Mental TAPs

(Prereq: Knowledge of Trigger Action Plans (TAPs). alkjash’s here & LifelongLeaner’s here)

I converged (sort’of) upon the idea of TAPs on my own two summer’s ago, but the difference between my idea (which we’ll refer to as mental TAPs or mTAPs) and TAPs is continuous mental simulations.

TAP Problems

Usually with TAPs, you commit to the trigger-action once and mentally rehearse 5 or so times and that’s it. This fails in several ways:

  1. When the trigger doesn’t happen every day (social fear, being confused, junk food temptations)

  2. The trigger is not easily recognized/​understood. (not always catching when you’re confused, disappointed, stressed, mentally fatigued)

  3. Doesn’t take full advantage of wins/​times you actually did the thing!

mTAP Solutions

The only difference is daily mental simulations/​rehearsals of your TAPs. I have a sticky note near my toothbrush, so when I brush my teeth, I mentally rehearse my 9 TAPs a couple times each. This helps with (1) above due to being tied to a daily routine (or at least I hope I brush daily!).

Regarding (2), you do your mTAP, face the trigger in real life, update on what the trigger actually feels like in real life, and do an mTAP later that day with your updated trigger. Ex. I mentally simulate (being disappointed → being curious), I go out and am actually disappointed that I didn’t get to spend time with a friend, update on what feeling disappointed actually feels like with this data point, and finally hone in on that feeling when I mTAP that night.

Regarding (3), If you have a BIG WIN, you can hone in on that experience as when you mTAP. Last night I was red in my face embarassed due to social fear, but I still made the right choice despite that. I AM SO FREAKING PROUD OF MYSELF, lol, so I’m honing in on that experience this morning to build off of that win.

WARNING: my last TAP is a meta-TAP (brushing teeth-> look at sticky note and do mTAP). From n=4 experience, if you don’t do this, it will become an obligation or you’ll forget it.

Request: Has this idea already been explicitely stated elsewhere? Anything else regular old TAPs are missing?

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