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Everything posted by liam

  1. Day 19) I had a few moments of low-energy throughout the day, and really wanted to just watch youtube videos. At least the things I watched were programming related rather than gaming, but still was a drop in productivity. I'm not going to beat myself up about it - I've been doing pretty well lately. Got up at 6am as we moved off daylight savings the night before, and went straight out for my walk, followed by a good 1.5 hours of work on my course. Work was productive in the sense that I hashed out some new ideas with colleagues, but didn't manage to get too much coding done. Went climbing on the evening for the first time since my injury - felt a bit weak and so had a little trouble even with some V3s, though I did manage to flash a V4 which was encouraging. Onwards and upwards!
  2. Day 17 & 18) Just arrived home after a weekend away visiting family. Had a great time and spend 90% of the time socializing and spending time with everyone. Although I didn't have a huge amount of time for anything else, I did manage to keep up with my daily 'slight edges', so kept my 30 crunches/push-ups going and 10 pages of reading per day. Wasn't able to go on my morning walk really but that's no problem. I will pick it back up tomorrow morning. After a weekend of lots of eating I've decided that I also need to try to incorporate some small dietary improvements into my daily challenges, even if it's just eating some fruit etc. Health is of course the most important thing we have to look after πŸ˜„ Very tired and feeling a little sick after the drive home, so I felt really tempted to throw on a game and relax for a bit. Decided to redirect to my book and read a little instead. Got to remember that I made a promise to myself! All the best to you guys out there - keep fighting for your freedom!
  3. I absolutely loved it honestly. I read it in about 12 days, which is very fast for me. Even passed it on to my father, who I think could greatly benefit from it. I always hesitate to say that something is 'lifechanging' until enough time has passed to know for sure, but I'm really trying to apply the principles to my life. I am expecting to look back in a few months time and conclude that this book had a profound impact on my personal philosophy. Have you read it too?
  4. Amazing! It was great to have some real, actionable points that I could write down and be mindful of. Great stuff. Looking forward to getting to the new podcast soon! Day 16) I finished reading The Slight Edge and moved onto my next read: Think and Grow Rich, written by Napoleon Hill in 1937. It was mentioned many times in The Slight Edge, and I think its pretty highly regarded as a classic. I kind of got hooked into it this morning and ended up reading 25% of the book before I even started work - its pretty amazing. I would say that its age shows, but theres certainly something I can gain from it. I imagine I'll finish this one quite quickly. I've noticed that I've become a lot more organised lately. I have even managed to categorize a small number of longer term goals that I have. Being 28, I am conscious that I don't want to be a junior/mid-level engineer forever, and in fact I want to ensure that I am bettering myself in my career. I have decided that one of my goals (which I have given myself 6 months to complete) is to pass the CompTIA Security+ exam. I doubt any of you will know what that is, but its a pretty widely regarded certification in IT security. I've tried to study for it in the past, but always dropped off after a few days. If I can spare 30/60 minutes each day where I would otherwise be gaming to just go through some material, I'm sure I can accomplish this in the generous time period I've given myself. So that's my career goal, for now. Nothing too drastic! I'm still checking off my daily small tasks which feels good, and doesn't feel like much effort when the reward is seeing them all checked off at the end of the day. One of these tasks is just to write down one quote that I've read or heard each day, so I can remember the things that have resonated with me and apply them to my personal philosophy. I'd like to share one quote (or poem, in this case) that I plucked from Think and Grow Rich: β€œI bargained with Life for a penny, And Life would pay no more, However I begged at evening When I counted my scanty store; For Life is just an employer, He gives you what you ask, But once you have set the wages, Why, you must bear the task. I worked for a menial's hire, Only to learn, dismayed, That any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have paid.” This made a lot of sense to me, as I think about where my career is headed. It's nice to be in the 'anything is possible if you set your mind to it' headspace. Make of it what you will πŸ˜„ Liam
  5. I just listened to it! Is that you bro? πŸ˜„ A really relateable story, and some excellent advice especially around journalling and taking note of goals and personal values! Must seem like ages ago to you though.. over 2 years ago!
  6. Day 15) Went for my regular daily walk at 7am - was very dark this morning, but cool and refreshing. This has become a really positive part of my day over the past couple of weeks, and I really look forward to getting up on a morning as a result. After a few hours of really productive work, I walked into town with my xbox and a bag full of games, and sold them all in the tech exchange store. The extra cash comes in handy for baby stuff, plus I hadn't really played it for over a year (I'm a PC gamer). I'm keeping up with my small daily habits, and its feeling like minimal effort which is awesome.
  7. I think you're absolutely right, in fact the same has actually happened to me before! I'm definitely trying to be mindful of this and its very easy to get ahead of oneself - so its really beneficial to have someone remind me of this! πŸ™‚
  8. Day 14) Two weeks. And what a difference it has made! Cutting gaming out of my life may have been the catalyst for the changes I've made recently, but it has evolved into something more. With a focus on 'action' and the new periods of free time I have during the day, I feel like I'm slowly moving towards the right track. A few things I've done instead of gaming: I read an entire book. This book was called The Slight Edge, and you can probably categorise it as a member of the 'self-development' genre. Through it, I am trying to learn how to make small, daily changes and build them into positive habits, and being mindful that results take time. One of the things I struggled with as a gamer (I'm sure many of you have had the same issue) is the fact that my main hobby was a source of instant gratification. Positive, productive habits are rarely so easy to attain as that rush of dopamine from even the shortest gaming session. By being mindful of this, I hope to practice daily cultivation of skills and habits, so that I may reap the rewards in the future. I established a daily journal - I write on Notion and then copy into the gamequitters forum I established a daily check-list of small, seemingly insignificant tasks that I hope to cultivate over time. On the checklist, I outline my morning routine, evening routine, daily tasks and anything I'm grateful for (I try to include 3 of these each day!). My next aim is to include an 'ideas' section, where I write down 5-10 ideas per day, even if they are rubbish! I have been for a morning walk between 7am and 8am every morning for around 10 days now. Mentally, it has been invigorating, and has allowed me precious time to reflect, experience nature and listen to the GameQuitters podcast episodes for even more tips on a range of topics. It's also a means of improving my physical fitness. I have been a lot more productive at work. If I'm honest with myself, there were some days where I would accomplish so very little. With gaming off my radar, I have been fully focused on my daily tasks and longer term projects, and have written more code in a week than in the previous month (literally). I'm engaging with colleagues more, and remaining mindful that it is a job that feeds my family and pays my bills. I have spent time on my personal finances. I aim for 15 minutes per day, and through this I have constructed a full budget planner so I know exactly what my income/outgoings are every month, what I can afford to save, and what things I could cut down on. With my wife going on maternity leave soon, this is incredibly important! From the time spent on personal finances, I am looking into better ways to save, and how the compounding effect of time can work for me when it comes to money. Coming from a family with very little money growing up, I've never felt like I was destined to be wealthy. However, I realise that there are actionable steps that can change all that, over time. I really aim to put more focus into things like my career, salary, potential side-projects, savings (and maybe even investments, with more research) and living below my means. I've started to put more emphasis on being a creator rather than a consumer. I want to have more of an online presence, and I'm looking into writing more and potentially even youtube, with some more research under my belt. I've done 30 crunches and 30 press-ups every days for the past 2 weeks, and it's felt like no effort whatsoever. In the past, I would have tried to do 60, or 3 sets of 30 - its painful. I've decided it doesn't have to be excruciating - just a few every day will give me results over time. I picked up my guitar again. It now sits next to my desk, and I play for 5-10 minutes whenever I need a break from work. I feel my old skills coming back a little and my fingers hardening up to the strings again, which is awesome. It's also a great way to relax, if you enjoy music. That's quite a list, even if I do say so myself πŸ˜„ Apologies for the long post, but it was really fun for me to sit a write down some of the major points of my journey so far. I feel hyped about getting to 1 month, and then 90 days... and though gaming is often popping up in my mind (accompanied by a feeling of mourning at the fact I know I cannot play), I do feel as though I am strong enough to stick at it, and reap the benefits of the habits I'm trying to build. Thanks for reading - love to you all!
  9. liam

    Never again

    Nice work my friend. I particularly appreciate this sentiment, I've been reading a lot about personal trajectory and this seems like a really positive conclusion. There's no standing still - if you're standing still, you're going backwards. There's a Chinese proverb (there always is!) that goes something like: "Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still" For me, I think that's key to building a positive personal philosophy. Keep it up!
  10. Day 13) Woke up at 6:30 after another early night. I read quite a lot before sleeping, and feel well rested this morning. Once again, my first thought was to remember a few things that I'm grateful for, and before long I was up, showered and out the door for my morning walk. I set off at 7am (a little earlier than usual) so it really was dark. Weather was cold but dry, and I listened to the GQ podcast episode #11 on moving from being a 'Consumer' to being a 'Producer'. This was very poignant for me, as I've thought about this many times in the past. I struggle to create (other than my job as a programmer), and mostly just consume content i.e. games, youtube videos, etc. Throughout the last couple of weeks, one of my main struggles has been really trying to figure out what my larger goals are. Of course, I want to be better, smarter, healthier, wealthier, and so on... but tangible goals seemed to elude me (I need to spend more time thinking and writing down ideas). However, this podcast did prompt me with an actual goal that I can somewhat measure. I want to be more of a producer. I want to create more, and therefore increase the percentage of time I spend producing vs consuming. There are a few areas in which I want to focus: I want to really put effort into some coding side-projects in lanaguages I rarely get the chance to use, i.e. Go, Rust, Java/Kotlin, Haskell, etc. I want to write. I think I have always had a good imagination, though it has been dulled as I got older. I'd like to put pen to paper, a little each day, and build some content. I would like to look into passive income possibilities, through creating something online. Perhaps a blog or service. It's early days for this, so much more research is required before I can really specify more. Thanks to GQ podcast for these insights, I look forward to listening to more and eventually getting to the newer ones!
  11. Day 12) Monday. Today has been one of my most positive days so far! I had an early night on Sunday as a result of the long drive, so woke up bright and early at 6:15. I read in The Slight Edge about thinking on things you're grateful for as soon as you wake up, as being a strategy to start the day in a positive mind-frame. I thought I would forget this piece of advice to be honest, but I found myself thinking about this as soon as I woke, which was refreshing. I made a mental note of these things, then got up, showered and went straight out for my morning walk. I've found that I'm really looking forward to my walk every morning, so as soon as I wake up I feel positive about doing this. This time of year, it's dark until around 7:30am, and it's cold and often rainy on mornings. I take a torch and a flask of coffee and walk in the woods, listening to the GameQuitters podcast for 30-45 minutes. I would highly recommend getting into this routine if mornings are a struggle for you! When I got home it was still only 8am, so I polished off a few more of my small daily efforts such as 30 sit ups/ press ups, making the bed (after my wife got up), reading 10+ pages of a book and spending 10 minutes on my finances. What followed was a very busy and productive day at work. I have a lot to be thankful for, and this community (and the podcasts!) are one of the major contributing factors. The most important part of the day was in the evening. While cooking together, I finally told my wife what I've been doing the past 2 weeks (i.e. Game Quitters, journalling, trying to establish positive routines), and we had a long discussion about so many things. She's also interested in reading The Slight Edge after me. She is a trainee clinical psychologist, so is very interested in the things I've been learning, and above all, is very compassionate and supportive. I look forward to day 13 and beyond!
  12. Day 11) Sunday consisted of a long drive back home from visiting family, so my 'daily routine' task list showed a grand total of 57% actions complete - obviously not great, but I feel fine about it as it was a very busy day. I didn't eat very well as we were on the road, and didn't even get chance to write (though I did read ~15 pages in the morning when I woke up). Not much else to say about the day really as when I got home, I just wanted to sleep! Gaming didn't cross my mind, but I'm feeling that is becoming a more common occurrence as I occupy my time with more productive things!
  13. Thank you for the encouragement and advice, I can definitely say that I'm working a little harder! The difference is that I'm trying to fill me life with other things, and it's going ok so far πŸ™‚ I actually haven't installed those apps, I didn't do much research in things that physically block games - I will have a look at them this evening, I can see how they would certainly be helpful! I'm onto episode #10 of the original series, so not too far off 14! I'll be sure to write my thoughts when I get there πŸ™‚ Haha - its certainly 'different', plenty of laugh out loud moments though! It's easy to listen to casually, which is nice when you're doing other things i.e. working, cooking, cleaning etc. The slight edge is amazing. I'm over half way though in just 4-5 days, if you start reading I'd highly recommend continuing even if you get bored. It's basically about the concept of how small, every day actions have a compounding effect over time, and is the difference between success and failure. I think it lends itself perfectly to what many of us are trying to achieve here - we want big gains, but we have to realise that they come slowly with consistent, small, positive choices, rather than a single life-changing event. I'm really trying to apply it to my detox period. Highly recommended! Day 10) I've been trying to get into a 7am start routine, and its been tough for the first few days, though I know it will become more natural and easier as time goes by. My plan is to maybe knock it down to 6:30, then 6, etc, once I get used to each time. The general goal is to get up earlier and have a solid routine, so that I can achieve more before starting work. This doesn't mean getting up and frantically doing tasks or forcing myself to follow some course on Udemy as I've done in the past - no, this time I mean things like walking in the forest for 30-45 mins with a coffee and podcast, strumming my guitar, or reading. As I mentioned above, the book I'm reading (The Slight Edge) talks about small changes adding up to great rewards, and these are the kinds of small, minimal effort yet productive things I'm trying to introduce to my day. My morning walks have been incredible - I honestly am blown away by the calming, anti-depressant effect that nature can have. So many mornings I spent waking up and jumping straight into a game of DOTA, closing the blinds at sunrise so the light didn't glint off the screen. This seems foolish now of course πŸ˜„ The jury is still out on my ability to be social without anxiety, and to not be snappy when my current task/routine are interrupted - this is something I hope to be mindful of every day, and improve over time. To @BooksandTreeο»Ώs, @giblets, @sskieller, @Ikar, @EpicJ0J0, @FenderUser and everyone else who I've interacted with so far on this forum - thank you. You're words, which you didn't have to take the time to write, have more of a far reaching effect than you realise. I wish you all the best and a pleasant weekend to all!
  14. Thanks mate - its really an inspiration to see how active you are on these forums helping people who just need the extra little push. I really appreciate the sentiment! Day 9) Today I spend ~15 minutes in the morning preparing a sort of 'daily checklist/diary' template in Notion that I can just replicate every day, outlining a few things every day: - Steps in my morning routine - Some daily 'slight edges', i.e. small and mundane things I can do each day, that I'm hoping will compound over time - Daily tasks and intentions, if I have anything extra to accomplish - Things I'm grateful for - Steps in my evening routine Many of these are checkboxes that I can tick off as I do things throughout the day, and also with a little space to write something each day as I please. I think it was a productive way to spend my time, as I hope to rely on it for some positive habit building over time. I've also been reading The Slight Edge, which I've found to be a really inspirational book. I would recommend it especially to people in the community (I think it was originally a suggestion I found from Cam on one of his youtube videos). Feeling very productive, and the wealth of other actions I've found to fill up my day have really helped me in not really thinking about gaming. I'm conscious that it's literally day 9 for me, and I'm definitely still in the 'honeymoon phase' of the quitting (I've been here many times), but things are going well generally. Some great progress and stories on the forum today, really proud to see you guys progressing the way you are, despite some hard times! Liam
  15. Day 8*) Today I got up at 7am and went for a walk, listening to the Game Quitters podcast. I'm happy with my current morning routine, though it is still quite a lot of effort to get up and out so early. Once I'm out, though, it feels great. Work was busy so I spent the rest of the day coding, without much downtime. To be honest, I felt quite bored all day, and without video games to fall back on I got a bit cranky. Trying to put effort into not getting so annoyed by interruption/disruption to my routines (though this has always been a struggle for me!) I started reading a book called 'The Slight Edge' a week or so ago, and I'd really recommend it. Reading daily is something I never felt I had time for before (except when I really get into some fiction, i.e. Malazan/Rothfuss/Riftwar Saga). I also started listening to 'My Dad Wrote a Porno' podcast a couple of days ago. I know its super popular, but I didn't realise how much I'd enjoy it πŸ™‚ Also highly recommended, if you like a laugh You guys are all my heroes, so keep up your amazing levels of commitment and effort - I love to read about your progress
  16. Thanks - I couldn't agree more. I've even started doing it when I'm not feeling productive at work, I'll just get up and wander for 10-15 minutes to sort of 'reset'. Seems to work for me. Aha - my stomach was ok however I do have a huge phobia medical things, blood, needles, etc so I'm terrified I'll pass out at the birth or something. My wife constantly teases me about it! She is also convinced that he might come early, so I'm spending my weekend painting his room πŸ˜„ Great to hear from someone with experience, its a huge life milestone and its hard to really understand what to expect - I guess you just have to live it!
  17. Day 6) Feeling a strong urge to play an MMO this morning, something that I can escape into and experience calm and comfort. I've notices that when I go for a morning walk for 30 mins in the forest, this urge goes away and I have time to relax and refocus. I've also been listening to the GameQuitters podcast, starting from way back in 2017 - this means I have two years worth of it to listen to which is really exciting. I've found it to be really relaxing as I listen to it on my morning walk. Not only do I learn a lot, and gain a lot of advice, but it is calming and refocuses me. Work was stressful and busy, and then I went straight to a "Bump, Birth and Beyond" class with my wife - this was really informative regarding topics such as safe sleeping, breast feeding, attention and child brain development, and I feel just that slight bit more prepared for fatherhood. After coming come I immediately cooked, watched some TV with my wife then slept, so I didn't really get chance to post a journal update on the evening. Been feeling a bit anxious and stressed so couldn't sleep too well, and I'm wondering if this is a symptom of withdrawal. Time will tell! Day 7) My first full week of intentionally quitting gaming is here - I'm really pleased with the effort I've made as there have been many occasions where I wanted to play for escapism/relaxation, but managed to stay focused and was happier as a result. Had a 45 minute walk in the morning in the forest, while listening to the podcast I mentioned yesterday. I'm learning a lot from it, and starting to feel like it might actually be possible that this is not just a 90 day thing, but in fact I could potentially quit games forever.. this is pretty exciting. I'm still heavily focused on building new habits. In yesterday's baby class that I attended with my wife, we watched a video about the strengthening on neural pathways between cells as certain actions are repeated over time. Actions that are not repeated cause the pathways to dissipate through a natural pruning process. I couldn't watch this and not apply it to my own life - I am able to strengthen the pathways in my brain related to my morning routine, journalling, my morning walk, playing a little guitar, rock climbing, programming and getting fulfilment from the people in my life. This, coupled with pruning my old habits (though they are so well established after 15 years, they may never fully dissipate!), I am hoping will gradually lead to more positive behaviour that I am content with. Thanks for reading - wishing you the best!
  18. liam

    Never again

    Welcome! I love this goal. Think of how good this will feel, and know that if you play this CANNOT happen. Every time you feel an urge to play, remember this!! πŸ˜„ I wish you all the best
  19. Thanks Ikar! I've just started doing something similar but with Notion - its super flexible and great for keeping a daily reflective journal as well as daily/weeks tasks etc. To be honest, you can do an amazing amount with it! Day 5) Today was a great day, all in all. Not only did I not feel any urge to game at all, but I was extremely productive. I wrote more code today that I have in a while, and even discussed some relevant programming patterns with colleagues (these are conversations I usually avoid). I think my work quality was also better, in that I took more time and attention when planning out some functionality etc. As I mentioned above, I recently started using Notion to keep track of my daily tasks and keep a sort of reflective journal. I'm trying to keep a stoic journal which entails writing down daily tasks, being reflective and writing down some things I'm thankful for each day. With such a powerful organisational tool to play my day, I found that I was even productive during periods where I decided to take a screen-break. For example, I washed all of the bedding in our guest room, I called up and booked a surprise spa day for my pregnant wife at a hotel she loves (it's in a couple of weeks, and I'm sure she's going to love it!), and I even spent 30 minutes digging a hole in my garden where I'm planning to move my shed in a couple of weeks. These are things I would never have done previously, given that they take time away from gaming - pretty pleased with that. I'm being mindful that "the only constant is change", and the way I'm feeling now may not last. Withdrawals may get worse, and I really want to be careful that I don't lull myself into a false state of feeling that quitting is easy - only to lose focus and relapse. Definitely something I want to remain aware of. I've really enjoyed reading some of your recent journal entries, and I'm so happy to see the progress that others have made. For those of you who are a few days or weeks ahead of me, my goal is simply to be like you - so thanks for sharing πŸ™‚
  20. I love that book! My wife is a psychologist and specialises in autism, so she recommended it to me a couple of years ago. Really amazing read! Glad to see things are going well for you - I'm no expert but I think you're much better off reading than gaming. For a start, a good reading habit is calming, and isn't the huge dopamine injection that gaming can be. That said, I think it's wise to keep an eye on anything you feel yourself doing compulsively πŸ™‚
  21. Sounds like a great idea, think I'll do that this evening! Thanks man
  22. Congrats JoJo, really pleased to see you're doing well at 1 week!
  23. Hey Fender - how's your weekend been buddy? I hope you're doing well!
  24. Thanks to both of you! Great to be here, and I really appreciate the support I've been shown so far. Looking forward to talking to you all more as the days and weeks progress πŸ™‚ Days 3 & 4) I've had a busy weekend! We had friends visiting us for the weekend with their 1 year old daughter, so we spent plenty of time with them going for walks, chatting, cooking etc. This meant there was not a lot of time to really thing about gaming, but also minimal time for journalling. I recently started watching videos on stoicism, which I would highly reccommend to any of you looking to generally be more productive and all round more relaxed and happier. I'm trying to apply some of the practices (check here for some insights!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQnvCI25wJg) to my daily life, including better journalling and being more protective of my time. The most significant obstacle this weekend came about an hour ago. As our friends left to travel home, my wife had to do some work for her PhD, so I had some free time. This is the first time I've had some truly free weekend time since I decided to quit gaming, so my thoughts drifted immediately to the alluringly sweet dopamine rush of pwning some noobs at my PC. It actually took me a split second to remember that I was not gaming any more - such is the 'clouded mind' that this addiction often produces. I felt a little 'empty' when I realised I couldn't allow myself to play a game, and had some feelings of anger and frustration inside. I tried to remind myself why I am dealing with this, and the consequences playing a game right now - I would be letting myself down immensely. So, instead, I resolved to write my journal entries (both here and in my notion app where I am trying to keep a daily log to help build routines). I have also decided to do... nothing. Just relax, listen to some music, write a little, maybe read a little, but nothing too demanding. I'm pleased with how I'm doing, but I feel like things may start to get tough if I get some more free time. I hope I can overcome the temptation as well I as I did today. God bless you guys reading this and facing the same difficulties - we, at least, understand one another πŸ˜„
  25. Day 2) Something I did not mention until now is the affect that gaming has had on my work. I am a work-from-home programmer. Working from home requires a lot of self discipline, and being a programmer requires a lot of time sat at my computer. I'm sure its obvious to all of you - this is a recipie for disaster when you're a gaming addict. Today I managed to be genuinely productive, and actually felt proud of the work I produced instead of some hacky, messy patch of code to fix a problem without any thought towards efficiency or extensibility. This was a huge step for me, as my mind felt generally clearer and I wasn't feeling like I was rushing my work to get back to playing another game of DOTA or HotS. I don't feel like playing games at all, though when I did 'enough' work I did feel like I should reward myself with a game... I quickly suppressed the feeling, but I want to document it here. I want to stop feeling like every time I have an hour of productivity, I can therefore justify a 6 hour gaming binge for the afternoon. This is absolutely not the person I want to be! All in all, feeling good. Picked up my guitar for the first time in a long time, but I have no plans to rush into another hobby right now. I just want to keep my mind relaxed. I hope the rest of you out there are doing well - I'm always thinking about the stories I've read here and the people behind them. I want you all to succeed just as much as I hope I can. Liam
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