Alexandre Bensimon


2020-08-12 (last edited: 2022-06-13)

I've thought a lot about what kind of habits I need to cultivate to be my most happy and productive self. For many years, I've tried every self-help micro-habits stuff I could find in books, blogs, and podcasts.

I see these self-imposed guidelines as a positive constraint, a mental framework to help me make better decisions. It is a simple concept but I often fail to follow some of these rules. Why is this so hard? Because our human nature is not well adapted for the current times. We don't have a rational relationship with sweet food, porn, and video games. They provide an easy fix to our most intense cravings. They are addictive by design. We have to consciously opt-out if we don't want to suffer the negative consequences.

Remembering a lot of self-imposed rules can be daunting. You then need yet another app or a complicated managing system to keep track of all of them. I spend a lot of time refining my habits: kicking out what doesn't work and simplifying what does. I want to find the core principles that empower everything else. I ended up realizing that a shortlist of actions was enough to help me in most situations. This way, writing them in a note file works just fine. Here are the simple guidelines I try to live by to stay physically and mentally fit. I will keep them updated if my habits change. Obviously, what works for me may not work for you.


  • Use warm colors on screens in the evening
  • Avoid alcohol in the evening
  • Avoid eating or drinking around bedtime
  • Avoid screens around bedtime
  • Have a cooldown routine (read, relax...)
  • Sleep in the dark (curtains, sleep mask)
  • Go to bed and wake up around the same time everyday
  • Get enough sleep (8-9 hours)
  • Have a good mattress and pillows
  • Avoid noise while sleeping (ear plugs, white noise)
  • Control the room or bed temperature (~18°C)
  • Track your sleep (Apple Watch, Fitbit, Oura ring...)
  • Avoid aggressive wake up with an alarm (use vibrations, progressive light...)
  • Avoid snoozing
  • Get sun exposure in the morning


  • Drink a lot of water
  • Do some kind of fasting (16/8, OMAD...)
  • Consume more: cruciferous vegetables, olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, berries, fermented food
  • Consume less: processed food, high sugar foods, red meat, soft drinks, alcohol
  • Take some supplements (whey, vitamin D, omega-3, zinc...)
  • Do some blood and allergies testing


  • Practice some functional strength and HIIT training (I do kettlebells)
  • Do some kind of mobility training (stretching, yoga...)
  • Use the stairs when you can
  • Sit less, use a standing desk
  • Track your activity (Apple Watch, Whoop...)


  • Follow a morning routine
  • Meditate in the morning
  • Avoid notifications
  • Avoid video games
  • Avoid social networks, news and TV
  • Avoid porn
  • Have a life vision and clear objectives


  • Track air quality (I use a Netatmo sensor)
  • Aim at 5-8 hours of deep work per day
  • Breathe through the nose
  • Practice cold and heat exposure
  • Track body composition (smart scale)
  • Take care of your skin