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Ending My YouTube Addiction


FDRx7

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Day #1

Technically this is not Day 1, as I actually blocked YouTube completely about 14 days ago. But it is my first journal entry and the start of my determination to be active about filling the void. So I will mark today as the beginning.

I have been a member of Game Quitters for a while, but have been silent for quite some time. I was originally here because I thought I was becoming addicted to video games. However, that turned out not to be the case. The real culprit is YouTube and any other form of passive entertainment like it. Games, while a form of entertainment, require active attention. This can becoming tiring and I will stop. The true danger is something like YouTube where I can sit on the couch and watch hours and hours of content. No action is required of me. Don’t get me wrong. I actually work out and lift weights, so it isn’t that I’m afraid of movement. But at the end of a workday, after exercise and dinner, the easiest thing for me to do is plop onto the couch and spend the rest of the evening, often into the morning, watching content. 
 

I would regularly fall asleep in the basement, leaving my wife alone in bed. I never really watched anything educational. It was all purely entertainment to distract me from tomorrow. Inside, I think I felt that if I never had to sleep, tomorrow wouldn’t come. These periods were longest when I was stressed.

I’ve been watching YouTube at night for many years, probably close to 8. I didn’t spend every night like that, but it started becoming a real problem during a stressful job about 5 years ago. I was a functional addict. I could stay up late and still go to work. But it’s not my best self. I lost the patience for all kinds of hobbies, though somehow made room for a few big ones like working on my car. 
 

I tried “quitting” YouTube many times, but I always had a time limit of 30 minutes I could watch a day, and then when the block was up, I’d go right back. Or, during a long block, I’d substitute it with Netflix, etc. 

This time is different. I have instilled the hardest blocks possible. There is an indefinite block on each of my devices. Only my wife has the passwords to unlock them. My PC uses Cold Turkey, which has been amazing - and she has that passcode too. I cannot watch YouTube, even if I could think of no other thing. 
 

What I’m noticing so far: 

I’m not doing too bad so far. The 14 days have been good and I’ve been intentional about how I spend the time. I’ve been reading again and reigniting order hobbies.

However, I ran into the danger of Netflix, which a couple of the past nights I watched for longer than I’d like to have (but not as much as YouTube). I am going to need to add it to the Cold Turkey.

Today I weight lifted, walked the dog, and listened to our growing record collection. It was a good day. 
 

I don’t know the format yet for this journal. I just know I’m here. Im going to try to do it every day.

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I replied to your suggestion in my journal about why I am not using a blocker but I might have to reconsider. I'll be keeping an eye on this to see how you do. It's nice knowing someone else is going through a similar journey. It's nice your wife is involved with the process, I can see that helping you a lot!

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Inside, I think I felt that if I never had to sleep, tomorrow wouldn’t come. These periods were longest when I was stressed.

I also know this feeling. For me I would watch on my phone in bed instead of falling asleep even though I had to get up early for work the next morning. I go until I can't keep my eyes open and even then I would fight it till it was just impossible and only then would I turn it off. It makes for bad mornings and the whole next day is shot. 

Keep up the good work and I like the idea of adding netflix to that cold turkey app. 

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I know this feeling of staying up until your eyes refuse to stay open. At one point, I substituted it with Facebook videos just to have something like YouTube, but that’s gone now too. I still listen to podcasts at night sometimes to fall asleep but I’m slowly working on just being in silence or using white noise only. I think the voices cause my brain to be too active for too long.

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Day 2 - Thursday

Writing for yesterday since I fell asleep before my intended writing time.

I’m feeling okay. It’s easier I think when my wife is home. I’m more motivated to spend time on other things than to escape into YouTube. Tonight (Friday) will be another test as she works this evening. While I won’t be able to access YouTube, I will need to resist the urge to sit around and wonder what to do. Eventually I get over that feeling but it can take some time. I think the more I experience that feeling though, the more I will want to do my other hobbies. I need to have the experience of being bored. Then suddenly other things become very enticing. On Saturday, I cleaned some of my 78rpm records in silence. It was actually very therapeutic and once I got over the initial hump of getting started, I continued for quite a while. 
 

I’ve made many changes lately at the same time, which may be why this whole period feels so empty. I have stopped drinking for now. I don’t think forever but I wanted to drink less and ensure I am the master of it, not vis-à-vis. So far it has been okay, and I’ve been having fun making alternative mocktails. I think it satisfies the hand that is now empty and would drink something out of habit, just to have something. I realized I am not dependent on alcohol but I also used it in times of stresss and to numb/distract from fears. I often paired it with my YouTube watching for the same purpose. I’m starting to feel better and think clearer. This is probably a combination of that, dropping YouTube, and trying to get ahold of my sleep. I have a social event in a week where I often bonded with friends over cocktails and our knowledge of them (the event is not about cocktails but we often drink them there). I’m trying to decide if I want to keep the sober streak going or break for that evening temporarily to have a drink with them. I think it will definitely be strange for them if I were to say I’ve decided to be dry for a little while, but I guess that shouldn’t stop me. If they don’t understand and don’t support that, it might be worth considering what that means about our relationship. But I don’t think it will come to that.
 

I read some of my history book last night and listened to records with my wife. We had a great time together and I’m happy with how I spent the evening. 


I am also struggling with how to tell people I’m not watching YouTube. It’s such a common thing to have friends send a YouTube or Reddit link (I gave up Reddit too) but I have no idea how to respond. “Sorry I can’t open it, I don’t have YouTube on my phone right now.” Don’t know what to say… so I usually just don’t say anything. I think perhaps I should just be courageous and say it? Say that I’m doing a bit of a tech detox and YouTube is part of that? I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions.

I'm inspired by everyone on this forum. I’m happy to be back. 

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8 minutes ago, FDRx7 said:

’m feeling okay. It’s easier I think when my wife is home. I’m more motivated to spend time on other things than to escape into YouTube. Tonight (Friday) will be another test as she works this evening. While I won’t be able to access YouTube, I will need to resist the urge to sit around and wonder what to do. Eventually I get over that feeling but it can take some time. I think the more I experience that feeling though, the more I will want to do my other hobbies. I need to have the experience of being bored. Then suddenly other things become very enticing. On Saturday, I cleaned some of my 78rpm records in silence. It was actually very therapeutic and once I got over the initial hump of getting started, I continued for quite a while.

I think for someone addicted youtube and consuming content, cleaning those records in silence is a big accomplishment and something to be proud of. It sounds like soon you will find a project or something productive to fill these voids with and you won't have this problem any more. Or maybe that's something you could put some thought towards, whether or not there are any big goals you have for life and things you can start to do to work towards achieving them. 

24 minutes ago, FDRx7 said:

I’ve made many changes lately at the same time, which may be why this whole period feels so empty. I have stopped drinking for now. I don’t think forever but I wanted to drink less and ensure I am the master of it, not vis-à-vis. So far it has been okay, and I’ve been having fun making alternative mocktails. I think it satisfies the hand that is now empty and would drink something out of habit, just to have something. I realized I am not dependent on alcohol but I also used it in times of stresss and to numb/distract from fears. I often paired it with my YouTube watching for the same purpose. I’m starting to feel better and think clearer. This is probably a combination of that, dropping YouTube, and trying to get ahold of my sleep. I have a social event in a week where I often bonded with friends over cocktails and our knowledge of them (the event is not about cocktails but we often drink them there). I’m trying to decide if I want to keep the sober streak going or break for that evening temporarily to have a drink with them. I think it will definitely be strange for them if I were to say I’ve decided to be dry for a little while, but I guess that shouldn’t stop me. If they don’t understand and don’t support that, it might be worth considering what that means about our relationship. But I don’t think it will come to that.

It might be uncomfortable to tell them you are taking a break from drinking but probably the right thing to do. Most of this will be uncomfortable at first I think. 

30 minutes ago, FDRx7 said:

I am also struggling with how to tell people I’m not watching YouTube. It’s such a common thing to have friends send a YouTube or Reddit link (I gave up Reddit too) but I have no idea how to respond. “Sorry I can’t open it, I don’t have YouTube on my phone right now.” Don’t know what to say… so I usually just don’t say anything. I think perhaps I should just be courageous and say it? Say that I’m doing a bit of a tech detox and YouTube is part of that? I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions.

I don't have any insight here. I have lost most of my friends over the past 3 years so this isn't an issue for me lol. If they are good friends I don't think it will be a big deal and may help you in the long run. 

Congrats on having a good day 🙂

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Day 3 - Friday

Summary:

Yesterday (Friday) was an okay day. I had a fairly productive day at work, especially since I left my phone downstairs so that I would not listen to any podcasts. As described in a previous post, I am unable to concentrate when I listen while I work. What does work is Brain.FM. I have a subscription and have been trying to use it regularly while I work. It seems to work much better than pure silence. I tried sitting in silence, but I think my mind wanders too much. Either I need to build up that discipline or this is simply what I need to do my best. I've always found some level of white noise helps me, like a cafe for working/studying and some light water or fan sounds when going to sleep. 

My wife worked at night so I was alone. I always do better when she's home, but I also need to learn how to independently make the right choices. I watched some Netflix, a little more than I wanted to. However, I finished up a show that I've been meaning to and now that it's over, I installed a 30-day block on Netflix where I only get 30 minutes a day. That way if I'm alone and want to watch something, I can but it won't take up my whole night. I actually think I won't watch much more anyways, since that show was the only one I was watching. I'm not much of a movie person and I don't watch too many shows anymore, but I put the block anyways because it's possible I'll end up watching something just to avoid doing anything else. I may even block it entirely - no time limit. We'll see. My wife and I can still watch things together though because she has the password to the smart tv, so anything we watch outside my 30 min is social and time spent together.

After watching, I kinda just did nothing. That's something I'm still working on. It's okay to do nothing sometimes but I always seem to have trouble getting over the initial barrier to do something else. It's possible I'm just tired, too.

I'm trying out a new format for my journal. We'll see how it goes. It took a bit to set up, but now I can just copy-paste and update as needed. The adherence rating is my subjective judgment of how well I stuck to my plan of either kicking or starting a habit. I feel a simple "yes" or "no" loses the nuance of the struggle and including that context will help me plan how to do better each day. It isn't to shame me in any way, but I feel it's important to have a way of being honest about my progress. The goal is to have more stars not just in Habits to Kick, but also Habits to Start. You can see from this first update that, while I made good progress on kicking habits, I did not do a very good job of filling the void. I will use this format to improve over the 90 days (and hopefully beyond). 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Great. Pretty much impossible to watch right now anyways. Not experiencing any specific cravings. Only a general desire at night for passive entertainment.
    • Plan: No changes needed but fill the void.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    • Description: Watched a bit more than planned.
    • Plan: Installed 30 min per day limit. If still too much, will block entirely.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    • Description: Didn't listen while working. Still had it on in the background sometimes, especially at night by myself.
    • Plan: I will plan to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. These will be when I am doing something like cleaning. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Not really a problem right now but including in case it becomes one. 
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play (1-2 hours).
  • Excessive Drinking:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Getting close to 3 weeks now with now alcohol! I've been getting into mocktails, seltzer waters, and NA beers.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. I have a social event coming up next week and will probably continue staying dry. I want to give enough time for my body to have a reset and instill good habits of moderation.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journaling: 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal at all yesterday. 
    • Plan: Choose a time to start. Perhaps right before bed is good to help wind down and reflect on the day.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not pick from my list of hobbies to fill the void.
    • Plan: Choose one activity for this evening since you know you'll be alone. I think reading with tea would be good.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study

 

Sorry my posts are so long, but I think this is truly helping me to reflect on my behavior. Here's to a good day ahead!

 

Edited by FDRx7
Added context.
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12 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

My wife worked at night so I was alone. I always do better when she's home, but I also need to learn how to independently make the right choices. I watched some Netflix, a little more than I wanted to. However, I finished up a show that I've been meaning to and now that it's over, I installed a 30-day block on Netflix where I only get 30 minutes a day. That way if I'm alone and want to watch something, I can but it won't take up my whole night.

I relate to this. If my wife isn't home and I'm not working my actual job, I feel the effects of loneliness and I start to experience cravings for activities that I don't find healthy. It might be eating junk food when I'm not actually hungry or porn or YouTube for a while. I've gotten better with it over the months, but certain days can still be difficult and it just puts a spotlight on one of my biggest emotional triggers, which is loneliness. 

Good job being aware of this. 

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I agree, I think many of the things I do that I'd rather stop come from this feeling of loneliness. I believe taking small steps and following my plan will help me to build trust with myself that I can still follow through on my intentions when alone.

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Day 4 - Saturday

Summary:

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I woke up and had a nice slow morning. I then got out of the house to wander our dying mall. It actually has quite a few cool stores with antiques; I love shopping for old books, finding furniture for the house, etc. These stores are relocating out of the mall as they are renovating it soon, so there are many sales going on. I didn't buy anything but had a nice time looking around. I ran some errands and purchased ingredients to make mulled apple cider. I had this moment sitting in the car where I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. Do I go to the cafe to sit and read? Just go home? And I got stuck, as if somehow I was going to make the "wrong" choice. I do this quite often when I'm out and alone. Not sure what it is about being alone that changes me so much. So I want to determine to make decisions a little faster and be more comfortable with them, even if they are small ones like that.

I'm fairly happy with how the evening went. I came home and my wife was awake which was nice. I made the cider and promised to leave her some pizza (I did) after I finished making it. After I made the pizza, I took some time to watch a show on Netflix that had caught my eye (I know, yesterday I said I probably don't have much to watch anymore). The episodes are about 40 minutes long. When my block kicked in, I only had 10 min left, so I streamed the remainder from my other computer that didn't have the block on it yet. While it was time outside my block, I was disciplined enough to stop watching after that. I might make the block on the second computer for 15-20 minutes so that I can log in and finish a show if it takes a bit longer than the 30. Or, I can learn to be content with the 30 and finish the show another day. Not sure yet... After the show, I read some things on my phone with a podcast in the background for a bit but caught myself in the act of filling the void with nothing, so I got up. The cider takes about 3 hours, so it was ready for me to drink when I sat down to read. I read for a while and ended up falling asleep with my book. Not a bad ending to the night, though I probably should have been in bed instead of the couch.

Looking to have an even better day today.

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Great. Pretty much impossible to watch right now anyways. Did experience some cravings when I sat down yesterday.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    • Description: Watched one episode of a show, about 40 min long.
    • Plan: Continue with block, but perhaps expand slightly so you can finish an episode that only has 10 min left. Otherwise, leave alone and be content to finish another time.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    • Description: Chose to listen to only podcasts I'm interested in. Listened intentionally while I enjoyed a mocktail. Had it on while cooking. Did have a small portion of the evening where I had it on but wasn't paying attention. Fell asleep to white noise.
    • Plan: Same as yesterday. Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. These will be when I am doing something like cleaning. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play (1-2 hours).
  • Excessive Drinking:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Still not drinking. Made a mocktail yesterday and a large batch of mulled apple cider to welcome Autumn. Checked in with my friends for the social event to see what NA options are available.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal at all yesterday. Fell asleep reading before I could...
    • Plan: Choose a time to start. Perhaps right before bed is good to help wind down and reflect on the day.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Completed my journal yesterday morning.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Made mulled cider, cooked a delicious pizza, and sat down late in the evening to read with a cup of the cider (threw on a record of "chamber music" for background). I got started much later reading though, and part of that was because I chose to watch something while I ate.
    • Plan: Choose at least one activity for this evening. I like making the time for reading, so I'll try to do that and cook something again.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: This is a new one that I'm trying to start. From my task list, I would like to pick the top 3 things to get done that day. If I do them, that day will be considered successful.
    • Plan: Review your list and pick 3 for today. Can start easy to get in the habit.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
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Day 5 - Sunday

Summary:

Very good day today. This is once again aided by the fact my wife was home. However, the morning I had to myself and I chose not to waste it (or at least waste it through the activities I'm trying to avoid). I noticed though I am experiencing a feeling of loss, but not of YouTube itself. It's the loss of these parasocial relationships. I had this melancholic feeling like I was losing a friend who I'd never get to speak to again. All of our memories gone, left to nostalgia. And yet, when I zoom out, these are creators who don't have any idea who I am. They don't know me and I don't know them. I did have to sit with that feeling for a bit though and tell myself that these aren't my friends. They are essentially strangers on the internet, people I think I've known for a decade but it's all one-sided. I'm sure this feeling will come back and I'll need to deal with it again. I have many memories and feelings tied up with some of these channels.

Other than that, I had a nice day with my wife once she was awake. We drove around in the afternoon to a few places, had dinner together and then read with the cider again. I think my next big task is to begin readjusting my sleep. I had it fixed in January/February. Then work got crazy and I was staying up to 1, then 2, and at one point 3 in the morning. My last day on the project, I basically pulled an all-nighter and got around 1 hour of sleep. I of course let my director know who endeavored after the project to find a way to not let that happen again. But the connection is, once awake at 2 or whenever, I would watch YouTube to put me to sleep. So now my body is all confused. I've been able to walk it back slowly, but as you can see, I'm still awake now... I will give this some thought on what time to be in bed, etc. and then will add it to my habits below.

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Great. Pretty much impossible to watch right now anyways. Feeling a weird loss of these parasocial relationships...
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming services today.
    • Plan: Continue with block, but perhaps expand slightly so you can finish an episode that only has 10 min left. Otherwise, leave alone and be content to finish another time.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Barely listened to podcasts today and was more intentional. When doing things where I wanted background, I mostly listened to classical.
    • Plan: Same as yesterday. Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. These will be when I am doing something like cleaning. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play (1-2 hours).
  • Excessive Drinking:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Still not drinking. Realized that my 30 days are up on Tuesday, which was my original goal. Wife and I discussed how to reintroduce it slowly.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Will probably reintroduce to myself on Wednesday with my wife who does not drink much. Plan now is, if it is going to be a cocktail, just one a week and monitor my feelings. The rest of the time, I can use all the new techniques, mocktail recipes, etc. which I have also grown to like.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Journaled this evening for about 20 minutes.
    • Plan: Choose a time to start. Perhaps right before bed is good to help wind down and reflect on the day.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Read a lot this evening. Went out for dinner with my wife and a nice walk.
    • Plan: Choose an activity for tomorrow evening.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    •  Description: I got to two of the three today, but was only able to make minimal progress because one requires an appointment I cannot make until the week starts and the other requires me to wait on an institution to do their part. I probably could have chosen two others after I did what I could.
    • Plan: Review your list and pick 3 for today. Don't beat yourself up if you can't get to all three, but make the effort.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
Edited by FDRx7
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Congrats on the good day. I think the new format is great. I like your idea of readjusting your sleep. I find that's the single biggest factor in a successful day for myself. And congrats on writing in your physical journal. I started one July 19th but stopped writing in it Augusts 16th. Not sure if you are the same but the longer I go without doing something I know I should, the more guilt I feel, and that guilt actually in a way keeps me from doing that thing I need to do. I end up doing this with texts a lot and have some messages I have been meaning to reply too. You've inspired me to get a physical journal entry in today and send out those texts I've been meaning to reply too. 

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2 hours ago, james1 said:

Not sure if you are the same but the longer I go without doing something I know I should, the more guilt I feel, and that guilt actually in a way keeps me from doing that thing I need to do. I end up doing this with texts a lot and have some messages I have been meaning to reply too.

Yup, I know this very well. Journaling was like that for me. I sometimes do that with texts as well, especially ones for which I don’t feel I have a good answer yet. 
 

My therapist said something to me during my last session that is helping me to build new habits and maybe will for you too. She said, “When trying to start a new habit, do it for as long as it is pleasurable. When it stops being pleasurable, put it down until the next time.” This helped me with journaling yesterday. I told myself once it stopped being fun, I could put I away. And that makes me feel like it’s less of an obligation and more something I choose to do, if that makes sense. It could be 20 minutes, could be 5. But when you take the action, I think she is saying that it builds the habit to do it and you slowly increase your tolerance levels. 
 

Glad you are going to try it! I think at the very minimum it provides something nice to look back on, preserving your memories.

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Day 6 - Monday

Summary:

Okay day today. Still doing well with staying away from YouTube. The strict block is making it so that I don't even really consider it an option. I have no choice but to do something else. I think I'm getting better too at filling the void and being conscious of when I'm spending my time in ways that aren't beneficial to me. I'm also improving on listening to podcasts more intentionally, but I've found that I still feel the urges when there is silence.

Work was alright but I have quite a few different projects running and they can all be described as nebulous, which is a bit frustrating. I like solving problems, but it can be difficult when you aren't even sure what the problem is (or if there even is one? Is it just a wild goose chase?). Too many meetings today, but tomorrow should be lighter. On top of that, my client computer would not work so they are shipping me a new one which should be here tomorrow. Altogether a bit of a frustrating day, but I feel like I am starting to handle those setbacks a bit better than I used to. I think that is a combination of things: restarting medication a few months ago, starting therapy, changing my YouTube habits, reducing drinking... all of these things are creating better conditions for me.

I had a bit of a push-and-pull tonight where some friends wanted to game. I will with them sometimes but I'm trying not to do that on weeknights as much anymore, as it wrecks my sleep. Also, my wife was home and I wanted to relax with her. So I chose to be with her.

I'm trying to write in my journal more and finish a funny story that happened to me on a recent vacation, but it is taking multiple nights to finish. I think my attention span is less the problem for journaling and more that I write so hard, my hand gets tired easily. I've been like that since I was a kid (everyone loved feeling the back of papers I wrote on because they had a texture to them from how much I press when I write). Maybe I need to build up the muscle again. I haven't had much luck trying to train myself to write with less pressure.

Still having trouble with getting up at the time I want to. I even have a fun app on my phone that makes me get up and take a picture of the coffee pot so that the alarm will turn off. It had an issue this morning and didn't work quite right. I didn't wake up late, but I had less of the morning I wanted. I'll fix the issue and try again tonight. I'm still falling asleep around 1:00. I've got to start walking it back more to get a full rest.

I've started including these charts. One is the average of my progress. The other is each of the habits. I think the habit one might get too crowded eventually but for now it is useful to see how things are trending. In the end, I'd like that average line to be as close to 5 as possible. But there will naturally be dips along the way and that's okay. Every day is a step towards trending it upwards. I know my stars are subjective, so maybe in the I can do something a little more objective but I think this is working for now.

image.png.f4a6425184d2ae98ea78c3dbd48e7061.png image.thumb.png.77e6e0d020f11061010d1132541644d6.png

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Great. No specific cravings, really.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming services today.
    • Plan: Continue with block, but perhaps expand slightly so you can finish an episode that only has 10 min left. Otherwise, leave alone and be content to finish another time.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Listened only to one podcast while I was getting something to eat, and while exercising. It was more intentional, one I wanted to listen to.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. These will be when I am doing something like cleaning. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game, however was asked to by some friends and I had a bit of tension between spending time with my wife and going on with friends. Chose to hang with the wife.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play (1-2 hours).
  • Excessive Drinking:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: No drinks. 30 days are up tomorrow. Might slowly reintroduce as outlined in the plan below.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Will probably reintroduce to myself on Wednesday with my wife who does not drink much. Plan now is, if it is going to be a cocktail, just one a week and monitor my feelings. The rest of the time, I can use all the new techniques, mocktail recipes, etc. which I have also grown to like.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Journaled this evening for about 20 minutes.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. This seems to be a good way to unwind.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Read more history this evening and took the dog for a walk. Did weightlifting for upper body.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is starting to become a pleasurable habit in the evening, so keep it up.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Didn't do so great here. Started picking 3 but got caught up and before I knew it, my day was over. I did incidentally get some done of the three things I would have chosen, but it needs to be more intentional to have better focus.
    • Plan: Review your list and pick 3 for today. Don't beat yourself up if you can't get to all three, but make the effort.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    •  Description: Went up to bed and read (good because I used to fall asleep on the couch a lot), finally falling asleep around 1. Was in bed around midnight.
    • Plan: Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week. So, tomorrow, start getting ready if possible by 11:30pm and begin moving back from there.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking

 

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Day 7 - Tuesday (yesterday)

Summary:

Today was somewhat frustrating. I've been getting more work from my director who hasn't given much direction - only to find the right people and get it done. But the asks are so vague it can be excruciating to think through. I will ask for help sometimes but eventually I don't want to look like I have no idea what I'm doing (except it does feel that way sometimes...). This is a theme right now through all my work - nothing is clearly defined. Some of the only people who keep me sane are leaving the company. I'm not sure if it's someplace I want to keep working myself, but I'm afraid to make the leap because I'm afraid of change. Plus, I keep hearing the economy is bad and it's hard to find a job, but I guess when is it ever the "best" time to search for a job? Perhaps I should try to apply to one new job a day.

The stress at work caused me to listen more to podcasts in the background. I did shut them off sooner but I do think it disturbed my work and just made the situation worse. Today I'll try to be more aware of the feelings that arise when I am stressed. I'm reading the book You Are Not Your Brain at the suggestion of my therapist. It mentions that there are emotional sensations that occur with triggers, and recognizing them helps you determine that they aren't real emotions but a reaction to a situation which makes you crave a habit providing temporary relief. The action or thought that follows is what your body begins to crave, so it more actively try to make you have the thought/feeling so that it can feel the relief again. In my mind, this is akin to what they say about why people like spicy food; it isn't the pain you like, but the relief of the pain, which makes you crave spicy food more to enjoy that relief (an interesting theory). Today I am going to try and be aware when I am stressed of what physical sensation follows and to stop the chain there.

I finally got to bed earlier last night and I think I got around 6.5 hours of sleep. However, I'm still struggling with waking up. I want to have a morning routine but it won't happen if I can't get myself out of bed when the alarm goes off. My fun alarm used to work, but Tuesday morning I just woke up, went downstairs, took a picture of the coffee pot, then walked all the way back upstairs and went back to bed. I was already up! It's a very frustrating experience, especially since in January I feel I had it down for about 2 months.

I think the block is working very well for YouTube though. Since it is completely inaccessible, it is forcing me to recognize and take care of other problems in my life. I'm focused so much now on correcting podcasts and sleep that I'm starting to forget about YouTube.

 

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PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Still not able to watch. Some cravings due to stress. Chose to read instead.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming services today.
    • Plan: Continue with block and current behavior.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    • Description: Listened to a podcast while exercising, but also listened a bit too much more than I wanted just in the background. Probably due to stress.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game, however was asked to by some friends and I had a bit of tension between spending time with my wife and going on with friends. Chose to hang with the wife.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play (1-2 hours).
  • Excessive Drinking:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: No drinks. 30 days are up. Might slowly reintroduce as outlined in the plan below.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Will probably reintroduce to myself tomorrow with my wife who does not drink much. Plan now is, if it is going to be a cocktail, just one a week and monitor my feelings. The rest of the time, I can use all the new techniques, mocktail recipes, etc. which I have also grown to like.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal last night. Tired and fell asleep early.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. This seems to be a good way to unwind.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Read this evening. Did weightlifting for lower body.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is starting to become a pleasurable habit in the evening, so keep it up.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Better here. I was more intentional but felt like I was pulled in multiple directions at work. I time-blocked but it was still difficult. Choose 3 for work and 3 for personal. Got about half to two-thirds done.
    • Plan: Review your list and pick 3 for today. Don't beat yourself up if you can't get to all three, but make the effort.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did go to sleep by 11:30, but didn't finish my whole nighttime routine. Woke up a bit later than I'd like but at least was able to get adequate sleep.
    • Plan: Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week. Tomorrow's goal: 11:30pm get ready.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
Edited by FDRx7
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Day 8 - Wednesday

Summary:

Today was better than yesterday in terms of frustration with work. I feel I got more done. Still some stress because this project is new and I want to be proactive, but people on the inside of my company have made that difficult the last few days because of the non-billable work they had me doing. I think tomorrow will be better though.

Life has been getting better without YouTube, but I do feel like sometimes I'm still "coming down" from the stimulation. My evenings feel slower, and sometimes I feel I'm missing something more intense, exciting, or fast-paced. It's not a specific craving for YouTube, just a feeling that seems to come and go now and then. It will take time to rewire my brain.

I decided not to drink today, even though I could have. There is no pressure to start, so I just didn't. I am worried about my upcoming social gathering because cocktails were something my friends and I often bonded over (ingredients, making them, etc.). I wonder if I will feel sad and left out, or if it'll be completely fine and it's more about just having something in your hand (water, hot cider, etc.). But I am feeling pretty good and I'm not sure what will happen if I restart. I almost feel it should be part of my 90-day journey, but I'm not sure yet. Moderation certainly will be, if nothing else.

Still having trouble with going to bed on time and waking up with enough buffer. I think this is one of the things that was most affected by my YouTube habit. I do feel my body growing tired at an earlier time, so that's good. I don't know how much sleep I need though, and it seems to vary. I think around 7 hours but sometimes it feels like more. It might be my body trying to make up for lost sleep... I will keep after it though.

 

 image.png.edf1b89e449b9c60ec513ec97cab9c38.pngimage.thumb.png.5ab31c9db95de2f297a70893e25ff413.png

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Still not able to watch. No cravings today.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming services today.
    • Plan: Continue with block and current behavior.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    • Description: Barely listened today. Did listen while doing other things but not sure if I actually wanted to listen or more just felt like I needed something - even if it wasn't my first choice. So 4 stars because I want to be more mindful.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game today.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play (1-2 hours).
  • Excessive Drinking:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Chose not to drink today, even though I could have reintroduced. My wife told me there is no pressure for me to start again just because the 30 days are up, so I can continue without and be fine with that. And I agree.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Reintroduce when ready but no pressure to start. If you do reintroduce, plan now is if it is going to be a cocktail, just one a week and monitor my feelings. The rest of the time, I can use all the new techniques, mocktail recipes, etc. which I have also grown to like.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Really, really did not want to journal tonight but did it anyways. Ended up writing for a while.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. I want to try and establish it as a pattern before bed.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    •  Description: Read this evening and relaxed with my wife. Built a fire in the fireplace as it was a bit chilly (and to begin welcoming Autumn). Great ambiance for reading. 4 stars because I was very distracted in my mind and had trouble concentrating. Too busy worrying about other things and in general feeling scatterbrained, but I did make an effort to return my attention to the book.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is starting to become a pleasurable habit in the evening, so keep it up.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Doing a little better. I chose 3 for work and 3 for personal. I completed all the work ones but forgot about the personal ones. It's important to remember those to keep my life in balance.
    • Plan: Review your list and pick 3 for the day. Don't beat yourself up if you can't get to all three, but make the effort.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    •  Description: I'm getting ready for bed too late now, but at least I was spending time on healthy activities. Still, even when doing good things, I need to be more conscious of when I need to do my physical and Game Quitters journals so that I can meet my goal of getting ready by 11:30pm.
    • Plan: Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week. Tomorrow's goal: 11:30pm get ready.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
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Day 9 - Thursday (yesterday)

Summary:

The day wasn't too bad. I feel I got more done at work today and am starting to regain control over my day. The details of my habits are below, but I think the most interesting thing that happened was I got cravings for almost everything I am trying to quit/reduce. It was weird, like my mind decided "you need some distraction" and when it couldn't find one, it would try to go to the next, and the next... just out of nowhere. I don't think I was even really that stressed. I think it's something I'll need to watch out for. I've been getting better at spotting the triggers, yet today was a mystery.

It may have been just the overall feeling of my brain trying to rewire itself, but I did gave an experience during the evening where I felt, "Wow, nothing is that exciting at the moment... I really need some intensity." That did go away, but it might explain why all the cravings came back at once. Just my brain moving neurons around... In any case, I feel good this morning. The sun is shining and I'm ready to go make a difference at work. I'm trying to adjust my outlook on work. Something that has really stuck in my mind is from Dr. Frank Crane's 1919 Four Minute Essay Great Love and Much Service:

"HAPPINESS IS GREAT LOVE AND MUCH SERVICE [sic].

If you will look about carefully among the people you know, not neglecting yourself, you will discover that not one of them is happy that does not love. Furthermore, that all of them are happy in proportion as they love.

Happiness is the perfume of the rose of love, the light shining from the candle of love, the sound from the bells of love.

You get a certain something that resembles happiness from the gratification of desire, from eating, drinking, playing, and the like. But it all has in itself the seed of boredom. You get SATED from satisfying appetite; but in the happiness that comes from love is no satiety.

What is true of love is equally true of service; because to love is to serve.

Search again among the people you know, and note that they are happy in proportion as they serve.

The great mass of men and women are reasonably content because they are at work.

They often complain of their work. They even call labor a curse. But they would be miserable without it.

They dream of a life of idleness and self-indulgence, and many imagine that is heaven. It is not. It is hell.

This world was made for lovers and for servants."

- Dr. Frank Crane, Four Minute Essays, Volume IV, pp 6-8.

 

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PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube (Day 24): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Still not able to watch. Had some cravings out of nowhere late afternoon.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming services today. Felt cravings in late afternoon.
    • Plan: Continue with block and current behavior.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    • Description: Listened but only did so while making food/eating (although eventually I'd like to try and expand when I eat in silence). Maybe listened a little more than I'd liked but only listened to what I wanted while exercising and making food.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game today.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play (1-2 hours).
  • Excessive Drinking (Day 33):
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not drink today. Had a craving late evening, but replaced with apple cider.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Reintroduce when ready but no pressure to start. If you do reintroduce, plan now is if it is going to be a cocktail, just one a week and monitor my feelings. The rest of the time, I can use all the new techniques, mocktail recipes, etc. which I have also grown to like.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal. Fell asleep before I could.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. I want to try and establish it as a pattern before bed.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Exercised upper body. Had a nice evening with my wife. Built a fire and listened to records. Giving myself three stars because I was sleepy but before falling asleep, read some random things on my phone. They were somewhat educational, but I didn't need to read them, especially so close to sleep.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is good, but also being comfortable doing nothing while listening to music (or just sitting) is fine too.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Same as yesterday. Got to all my work ones but not personal.
    • Plan: Try scheduling your personal ones so you are more likely to remember and commit.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Definitely beat my goal of 11:30 last night. Giving myself 3 stars because I fell asleep on the couch (upstairs though by the fireplace) and didn't finish my nightly routine. I did wake up roughly at the time I wanted to this morning.
    • Plan: Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week. Tomorrow's goal: 11:30pm get ready. Getting sleepier so once you hit 11:30 to get ready and are actually in bed after that, you can move getting-ready time to 11:15.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
Edited by FDRx7
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11 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Something that has really stuck in my mind is from Dr. Frank Crane's 1919 Four Minute Essay Great Love and Much Service:

"HAPPINESS IS GREAT LOVE AND MUCH SERVICE [sic].

If you will look about carefully among the people you know, not neglecting yourself, you will discover that not one of them is happy that does not love. Furthermore, that all of them are happy in proportion as they love.

Happiness is the perfume of the rose of love, the light shining from the candle of love, the sound from the bells of love.

You get a certain something that resembles happiness from the gratification of desire, from eating, drinking, playing, and the like. But it all has in itself the seed of boredom. You get SATED from satisfying appetite; but in the happiness that comes from love is no satiety.

What is true of love is equally true of service; because to love is to serve.

Search again among the people you know, and note that they are happy in proportion as they serve.

The great mass of men and women are reasonably content because they are at work.

They often complain of their work. They even call labor a curse. But they would be miserable without it.

They dream of a life of idleness and self-indulgence, and many imagine that is heaven. It is not. It is hell.

This world was made for lovers and for servants."

- Dr. Frank Crane, Four Minute Essays, Volume IV, pp 6-8.

I like this, even though the right environment for serving and loving still seems to elude me. Thanks for sharing FDR.

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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Day 10 - Friday (yesterday)

Summary:

Overall a decent day. As mentioned below, I got a lot done that I set my mind to and felt so good completing things that had been on my list for a while. I spent a good portion of the afternoon and evening with my wife, which was great. Still no YouTube, and continuing to desire it less and less. I watched one small film and then shut it off after, which felt very empowering; I made the choice and felt it was time well spent because I was in control. The block is still there in the background, but I did make my own choice to finish and get up.

Podcasts were less distracting today, and to focus at work I used my Brain.FM service. That really seems to help me hone in. I did game with my friends which I'm allowing myself to do because my goals are different, but only on Fridays or Saturdays. I used to allow myself to do it during the week which was not good. I would go to bed too late and wake up for work not feeling refreshed. While I'm grateful for the connection with my friends, I definitely stayed up too late. I can be more flexible on weekends, but I still should have gone to bed earlier than I did.

Today is that gathering I've been writing about. I deliberated for many days about whether I should drink for this occasion and end the streak (and probably drove my wife a little crazy talking over the options again and again - she's very patient). Yesterday, I decided that I will not. I want to continue this and see how much my body recovers. And, I want to prove to myself I can do it. I want to hit 90 days and know that I chose to stick it out. Who knows, maybe I will even feel entirely different about alcohol by then. The very worst that can happen is my body has peaked in its ability to repair, nothing else changes, and I just didn't drink for another two months. The other alternatives (brain rewiring, bodily repair, clarified thinking, etc.) are much better, and I anticipate them to happen.

So, today I am proud to go to the event having predetermined not to drink. I feel good about it, and I think when people ask I will feel good about telling them rather than afraid.

Cheers to a fun day ahead!

 

 image.png.0893091650a8aac2aa3d86b55c0d5100.pngimage.thumb.png.36d3c8c8b67b09e6dc80199a32ca8d46.png

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube (Day 25): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Still not able to watch. Had some cravings out of nowhere late afternoon.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Watched short film (about 35 min) and was able to walk away. It feels better to be able to view in moderation than excess. I felt better about myself and what I was watching felt more meaningful since I specifically chose how to spend that time.
    • Plan: Continue with limited block and current behavior.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Really listened to only one or two that I wanted to listen to. Did not take up much of my time.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    • Description: Gamed today with some friends from my hometown. I do not feel a craving or addiction for it, but it definitely kept me up too late. A problem I have in general whenever I do anything with friends (campfire, visiting out of town, game, even boardgames...). I think I need to be more specific about my goal of time alone vs time with friends.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play by yourself (1-2 hours). If with friends, keep it only to a Friday or Saturday and do your best to log off at a reasonable hour.
  • Excessive Drinking (Day 34):
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not drink today. Feeling really good, and feeling good about it.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Choosing not to drink at the gathering today. Will find a good way to tell people that I'm abstaining for now.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal. Fell asleep before I could.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. I want to try and establish it as a pattern before bed. May be hard to journal tonight unless I bring it with my to my friend's place.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    •  Description: While I did game yesterday, I spent a large portion of my afternoon and evening with my wife. We went out for dinner together and ran some errands, as well as just chilled. Giving myself two stars because after I finished with my friends, I found it hard to go to sleep and scrolled some useless things on my phone. My nighttime routine is there to help me sleep. I should have done that.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is good, but also being comfortable doing nothing while listening to music (or just sitting) is fine too.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    •  Description: Really happy about how this went. I got some very important things done yesterday and, while I didn't get all three of each done, I'd say I got the most important 2 of each completed. I felt so good taking care of these things. I will only give myself 5 stars for completing all 3 but I'm not upset that I didn't. I was very productive.
    • Plan: Try scheduling your personal ones so you are more likely to remember and commit.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not sleep on time (or at least at a reasonable hour for the weekend) and did not do my nighttime routine. Giving myself 1 star for at least getting enough sleep, but that's about it.
    • Plan: Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week. Tonight will be tricky because I am staying at our friend's place for the gathering, so I don't know if I'll be able to commit to the 11:30 bedtime, but we'll see. I might end up getting tired. Still, I tend to be a night bird at social gatherings...

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
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Love how data-driven you are! I used to keep the same journaling method, and feel very lucky to not need that format anymore. At this point, I've been consistent enough with most of my core habits- but this way of journaling was definitely a helpful component to getting there. Look forward to witnessing more of your journey, your approach is so full of energy and determination!!!

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Thank you @Pochatok! I'm hoping to not need it forever either, but the data helps me see patterns in my behavior and when I am at my strongest/weakest. I think after the 90 days I may stop with the data part, but we'll see.

I appreciate the encouragement! I've failed multiple times to overcome the YouTube addiction in the past, but I'm doing many things differently this time and am determined to defeat it. I know I can, I just need to be patient and keep establishing these routines.

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Day 11 - Saturday (yesterday)

Summary:

I had a great day with my friends. I was away from tech and everything else distracting. It was such a wonderful time. I'm not sure if I'll go back and change this later, but for a couple of my habits, I was not in a position to do them, so I have simply made the entry blank. It will disconnect the lines on my graph between the last data point and the next, but that's probably okay as it is the most accurate representation of the data.

As I said in my previous entry, I chose not to drink and instead maintain my streak. I'm determined to reach 90 days. Everyone who found out was very understanding and encouraging. I was able to prove to myself that I can have a great time and not need any alcohol to do so. I think in the future this will really help me to moderate, as I can enjoy an alcoholic drink and then switch to something else afterward.

I am feeling happier each day and beginning to think of YouTube less and less. Even the sky looked different today. I really soaked in the view of the clouds and greenery as I drove home with my wife.

 

 image.png.eb0dfe39e4ae591a7b12f6263cb4e2d7.png image.thumb.png.2f91e2eff68816d1ba66074d2c70bc2e.png

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube (Day 26): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Did not watch. Was at the gathering all day.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming.
    • Plan: Continue with limited block and current behavior.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not listen to any podcasts.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game today.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play by yourself (1-2 hours). If with friends, keep it only to a Friday or Saturday and do your best to log off at a reasonable hour.
  • Excessive Drinking (Day 35):
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not drink alcohol at the party. Felt really good to make that choice and still be able to have a good time.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence:
    •  Description: Did not journal. I brought it with me to the gathering since we were staying overnight but I was too tired by then to write. No data entered since it was a special occasion.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. I want to try and establish it as a pattern before bed. May be hard to journal tonight unless I bring it with my to my friend's place.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Spent all day with my friends.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is good, but also being comfortable doing nothing while listening to music (or just sitting) is fine too.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence:
    •  Description: Free pass on this one today as the day was spent with friends, and that was top priority 🙂. No data entered.
    • Plan: Try scheduling your personal ones so you are more likely to remember and commit.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    •  Description: Slept later than 11:30 but I had a very meaningful chat with my friend, so I'm letting it slide a little bit - especially because I wasn't even in my own home. However, giving 4 stars because I did scroll on my phone a bit to help me fall asleep.
    • Plan: Bought a light novel to read before bed. Find your book light and use that to help you fall asleep instead of something on your phone. Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week. Tonight will be tricky because I am staying at our friend's place for the gathering, so I don't know if I'll be able to commit to the 11:30 bedtime, but we'll see. I might end up getting tired. Still, I tend to be a night bird at social gatherings...

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
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On 9/16/2023 at 10:48 AM, FDRx7 said:

Thank you @Pochatok! I'm hoping to not need it forever either, but the data helps me see patterns in my behavior and when I am at my strongest/weakest. I think after the 90 days I may stop with the data part, but we'll see.

I appreciate the encouragement! I've failed multiple times to overcome the YouTube addiction in the past, but I'm doing many things differently this time and am determined to defeat it. I know I can, I just need to be patient and keep establishing these routines.

The best when can do as human beings is to continue moving. I also am here for the same reason- let's keep at it, and perhaps this time will be enough! 

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Day 12 - Sunday (3 days ago)

Summary:

Doing a little catch up, so I'll have a couple of posts. I didn't get a chance to write on Sunday. I spent most of the day with my family and friends, so there are a few habits that I am giving some grace on. However, I did struggle with getting to bed. I've started including a moving average on the average chart.

 

 image.png.b044c17fc2d05ebdec86ed85e1a578d1.pngimage.thumb.png.7a837686dbdae92b41c91b049d589e1f.png

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube (Day 27): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Did not watch.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming.
    • Plan: Continue with limited block and current behavior.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Listened to almost no podcasts
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game today.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play by yourself (1-2 hours). If with friends, keep it only to a Friday or Saturday and do your best to log off at a reasonable hour.
  • Excessive Drinking (Day 36):
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not drink alcohol. Seem to be thinking about it less and less.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal. I brought it with me to the gathering since we were staying overnight but I was too tired by then to write. No data entered since it was a special occasion.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. I want to try and establish it as a pattern before bed.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Filling it out now but missed doing it the day after, so three stars for some adherence but not on same day/day after.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Spent the day with friends, then my parents, and finally relaxing at home with my wife.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is good, but also being comfortable doing nothing while listening to music (or just sitting) is fine too.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence:
    •  Description: Again, no data entered as this was a special case.
    • Plan: Try scheduling your personal ones so you are more likely to remember and commit.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    •  Description: Slept earlier than 11:30 but not in the right location, so didn't finish my routine like I should have...
    • Plan: Read your novel in bed. Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
Edited by FDRx7
Accidentally left part of an old note on the plan for journaling.
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Day 13 - Monday (2 days ago)

Summary:

More catch up. Back in the swing of things from the weekend. I'm doing better with choosing Top 3 priorities, but I'm still struggling with nightly routines. More details in the next entry...

 

 image.png.947641ae447f685b0d59ad2f8b7e2e9b.pngimage.png.2e7ebbe821d2438231f2df0de8a70fe9.png

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube (Day 28): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Did not watch.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not watch any streaming.
    • Plan: Continue with limited block and current behavior.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    • Description: Listened while I worked on my record player. Was only a podcast that I was interested in.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game today.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play by yourself (1-2 hours). If with friends, keep it only to a Friday or Saturday and do your best to log off at a reasonable hour.
  • Excessive Drinking (Day 37):
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not drink alcohol. Seem to be thinking about it less and less.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal. Need to get more disciplined about doing this...
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. I want to try and establish it as a pattern before bed.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    •  Description: Missed filling this out on time. 2 stars for still filling it out, but should be closer so the recollection is fresher.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Worked on repairing my record player all evening.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is good, but also being comfortable doing nothing while listening to music (or just sitting) is fine too.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    •  Description: Did a pretty good job getting things done, especially at work. Priorities shifted, but I was able to work on important things.
    • Plan: Try scheduling your personal ones so you are more likely to remember and commit.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did end up going to sleep, but I stayed up way too late working on my record player. Although it was a healthy hobby, I still should have slept earlier.
    • Plan: Read your novel in bed. Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
Edited by FDRx7
Accidentally left part of an old note on the plan for journaling.
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Day 14 - Tuesday (Yesterday)

Summary:

Yesterday was both a good and bad day. I am continuing to do well with choosing Top 3 things to do, although I need to still consider the personal ones as well as work. I'm doing fine with no YouTube and am continuing to abstain from alcohol.

While I did engage in a healthy hobby the last two days, I made it unhealthy by staying up way too late. It threw off my eating and sleep schedules. Sleep is my biggest struggle right now and I really need to get it under control. It is having a cascading effect on everything else. I think I will go back to using a sleep journal again. That worked very well for me in January/February. If I use it again, I may get me back on track. Only reason I stopped was the journal ended after 6 weeks. I'll just need to make my own now and borrow from the template.

I think I'm going to completely block streaming as well. It would be best for me to find other ways to replace YouTube, even if only for these 90 days.

image.png.3b97db2be96727aa0a48aa13fb783e00.pngimage.png.78b04af0732bdb8d7a45c564eb1c31bb.png

 

 

PROGRESS UPDATES:

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube (Day 29): 
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Did not watch.
    • Plan: No changes needed but continue to fill the void, and with activities from hobbies list.
  • Excessive Streaming: 
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    • Description: Watched yesterday, but went beyond the timer I had. Watched about 2 hours. I was able to stop after the second hour, but it's not the behavior I'm trying to cultivate.
    • Plan: Block on the second computer so that you cannot bypass. I may choose to block Netflix and streaming entirely so that I can take this time to foster new behaviors outside of watching passive entertainment. Again, the exception can be watching something with my wife, but I should avoid the passive entertainment that replaces YouTube.
  • Excessive Podcast Listening:
    • Adherence: ★★★☆☆
    • Description: Listened while I worked on my record player. I did listen mostly to ones I like, but I feel it went beyond after a while to just being in the background. I probably should have tried to work in more silence or with jazz.
    • Plan: Continue to listen only to podcasts I am truly interested in. I will try to keep from listening to podcasts I've used just for background. If I need background, I can put on light jazz or Brain.FM while working. Be aware of the physical and emotional sensation and name it when you feel stressed.
  • Excessive Gaming:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not game today.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Set a time limit if you do play by yourself (1-2 hours). If with friends, keep it only to a Friday or Saturday and do your best to log off at a reasonable hour.
  • Excessive Drinking (Day 38):
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not drink alcohol. Seem to be thinking about it less and less.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior.

Habits to Start: 

I will add to this as I determine new habits and their action plans.

  • Journal (physical journal): 
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: Did not journal.
    • Plan: I will continue to journal before getting ready for bed. I want to try and establish it as a pattern before bed.
  • Game Quitters Journal:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Filling it out now.
    • Plan: Continue filling out journal each day. Doesn't seem to matter if it's the same day or the next, as long as each day is entered.
  • Picking a Healthy Hobby:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    •  Description: Worked on repairing my record player all evening.
    • Plan: Continue routine and choose activities. Reading is good, but also being comfortable doing nothing while listening to music (or just sitting) is fine too.
  • Pick Top 3 to Complete:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    •  Description: Same as yesterday, did a good job getting almost everything important on my list accomplished.
    • Plan: Continue to pay attend to scheduling your personal ones so you are more likely to remember and commit.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    •  Description: 0 stars on this one... Stayed up even later than the night before. I got carried away working on my record player and then forgot to eat. I ate and watched something (see streaming above) and by that time, it was incredibly late.
    • Plan: Set a timer for you to know when to get ready for bed. This should include your time for journaling. That's probably going to be about 10-10:30pm. Read your novel in bed. Try to start walking back by 15 min increments every few days or week. Set up a new sleep journal.

List of Hobbies I can choose from ( I will continue expanding this as I rediscover old hobbies and find new ones )

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
Edited by FDRx7
Accidentally left part of an old note on the plan for journaling.
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