Posted by: Edward | June 16, 2011

The Metaprogramming Game: Habit Change

This is a self change program that I’ve created for myself. I’ll explain what I’m doing and give you some tips for adapting it for yourself.

The first thing you need to do is create the spacetime for programming. You need twenty or more minutes set aside on a regular basis where you can allow yourself to enter a light trance state, alpha brainwaves or deeper.

I’ve set aside an hour ever weekday morning. I listen to the first levels of holosync which purport to guide you through several deep brainwaves and sound like rainfall, very relaxing at the very least. When I’m done I listen to Happy Up Here by Royksopp. I listen to these while doing some simple repetitive tasks. I spent close to a month doing this before moving on to the programming just to set this up as a habit.

Now what you need to do is create the programs. These are a combination of affirmation and imagined practice, like professional athletes use. These need to be positively stated, verb or process focused, and small chunks. An action you take.

For example, the first one I used was, “I hold eye contact with ease and comfort.” Now for the hour I say this affirmation and then imagine myself doing it. You want the imagined practice to be full sensory: see, feel and hear. You just say and imagine and repeat until the time is up.

It is a good idea to vary the imagined practice. Vary how you do it, where you imagine doing it, and who you do it with. I imagine myself doing the behaviour I’m programming in situations where it would have been useful in my past and in future scenarios that I dream up.

The next part of this game is to review your progress briefly at the end of your day. Ask yourself, “how has this behaviour improved?” And then think of a few successes from your day. Even if there have been no successes yet, this question sets up the expectation of success. Next ask, “Where else could I have used this?” And then briefly imagine doing the programmed behaviour in any situations that come to mind. If the separate review phase doesn’t work for you, you could always do it at the beginning of each metaprogramming session.

It is a good idea to stick with a given program longer than you might first think to. At some point you will realize that you have begun behaving how you are training yourself to. Stick with it further and it will feel like second nature to you. I suggest you keep doing it a little longer than that so it really sets as a habit.

Once a month or so you could run through a review of the behaviours you’ve used this method for to see how they are sustaining. Simply run through the review questions for each. If any have faded, simply do another round of programming with it. You may also benefit from fine tuning the wording of the affirmation.



  1. Nice article. Have you heard of Tim Leary’s Sixth Circuit?

    • I have, yes. Though the term metaprogramming originally comes from the work of John C. Lilly, M.D. and his book, Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer. By coincidence, I am currently reading The Politics of Ecstacy by Timothy Leary.

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