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?

No nominations.
No reviews.