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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened


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  1. Hey all! Been a while. I know I said I was going to continue writing but then didn't... Things were okay for some time, but have taken a downturn lately. I have actually been YouTube free (as in, no addiction though I will watch the occasional video for something I need, such as instructional content) since starting this journey, which has been awesome. I was continuing to improve my life and even getting some of my routines in place that I've wanted to establish for some time. Part of what really hurt me was when, in January, my insurance company dropped coverage for the company I was using for therapy. I got another month or so of grace, but ultimately lost both my psychologist and psychiatrist. On top of this, I am still in the same job and it is making me absolutely miserable. I've been applying to jobs and have not been successful. It's wearing me down. I went through four interviews with one company, who told me they love me and would like to hire me, only they don't have any work to bill me to (thus, they were interviewing to add to their pool of potential hires). That really demoralized me. I would love to just up and quit right now, but my wife has one year left of her residency, so we need the money for rent, etc. If she were done and working, I could potentially quit without something else lined up to protect my mental health. Right now, we don't have that luxury. I've considered other career paths but it is difficult to find time to pivot while still working full time. I know it can be done, but I need to make the time for it. In the meantime, I've considered an internal move within my company to a different position. This may alleviate some of the pain, as I'd probably be doing something a bit more enjoyable. There's more to the story, but that's the gist of it. It really harmed my mental health. My depression was at an all-time low over the past 2-3 weeks. I did seek help from my doctor, which was a good move. I'm still working on finding therapists - seems hard to find people with availability. I have done some good things for myself though. I started going to a dietician to support my strength training goals. I see a personal trainer about once a month to keep me on track for the strength training itself. I also started going to physical therapy to correct an issue with my chest that has plagued me since my teens. So these are all wins to celebrate. I'm back here now because I realized I was really at my best last year when I did my detox and was writing on this forum every day. There is something about coming here to this community, having support, and establishing accountability that really bolstered my efforts. My wife even said that during that time, I was the most "on it" she'd seen. I'm going to begin journaling again and tracking some key behaviors. It won't be as intense as when I first started, but I really think I need to be here. I hope everyone's been well and I look forward to catching up on your journeys.
  2. Yeah, just recently I completed 90 days without podcasts. It was good. I brought one back in to listen to during a car ride and it was good. It was more educational and one that I truly enjoyed. I'm seeing now though that there are very few I will actually listen to, so keeping a few around seems fine. But the rest can go. Gone are the days of having a podcast just running in the background. I can't take that noise anymore. I used to have Audible and it was good. Only problem is I'm not as proficient at retaining information from audio as in print, so if it's a book I really care about, I will often want to read it anyways. Though, both hearing and reading it could be beneficial. I see what you mean here but the graph is flat because for almost all of those days, I didn't play at all. In fact, I don't think I've played a game in a of couple months - I can't remember the last time I did. Maybe 2 months ago? For me, I enjoy games, but they don't have the same draw that watching YouTube does. I mentioned this in a previous post, but video games tend to be more active play, requiring you to engage in some way. Eventually, I grow tired of that. The real danger for me is passive entertainment, where you say to yourself, "I'm tired, so I'm just gonna lay on the couch and watch TV/YouTube/streaming/etc." because there, I can be frozen in time - no action is needed from me, so I never get tired of it until my body just can't stay awake anymore. Streaming seems a bit different than YouTube for some unknown reason, but I still have to be careful. I do agree, setting a time limit is helpful when I play, and it has worked for me. It's something that I just don't struggle with as much as passive entertainment - probably also because the games I play are not traditionally addictive. I don't touch those other ones (and have no desire to). Yeah, I'm still working on this and deciding what to do. I may still have beer but I'm finding past one drink of a cocktail or wine, it starts to affect my mood and motivation the next day. Beer doesn't seem to do this, so I think it might be a question of the alcohol content. I haven't really touched my liquor cabinet since my 90 days ended. Maybe 4 times total? So, the 90 days definitely changed my level of desire for it. I'm even thinking of selling my bottles to some friends. Not sure yet though. I like to provide drinks for guests, but I hardly make cocktails for myself anymore. Thank you for reading through and providing your comments, I really appreciate it!
  3. Thursday - January 9, 2024 Wow, been a bit longer than I thought since I last posted on here. Just had a very busy holiday season. It was one of those where you feel rested yet not because you are running around. Everything is still going well, for the most part. Still YouTube free, and streaming has been mostly kept to a minimum. I'm going to be starting a new planning system called the Franklin Covey Planner. It's a gift from my wife for my birthday. She uses it and has been enjoying. We both already use David Allen's GTD system which I haven't mastered yet but has been extremely helpful. I'm excited to marry that with the Franklin Planner. Additionally, this planner is all analog, so I'll be moving away from digital planning. I think that's good for me because I spend a lot of time looking at screens all day. I was doing pretty good with my exercise, but yesterday morning and today, I woke up with no desire to do it. The feeling I had in my mind was, "I'm burned out." However, I've only been back to consistently doing it for maybe 3 or 4 weeks? So, I'm not sure why I feel that way. Could be just because the last few nights I didn't get great sleep. But my workouts might also be too long, and maybe I'm starting to feel that and get tired. Not sure what to do about it yet, but I know that I should at least listen to what my body is saying and try to figure out why. I must still continue to exercise, that's for sure. But, perhaps I need to change it up a bit. Hope everyone is doing well. I will try to post more often but sometimes the day just gets going and I forget...
  4. Yes, definitely right. Though, this was over 20 days ago so I've made quite a few changes but I think you're right about the cause. For me it was less about the improbability of a goal for fuel and more about making things too onerous for me. I have a tendency to over-complicate things because I get zealous. Sometimes those complications end up creating something amazing for me or others (ex. at work, home projects, etc.). Other times, it becomes burdensome. I know this about myself and have come to learn that I will do this often. My solution is simply to know when to drop something or simplify it if it stops working or becomes too much. Thanks for reading the whole thing! I felt like it was important to write that as I'm starting to see more people coming to this forum with YouTube addictions, so I'm hoping to remain a resource for those people.
  5. No worries! You can check out some of my entries, but the main idea is that I was afraid to be alone with my thoughts, so I would constantly have a podcast running in the background. This kept me from having to think my own thoughts because I was always receiving and distracted by someone else’s. I had to stop listening to them entirely to create that space. I really believe they can be their own form of addiction but, just like YouTube, a lot of people fool themselves into thinking they are learning; it’s mostly just shallow levels. Books tend to have a greater degree of information and quality, though not always true (there are of course bad books out there). I’ve gone 70 days now without podcasts and honestly my life is better. I really didn’t need to listen to pretty much any of them. I might eventually go back to one or two, but we’ll see. I feel so much calmer and clearer without all the noise. As for your second question, it actually wasn’t gaming that was the problem but YouTube. Passive entertainment is more addictive for me than active - and I consider video games active because you do something and interact. Passive was my stress-release valve. It really took hold during a period where I had a very difficult job. I would come home, eat dinner, then just watch YouTube for the rest of the night. I would also continue eating and drinking alcohol. Oddly enough I didn’t gain that much weight but I know it still wasn’t good for my health. All a bad combo. I considered myself a functional addict. I’d stay up super late. I think the idea was, if I didn’t sleep, tomorrow wouldn’t come. I know that is impossible but there is something in there that you truly believe if you keep extending the night, you’ll always approach tomorrow but never reach it, like an asymptote. I tried to quit many times but had difficulty. This time seems different. It’s been almost 120 days and I haven’t watched anything on there except something for work once or twice. I don’t miss it that much. A little now and then when I get FOMO, but it passes. Everything else is going so much better, I wouldn’t wish to regress. Yes I agree, which is why I made my comment. It’s alright to check in on others and ensure their behaviors are truly healthy, but there is a line. There’s enough negativity on many of the other platforms. Just trying to keep it mostly positive here. I do hope they start their own journal and journey. Of course! Glad that the support is encouraging. I’ll keep checking in 🙂
  6. Everyone says it’s about the in-person connections, but I think it’s really about justifying that building they pay for. And some places don’t trust workers to work without physical supervision. Frustrating. Hopefully they don’t go through with it
  7. What do you find that you are doing in moments like this? How are you filling the time? Hey, I’ve been there before with the same feelings. It will get better, I promise. Don’t feed those thoughts. See them, and let them pass. If you are able to, consider going to therapy. It truly makes a difference to talk to someone who can pull you out of your rut. Remember that you matter and things will turn around. The first few weeks of the detox can be tough, but persist. You will be okay! And this community is here for you.
  8. For anyone interested, I have finally posted my 90-day Retrospective here:
  9. 90-day Retrospective Okay, I've been meaning to post this for a bit now and I've finally had time the past two days. While time consuming, I think this reflection is important for me and possibly others to determine what worked. --------------- Overview--------------- This journey came simply from a desire to stop wasting hours of my life on YouTube watching nothing. Well, I was watching something, but it was nothing edifying. It had destroyed my sleep schedule, my desire to do other things such as reading, and overall was making me miserable. And yet I continued. I had tried to quit so many times, but nothing quite stuck. I'm not sure what motivated me to make things different this time around. It might have been starting therapy or simply just being sick of the state of my life at that point. First, I want to look at the average of all the habits and their moving average juxtaposed with the overall view of the individual habits. Average: Final average: 4.38 Average change between days: 0.009 Median change between days: -0.036 Moving average: End value: 4.38 Average of moving average: 4.23 Average change between days: 0.017 Median change between days: 0.004 The numbers are interesting. They show that there wasn't much change between days when looking at the averages, but there is a reason for this. On the high end, habits like No YouTube, No Excessive Gaming, No Alcohol were extremely consistent, almost all fives. Thus their daily change is zero. When a habit is going well, no changes in score is good. On the flipside, there were quite a few days of journaling where the value was zero. This also counts as no change and, along with the fluctuations in bedtime, caused the values to skew more negatively, which is why the median day change is -0.036. What is most important though is that final value of the moving average, which lines up of course with the final average. 4.38 is a great score and within the window of what I would consider a success. Especially toward the end, the value of the average bounced between 4 and 5 while moving average was almost consistently 4.38. The moving average stabilized around 45 days in, only increasing slightly day by day. The beginning is quite messy for about the first 20 days, fluctuating greatly between 3 and 5 stars. The interesting part is that the dips happen almost every 3-4 days. I think there was a cycle of getting used to the newness of everything. At this time, I also hadn't cut out streaming and podcasts. Then around day 22, things started to clear up. Some of this may have been some changes in scoring too, as I think I altered what is now my Pomodoros goal from Top 3 to Next Actions, which helped with adherence. Everything seemed to be going well until about the halfway point, 45 days in. It may have simply been fatigue from the pace of change. Indeed, I was changing many things. Bedtime and journaling were always a struggle but during this time, many of the other habits started to suffer, too. What this tells me is that during the 90-day journey, you should expect some resistance about midway through, that it's normal. Additionally, be mindful of how much to change at once, since you can overwhelm yourself. Around day 56, I started to get my rhythm back. The average of the habits cycled between 4 and 5. As you can see, there are only 83 days of data. I noticed I was getting burned out by the journal format and so I switched to the Everyday habit tracker after that. Those last few days, you'll observe the average of the habits was brought down mostly by journaling and bedtime. Everything else was mostly consistent. Journal Format Overall, I think the format of the journal was good for me to understand how my habits changed in relation to one another. The rating system allowed me to see how my adherence varied based on whatever events had occurred that day. What worked: The rating system forced me to be honest about my behavior. For example, maybe I think I didn't listen excessively to podcasts, but if I really dig down, it was still more than I would have liked. Or perhaps I wasn't listening as mindfully The ratings allowed time for self-reflection, to see what was working and what wasn't day by day. Actions I took were directly correlated to the performance of a habit I could see how one habit influenced or was correlated with another (more on that later), thus helping me predict success or failure based on certain cornerstone habits The gamification aspect of trying to achieve 5 stars was motivating and pushed me to complete habits on days I really didn't feel like it, such as cleaning up something in the house The trends showed me how patterns of change develop and that it requires patience to push through the first couple weeks What didn't work: Too much variability and subjectivity in terms of what constituted a 3 vs a 4 There was excessive focus on doing a habit the “best way” versus simply trying to establish the habit, no matter how much of or how well it was done The format and time for self-assessment, while beneficial for reflection, was time consuming and grew tedious to complete toward the end of the 90 days. I think I mostly felt this fatigue starting around day 75 I added a gratitude portion but it didn't work for me. It ended up making the journal more burdensome so I removed it. It's not that I'm not grateful for things, but something about writing them out made it feel forced Main Takeaway: This format was very good for accountability and I would still recommend others consider it as they begin their journey. It really forces you to focus on what is/isn't working, as well as being accountable by describing the specific actions you took to move a habit forward. I would also recommend abandoning the format and moving to a simple habit tracker when it no longer works for you. I think I pushed forward with it a bit longer than I had patience for because I wanted a full set of 90-day data. In the end, that wasn't worth it to me. I can also see not needing this format entirely and starting immediately with a simple habit tracker. For me at least, the habits need to be tracked somehow or else it's hard to know if you are really making progress, stay motivated, and stay accountable (which is a great reason why this forum exists in the first place). --------------- Individual Habits --------------- No YouTube Final average: 5 Median score: 5 Proud of this one. This was my main goal, ending my YouTube addiction. I achieved it with flying colors. What worked: I cannot stress enough how important the blocker was. I used Cold Turkey and my wife held the passcode. There were no allowances, just a pure block. I had her do the same on my phone, only with the iPhone Screen Time feature. Finally, on our smart TV, I enabled parental controls and had her create a passcode there. Thus, she was the ultimate keeper of each passcode. There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to watch YouTube, even if I wanted to. It was almost like removing any form/source of alcohol from a recovering alcoholic's home. It just couldn't happen, no matter what my cravings. Eventually, I stopped thinking about it and now I honestly have no desire to return. I don't even wish to remove the block because I know if I absolutely need to watch something, I can ask my wife to temporarily unlock it. Otherwise, I don't need it. Additionally, filling the void with new activities as Cam has stressed was important. There were some days I just stared at the ceiling but the boredom led to action, eventually. What didn't work: Nothing. I guess you could say everything else I tried before this such as: Giving myself a time allowance and a block that ended after a certain amount of days (I would just go back to my normal habits after the block was up) Putting the TV remote in a kitchen timer container (only worked until the timer was up as I didn't fill the void during the time it was in there) Telling myself I could watch in moderation No Excessive Streaming Final average: 4.86 Median score: 5 Scoring was pretty consistent here, except for that dip between 12 and 20 days. Streaming was a tempting alternative to YouTube, so I had to cut it off early. Even now, I still need to be careful as it's so easy to get sucked in. What worked: Blocking streaming. I did this because I noticed it was starting to take the place of YouTube, and I couldn't allow myself to simply create a new addiction in place of the old After the block was implemented, there was no trouble with adherence What didn't work: Thinking I could watch this in moderation after trying to kick the YouTube habit. It was too close in activity level to really work that way No Excessive Podcast Listening Final average: 4.78 Median score: 5 This was another interesting habit because, as I've written in some earlier entries, it seemed like one that few people have tried. Podcasts seem to be a way of life right now, and we've just accepted that they must all be better than other forms of media like television and video games. However, I have found that the quality varies widely, and most just aren't worth listening to. In fact, I had been using them as a distraction from my thoughts and from simply being quiet. Now I will still listen to music sometimes when there is quiet, but the processing of music is different than a podcast. I can listen to music with no lyrics in the background and still hear my own thoughts, but with podcasts that's not really possible. The extra processing required made me tired and burned out, though before starting this journey I didn't know that. Adherence leveled out after I stopped listening entirely. I also don't think I want to go back to listening that much. My mind feels so much clearer without all the noise and I realize how little I actually gained from what I listened to versus the cost of a fatigued mind. What worked: I needed to stop listening entirely. I was trying to listen in moderation but it was really being used as a distraction to keep from addressing my thoughts and being comfortable with silence What didn't work: Telling myself to just listen mindfully. It usually didn't work, and I often just used it as noise and a distraction. No Excessive Gaming Final average: 4.96 Median score: 5 It's ironic to come to Game Quitters and be less concerned about quitting video games, but I consider this platform to extend to internet addiction as a whole. That said, there was a time where I worried whether I was becoming addicted to games. I don't think that's the case anymore, but during my 90-day journey, I wanted to ensure that gaming did not fill the void of YouTube. Except for one night where I played a bit longer than I'd planned, this was relatively easy to adhere to. For some reason, I just didn't feel the draw, so I didn't play very often. If I did, it wasn't for too long or only for an evening with some friends. What worked: Honestly, I'm not 100% certain but I think it was filling my time with activities like reading, listening to records, etc. Those activities created a greater pull over time and I felt less like spending my time playing a game. What didn't work: Not deciding ahead of time how much I would play. I think that one time, I needed to log off and simply should have had the courage to say, “Okay, I need to get off now.” I did, but later than I had planned. No Excessive Drinking Final average: 4.99 Median score: 5 It's funny, this is almost the exact reverse image of the gaming habit, only off by a day. I decided before my YouTube detox to stop drinking and see how I felt. So it was its own 90-day journey. There was only the one day where I felt I had more than I planned, but overall this was a great experience for me. Though I have gone back to drinking again, I am now much more mindful. The clarity of mind and benefits to my body have made me aware of how much I plan to drink, how much is enough, and how often to drink. I'm still experiencing the benefits now, I think. I lost some body fat and I feel I've never looked better, so that result alone makes me think a bit harder about how much and when to drink. I have also decreased my tolerance, which I am glad for. I feel like I physically cannot have the same amount I used to, which is better for my mind, spirit, and body. What worked: Having a partner on the journey. My wife did it with me so that I wouldn't feel alone. I think that support helped Being courageous enough to tell people I'm not drinking. That alone was a huge confidence boost Deciding how much I would drink ahead of time and sticking to that when I got to the party, gathering, etc. What didn't work: Not keeping track of how much I had in a week. I think I'm still not doing this like I should. It seems a little restrictive but it's also easy to forget when and how much I had over the course of a week, even if it's moderate. It might be best to start that up again Journaling Final average: 2.66 Median score: 4 Journaling was difficult to get a good final average on because it was mostly an all-or-nothing habit. Either I journaled or I didn't. There were a few in-between scores (hence the median score of 4), but mostly I considered this either complete or incomplete. I chose to tie this one to bedtime, which I'll cover later. I was hoping that if I do it before going up to bed, it'll happen more often. I will say, it did happen much more often than it had in the past. Rather than skipping months, I only skipped a few days. I know that was working because now that I have reset my habit tracking, I haven't journaled in a while because I'm not tracking it as a habit before bed. I imagine that will change once I start recording that again. What worked: Tying it to another habit. Anchoring helped me to mark a specific time/event where and when this habit should happen Making it before bed was easier than trying to do it any other time of day What didn't work: Not setting a minimum time to journal and focusing on the quality of the entry. I felt I had to have a “good entry” which is why there are a few 3 and 4 star entries. Really, I should have done “journal for 5 minutes” and if I went longer, great. If not, no worries. It should have been about the establishment of the habit, not the quality of the entry Game Quitters Journal Final average: 4.73 Median score: 5 This wasn't too bad. My criteria was that I needed to fill out my template and write every day. I had very good adherence. I mostly did it daily at the same time. I think the accountability was incredibly important in my journey. Cam encourages at the beginning to write every day and to follow others' journals. Both were important. Being invested in others' journeys bolstered my desire to succeed and stay on track for my own. Even today, I try to read as many new journal updates from other members as I can. I've learned from others and I try to provide whatever assistance I can. What worked: Journaling at the same time every day with a consistent format. This helped reduce the barrier, since I could copy-paste the format and simply make changes Reading others' journals Recognizing when it was time to change the format What didn't work: As I covered in the Overview section, the format grew a bit tedious towards the end and I needed to make a shift, but it served its purpose Forcing myself to catch up if I missed a day or two. While it offered me complete data, it also created an obstacle to entry when a few days piled up Fill the Void Final average: 4.72 Median score: 5 Filling the void was an important habit, one of the most important. I needed to choose the right activities to replace YouTube and make them attractive. Over time, I found these activities to be more and more enticing, but it took time. At first, I had to overcome some boredom and the temptation to replace YouTube with other mindless things. You can see in the beginning I struggled with this. On Day 10 and 18, I was either distracted by my phone or excessive streaming. That problem dropped off when I cut out streaming. Those first 20-30 days really seem to be the biggest adjustment period. What worked: Having a list of hobbies to choose from gave me options. If I didn't feel like doing one, I could always choose something else. No guilt, no pressure to “perform”, just pure enjoyment Blocking things that interfered with the initial habit formation of desired activities What didn't work: When I didn't look at the list! Resorting to my phone during times of boredom Not having low-energy activities in place to account for times I want to turn to mindless entertainment. I found having lighter novels was a good solution to this problem Pomodoros Final average: 4 Median score: 4 This is a wild chart. Part of that is because the habit changed a few times. The other is that there were days this habit didn't apply, so I didn't score it. I needed some way to start moving my work forward and staying focused during the day. This began as choosing the Top 3 things to do that day, but I found this to be too difficult as priorities can quickly shift. Then, I changed it to choosing next actions, but this was also a bit too vague since the next actions I chose in the morning could once again shift. I finally changed it to counting the number of pomodoros so that I could keep track of how much time I spent in focused work, ensuring I concentrating on the task at hand. What worked: Having a set number of pomodoros to work toward was motivating Counting meetings as focused time. People often consider meetings to be wasted time, but I've found they can be incredibly valuable if you focus only on the meeting and choose to extract next actions from them. Thus, I chose to focus intently on the meeting and people, not multitasking What didn't work: Not having a clear definition of what I really wanted from the beginning. Although Top 3 seemed clear, it really wasn't because those Top 3 could shift. The success criteria was vague. Same with Next Actions Being too rigid about the number of pomodoros. This caused stress because if I couldn't reach 8 pomodoros, then I couldn't get 5 stars. You'll notice in my new habit, I only say “work in pomodoros.” I have an idea of the number I want to complete, but I don't hold myself to that number because things change during the day and some days I'll be able to have more focused time than others. The intent is just to maximize that time each day, whether that's 6, 8, or 16. I keep a physical heatmap of my pomodoros near my desk, just for fun and awareness Bedtime Final average: 2.99 Median score: 3 Here it is, the big one... the beast that could never quite be tamed during this journey. Bedtime was highly correlated with journaling. Since I made journaling the signal for starting my bedtime routine, its completion heavily influenced whether I made it to bed – and on time. It could also be that falling asleep on the couch caused me to not journal, having a reverse impact on the journaling habit. Thus they were highly linked. I struggled with this so much because I was used to staying up very late and not wanting to give up on the night. It's much better now, especially over the last two weeks. This is such an important habit because sleep repairs the body, heals the mind, and cements our learning and memories. For anyone reading this, prioritize getting good sleep. You'll thank yourself later. What worked: Having a cornerstone habit, even if it didn't always happen. It was important to have a signal that it's time to begin getting ready for bed. Winding down from screens is important and journaling helped with that transition Trying to go to bed around the same time. It helped with predictability Tracking how much sleep and the quality using a sleep journal. This helped me understand my patterns and how to adjust What didn't work: Stressing about not getting ready for bed at exactly 10pm. I think a range is more helpful (ex. 10-10:30pm) though a time frame is still important Laying down on the couch to read when I know I'm already tired. This caused me to just stay there Not being willing to give up on the night and go to bed even though I'm tired. It's better to get quality sleep than to try and squeeze out another hour of the evening What's working right now: Exercising in the morning. I just started this about two weeks ago and it's wonderful. It gives me something to wake up for and, consequently, go to bed on time for Getting things prepped for my workout the night before. This sets my mind up to expect I will wake up and exercise. All the work put in just assumes that it will happen. I think this has been the unexpected cornerstone habit for waking up in the morning Cleaning Up Final average: Median score: The final habit I tracked. This was to clean things around the house as I felt I had been neglecting that over time. It was a good habit to have, though I think I needed to be simpler with my criteria. I was proud of how clean the house was becoming just from this simple act of cleaning one thing a day. I will start this habit again soon with my new tracking method. Ultimately, I think the way this could be improved is to consider the trigger, “I see something is dirty, therefore I clean it.” Otherwise, it was too hard to determine when it should happen, even if I did get it done eventually. The point of a habit is to make it more automatic, so the best way to trigger this is to recognize dirt, desire cleanliness, clean it, and be rewarded with a fresh home. What worked: Choosing from a list of things to clean but also cleaning spontaneously when I saw something was dirty Knowing I only had to clean one thing and tidy up a bit to get a perfect score What didn't work: Being too vague about what it means to tidy up a little vs a lot. I don't think the amount matters but the act itself Stressing about if cleaning something small vs big really gave me a good score. Again, if I only had time to clean the counter that day, it's fine. That should be considered success Missing trigger for when the habit should take place --------------- Conclusion --------------- If you read this far, I'm incredibly grateful. This took a long time to think through and write out. I'm hoping that it will be helpful to even one person in the future. My biggest takeaway and piece of advice is that it isn't about the how much or the quality, but about the what. If you focus on “doing the thing” then the quality will take care of itself over time. Just form the behavior, replace the old addictions with better activities, and over time you will heal. Additionally, blockers are so important. I know people are often resistant to the idea, but when you physically cannot access your addiction anymore, it forces you to think about how you should be spending your time. Just consider it, at least. Though my 90-day Detox is over, my journey continues. I'll still be here journaling and tracking my habits. Good luck to all and remember, you aren't alone and you have the power to change!
  10. Days 99 - 101: Wednesday to Friday (yesterday) Things have been going very well. I haven't been writing every day which, I would like to but I'm also not sure I have that many updates each day. It's fine, I'll go with the flow. I'm liking the simplistic gamification of Everyday. I was skeptical about paying for it, but I think I will. The ease of use makes it frictionless to keep track of my habits, and the streaks are motivating. I've woken up at 6am to exercise for 11 days now. Some mornings feel a bit tougher than others, but now that I have something to wake up for, I find it's getting easier. I cannot imagine going back now as I am loving the feeling and the consistency. I've been eating more to support this goal and have increased my protein intake. I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and thought, "Wow, this is the best I've looked yet." It's such a motivating feeling. Getting everything prepped the evening before is key. Although I haven't failed to wake up on the days I don't, it makes it much easier for me to get started. I still haven't decided what to do about YouTube. I've considered adding back a 30 minute allowance for moments of research and learning, but I find I rarely need it for this. Thus, I'm not keen to open myself up to the possibility of using that allowance on mindless garbage. So, I continue on the course as is for now. It's not broken, so why fix it?
  11. Great list of books! David Allen's "Getting Things Done" has completely changed my life and how I work. Can't recommend that book enough.
  12. First off, welcome back! You are right about shame. While sometimes shame can be a motivating factor (see the new Shameless Saturdays thread), too much can have the opposite effect and shut us down from thinking. So you're right. The healthy part is recognizing the issue, but beating yourself up about it doesn't help (I've done this plenty of times myself). I may be echoing @Ikar here, but based on what you've said about app restriction, moderation, and then how you've ended your post, I think you need a clear definition of what you mean by "recommit to not playing". You said you do not feel free when it is restricted, so are you looking to be free to choose to play if you want? That would be more in line with moderation. Whether you quit entirely or moderate, you'll need to find some way to stop yourself from playing because willpower is limited. I've found I am always weakest at night, despite my best intentions. That's why blockers work for me. If they aren't working for you, that's fine but you'll need something or someone to keep you from gaming during the times you've committed not to. The restriction does feel like a loss of freedom at first, but I've discovered that over time, you will experience the new use of your time as freedom. There is an adjustment period where you need to wait for the addiction to slowly fade from the forefront of your attention. Keep at it It sometimes takes experimentation. Glad you haven't given up!
  13. Days 94-98 - Last Friday to Tuesday (yesterday) Wow, not sure where the time went. I was thinking each day I've got to come back and post, but 5 days passed very quickly. So far so good on waking up, putting on my gym clothes, and exercising. 8 days since I started waking up at 6. It's going well and I can feel the resistance slowly decreasing. I've also made it to bed every night for 16 days. Every now and then I'll fall asleep on the couch for an hour or so but I have consistently made it up to bed. A bonus of waking up at 6 is my body begins to feel tired around the same time in the evening now. It's perfect, because I don't actually want to fight it, but rather just head upstairs. Only on Sunday did I skip waking up at 6, but if I remember correctly, I had a late night so I gave myself a pass. Other than that, I'm going to continue pushing to wake at the same time. I'm beginning to crave the morning workout, and I'm loving that I feel more productive during the day, that I can use the whole workday. I've started making a list of tasks I can do in between my pomodoros. Some of those are a bit of light exercise, others things like making a hair appointment; these are small tasks that must be done but require very little energy and a good distraction from work on my breaks. I'm finding that work can sometimes be stressful, but the job isn't so bad when I'm not feeling stressed. It seems like the real problem is how I handle stress when it arises. I seem to have a very low threshold. A minor thing can throw me off for a couple of hours, a major thing the entire day. I started writing in my anxiety journal yesterday. I don't expect it to work immediately, but the first step is recognizing: what are triggering events, what physical sensations I feel, the emotions/intensity experienced, identifying the negative thought patterns, and reframing each of them. It only moderately helped yesterday, but being more aware is the start. I have read in some places that neuroticism is relatively unchangeable, that its roots stem from childhood making it a core part of you. From others, I've read that it and your brain are malleable, that by changing your mindset you can permanently alter how you view and react to situations. I choose to believe the latter.
  14. This is beautiful. I may add this to my own morning affirmations. If I might make a suggestion for your goals, try to think of what actions you must take each day or week (depending on the goal) to reach your target. It'll help you know whether you are moving in the right direction, even if you choose to say, "I'm on the right path and feel comfortable not doing that thing today." As David Allen says, you should feel just as comfortable about what you are not doing as what you are doing. Everything at the right time in the right place, I suppose. Just a thought, though you will know best how these goals can be achieved (I have only rudimentary understanding of the animation process, for example). But I really like the goals and format!
  15. Do you feel like Discord is replacing in-person connection, or that it is simply another mode of comfort for you?
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