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James Good

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  1. @Alexanderle That's a lot to process, haha! I appreciate the effort though, some of the things you talk about are very true. I'll be honest, I haven't written every day, but I do disagree about the gym thing. It's incredibly easy for me to get to the gym by 7:30am, and the only thing stopping me doing it every day this week is me travelling to Vietnam in a couple of days. But like you said, 5/7 isn't bad haha. I'm definitely experiencing a shift in my mindset and focus, and I'm going through some great stuff with my therapist so I'm excited to really put in the effort and work through my difficulties. I'm regaining a lot of clarity about what I want to do and who I want to be, which is definitely welcome after so long spent being distracted by gaming. I'm also noticing how much of a role technology is playing in being distracted. I made a conscious effort to reduce my phone time a couple weeks ago, but that got derailed by my lapse back into playing. Getting better at that now though. You mention not expecting things to change when I move into my new place but again I disagree. There's so much moving around right now that it's hard to stick to a routine, and there are a lot of little improvements I can make that'll make a big difference. For example I'll actually be able to cook my own breakfast when I finish in the gym and make my own coffee, instead of having to go out somewhere and wasting a bunch of time and money on it. This will free up a lot of time in my morning and allow me to dedicate some more of my day to meditating, journalling and so on. Also, I'll be much closer to a gym in my new flat, and I'll have language lessons 2x a week which will help to act as a routine marker. But yeah, I'm definitely going to rethink how I'm creating my habits and directing my focus, and with a revelation I had this morning about the direction I want to take it's going to be much easier for me to come up with some stuff. I'll do an update post later today, going out for breakfast now with the girlfriend! Thanks again for your comments!
  2. Taking inspiration from @Alexanderle's article about identity-based habits, I thought I'd write a list of the kind of person I want to be and the current habits I have in my life. I'm realizing that in order to beat this gaming shit once and for all I'm going to have to make a real and concerted effort to understand improve as much as I can about myself as possible, and be unrelenting in my desire to become better. SO let's take a look at my current habits: Hitting the gym every morning at 7AM - I accomplish this maybe an average of 4 days a week. I have a tendency to look at my phone in the morning as soon as I wake up, causing me to be late for the gym and fall behind on my day. Sometimes it's better than others. Spending wayyyy too much time mindlessly browsing on my phone. I tried to make an effort to reduce my screentime last week, to great success. However, within a week it was back up to an average of 5+ hours a day. Yeesh. I'm not spending any time on my hobbies, such as photography, music, writing, meditation, reading, or whatever else. Choosing instead to watching movies, YouTube videos, or scroll on my phone. My sleeping habits have improved a lot, but still not consistent enough. Struggle to ensure a solid night time routine. Not planning my day the night before. Now, I will say that a lot of these habits will improve A LOT in the next couple of weeks. At the start of February I'm going to be beginning my 1 year Thai language course, I'm moving into my new flat, I'm living with my girlfriend, and I'm right next to a gym. I'll be able to have consistent sleep, diet, routines, work, and so on much more easily. Mostly because my GF will be there to make me not want to look like a lazy bastard and waste my time. External accountability is a big key in helping me hold myself to higher standards. With that out of the way, let's look at the kind of identity I want to create for myself. I'm going to do it on the basis of the next 5+ years: I want to become the kind of person that can inspire and move through my music, my writing, my photography , and public speaking. I want to be the type of person that doesn't have to worry about expenses and can give back to those who have helped me the most. I want to be the kind of person that doesn't miss a workout, that's in shape and athletic and strong. I want to be able to fight someone (and win) if I have to. I want to be the kind of person with a large, varied, and personal friendship group full of people I can trust, rely on, and grow with. I want to be knowledgeable about a huge array of subjects such as history, geography, art, culture, music, language, science So, what are some actions that I can start taking to get started? I need to make sure they're small so that I can do them consistently. I need to make sure I don't focus on too many to begin with, so I don't get burnt out. But, I think the most important ones for me this year revolve around fitness, writing, and music. I'm pretty pleased with my current progress in the gym I'll be honest, although I could definitely be a lot more consistent. I write for Game Quitters, but I want to explore more of my own stuff. Perhaps I can write 250 words in the morning while I'm having coffee, or in the evening. I want to release a book this year so I could start writing about that, or I could write about fantasy. I've also had some pretty whacky ideas about taking real world events and turning them into a story and subsequently creating a podcast series for each one. But we'll see! Music is a bit trickier, but I think just having a few hours a week of dedicated practice will add up over time. Small Action #1: Get to the gym before 7:30AM every day. Small Action #2: Write 250 words each day this week. Small Action #3: Practice the guitar and singing for 1 hour three times a week. That's it for today, I'll let y'all know how I get on with my habits. Starting with the gym tomorrow! Never miss leg day people 😉
  3. Nah it definitely doesn't feel like square one, I just see it as a setback that I'll eventually bounce back from. That James Clear article is great, and the Atomic Habits book is by far one of my favourite books I've read, but I think similarly to you I need to do a lot of exploration in order to understand why I do certain things. I mean, for the 8 months I was gaming free last year between February and November I had no cravings whatsoever. I was so convinced that I was done with video games it was a laughable idea for me to return to them. Then, within 2 months I'd lapsed back into gaming twice. I don't want to sound like I'm jumping the gun, but this time does feel different in a way to the other times I've quit. Despite feeling more motivated in previous times, compared to my lackluster passion for life and constant despondence most of the time, it still feels like it's going to be different. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I guess we'll see as time goes on!
  4. Yeah that's exactly right. It seems like it's most likely linked to underlying fears, and I'm excited to explore it further. Funnily enough, my tech use was at an all-time low in the days prior to my relapse. However, while future me envisions a life living in the mountains away from devices, right now it's impossible for me to be away from them due to the nature of my work. I don't use my phone very much anyway, and my laptop has measure in place to prevent me using the worst offenders in terms of apps, which is about all I can do right now. Although perhaps in the future I'll do it. I've done 3 weeks of no-tech whatsoever before, during an expedition to Canada, and I felt absolutely incredible. But like I said it's just not feasible at the moment. That's a good idea for me to cover in my next post, I'll get it done today. But off the top of my head feel like I a relapse always follows periods where I'm doing really well and convince myself that I can reintroduce gaming. Also, in the days prior to a relapse I find myself removing some website blocks and spending more time on Reddit + Twitch + YouTube. This inevitably leads to areas where gaming is rife, and before long I'm back on the subreddits or communities of my old favourite games. My therapist has mentioned that it could be related to underlying fears, these repeated patterns every few months of self-sabotaging behaviour, so when I know more about it I'll discuss it here. Hey man! I'm pretty sure I'm human, but you're right. It's often difficult to see anything past that guilt and failure that becomes all consuming. Instead I should look at my successes, my victories, the things I've accomplished, the people I've helped. Maybe that's an exercise for today. Thanks for the inspiration! Hope you're doing well. Didn't realise you've been journaling again (notifications don't seem to work on this site) so I'll be sure to go through that when I get some time today 😊
  5. Thank you so much, genuinely. It means a lot. Everything you're saying about creating tension and focusing on results is so true. Maybe that's something I can bring up with my therapist and explore it further. Yeah I actually deleted my Steam, Twitch, Reddit and everything else a couple of days ago when the relapse ended, as well as blocking access to all the websites. Its definitely been a lot more difficult this time, I haven't had the same empowering realization that I did a couple months ago in Vietnam when I broke the relapse and was completely done with gaming. Now it feels like being at square one again, with the same incredibly powerful cravings all the time that I had when I first tried to quit. Nevermind. I just keep telling myself to take it one day at a time. Just make it through the next hour without watching gaming videos or playing a game or watching Twitch. Thanks again for the kind words on the podcast. It's going to improve a lot over the next couple of months so to see that its already made an impact is incredibly heartwarming.
  6. I'll be honest, the only reason I'm starting this journal is because I'm trying so hard to distract myself from gaming that I'm doing whatever I can to stay away. In the past I've started journals for specific purposes: - track my 90 day detox - 30 days of confidence and more... But now I think I'm going to just use it to make a note of my thoughts, what's going on in my life, my feelings (especially where gaming is concerned), and whatever else pops into my head. The truth is, last week on the 10th January I relapsed back into gaming. Again. It lasted about 6 days, in which time I had managed to do the following: Play almost 50 hours of video games across Steam and my phone Majority of time spent on Path of Exile and Faster than Light, some of it on a Pokemon emulator on my phone Watch god knows how many hours of Twitch, perhaps more than 50 hours of content Completely messed up my diet and routine which were near perfect prior to this Only went outside through necessity, before this I was spending 8+ hours outside the flat every day All but wiped out the progress I'd make in my work after what was the most productive few days of my entire life (Mon-Thurs) Destroy any ability to focus or concentrate on things without thinking about something gaming related I know there are some people in the community who see me as a figurehead for Game Quitters, as some guiding bastion of self-improvement that can never make a mistake, especially as I'm in charge of our podcast and 95% of the articles on our website, but that's just not the case. I've been in Game Quitters for around 5 years, and I'm still struggling with gaming. I'm still making mistakes. The truth is this shit is hard. Harder than anything I've had to do before. I'm confident that I can beat it, and this time around things feel different. I can't really explain why, it just does. There's a load of things I could talk about in this post, but I'll probably do it over the course of the next week so that it doesn't go on for 3000 words. Some of these include starting counseling for the first time in my entire life, exploring Buddhism, my incredibly strong cravings, the effect that only 6 days of gaming had on me, and much more. I've got some big goals for the year, and I want 2020 to be the most transformative year of my life so far, which is also partly the reason as to why I'm creating this journal. To give myself some accountability, and perhaps to look back in a few months time to see how my thoughts, mood, and productivity developed over the period. See you tomorrow! Peace.
  7. Great realization to have! You've got this 😄
  8. Recently, after a long time experimenting, I've finally found a routine that fits in with my schedule. Also, as a freelancer I've found it difficult to get into a proper work routine, most likely due to the issue of having no strict boundaries and so I tell myself it doesn't matter if I do my work in the morning, evening, weekend, whatever. So now it looks like: - 7am wake up, drink 500ml water, wash face with cold water, brush teeth, put on gym clothes - Gym, buy coffee on way home (will change soon when I move into new flat and have coffee making facilities) - Shower, get dressed and prepped for the day, then sit down with my coffee and plan out what I'm doing that day, doing some reflection, mostly just chilling - 9am, go out for breakfast (again will change when I am in my new flat), start work at 9:30. In the past I've tried journaling, meditating, yoga, HIIT, walking, reading, affirmations, all sorts of things. Never really enjoyed them. Although, self-reflection and meditation is something I'm doing more of now that I'm on my foray into Thai Buddhism, and its made a big difference in my mental clarity and focus. As it turns out with this new routine I'm more productive than I've ever been. Who'd have thought! Also this is so accurate, thanks for putting it into words! Forcing yourself to get out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off makes so much difference.
  9. If anyone's concerned this seems legitimate, having just been through the survey myself and verified the individuals listed as the primary researchers. Also, all e-mails are verified addresses from University College London. The survey is fairly quick, and no personal data gets submitted aside from your age and nationality, focusing on your feelings and struggles surrounding gaming/internet addiction.
  10. Hey David, welcome to the forums! I had the exact same problem, at age 19 I stopped playing guitar and instead played video games all the time. It takes a long time to escape from the pull of gaming, but the fact that you're here on the forums is a huge step forward. I'd recommend picking one hobby, and writing a journal in the "daily journals" section of the forum to track your progress. Looking forward to seeing your journey unfold 🙂
  11. Yo! Happy new year to you too! Things are going great, much better than before anyway. I have a girlfriend now, I'm working out early every day, I'm extremely productive and everything in my life is in a pretty good place right now. I think what made the big difference was getting a girlfriend. Whether it was from the confidence boost, feeling like I have to hold myself to higher standards, or just having regular sex. Whatever it was, it seemed to work haha! Thanks for asking 🙂 Hey! I'm doing great, thank you. I'm already a great cook, however my living situation in Thailand doesn't lend itself to cooking haha. All I have in my current place is a kettle. Although, in around 3 weeks I'm moving into a new flat with a full kitchen, looking forward to cooking some great meals in there with my girlfriend! We'll definitely be having people over and cooking for them. It's an amazing experience!
  12. Celebratory Guinness is always a great reason to do something! Congrats on escaping the cycle again, that's huge. The urge to play never really goes away, but the more self-awareness you can build to be able to get back to reality after a setback is the key to successfully overcoming this addiction in the long term. Keep it up!
  13. For what it's worth, we had a huge number of forum posts get deleted due to a previous incident. Probably swayed the metrics a little bit! Also, like @goodvibessaid, relapsing doesn't have to be seen as a failure. I also talk about my recent relapse after 8 months game-free in our podcast: https://gamequitte.rs/8-months-relapse Also, Game Quitters is undergoing a lot of changes over the next year. Can't talk about them here but we're committed to creating the best version of GQ possible, and our community is going to be a big focus of ours.
  14. Hey thanks for listening to all of Gaming the System! I put a lot of effort into it so it's nice to see people spend the time enjoying it ? I'll do a quick shameless plug for our other podcast at Game Quitters, Life Unlocked, which is more focused on the self-improvement side of things: Life Unlocked Podcast Some other ones I've enjoyed in the past have been School of Greatness, London Real, Joe Rogan, and Happier. Not a huge podcast listener anymore, but hopefully you find something you enjoy!
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