, which came naturally after he gave people an entire year to try the diet and the opportunity to get a refund if it didn’t work… something they’d never get from the medical community.

Key Takeaway: If you want people to trust you and you’re confident, ask yourself, “How can I completely eliminate risk for them and earn their trust?” Then test it. You may be surprised at the results.


Everything can be optimized in life. So, don’t just try to optimize your business.

I want you to read the rest of the 15 Little Life Experiments That Will Change Your Life ebook (don’t worry, it’s FREE). After you do, come back here and share what you have learned in the comments.

If we all participate and share some life hacks, we can all live a more efficient life!

I can’t wait to hear some of your life hacks. 🙂

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  1. Mirko Ceselkoski at TrainBodyAndMind.com :

    I was also struggling to include gym in my daily routine…The closes gym is located in the building next to my office…

    The solution I have found is to have the backpack ready and hanging on the door handle, waiting for me and leaving me no chance to avoid it, when leaving home!

  2. Dan - Female Bodybuilding :

    Hi Neil,
    Great post as usually. I think motivation is very important in everything we do. Regarding how to motivate you to go to the gym , I think it may be a good idea to upgrade your monthly subscription. Maybe, if you pay more, an amount which you don’t want to lose, you will go to the gym more often 🙂 At the end is very simple: If you want, you CAN!

    • Thanks Dan,

      I like it! I know how cheap I am and couldn’t imagine paying for something I am not using.

      • Sadly I am of the mind “money spent is money gone” this would not work for me. However the term JFDO has become my new motto. get up get dressed put shoes on and out the door works the best for me…robot mode all the way

        • http://asthmacausearticles.com :

          Just think of it this way… sites like LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest are all ranked within Alexa’s top 100 popular list

  3. Amir @ Blue Mile Media :

    The gym is a biggie for me too. What’s been working for me is I got into a relationship with a girl who runs 10k’s and half marathons like it’s her job lol

    But what really has helped me is writing down what I do every day and this made me realize I waste a lot of time, especially on the computer. Coming home after classes I’d be tired so I’d spend an hour just laying in bed, checking social media stuff online, etc. I come straight home, change my clothes and head straight to the gym. Similar to what Ramit does.


  4. Alex @ How To Start A Blog 101 :

    Great post Neil, kind of an unusual read as it took away seriousness by making it entertaining and more realistic which made me read through the whole post! Enjoyable read.

  5. Sign up for a marathon, and run for charity. Sixteen weeks later you have a large accomplishment under your belt and you raised some money for a good cause. It works.

    • Great life-changing advice Steve.
      I did just that just over a year ago. Hadn’t run more than 6 miles when I signed up. I haven’t looked back.

      Going to run my 3rd full marathon in October and I’ve raised over $7k for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

    • Doing something for a cause is the ultimate motivator in my opinion. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. A cool approach to handle the personal life. I liked the article.

  7. Said like a true testing and conversion junkie! Well done! Believe me when you actually get the girl its only then that the real testing and optimisation begins 🙂

  8. Ankit @ You Tube Auto Repeat Videos :

    And this is one of the interesting article by Neil again. You know, what my schedule is? It’s just that i sleep early, just half n hour early, woke up 15 min before gym time, strictly do it for 1 hour and back to home. Even running on treadmill for 15-20 makes a hell lots of diff in ur health and you feel fit n fine whole day.

  9. Thanks for this article recommending the eBook, because now a days I was living alone and looking for something to read from here and there.

  10. I loved text messaging part more. Because I experienced same thing (less responses) mentioned in the article. I will surly try this trick and check whether it works for me or not.


  11. I have been holding off on giving a guarantee. Since I sell digital downloads I always assumed there would be people that would sign up download everything and then ask for a refund.

    Right now I have a no refunds policy. Maybe I can give it a try.
    Is there more research on this? Thank you 🙂

  12. Interesting and useful post. Anyone can learn so much by reading . keep it up Neil. Thanks

  13. I’m gonna try the gym advice for couple weeks now. Thanks 🙂

  14. Bird Window Collisions :

    Great advice Neil! I especially like the points of going to the gym and sending text messages. I have the same problem of lacking motivation to go the gym, though you proved above its not the motivation at all but rather a completely different factor. I will try the approach your friend Ramit suggested. Wish me luck

  15. Hey Neil,

    Sticking to a habit works best for me. If I can do something for 2 weeks straight without breaking the habit, it sticks. Then I do not have to even think about it because it happens almost automatically.

    Setting a goal also helps. I combine the both by saying something like “ok, my goal is to workout everyday right after I wake up for just 2 weeks” after that it just kind of happens. Thanks to this, I have been working out for 3 months now without breaking, which is the longest I have ever gone (I realize that it is not that long but still… 🙂 )

  16. double sales means increase of 100%, not 200%.

  17. john Williamson :

    I agree that one can and must optimize every part of their life; not just skills at work or athletics. Companies that utilize this will retain employees longer and create a stronger culture at their work. The first thing, RPM Revenue Drivers (current employer) did when I started was fill out goals for both work and my personal life. It helped me realize the company cared about it’s employees and not just the money we generate.

    • Yep, when you set goals to optimize everything in your life not just work, you will see a complete difference and usually a positive one.

  18. Folding gym clothes and placing them on the floor is a clever idea. You can also try putting the wake up alarm under the clothes.

    But in either case, if you dread going to the gym, that facile brain will find an excuse not to.

    Suggest making it so simple to start that you’ll feel like a fool not to do what’s intended.

    Instead of making yourself climb in the car and drive x miles to spend an hour+ in the gym, commit to 5 minutes, 6 days a week.

    Determine what exercise you’re willing to do each of these 6 days, and then when you arise you go do it right in your house.

    What this does is break the inertia of not exercising, and develops a Pavlovian response to this new habit. And, though 5 minutes is insufficient to get in shape, what will occur is that you’ll wind up doing more effortlessly.

    Try it.


  19. It also took me an year to find the best approach for the gym. At the beginning I wasn’t motivated enough and probably that’s why there were no results. Now, I eat the right food and go to the gym 3 times/week. Motivation is everything in that sphere. No matter, if you do it for chicks,to lose some weight, to gain some weight, you must be motivated. Good luck.

    – Harutyun.

  20. Hello Neil!

    Very interesting and yet excellent tips and I certainly love the idea of text messaging to the important people 😉 and love reading the whole post.

  21. We should never forget about ourself!
    Stay fit and improve your life will surely reflect on business activities!

  22. I’m a fitness guy, so this “test” is the one that we give every person that walks in the door. you do this whole sequence as fast as you can 500meter row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, 10 pull-ups. Depending on how long it takes you, you can get an idea of people’s fitness level.

  23. Yep, some other things are just as important in life such as maintaining your daily life, and it does require a little optimisation. Don’t forget to drink at least a full glass of cold water a day as well, it works when it comes to wanting to lose weight while eating right. Excellent post!

  24. When our kids were small, We wanted to get up early to exercise. The alarm would ring and we would go back to sleep. So we bought a second alarm clock and set it five minutes after the first alarm but put it in the baby’s room. We had five minutes to get up, run down the hall and turn off the second alarm. By then, we were awake and resigned to exercise.

  25. Really @Neil you are sharing awesome motivating content.

    I have learn many more things from this article like every article.

    Thank you very much

  26. The gym experiment definitely seems like something I’m going to try. This post has motivated me to attempt going to the gym before class/work every morning. Let’s hope I can make it up by 5 AM, haha.

  27. Another excellent article Neil! That standard text message is going to be my go to message from here on out!

  28. Hire a personal trainer and your gym problems are almost over.

  29. David - Business Expansion Opportunities :

    If you want to do anything in the morning first thing, always prepare before bed…this a great principle i learned though sometimes hard to follow-through.

    Thanks for sharing Neil.

  30. My gym solution is to have a standing gym date with a few friends. On those days I’m always there, since otherwise I have to explain what happened. Definitely cuts out the laziness and excuses.

    • Good idea, having someone else expecting you would work well as a motivator because you wouldn’t want to stand them up.

  31. Hey Neil, I really liked the “Texting tip”, thanks for sharing such an out-of-box idea. Thumbs Up! 🙂

  32. Hi Neil, thanks for the post. I’m always looking at analytics and statistics in my professional life, you’ve given me some inspiration to look at doing so in my personal life!

  33. i found only three Little experiments….where are the rest 12 ?

    • If you want to read the rest go to the “15 Little Life Experiments That Will Change Your Life” link I placed in the above post.

  34. Just downloaded my copy. I always have been a big fan of small life hacks that are able to bring great changes to myself or my business.

    Here’s my tiny little hack, which I learned from Keith Ferrazzi in Never Eat Alone:

    If you want to meet someone at a party or conference and spend some time with him or her afterwards, make a reservation at a restaurant prior to attending the event. Once you are able to speak to him or her at the event, just tell him that you’ve made the reservation and you would love to have him join you. This greatly improves the “conversion rate” of trying to setup a meeting with someone at an event. If things don’t go well, just cancel the reservation or let it lapse, it doesn’t cost anything. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing the examples. I’m off to finish the whole e-book by Ramit now.

  35. Anton Koekemoer :

    Hi Neil,

    Great post. And loving the image you’ve shared at the beginning of the post. Great tips you’ve shared in the post – Definitely useful.

  36. THANKS, Neil, for another TERRIFIC post! Thanks also for directing us to that wonderful free e-book and also your buddy’s website! Great resources!

    My two cents: If Ramit is having problems getting up in the morning, the issue may be not so much the temperature but maybe a need to look into optimizing his sleep.

    One way or another I stumbled on the subject of sleep and realization that there is actually a lot to it. There are sleep cycles – a huge factor! Then there are monophasic, biphasic and other polyphasic ways to sleep. Then there are considerations of the bed, temperature etc. To cut a long story short, I ended up really focusing on this area for about a month or so. This included researching this, testing various polyphasic sleep schedules (actually recording pertinent details every day and comparing), getting rid of my bed and mattress and replacing them, etc. The result: I now sleep 5.5-6 hours and feel like a million dollars. I actually consider trying going for 4.5 hours a day sleeping, but that actually requires some super highly rigid scheduling to be practical, so don’t know.

    Speaking of optimization: I’ve completed several such “optimization projects” and totally recommend the idea. I guess it’s just a professional habit 🙂 I choose an area, then assess what I do, then research (actually focused, in-depth research), come up with a list of things to change and to try, then implement, and evaluate and adjust. I think one month is optimal for such optimization projects. So far, in personal areas, I’ve done this for sleep, food (100% vegan, 85-90%+ raw), and exercise. My current “optimization projects”: eliminating procrastination; optimizing my apartment living; and setting up the foundation for spending about 5-6 months a year abroad.

    Speaking of exercise: consider incorporating physical activity throughout the day. Ex.: I live in a high-rise apartment building. I first got into a habit of taking the stairs when going down. Then I started going up using the stairs, unless with heavy bags. Now my routine: when I need to go up to my floor, I go by stairs all the way to the upper floor (24th) and then down to my floor. You’d be amazed how quickly you build up the endurance. If you think I am kidding you, I am not 🙂

    Gyms are a whole other area. But here is something that worked for me. For various reasons (based on my “research”), I decided to exercise on a stationary bike, among other things. But I quickly realized several problems: being on a stationary bike is incredibly boring, feels like a waste of time, and feels hard when doing it at high intensity. Here is a solution that worked for me: I started listening to interesting podcasts. This totally solved the problem and I was on that bike for an hour each day easily. Alas, I recently switched to a new gym, that has loud music, so need to figure out a new solution 🙂

    • With all of your experience and experiments you should be writing your own post!

      Always great to have your insight and tips added into the mix. 🙂

  37. Great life and business guidance post! I totally agree that everything is possible to optimize and sometimes with the easiest solutions like having the gym equipment next to your bed. I loved the idea on how to decrease refunds just by building trust among your clients! It is so important trust in businesses… Thanks for another amazing post!

  38. Mike From Maine :

    I’m going to try putting my gym clothes next to my bed tonight…I need to start going again. Thanks for the tip.

  39. Excellent idea for Gym, i have home gym but hardly workout. Hope this new idea ‘hiring a trainer’ will help me to stay fit.

  40. Beatrix Willius :

    Funny post. Are american houses so cold all the year around that you need to shiver in the morning?

    Fixed times worked for me.

  41. haha nice ways neil , really enjoyed reading this post 🙂 thanks 🙂 haha

  42. An unusual post and amusing, gives a few ideas as a new business how to encourage customers. Unfortunately I’m no longer single otherwise the text message to Amber is a great idea, wish i read that 10 or so years ago!!

  43. solicitors Manchester :

    Try visiting AddThis.com and you can get the code from their that you need to put on your website and the social bookmarking button will start appearing thereafter.

  44. Charles from Code Conquest :

    Great post! I really like the idea of the life hack. Another site that’s full of these kinds of tips is Lifehacker.com.

  45. Bodybuilder Dave :

    I use the gym tip myself! I also leave post-it notes around my house asking me if I’ve been to the gym yet, I find that pestering myself works well too!

  46. Online Mastering :

    you’re self-employed and you have time for a personal life??? …i’m jealous! lol

  47. Josh Patterson :

    Awesome stuff Neil, as always. I love that you are interested in life hacking, as it is a true passion of mine as well. I’m sure you’ve read some of the stuff Tim Ferriss has written.

  48. Harkirat Singh :

    really practical tips. I agree, and its true: “its the little things that make up the large things.” 🙂
    awesome post!

  49. Hi Neil, I was referred to your site by my boss and I have to say, I’m glad I listened to him. I went through the text and I liked the part about the gym. I would say, going to the gym can become a routine if you ask your wife to constantly nag you about your weight and like another fellow in the comments stated was to upgrade your package 🙂

  50. Awesomely amazing.. this is the time I have read an article completely after so many days.. You made me stick to your post and read on the content.. heading over to download the ebook “15 Experiments…” you are talking about..

  51. I liked the whole idea of decreasing risk to decrease refunds. Its a good concept because if someone buys from you, they always want to know the return policy (their risk in trying and using your product). If you give them an easy out, they may enjoy the product more since there are less risks. We give our customers a huge guarantee and have always seen low return rates.

    Trust and refund rates go hand-in-hand

  52. This area I liked!
    “How to text message important people (and girls”

  53. I find with exercise it is starting that is the real effort! Once you get into the habit of going to the gym it becomes easier and easier, until almost a bit of an addition…

  54. Great post Neil, all the efforts you put in this article is appreciable. Entire blog is informative and motivational. I too like experimenting always. Some time it works and some time it doesn’t but at the end we get lot to learn from it.

  55. Hey Neil,

    Excellent tips. I have been busy a lot at work that i could not get time to go for gym but it seems that i need to go to gym to maintain my body.

    Thank you

    • Yes, not only to maintain your body but your health as well. Working out has been proven to decrease stress among many other things.

  56. awesome tips. one must try these. only work is not important for success, your physical and mental health is also important.

    thank you neil for realizing the importance of our health. thank you for this post.

  57. Hello!,,,,,,

    Hi!,,Great life and business guidance post! I totally agree that everything is possible to optimize and sometimes with the easiest solutions like having the gym equipment next to your bed.

    Thanks for the post,,,,,,,,,,,,

  58. Hi Neil,

    I liked the part where you talk about how to double sales, halve refunds and eliminating risk. Excellent point of view, there is quite a bit of info here that I’ve never considered and still might be doubtful about experimenting. But none the less, I like your approach.


    • Eddie, thanks for reading. These experiments are in place to really test out what is working right and what may not be working as well. I think you should really pick and choose when considering these experiments as all of them don’t work for everyone. Thanks for reading!

  59. Sharon Koenig :

    I very much agree with the conclusion part. Everything in life should be optimized, not just our businesses.

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