Personal Experiments

Personal Experiments are 30+ day challenges to adopt new habits. These experiments are a result of self-reflection through journaling and are an indispensable part of the forever learning principles. Many of the articles and projects on this blog are a result of these experiments.

Why these experiments? I quickly realized that there is no shortage of personal development tips, but is a shortage in its implementation (that is a dirty secret as to why personal development business flourishes). Thus, I decided to focus on key habits that would have the most impact of my various areas of life. 

Areas of Life to Experiment With

I split up my experiments in these categories of life; relationships, career and work, finances, health, contribution, spirituality, living environment and planning my life. However, keep in mind that many of these experiments impact more than just one area of your life. 

To better understand various areas of life please refer to the life catergories post or my 2016’s reflection in which I tried to rank myself in each of these categories.

Overview of Experiments Done to Date

Health and Wellbeing 

Planning my Life 


Contribution to the World

  • Sharing my Learnings – That is what I do here for you 🙂
  • See Projects for other contribution work I have done


Experiment #1 – No complaining about things in life for 30 Days

Inspiration: I had caught myself complaining or agreeing with others about things multiple times. Things such as “it’s too hard to find a job” or “that is too hard of a problem to solve!”. Therefore, I decided to cleanse myself of such mentality.

Status: Practising Everyday

Review: In the beginning it was difficult as much of small talk with others is complaining – “I am tired. It’s been a bad day. I hate commuting or my job etc.”. Overtime, I got better and began to surround myself with people who complain less.

Relevant Blog Posts: It is All Your Fault, How to Make Difficult Decisions, & Accepting Uncertain Life Path & Purpose.

Experiment #2 – Track Sleep and Optimize Accordingly

Inspiration: I have had sleeping issues – mostly because of my back pain. Due to poor quality sleep, I knew I was wasting about 1-2 hours a night which accumulate to 30 days/ a year!

Status: Poor / Need Help

Review: I have been very inconsistent with my sleep quality, time, and patterns. I have tried a whole host of solutions – which I have failed to fully implement. This will be an experiment in which I will continue to improve.

Experiment #3 – Recording Dreams in a Dream Journal

Inspiration: I remember waking up many mornings still partially in the halo of my dreams. As they kept happening, I became interested in lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is remembering and trying to control your dreams during your sleep.

Status: Practicing Everyday (Inconsistently)

Review: I began my keeping a dream journal beside my bed and now have three books full – from 2013-today. My memory recall for the dreams has gotten better, however, I am still trying to be more consistent.

Relevant Blog Posts: Thoughts = Action Signals

Experiment #4 – Keep a Daily Journal

Experiments Journal Jawwad SiddiquiInspiration: In 2012, I noticed that all important / busy people had a journal to get things done. I was not important, I decided to get one regardless so I can be like them.

Status: Practicing Everyday

Review: This experiment has been the most influential in all other areas of my life – learning, management etc. Despite journaling for almost 5 years, I still am continuously improving how I journal learnings, goals, and self-reflections.

Relevant Blog Posts: How to Learn Fast as an Entrepreneur, 2015 Year in Review for “Forever Learning”, Ups and Downs of 2014, & 2013 – Year in Review Looking Back.

Experiment #5 – Live and Die by Your Calendar

Calendar - Live By It


Inspiration: After I started practicing GTD methodology for “stress-free productivity”, I realized that I still was not able to execute on it somehow. I had a to-do list for “today”, “tomorrow” or “someday” etc. However, I noticed that things that were in my calendar (meetings, appointments, calls etc) always got done.

Status: Practicing Everyday

Review: It does get a bit cumbersome and counter-productive to enter everything into your calendar. Early on I have made the mistake of stacking all activities side-by-side, however, I am getting better at making schedules that optimize my productivity, energy levels, and will power.

Relevant Blog Posts: Grade Yourself

Experiment #6 – Turn off Cell Phone Notifications

Inspiration: On my quest to improve my focus, the GTD methodology helped me realized that my cell-phone was one of the key factors in my distraction. By default, our brain is expecting a reply for every text message we send or notification we get.

Status: Practicing Everyday (Inconsistently)

Review: Initially it was very hard to do due to the “fear of missing out“. I found myself checking social medial even when the notifications were off. I was surprised to learn how much of an “empty gap” it filled in my personal life. I have gotten better with time and my good friends understand as well.

Relevant Blog Posts: Why You Just Got Distracted

Experiment #7 – Five Minute Journal for Daily Dose of Mindfulness

Inspiration: Being an entrepreneur, I go through roller-coaster rides of emotions with some mornings super exciting while others a bit blue. GTD got me to empty my mind, however, I needed something to provide mindfulness.

Status: Practicing Everyday

Review: This practice has made me realize how we take many things for granted. Being a person who rarely appreciates past efforts, this gets me to be more positive and confident about the future.

Relevant Blog Posts: Everyday Ideals

Experiment #8 – Eliminate Reading News and Info without Purpose

Inspiration: The GTD methodology made me realize that I wasting my mental bandwidth on soaking in information that was not healthy nor needed.

Status: Practising Everyday

Review: Yes, I am not in touch with many real-world events happening all around – US elections, middle east etc. Over the years I have learned that they did not matter enough for me to worry about. I will focus on things that I can change and give it my un-divided attention.

Relevant Blog Post: Is this Your Formula for Success?

Experiment #9 – No Pop or Sugary Drinks

Inspiration: I worked at a fast-food place where we had unlimited free pops for employees. I recall chugging down more than 2L a day – iced tea, 7up, pepsi, coke, etc. Even after quitting that job, I purchased 2L bottles twice a week.

Status: Practicing Everyday

Review: This was one of the hardest habits to defeat. I slowly downgraded to iced tea and then juices. It took me almost 2 years to fully eliminate sugary drinks. The energy levels and quality sleep has been work the sacrifice.

Experiment #10 – Practice Gratitude Daily

Inspiration: In hustle bustle of daily rituals, we forget to do small things that can make a big difference – smile, share, help, listen or just notice.

Status: Practicing Daily (Part of the Daily Journal)

Review: Doing this can easily turn around a bad day and make you realize that everything will be okay. Resorting to gratitude when things get stressful has yet to fail me.

Relevant Posts: How to Turn Around a Bad Day, How to Stop Constant Worry

Experiment #11 – Strength Training 3 Times a Week

Inspiration: My cricket coach in high-school called me a coat-hanger and I have been a very skinny kid. Don’t worry, I don’t have any hard feelings. I wanted to look and feel good – boosting my confidence and energy levels.

Status: Practicing Everyday (Inconsistent)

Review: I have been going to the gym for 4+ years. My progress has been slow due to poor dieting and inconsistencies. Regardless, I have been able to triple my strength over the years and gained muscle mass.

Experiment #12 – Cold Shower First Thing in the Morning

Inspiration: Anthony Robbins’s daily routine.

Status: Failed. Replaced with 5 Minute Journal.

Review: It just was not for me. It was draining my will power just anticipating the torture of the cold shower.

Experiment #13 – Keep a Hero Journal for Reference


Inspiration: I have a deep interest in studying people who have been successful in taking their ideas and making them a reality. I don’t only study their beliefs but physiology, mental syntax, and their shortcomings.

Status: Practicing Everyday

Review: This practice has been more rewarding than reading their autobiographies or what the media highlights about them. I am not only able to study their successes, but also failures and learn from them. For example, balancing health and family in your pursuit of a certain goal.

Relevant Blog Post: How to Be a Super Hero

Experiment #14 – Learn and Control Your Body Language

Inspiration: I began noticing a clear pattern between my body language and the mood / emotion I felt. Working in high-pressure environment of an entrepreneur, I wanted to optimize my body language to support my efforts.

Status: Early Stages

Review: Body language has to align with mental beliefs – you can’t really fake one or the other. I am getting better at recognizing when both – verbal and body language – are on a slippery slope so I can make the changes I want.

Relevant Blog Post: How to Turn Around a Bad Day

Experiment #15 – Setting Outcome Related Goals

Inspiration: There came a point where I was questioning the priorities of many of the things I was doing in my startup. Therefore, I wanted to take an approach that focused on “outcomes” rather than just tasks which are usually disguised as busy work.

Status: Early Stages

ReviewWill Write a Post Once I have Habituated This Experiment

Relevant Blog Post: How to Do Work that Matters, Reason Why You Won’t be the Person You Expect to Be

Experiment #16 – Engage in Positive Self-Talk

Inspiration: We tend to believe that the “voice in our head” is genuinely ours – when in reality – it is a result of external factors influencing us – people, emotions, past events, etc. Therefore, to cleanse myself of subconscious sabotage, I have started to talk to myself.

Status: Early Stages

ReviewClick Here to Read the Results

Relevant Blog PostHow to Talk to Yourself (w/o being Crazy), Reason Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be

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