Unfortunately I don't have enough time to develop this idea today, and it's possible that I'll come back to it in a couple days and say 'what on earth was I thinking? this makes no sense.' But here is the idea anyway.
I used to try to do self-improvement. I used to read self-help books and I loved Nathaniel Branden's books about self-esteem in particular. For a variety of reasons I stopped trying to do any self-improvement - it's a long story.
Over time I wandered away from a lot of self-help books because I felt as though their techniques weren't designed for me, for my type. I'm able to articulate one of the reasons why: a lot of them are designed for use by rationals, not irrationals. A lot of self-help books are about things that you must do in order to raise your self-esteem. Do X in order to achieve a desired state. The focus is mainly on 'Do X.'
When I wandered away and studied stuff that was important to me, it was all about how to achieve and maintain desired states. I felt as though I couldn't do anything unless I was in the right mood, which is an irrational trait. I needed to be in the right mood first in order for anything to happen. I can't just initiate some kind of action with the intent of achieving a desired state. I have to be in the right mood to begin with.
I researched all the things that have been causing me to be uncomfortable or unable to take action. That is the reason why I have studied special diets, environmental illness, electromagnetic pollution, negative ions and air pollution, chemicals that affect moods, and so on. The goal is to improve my physical health in a way that lets me do things that I think I should do. If I feel physically uncomfortable or in pain, I am unable to do much more than just sit there passively wasting time.
So, an irrational needs to go study and learn something. First, they need to feel curiosity. An irrational won't go study something unless they have first experienced the state of curiosity. What is conducive to somebody experiencing the state of curiosity?
Sometimes people can be overwhelmed if there are too many options overloading them - for instance, when you look at the internet and think about the fact that there are millions and millions of web pages to read, some of which are better than others. So I myself don't become curious about all those other web pages. What would make me curious about something? I don't really know the answer (that's something which I'll write more about later if possible).
I do know that I can't feel curious about things if something else more urgent is 'in the way' or something else comes first. If I'm worried about my job and my money, for instance, I won't feel curious about learning new things that might not be directly connected to that.
When I was in school I actually enjoyed reading the science books, and that was the reason why I studied and did any homework at all. I didn't do it because I 'had' to. I did it because the books were enjoyable to read. (And that was why I eventually dropped out of college - I couldn't force myself to study subjects that I didn't enjoy, and/or that seemed to have no connection to what I would be doing later at my job.)
Another thing that is helpful for irrationals is something that I got from reading Rick's blog and essays, which is, get rid of temptations. If you set up your life so that you can't easily be tempted to do something, that's much easier than trying to resist an impulse every time it happens. So for instance, you can disconnect from cable TV in your house, if you want to stop watching TV. The TV just won't be there anymore to tempt you. You don't have to actively try to cut back on the hours you spend watching TV. If it's not even in the house, it becomes inconvenient to watch it and you can't even be tempted. Same with the internet, if you spend too much time on the net. (That's applicable to me, and I intend to go back to restricted internet use.)
I've been interested in the Amish people for years. They too live a lifestyle where they just don't let particular temptations into their lives - no TV, no phone in the house, etc. They don't have to worry about developing bad habits around those particular things.
I want to get more ideas about how to achieve desired states and how to avoid states that lead to undesired activities. 'Being surrounded by opportunities that tempt you to do a bad habit' is a state that leads to doing whatever bad habit it is. Change the original state in order to change the behavior.
(I hope I can come back to this with new ideas in a couple of days instead of saying 'wth was I thinking???)