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Question of the week: What are you grateful for?

Circadian Rhythm

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  1. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAYS 47 - 65 I'm still here! Although I'm probably not in the best place. My malaise from the last entry has continued and I'm almost wondering whether to reset the countdown. I haven't played any games, but I've procrastinated out of tiredness and watched some gaming videos sometimes when I've gotten back home. I don't know whether this is in the spirit of the rules, even though I've not broken the letter of them. If anyone else wants to comment on that I'm happy to take some advice on what to do next. I have still kept up a lot of good habits though so it's not all bad. Running is still going great. I just need to have another target beyond the 5k one. I'm playing guitar a decent amount still and reading a lot. Just less so perhaps than I could be. Part of why I'm struggling right now is that after achieving a lot of goals I set out to do this year I've struggled to replace them with new ones. And all I've really wanted was a break. So I reconsulted my James Clear book and figured that it's come back down to not enjoying the process enough again because of my tiredness. I feel like if I just refocus on enjoying the things I'm supposed to enjoy then my desire to achieve and my goals might come back too. That includes resetting my environment to better facilitate and focus. I've got some time off this week and I can re-plan and reset. Based on this. I'm gonna look at my original goals again and see what I've achieved, and it might help me decide where to head next. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A sub 20 minute 5km run - Kept this up! I did a 21:17 last week. Considering I started the year on 23:40 as my PB I chuffed to bits with how well this is going. To play on stage as part of a band this year - Happened and it felt like a massive achievement. Band reconvenes in May for more writing. It doesn't feel like enough though and I need to do more about this. To take on extra responsibilities at work as part of my ongoing development (including additional training) - I've felt more comfortable since my glowing review. I need to book training though. Just staying abreast with industry developments isn't enough. To find other hobbies that aren't either escapist, or feel like a massive amount of work like my current ones* - Joined that book club. It's nice but I still feel a bit restless. I'm going to keep weighing things up. I'm loving reading though To fix my sleeping routine (proper sleep - 9:30pm - 10pm bedtime + elimination of bad habits) - This has slipped as my focus is wandering to things I want to do outside of work. Need to fix as it's a massive help to my overall wellbeing. No gaming for 90 days (duh) - Day 65. Although other procrastination things I'm doing aren't really in the spirit of the rules. So I may be starting a new countdown. Limit my YouTube time to a maximum of 2 hours. (will review this) - I'm failing this one pretty badly at times lately. Will review as to what I can replace this with and how to better enjoy more productive and altruistic uses of my time. New wardrobe and equipment for running - Few new things again. Need a proper running watch if I'm going to take my running seriously. Take more responsibility for my own resources instead of just going along with what my parents provide - I do my bit. Could always do more. Have made a full/detailed plan of what I want saved up by the end of the year for my house deposit - Getting a LISA but I should have done this by now. I'm nervous about what a gigantic financial commitment it is. It's a big leap. So some good some bad. I'll be changing some of these goals based on completing a few. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ So on the whole, I have done well so far this year. But now I've got some time off coming I need to reset. I also need to work out whether I'll keep coming here when my 90 days is up. I don't know whether I feel like a very good community contributor here and whether this is the best fit for me. I'll keep going to 90 on the 10th of May though.
  2. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAYS 40 - 46 Well more than anything I've been absolutely exhausted. I'll start with my half marathon. I absolutely smashed my target time and did it in 01 hour 41 minutes and 3 seconds and finished in the top 500 places. That's so so much quicker than was expecting and was absolutely the highlight of my weekend. I've really set my mind to training this year and it's paid off. I had a nice night before that too. Got to catch up with a bunch of friends and was kinda flirty with this girl I haven't seen in a long while. We're talking now so I'm interested to see where it goes. She's not my usual type but she's absolutely lovely. So you never know? We're meant to be meeting up soon. Otherwise it's been lovely catching up with a lot of old friends recently. Even if only briefly. I'm not gonna lie. There have been some negatives. I feel like my habits haven't been as great. That I need to give myself a little bit of a kick up the arse when it comes to getting in to work on time for example. I'm not enjoying my job at the moment. I've been thinking a lot about not having enough of a voice and not being able to express myself enough. I don't have long so I won't go into a long diatribe but I need to make some time to try some different things in my field, just so I feel like I have some more leverage, and have more opportunities to do more with my life. Or maybe I just need a holiday. I'm not all that sure yet. Maybe making more entries on here but shorter ones will help me make more sense of this. Gratitude Diary I am grateful for: My colleague helping my through a big meeting today. I was really stressed out over it beforehand. Mum for being so helpful on the day of the half marathon. It's silly but the Autoglass guy who repaired my car with an absolute minimum of fuss, meaning I didn't have to worry about it.
  3. Circadian Rhythm

    Community question: What do you have planned this weekend?

    Hey James. Fair play to you for stepping up as community manager here. It definitely seems like a commitment so best of luck with it! This weekend I'm repairing the minor damage I did to my car a couple of weeks ago, working out some new goals to compete after completing some of my major ones for early this year, then celebrating my friend's birthday before running a half marathon on Sunday. I've put a lot of training in so can't wait. Would do it tomorrow if I could. Also wanna get a few more chapters in to Americanah and fit in time for a couple of things for work too if I can.
  4. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAY 30 to 39 I'm still around! Just busy. Or perhaps I'm making less time for this when I should be? Either way, I'm definitely finding myself tired at the moment. But it's been a super busy month, so that's to be expected. Main highlights of the last 10 days include my running times continuing to fall (including running my first race for my club), keeping up my most important habits with only one minor slip, and reconnecting with some friends I was worried I was going to lose. It's been nice really. But despite my recent pay rise I do feel kind of like I'm running on fumes at work and wonder whether there's something more or better I can do. Whether in this field or another. We'll see. I plan to really take stock on Saturday. By the middle of Sunday with the half marathon done I will have completed the important initial goals I set out for myself this year (or at least the ones I told others about). That means I need some new ones. Saturday will be a day where I don't have to do much apart from repair my car, so I'll have plenty of time to plan and maybe try a couple of things. I've been thinking of starting a blog, and doing something more creative, or really throwing myself into training to be better in my job. I have my summer holiday to properly plan and my finances to consider for the house move. There's loads I could do. But it'll be about choosing what makes me happiest. On the whole I'm happier too. There's so much going on but I feel like there's so much still to do and accomplish. I'm pleased but still feel like I'm not hitting my potential and I don't feel "at home" yet. I assume that'll come with time and the correct decisions made now. So yeah. This entry feels a bit light on things done and my thoughts unformed but maybe that's not such a bad thing. Like I said, bring on Saturday to thing again and for some new challenges. Gratitude Diary I am grateful for: My friends still inviting me to things when I'm a bit distant and wrapped up in things. To all those that have encouraged and helped me in my lead up to the half marathon To music for being an ever wonderful source of focus and emotion, and making me feel alive like no other thing. Here's something I was listening to today to help get me through a tricky work day. My tastes are a little niche but I wish I could express my love of music more in this way. It's something I've always tried to work out how to do but never really succeeded at. Until next time.
  5. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAY 29 Gratitude Diary I have been completely forgetting about this! I am grateful for The gig yesterday going as well as it could have done and just everyone for giving me the opportunity, those that played on stage with me and those that come to see it. My parents for calming me down when I pranged the car yesterday. It meant I regained my composure before going on stage. My boss for allowing me to define my own workload for the week. One of those small perks that I can't imagine getting many other places at my level.
  6. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAYS 22 - 29 Gig is done! Man that was an experience. Although I'm kind of suffering from post gig blues (not a pun) since now it's the day after. I did it! I played music at a venue I grew up watching people play in. That's amazing! Everyone seemed to really like it and remarked on how well I played. I didn't feel phased at all. I'd not had the best day up to that point either. I bought an expensive new guitar pedal which then broke during sound check. Awesome. It meant I was a bit quiet in final mix. And I managed to scratch the bumper of my car as I couldn't see out the side window with a bass drum in the front on the way to the venue. It's done now and it'll cost some money to fix, so no point crying over it. So the week itself was a bit more mixed too. We deliberately cut loose a client at work in acrimonious circumstances. He complained about me and a colleague personally and used it as a justification to withhold payment from our company. Not fun but at least my boss backed me up. The last week was just obscenely busy and not fun for anyone. I'm hoping that I can at least learn some lessons as how to manage difficult clients in the future, and maybe have a an easier week. If not then I'll probably need a holiday before long. It's meant that certain parts of my routine were a it more difficult with that and rehearsals and running training. I'm still keeping it up mostly though. It's meant I'm a good way through "Americanah" (for my book club) and I'm enjoying it so far. It's been an interesting window into Nigerian culture and subtle elements of race relations I perhaps wouldn't have otherwise seen. Something feels very honest about it and Adichie's very good at identifying the little nuances that make up love, culture and stories. I am sadly struggling in other respects. My social life feels like it's died a death and this felt confirmed by talking to some of them that came to my gig on Sunday. It was awkward, I felt like I had nothing to say to them anymore. I don't feel like I have a home socially anymore and I find that really difficult. Yes I'm establishing a new identity for myself but it's difficult when I naturally want to bond with others over what I'm doing now and find that I have nobody. I don't know what to do yet really. Maybe there are other things I can still do in addition to my other hobbies that are more social. But I'm not going to rush and decide tonight as I won't solve it. Let's try and enjoy the small victories I am achieving, and hopefully they'll see me through the odd, empty, depressing periods I'm going through at the moment. I'll feel I'm home again before I realise it. I don't want to carry on feeling like this though, in spite of my recent successes.
  7. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAYS 20 and 21 Good and bad as is standard for weekends. I did a 22:39 over a really difficult new 5k course and finished top 50 for the first time. So so pleased with that. Didn't think I'd start hitting top 50 in races for a while yet. I think that would translate to a 21:00 - 21:30 over a flat course. I'm picking up time really really quickly. Had a lovely day out in London with a friend of mine again and have got some more read some more pages of the new book for book club. I've been pretty great at embracing new things in general this week and am liking my new attitude. Today was harder though. I've been running so much lately that today's recovery run I never got going on due to being in pain, so I best rest till Tuesday now. I got some work stuff done, saw my friend and completed some more admin based stuff and chores. Unfortunately I relapsed on porn today. I just had nothing else to preoccupy myself with. My acoustic is broken, my electric is set up for the gig and I don't want to play it for anything other than that and rehearsals. It is at it's most difficult to resist when I just can't find other things to preoccupy myself with. So I need to try and look a little bit harder. Maybe I could have tried meditating? Ideally I'd like to be out of the house more than I already am. Maybe this will be solved once I can play the guitar again after my writing process is finished. Who knows. Sundays are proving difficult right now as I end up having too much spare time. I'll think of something though. Onto another week.
  8. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAYS 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 And just like that another week goes by. Plenty to talk about and catch up on. I'll start with the distractions. My methods are really working on the whole. I'll be interested to see my stats sheet on my phone this week about how much my social media time is down but I bet it's massive. I still do get distracted every now and then but it's still fantastic progress. Sleeping routine is still spot on. The important thing is now that the routine and the new additions to my life feel comparatively normal and right somehow. Like I should have been doing it all along. This may prove to be the best discovery I'll make on this entire journey. I still get the odd craving to indulge a bad habit (like play a game) but knowing how far I've come now it's easy to see how just one bad thing gets me in a pattern and puts me back to the start. That I don't want. To more tangible things. I did join that book club after all! I've really liked the reading habit I've developed reading "Atomic Habits" before bed (just finished it last night, full of invaluable advice) and want to keep it up. Through this I'll meet new people and explore new boundaries and books I'd have never looked at otherwise, which I'm really excited about. Everyone seems really nice too, apart from one pompous blowhard, but you can't win them all! Both running and band practice were awesome this week. The material is coming together for the band and not before time too. Some more rehearsal time and it'll sound really good! Gig is now next weekend! Came around bloody quickly. People are noticing my running improvements at the club and remarking on it, and I really finished my run on Thursday strongly. Can't wait to test this theory tomorrow over a new 5k course to see whether I've really gotten quicker. The only drawback is I've found work tricky lately. But even this seems to be coming up trumps. I had my review today and my boss told me how well he thought I was doing, how conscientious I was and how he wanted to build the team around my colleague and I. And even topped it by offering me a pay raise. Honestly what a damn week. Couldn't be happier with it. No LISA opened yet but that'll come. It's been a busy week. This is the first evening I've been home since my last diary entry after all. Honestly long may this continue. If this keeps up this will be an absolute banner year for me.
  9. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAY 14 A good day on the whole! I did my furthest and farthest run at 12.2 miles in 1:42:51. So I reckon I'm well on for a sub 1:50 in the half marathon next month. Bloody hard one today though. I'll need to wind down the miles a bit a think now so I can properly rest up my muscles for next month. My guitar is back with me as well having picked it up today and everything seems completely fixed and ready for the gig in a couple of weeks time. I now will likely only be using it for rehearsals and the gig itself now to keep the new strings sounding half decent. There's another one I can use for general practice. Some other things. I've reorganised my phone so the distractions are much harder to reach and any social media is hidden away. Just being able to instantly click on it at the touch of a button has been a big problem and making such an instant reaction harder to do seems to be limiting my time and interest toward those apps. Perfect! Same went for any links to porn. Anything bookmarked is now gone and my laptop has been cleaned of any cookies of searches that would lead me towards it, with a block on the obvious ones. Again will make it much harder to slip accidentally. I've did my research today on how I'm funding my house deposit as well. It's really just a matter of double checking everything in the ISA I'll be setting up now and calling them up to confirm it! Ideally I get this done tomorrow but I have time. I also got a little bit of work done but quite slowly. I need to keep working on some new systems so I can ideally perform my job a bit better, and build in those good habits. It's been hard but if I keep up. I potentially may be looking at a book club to join as well as a more relaxing hobby. There's one that runs monthly on Mondays and it'll probably be good for me to have more of an incentive to keep up my reading before bed hobby. I may potentially go to a gig tonight. I've done the marketing for it at work so it might be nice to go along and support it. I've gotta decide in the next few minutes though. So yeah. Basically lots happening. Plenty more to come hopefully.
  10. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAYS 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 It's amazing how you can sometimes just get so busy that an entire week goes by just like that. I'm all of a sudden coming back here clocking up another week's worth of days. I really feel like I'm starting to make strides forward. My nightly routine is really working and it's really being reinforced by having Atomic Habits by my bedside. It's not feeling uncomfortable anymore and I'm feeling the benefits in myself and how it's going to make up my goals. Let's keep this up! On the back of this I'm going to paste in my original list of goals. As I think I'm doing pretty great by them. I'll put next to them what I'm doing to achieve them in bold. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A sub 20 minute 5km run - Getting better all the time. My 18:17 last week probably translates to about 22 minutes on an easier course. So 40 seconds down from the beginning of the year. To play on stage as part of a band this year - Happening on the 10th March To take on extra responsibilities at work as part of my ongoing development (including additional training) - Not happening yet, but I've asked about it and am pushing to do better. Not 100% happy with my performance right now though. To find other hobbies that aren't either escapist, or feel like a massive amount of work like my current ones* - Still working on this. There's a book club I could join but I'm not sure about it. To fix my sleeping routine (proper sleep - 9:30pm - 10pm bedtime + elimination of bad habits) - Really getting this right at the moment. No gaming for 90 days (duh) - In progress Limit my YouTube time to a maximum of 2 hours. (will review this) - I'm definitely watching less. Still would like to use it better though. New wardrobe and equipment for running - I've got a couple of new running shirts and have cleared out my wardrobe ready for new stuff. Take more responsibility for my own resources instead of just going along with what my parents provide - I'm buying the odd thing here and there. I'll keep this up. Have made a full/detailed plan of what I want saved up by the end of the year for my house deposit - I'm writing the full plan tomorrow. I've weighed up the difference between the help to buy ISA and a LISA and I just need to do final calculations on whether my decision to try and do both cleverly will work. On the whole. Very happy with my progress so far. I'll review again after an appropriate amount of time. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Positives: The band is finally coming together. We just need some more practice. The guy I formed it with completely agrees with me where it's working and where it isn't and wants to keep writing with me regardless of what happens with the band. I'm finally getting my guitar sorted out by a tech as well, who taught me a hell of a lot about taking care of it better. All big things for the future if I'm ever forming a band I'm proud of. My running is also great and saved me from being miserable about a week of work I didn't enjoy. The 20 lap challenge really pushed me in the right way. My half marathon training probably couldn't be going much better. Negatives: I'm still relying on my phone too much for entertainment sometimes. I read something midweek about it being the equivalent of junk food in terms of entertainment and it really resonated with me. I'm pretty strict on my junk food consumption in life as it will make me a shit runner. So I just have to treat this as the same. My social life is also in the crapper. I knew this was inevitable as I'm in a big period of transition at the moment where I'm trying to leave a lot of my old habits, and it means old friends with it. I'm not resisting the change but it's very difficult, and I'm finding myself much more bitter and upset about it than I'd like. I really miss how social I used to be and hope that I make some new and more suitable friends soon. I think this will come down to finding some more hobbies come March when my immediate short term goals are done. Work isn't much fun at the moment either. My work isn't my ideal career path and I'm very aware of that sometimes. So it's likely a longer term goal to work out how to make my career a bit happier. Even if that's a career change somewhere down the line. Or maybe this clears up and I'm fine. You never know. We'll see. My final long run for the marathon tomorrow. Other than that I might look to try and establish some more new hobbies tomorrow.
  11. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAY 8 Sweet. Week 2. New territory in journaling terms at least. Today has been very positive. I feel like picking up Atomic Habits has been a big pick me up as it's taken concepts I know to be true and open up my mind to a way of thinking that I hadn't otherwise thought of into one rather happy bundle. I'm obviously only 2 chapters in but I had a real light bulb moment when it came to the phrasing of identity. For example considering yourself a musician so you'll keep the habit as opposed to thinking your just trying some music but it's not really you. It shows how powerful that element of self talk and the way you view yourself really comes into play, and how that's been something that's been holding me back. It was honestly a complete light bulb moment. I've always been so so hard on myself and by being kinder in a practical way (which is very much my preference), I can make a noticeable difference. On that note I got something done that I've been dreading at work for a few days. Which was a nice thing to have out of the way. And the rest of the day went really smoothly. I got some extra guitar practice in. It's always the next few days where the real work is anyway. But it's nice to have a good start to the week. I am grateful for My boss being away from work this week so it'll be a bit less stressful. Not that he's a hard taskmaster anyway but y'know. My friend still texting me sports results to talk about despite being away at uni. It's great to have a bit of him still around. Just having my parents back around this week and it not being an empty house. I didn't like that last week.
  12. Circadian Rhythm

    Maintenance of the PhoenixKing

    You'll get there. I'm learning myself that there's a difference between no excuses and being too hard on yourself whilst not giving yourself an excuse. I think we'll all get there with some time and work. Keep it up anyway.
  13. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAY 7 Ups and downs. Too slow a start to the morning and was feeling very unhappy about not challenging my bad habits enough this morning. I've somewhat pulled it back this afternoon. I'm trying to take the advice I gave someone on here yesterday and not be too hard on myself. I've had a hard week and tomorrow is the start of a new one. I spent the afternoon running errands for my brother who made me dinner in return, meaning I had time to fit in a quick run on my old circuit. Beat my old PB from last year by over 30 seconds on a short 2.5 mile course for an 18:17. Pretty delighted with that. Shows my efforts are paying off even if I don't see it sometimes. I'm writing my entry early tonight as I want to experiment with storing my laptop and phone in another part of the house that isn't my bedroom for when I'm sleeping. Hopefully it means I have more incentive to make the right decisions in the morning and before I go to bed, as I've found it really hard to keep up my night routine so far. What it'll mean doing is trying to get an old analogue alarm clock to work which could be interesting. I'm a little nervous about it. I'd argue that nailing this routine is an even more important part of my journey than not gaming. I get this right, I set the stall out for a productive day and I make myself a much happier person in the long run too. I've got Atomic Habits to read before bed, and I'm expecting a lot of the content in there to relate to making it easier to get into the habits you want to do. Like making a point of having your running gear ready if you have a class the following day until it just becomes second nature. Let's see how right I am. I am grateful for My brother making dinner. It was bloody lovely. Kid is the like the damn food whisperer. My new found capacity for self forgiveness. C'mon lets reinforce this one a bit. I'm on the right path. The support I get on Strava when I post a run, however minor. It's sometimes the little things that keep you going.
  14. Circadian Rhythm

    Maintenance of the PhoenixKing

    Sounds like it's all coming up Milhouse for you! I've just read through your last page of posts and you remind me a lot of myself in that you sound really, really hard on yourself. Take a step back and look at how much you're achieving at the moment and give yourself some credit! You're working through a job you don't like successfully whilst balancing a freelance writing gig (again sounds like you're doing great), a really awesome sounding part time acting role, and even finding time for a new relationship in there while saving up to go see Japan. Even with the relapse this all sounds damn rock and roll to me. Also "Maintenance of the Phoenix King" is the most metal blog name on here. Just sayin.
  15. Circadian Rhythm

    CR - When do I level up outside?

    DAY 6 A bit of a quiet day. I did a lot of reading again. Some guitar practice and some quick exercise. Visited my Nan as I know she wanted me to pop by which was nice. I think otherwise I'm in bad need of shaking things up really. I have my long run to start tomorrow with and need to work out some other new hobbies to add to what I'm doing. I may need to wait until March to really get them underway though with my gig on the 10th and the Half Marathon on the 24th. I was also looking at that trip I wanted to take to do the Inca trail and worked out the costs. It's going to be at least 2 grand. Which is a lot of money for someone who's saving up for his deposit. I've got to decide what's important. A potentially fantastic and memorable trip or doing something cheaper now, and prioritising securing my future and independence. I'm still feeling massively lonely but the positive of that is I have plenty of time to work my own head out,and be ready plenty in advance for my challenges during the week. I took delivery of "Atomic Habits" today so I'm going to read that now before bed. It's not often I go to bed before 10:30pm on a Saturday night but here we are I suppose. I feel like I'm calming down from my emotional state this week and hope I can keep that up. I am grateful for My Nan being in good humour in spirits as ever. Not everyone gets their Nan or even parents around at 26 so I'm lucky. The ability to live in a time where a naive twat such as me can plan for a hiking trip to Peru solo and not have to worry about being murdered. Stumbling across a really interesting radio show in the background by accident surrounding the way history is told in popular culture on radio 4, and it focused heavily on Monty Python - always fantastic.
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