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Ending My YouTube Addiction


FDRx7

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Day 82 - Sunday (yesterday)

Summary:

Continued decorating outside. Not too many updates. I do think that when Day 90 comes, my new goal is going to be tracking the habits surrounding sleep. I feel I've done a good job at kicking a lot of these bad habits, but I need to make a concerted effort on a few of these new ones, mostly sleep related.

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PROGRESS UPDATES:

Note: Bold purple text indicates a new change to a plan.

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube - Day 97:
    • 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.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Find new ways to spend time when you need passive entertainment. Add a tag to your task list to filter for those.
  • No Podcast Listening - Day 48:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not listen.
    • Plan: For the rest of the 90 days, I will not listen to any podcasts. I may even try to make this its own one-off 90-day journey, even after the main one is complete. 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.
    • 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 106:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not drink.
    • Plan: Determine ahead of time how much you will drink before events. When there are weeks without events, try to keep drinks to 2-3 a week or less (zero is of course totally fine).

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. Set your timer to remind you.
  • 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.
  • Healthy Ways to Fill the Void:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description:
      • Read in the evening.
      • Continued decorating outside.
    • 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. Plan activities for when you have low energy.
  • Pomodoros:
    • Adherence: No data
    • Description: Not applicable.
    • Plan:  I will start by setting a goal of 8. I adjusted the scoring to encompass a range of completion. A perfect score is 8 pomodoros or more. The stars correspond as follows (star: pomodoros complete): 1: 1; 2: 2; 2.5: 3; 3: 4; 3.5: 5; 4: 6; 4.5: 7; 5: 8+. Each pomodoro will be 25 minutes. Some days are more meeting-heavy than others, so I will count meetings as well where the intent is to focus only on the meeting and taking notes. No multi-tasking.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆
    • Description: Did eventually make it up to bed but no night time routine.
    • Plan: Focus on the time you wake up. If your workout takes an hour, try to be up at 5:50am so that you have a few minutes to get ready. May need to start at 6:30 depending on how your body feels. Begin slow and walk back the time. Use Alarmy to get you up both in the evening and in the morning using the picture setting.
  • Cleaning Up:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Swept the living room floor and tidied up as I continued to decorate.
    • Plan: 0 stars is nothing was done; 1-4 stars is I cleaned one thing OR tidied up, depending on effort. 5 stars is I cleaned one thing AND tidied up. The "thing" cleaned can be big or small, doesn't matter.

List of Hobbies I can choose from:

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
  • Walking the dog
  • Mocktails
  • Writing on my blog (need to restart)
  • Investing in relationships
  • Exercise
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Day 83 - Monday (yesterday)

Summary:

Something is happening to me. I feel like everything is starting to slip, but only for the good habits. Looking at my "Habits to Kick" section, all has been going well. My feeling inside is that I have ultimately conquered those. And yet, it seems along with a good habit, I've created a bad one - anytime I read at night, I fall asleep on the couch and don't get up. I even know I should get up but just... can't? Won't? I'm not sure.

Maybe I'm burned out. I did spend a few hours outside finishing the lights. It was very cold, so I really needed time to warm up when I came in. Still, something feels off, as though I've just taken the on-ramp to monotony. While I love reading, it seems like the only thing I do now in the evening. Everything feels like work.

Am I overwhelmed? Possibly. I'm trying to do/maintain so many things but have the impression that I can't do any of them "right."

I want to change my diet by prepping food and eating enough so that I gain enough weight, but I only am able to prep food half the time.

I want to exercise 4 times a week but lately have only been managing 2-3. (It's split Upper/Lower 2x each, and I want to maintain balance).

I want to journal and record my life, my memories, but I fail to get up in the evening to do it.

I want to go to sleep in my bed and get enough rest (7 hours might be good), but I can't move off the couch and never seem to want to give up on the evening.

I want to be awake early to read and re-engage my spiritual life, but I'm only awake about 30 minutes before I need to log on for work.

I want to live in a clean home and maintain it, but my habit of cleaning something once a day seems to be slipping.

I want to live a life full of interesting hobbies, where I have the energy to care for the things around me, but now it seems I just want to sit on the couch and fall asleep (even though I've been reading, which I'm grateful for). 

 

I think it's time I do a reassessment. While I want to be able to see out the chart to the end of the 90 days, I think it may have outlived its purpose. It has shown me trends, when certain habits influence others, etc. However, I've also noticed that it has given me this idea that there is a "more right" way of doing things than simply doing the thing. This has then directed my thoughts instead from my successes to where there are still gaps. Thus, every day I fill in my journal, unless it's 4.5 stars or above, I begin to feel like I have failed. The goal is habit transformation, not perfection.

Tomorrow, I'm going to start tracking on Everyday, which was recommended to me by @Antoni. I'm going to ease up on the success criteria and begin with just a few. I may still track the habits to kick, since those seem to be taking care of themselves, but I'll start with just a few. Going to bed seems to be the cornerstone, having cascading effects on everything else. I will focus only on getting up to bed. If I finish all of my nightly routine, great. If not, it's okay. The goal right now is going to be: be in bed between x and y time. I will slowly build from there. I'll still track trying to clean stuff in the house, but I'm not going to hold it against myself if I can't do it every day. Not right now. Sleep is the most important piece I need to fix.

I may have been uncharitable towards myself earlier in this post. I've had great success in kicking a habit that has plagued me for years, filling it with meaningful time, activities, and people. While I'm a bit saddened I'm ending the chart here, the most important lesson to learn is to change things when they are clearly no longer working. I know that I can have success with this. I just need to be more gracious towards myself and begin slowly.

 

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PROGRESS UPDATES:

Note: Bold purple text indicates a new change to a plan.

Habits to Kick:

  • YouTube - Day 98:
    • 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.
    • Plan: Continue current behavior. Find new ways to spend time when you need passive entertainment. Add a tag to your task list to filter for those.
  • No Podcast Listening - Day 49:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Did not listen.
    • Plan: For the rest of the 90 days, I will not listen to any podcasts. I may even try to make this its own one-off 90-day journey, even after the main one is complete. 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.
    • 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 107:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description: Had one standard drink.
    • Plan: Determine ahead of time how much you will drink before events. When there are weeks without events, try to keep drinks to 2-3 a week or less (zero is of course totally fine).

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. Set your timer to remind you.
  • 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.
  • Healthy Ways to Fill the Void:
    • Adherence: ★★★★★
    • Description:
      • Read in the evening.
      • Finished decorating outside the house.
      • Applied to another job.
      • Exercise: Upper Body A
    • 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. Plan activities for when you have low energy.
  • Pomodoros:
    • Adherence: ★★★★
    • Description: Completed 6 pomodoros.
    • Plan:  I will start by setting a goal of 8. I adjusted the scoring to encompass a range of completion. A perfect score is 8 pomodoros or more. The stars correspond as follows (star: pomodoros complete): 1: 1; 2: 2; 2.5: 3; 3: 4; 3.5: 5; 4: 6; 4.5: 7; 5: 8+. Each pomodoro will be 25 minutes. Some days are more meeting-heavy than others, so I will count meetings as well where the intent is to focus only on the meeting and taking notes. No multi-tasking.
  • Consistent Bedtime:
    • Adherence: ☆☆☆☆☆
    • Description: Did not go to bed.
    • Plan: Focus on the time you wake up. If your workout takes an hour, try to be up at 5:50am so that you have a few minutes to get ready. May need to start at 6:30 depending on how your body feels. Begin slow and walk back the time. Use Alarmy to get you up both in the evening and in the morning using the picture setting.
  • Cleaning Up:
    • Adherence: ★★☆☆☆
    • Description: Did some tidying up but nothing crazy.
    • Plan: 0 stars is nothing was done; 1-4 stars is I cleaned one thing OR tidied up, depending on effort. 5 stars is I cleaned one thing AND tidied up. The "thing" cleaned can be big or small, doesn't matter.

List of Hobbies I can choose from:

  • Listening to and/or caring for records
  • Reading
  • Writing (notes from reading, etc.)
  • Working on my cars
  • Socializing
  • Foreign language study
  • Cooking
  • Walking the dog
  • Mocktails
  • Writing on my blog (need to restart)
  • Investing in relationships
  • Exercise
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3 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Maybe I'm burned out. I did spend a few hours outside finishing the lights. It was very cold, so I really needed time to warm up when I came in. Still, something feels off, as though I've just taken the on-ramp to monotony. While I love reading, it seems like the only thing I do now in the evening. Everything feels like work.

"Everything feels like work." reminded me of @BooksandTrees and his journal. He solved something similar and I think it's even the exact phrase.

My opinion: I guess the mental signal you're getting is to live a little. Life isn't only about ticking off chores and improving habits. It's not a carte blanche to stop trying and to do stupid shit, but probably a sign to slow down. I sometimes have it too, so I just sit with myself a while and reflect on the successes I've had in the last months/years and really feel them through and appreciate them. Burnout is no good.

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18 hours ago, Ikar said:

"Everything feels like work." reminded me of @BooksandTrees and his journal. He solved something similar and I think it's even the exact phrase.

My opinion: I guess the mental signal you're getting is to live a little. Life isn't only about ticking off chores and improving habits. It's not a carte blanche to stop trying and to do stupid shit, but probably a sign to slow down. I sometimes have it too, so I just sit with myself a while and reflect on the successes I've had in the last months/years and really feel them through and appreciate them. Burnout is no good.

Yes, I think you're right. I turned it over in my mind last night, seeing as my mood was pretty low. It was an all around frustration, feeling tired and angry. On the surface was a feeling of not making progress, but I know that wasn't entirely true. I think it was more holding myself to a standard that is not always achievable.

I pushed very hard over the past 3 months to really change things in my life. I had failed over and over in the past. This time I wanted it to be different, and it was. I've made incredible progress. Now it's time to pull back for a bit, focus on the most important pieces, and build slowly from there.

I appreciate your comment. Burnout is no good. I've been there before and I should heed the signs.

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Day 84 - Tuesday (yesterday)

New journal format today. I'm just going to let it evolve on its own but I'll start with:

  • Writing anything that's on my mind.
  • Posting a screenshot of my habit tracker.

The habit tracker will include some of the old habits to kick, and I may fill in the old data over time just to give the map a little more life (and to continue tracking them - I started with No YouTube). The first habit is very simple: just be in bed. If it's late, so be it. But in any case, go to bed in bed. That's step 1. Then, when that is more consistent, I can start working on timing. I think this takes the pressure off and gives me a quick win for a troublesome habit. I'm going to add journaling soon, but not yet. I want to start slow.

The pomodoros is to remind me to work in pomodoros during the day. However, the number doesn't matter. It's only to ensure I am staying focused at work.

Last night, I cooked a nice dinner, exercised (Lower Body A), and read for a little before heading up to bed. Today, it's starting to snow. It's beautiful to look at. Maybe we'll have snow again for the holiday season.

 

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11 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Yes, I think you're right. I turned it over in my mind last night, seeing as my mood was pretty low. It was an all around frustration, feeling tired and angry. On the surface was a feeling of not making progress, but I know that wasn't entirely true. I think it was more holding myself to a standard that is not always achievable.

I pushed very hard over the past 3 months to really change things in my life. I had failed over and over in the past. This time I wanted it to be different, and it was. I've made incredible progress. Now it's time to pull back for a bit, focus on the most important pieces, and build slowly from there.

I appreciate your comment. Burnout is no good. I've been there before and I should heed the signs.

This is something I've been trying to highlight for a while now. We're very focused on achieving goals and I think it's really important to heal and rest. I'm not doing hobbies as much, but when I do them, I'm making incredible progress and feel like I enjoy it more. 

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Days 85-86 (Wednesday and Thursday)

The last two days, I gave myself permission to watch TV in the evening - just some Twilight Zone episodes. I think I really needed a day or so of passive entertainment because I also haven't been feeling well. Going to the doctor today to get it sorted. However, I think I've had my fill of TV for a while. It was enough for me to do a bit of a reset. Now I think I can get back to reading, cleaning/listening to my records, and all the other hobbies I have.

I did manage to get new tires put on my car yesterday. I didn't realized how bad my old ones were - the steering now feels completely effortless, more than before. Very sharp and accurate. I made good use of the time in the waiting area by bringing my work laptop. I was there for about 2.5 hours and I worked for most of that time. I added my exercise habit which I've been tracking mentally and have been doing for many years, but want to try to be as consistent with 4x a week as possible.

 

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Edited by FDRx7
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Day 87 - Friday (yesterday)

I spent some time with friends yesterday after finding out my sickness was not infectious to others - just a sinus infection I've had going for a while. I was able to get care for it and should hopefully be feeling even better within a few days. We had a good time together relaxing, chatting, and eventually watching a couple episodes of a show together. It was a good time. I probably had a little more beer than I'd normally like, but most of it was light beer. The drive home is an hour so I had coffee to keep me awake. Unfortunately, as I've been cutting back on caffeine lately, that coffee kept me awake once I was home. I couldn't fall asleep. I watched a show, trying to tire myself out, but couldn't. Eventually started to feel sleepy and was able to fall asleep in bed, but it took a while. I probably should have tried reading. I think that may have worked faster, though no guarantees seeing how awake I felt. If I'm honest with myself, I would consider that the end of my streak with No Excessive Streaming. Time to start a new one, but that's okay. I have had excellent success there. Just need to reign that back in again.

Anyways, today my wife and I will spend time together which is always enjoyable. I'm slowly adding the habits back into my tracker. I miss keeping track of them and my progress; the way they are reshaping my life has been incredibly beneficial. I can feel some of them starting to slip without tracking, so I think this will continue to be important for me moving forward. The difference is, when I feel myself getting tired or overloaded, I need to provide some grace and skip a day here or there if it's what my mind/body needs. This new method seems better with less "performance anxiety" about how well I do the habit, which I think will help. I'll keep slowly adding back as I analyze what habits to continue with. The most important thing is to start small and not get carried away.

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Day 88 - Saturday (yesterday)

Yesterday I spent most of the day doing something very important - setting up the family budget and tracking expenses. I had tried to do this once before with the app YNAB, but I found it too difficult to set up and didn't see paying $14.99 per month or $99 per year to be worth it if I can do something similar in a spreadsheet. So, I sat down and put together a template, filling it in with November's information. It took hours, but now that it's done, I can use it right away for November and months thereafter. It feels good to have that complete with the clarity it brings to our finances. It'll help us to find where we can cut back and give us peace of mind each month.

We also watched another movie together, Moonstruck, a fun romantic comedy. This new format is helping a lot, I feel more at ease though I still believe I need to continue adding habits to it, as tracking them keeps them front and center in my mind.

 

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14 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

Yesterday I spent most of the day doing something very important - setting up the family budget and tracking expenses. I had tried to do this once before with the app YNAB, but I found it too difficult to set up and didn't see paying $14.99 per month or $99 per year to be worth it if I can do something similar in a spreadsheet. So, I sat down and put together a template, filling it in with November's information. It took hours, but now that it's done, I can use it right away for November and months thereafter. It feels good to have that complete with the clarity it brings to our finances. It'll help us to find where we can cut back and give us peace of mind each month.

That's awesome! I think it's important to make sure to live within one's means. I also have a job that allows me to work more/less, so tracking money helps me feel confident in adjusting my workload.

If you want a recommendation for an app, I've been using Wallet for years now. I started with the free version, but it has a limit of 3 money accounts, so I got lifetime premium for 30€ back in April. Premium also has automatic tracking (bank account synced with the app), but I still put in data from CSV files from my online banking, because I want to do a monthly evaluation anyway:

https://budgetbakers.com/how-to-start/#first_day

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Days 89 and 90 - Sunday and Monday (yesterday)

Good days. Sunday my wife and I took a small day trip to enjoy a town nearby that had some festive decorations for Christmas. We ended the night grabbing some dinner and a beer in an English pub. Super cozy, given it had started pouring at the time!

Yesterday, I was pondering how I can wake up earlier and become a morning gym person. I have the gym right here in my house, all I have to do is wake up. I decided to revisit James Clear's 4 principles of habit formation (cue-craving-response-reward) and the "levers" that you move for each one of those (make it obvious - make it attractive - make it easy - make it satisfying), thinking about which ones I could alter to help with forming this habit.

I decided on at least "make it obvious" and "make it easy". The solution was, put my gym shoes and clothes right at the foot of my bed. My alarm is in the other room. When it rings, I have to put the clothes on first, then turn off the alarm. Technically, this is where the habit can end. I can choose not to work out and the habit will be complete. But the idea is, once the clothes and shoes are on, am I really going to take them off and not work out? Probably not. Additionally, I prepared my shake, my sports drink (homemade), and the gym itself so that there would be almost no friction.

This morning, it worked. I was up, I got dressed, and shut off the alarm. By the time that was done, I was awake enough to make the conscious choice to exercise. That has always been the biggest hurdle, being awake enough to choose to adhere to my goals. If the alarm is right next to the bed, I will shut it off and go back to sleep before I can even think. The best thing was that I felt so energized. I think that's where the "make it attractive" and "make it satisfying" will eventually come into play.

Although I'm weightlifting only four days a week, I'm choosing to maintain this schedule everyday. On the days I don't workout, I'll do a stretching routine. The goal is to make me desire the feeling of being up, exercising, and being energized.

Also, yesterday marked Day 90! My detox is officially over. I will of course continue to journal here. When I have more time, I'll post a retrospective here.

 

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Day 91 - Tuesday

I succeeded in my goal again this morning to get up and stretch. I was a little tired, but it still worked. I stretched for about an hour. There are other things I want to be doing with my morning once I'm done with my exercise, but one thing at a time, I suppose. If I change too much too quickly, it won't be sustainable.

Right now, I'm happy that I've been going to bed consistently, and even at a relatively consistent time (starting to get ready somewhere between 10-10:30pm). The morning exercise is good for me. I think the challenge might be staying consistent on Saturday and Sunday, when I'm used to sleeping in a little more. I understand that according to sleep experts, you should try to keep a relatively stable sleep schedule. I'll do my best to have some kind of morning exercise on those days (probably stretching and flexibility training).

I hope that I'm on the right track here with the gym clothes being the cornerstone habit. It also may be that all the preparations the night before set me up to desire success in the morning. In either case, I want to keep pushing for this consistency, but focused on the simplicity right now of "get up and put on your gym clothes".

 

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Days 92-93 - Wednesday and Thursday (yesterday)

While I don't wish to speak too soon, I do want to reflect on how I'm feeling - and I'm feeling very good this week about this new habit of waking up. I think doing it every day is what is helping the most with consistency, which is why I want to continue the behavior over the weekend. I'm not even really doing it in the order I originally prescribed: I wake up to the alarm, weigh myself, go downstairs and take a picture of the coffee pot to shut off my alarm, grab my water bottle, then come back upstairs and put on my gym clothes. By that time, I'm pretty much awake. I guess it doesn't matter. If that's the way the habit is formed, then it's fine by me.

I am more awake now when I start work, and I feel good about being able to work the full day and not be anxious about when I'm going to exercise. In fact, this is the first week in a while where I have completed all 4 workouts. Lately I had only been completing 3 - sometimes just 2. This week I've done all 4 plus stretching. I feel great. I think I'm sleeping better, too. I've even been going to bed roughly around the same time.

I believe this feeling is me slowly flipping the other two levers in the habit chain: make it attractive, and make it satisfying. Each night as I prepare my shake, electrolyte drink, and set the gym the way I want it, I am preparing my mind for the next day. When all those things are in place, I wake up ready to go. I'm going to push hard to keep this consistent for the next two weeks, as I think I read somewhere that a behavior really starts to become a habit after 21 days. I want to crave the feeling of waking up to exercise, and I think I'm already starting to experience that.

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Days 94-98 - Last Friday to Tuesday (yesterday)

Wow, not sure where the time went. I was thinking each day I've got to come back and post, but 5 days passed very quickly. So far so good on waking up, putting on my gym clothes, and exercising. 8 days since I started waking up at 6. It's going well and I can feel the resistance slowly decreasing. I've also made it to bed every night for 16 days. Every now and then I'll fall asleep on the couch for an hour or so but I have consistently made it up to bed. A bonus of waking up at 6 is my body begins to feel tired around the same time in the evening now. It's perfect, because I don't actually want to fight it, but rather just head upstairs. Only on Sunday did I skip waking up at 6, but if I remember correctly, I had a late night so I gave myself a pass. Other than that, I'm going to continue pushing to wake at the same time. I'm beginning to crave the morning workout, and I'm loving that I feel more productive during the day, that I can use the whole workday.

I've started making a list of tasks I can do in between my pomodoros. Some of those are a bit of light exercise, others things like making a hair appointment; these are small tasks that must be done but require very little energy and a good distraction from work on my breaks.

I'm finding that work can sometimes be stressful, but the job isn't so bad when I'm not feeling stressed. It seems like the real problem is how I handle stress when it arises. I seem to have a very low threshold. A minor thing can throw me off for a couple of hours, a major thing the entire day. I started writing in my anxiety journal yesterday. I don't expect it to work immediately, but the first step is recognizing: what are triggering events, what physical sensations I feel, the emotions/intensity experienced, identifying the negative thought patterns, and reframing each of them. It only moderately helped yesterday, but being more aware is the start.

I have read in some places that neuroticism is relatively unchangeable, that its roots stem from childhood making it a core part of you. From others, I've read that it and your brain are malleable, that by changing your mindset you can permanently alter how you view and react to situations. I choose to believe the latter.

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Days 99 - 101: Wednesday to Friday (yesterday)

Things have been going very well. I haven't been writing every day which, I would like to but I'm also not sure I have that many updates each day. It's fine, I'll go with the flow.

I'm liking the simplistic gamification of Everyday. I was skeptical about paying for it, but I think I will. The ease of use makes it frictionless to keep track of my habits, and the streaks are motivating.

I've woken up at 6am to exercise for 11 days now. Some mornings feel a bit tougher than others, but now that I have something to wake up for, I find it's getting easier. I cannot imagine going back now as I am loving the feeling and the consistency. I've been eating more to support this goal and have increased my protein intake. I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and thought, "Wow, this is the best I've looked yet." It's such a motivating feeling. Getting everything prepped the evening before is key. Although I haven't failed to wake up on the days I don't, it makes it much easier for me to get started.

I still haven't decided what to do about YouTube. I've considered adding back a 30 minute allowance for moments of research and learning, but I find I rarely need it for this. Thus, I'm not keen to open myself up to the possibility of using that allowance on mindless garbage. So, I continue on the course as is for now. It's not broken, so why fix it?

 

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90-day Retrospective

 

Okay, I've been meaning to post this for a bit now and I've finally had time the past two days. While time consuming, I think this reflection is important for me and possibly others to determine what worked.

 

--------------- Overview---------------

This journey came simply from a desire to stop wasting hours of my life on YouTube watching nothing. Well, I was watching something, but it was nothing edifying. It had destroyed my sleep schedule, my desire to do other things such as reading, and overall was making me miserable. And yet I continued. I had tried to quit so many times, but nothing quite stuck. I'm not sure what motivated me to make things different this time around. It might have been starting therapy or simply just being sick of the state of my life at that point.

First, I want to look at the average of all the habits and their moving average juxtaposed with the overall view of the individual habits.

 

Average:

Final average: 4.38

Average change between days: 0.009

Median change between days: -0.036

 

Moving average:

End value: 4.38

Average of moving average: 4.23

Average change between days: 0.017

Median change between days: 0.004

 

The numbers are interesting. They show that there wasn't much change between days when looking at the averages, but there is a reason for this. On the high end, habits like No YouTube, No Excessive Gaming, No Alcohol were extremely consistent, almost all fives. Thus their daily change is zero. When a habit is going well, no changes in score is good. On the flipside, there were quite a few days of journaling where the value was zero. This also counts as no change and, along with the fluctuations in bedtime, caused the values to skew more negatively, which is why the median day change is -0.036.

What is most important though is that final value of the moving average, which lines up of course with the final average. 4.38 is a great score and within the window of what I would consider a success. Especially toward the end, the value of the average bounced between 4 and 5 while moving average was almost consistently 4.38. The moving average stabilized around 45 days in, only increasing slightly day by day.

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The beginning is quite messy for about the first 20 days, fluctuating greatly between 3 and 5 stars. The interesting part is that the dips happen almost every 3-4 days. I think there was a cycle of getting used to the newness of everything. At this time, I also hadn't cut out streaming and podcasts. Then around day 22, things started to clear up. Some of this may have been some changes in scoring too, as I think I altered what is now my Pomodoros goal from Top 3 to Next Actions, which helped with adherence.

Everything seemed to be going well until about the halfway point, 45 days in. It may have simply been fatigue from the pace of change. Indeed, I was changing many things. Bedtime and journaling were always a struggle but during this time, many of the other habits started to suffer, too. What this tells me is that during the 90-day journey, you should expect some resistance about midway through, that it's normal. Additionally, be mindful of how much to change at once, since you can overwhelm yourself.

Around day 56, I started to get my rhythm back. The average of the habits cycled between 4 and 5. As you can see, there are only 83 days of data. I noticed I was getting burned out by the journal format and so I switched to the Everyday habit tracker after that. Those last few days, you'll observe the average of the habits was brought down mostly by journaling and bedtime. Everything else was mostly consistent.

 

Journal Format

Overall, I think the format of the journal was good for me to understand how my habits changed in relation to one another. The rating system allowed me to see how my adherence varied based on whatever events had occurred that day.

 

What worked:

  • The rating system forced me to be honest about my behavior. For example, maybe I think I didn't listen excessively to podcasts, but if I really dig down, it was still more than I would have liked. Or perhaps I wasn't listening as mindfully

  • The ratings allowed time for self-reflection, to see what was working and what wasn't day by day. Actions I took were directly correlated to the performance of a habit

  • I could see how one habit influenced or was correlated with another (more on that later), thus helping me predict success or failure based on certain cornerstone habits

  • The gamification aspect of trying to achieve 5 stars was motivating and pushed me to complete habits on days I really didn't feel like it, such as cleaning up something in the house

  • The trends showed me how patterns of change develop and that it requires patience to push through the first couple weeks

 

What didn't work:

  • Too much variability and subjectivity in terms of what constituted a 3 vs a 4

  • There was excessive focus on doing a habit the “best way” versus simply trying to establish the habit, no matter how much of or how well it was done

  • The format and time for self-assessment, while beneficial for reflection, was time consuming and grew tedious to complete toward the end of the 90 days. I think I mostly felt this fatigue starting around day 75

  • I added a gratitude portion but it didn't work for me. It ended up making the journal more burdensome so I removed it. It's not that I'm not grateful for things, but something about writing them out made it feel forced

 

Main Takeaway:

This format was very good for accountability and I would still recommend others consider it as they begin their journey. It really forces you to focus on what is/isn't working, as well as being accountable by describing the specific actions you took to move a habit forward.

I would also recommend abandoning the format and moving to a simple habit tracker when it no longer works for you. I think I pushed forward with it a bit longer than I had patience for because I wanted a full set of 90-day data. In the end, that wasn't worth it to me.

I can also see not needing this format entirely and starting immediately with a simple habit tracker. For me at least, the habits need to be tracked somehow or else it's hard to know if you are really making progress, stay motivated, and stay accountable (which is a great reason why this forum exists in the first place).

 

--------------- Individual Habits ---------------

 

No YouTube

Final average: 5

Median score: 5

Proud of this one. This was my main goal, ending my YouTube addiction. I achieved it with flying colors.

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What worked:

I cannot stress enough how important the blocker was. I used Cold Turkey and my wife held the passcode. There were no allowances, just a pure block. I had her do the same on my phone, only with the iPhone Screen Time feature. Finally, on our smart TV, I enabled parental controls and had her create a passcode there. Thus, she was the ultimate keeper of each passcode. There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to watch YouTube, even if I wanted to. It was almost like removing any form/source of alcohol from a recovering alcoholic's home. It just couldn't happen, no matter what my cravings. Eventually, I stopped thinking about it and now I honestly have no desire to return. I don't even wish to remove the block because I know if I absolutely need to watch something, I can ask my wife to temporarily unlock it. Otherwise, I don't need it.

Additionally, filling the void with new activities as Cam has stressed was important. There were some days I just stared at the ceiling but the boredom led to action, eventually.

 

What didn't work:

Nothing. I guess you could say everything else I tried before this such as:

  • Giving myself a time allowance and a block that ended after a certain amount of days (I would just go back to my normal habits after the block was up)

  • Putting the TV remote in a kitchen timer container (only worked until the timer was up as I didn't fill the void during the time it was in there)

  • Telling myself I could watch in moderation

 

No Excessive Streaming

Final average: 4.86

Median score: 5

Scoring was pretty consistent here, except for that dip between 12 and 20 days. Streaming was a tempting alternative to YouTube, so I had to cut it off early. Even now, I still need to be careful as it's so easy to get sucked in.

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What worked:

  • Blocking streaming. I did this because I noticed it was starting to take the place of YouTube, and I couldn't allow myself to simply create a new addiction in place of the old

  • After the block was implemented, there was no trouble with adherence

 

What didn't work:

  • Thinking I could watch this in moderation after trying to kick the YouTube habit. It was too close in activity level to really work that way

 

No Excessive Podcast Listening

Final average: 4.78

Median score: 5

This was another interesting habit because, as I've written in some earlier entries, it seemed like one that few people have tried. Podcasts seem to be a way of life right now, and we've just accepted that they must all be better than other forms of media like television and video games. However, I have found that the quality varies widely, and most just aren't worth listening to. In fact, I had been using them as a distraction from my thoughts and from simply being quiet. Now I will still listen to music sometimes when there is quiet, but the processing of music is different than a podcast. I can listen to music with no lyrics in the background and still hear my own thoughts, but with podcasts that's not really possible. The extra processing required made me tired and burned out, though before starting this journey I didn't know that.

Adherence leveled out after I stopped listening entirely. I also don't think I want to go back to listening that much. My mind feels so much clearer without all the noise and I realize how little I actually gained from what I listened to versus the cost of a fatigued mind.

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What worked:

  • I needed to stop listening entirely. I was trying to listen in moderation but it was really being used as a distraction to keep from addressing my thoughts and being comfortable with silence

 

What didn't work:

  • Telling myself to just listen mindfully. It usually didn't work, and I often just used it as noise and a distraction.

 

No Excessive Gaming

Final average: 4.96

Median score: 5

It's ironic to come to Game Quitters and be less concerned about quitting video games, but I consider this platform to extend to internet addiction as a whole. That said, there was a time where I worried whether I was becoming addicted to games. I don't think that's the case anymore, but during my 90-day journey, I wanted to ensure that gaming did not fill the void of YouTube. Except for one night where I played a bit longer than I'd planned, this was relatively easy to adhere to. For some reason, I just didn't feel the draw, so I didn't play very often. If I did, it wasn't for too long or only for an evening with some friends.

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What worked:

  • Honestly, I'm not 100% certain but I think it was filling my time with activities like reading, listening to records, etc. Those activities created a greater pull over time and I felt less like spending my time playing a game.

 

What didn't work:

  • Not deciding ahead of time how much I would play. I think that one time, I needed to log off and simply should have had the courage to say, “Okay, I need to get off now.” I did, but later than I had planned.

 

No Excessive Drinking

Final average: 4.99

Median score: 5

It's funny, this is almost the exact reverse image of the gaming habit, only off by a day. I decided before my YouTube detox to stop drinking and see how I felt. So it was its own 90-day journey. There was only the one day where I felt I had more than I planned, but overall this was a great experience for me. Though I have gone back to drinking again, I am now much more mindful. The clarity of mind and benefits to my body have made me aware of how much I plan to drink, how much is enough, and how often to drink. I'm still experiencing the benefits now, I think. I lost some body fat and I feel I've never looked better, so that result alone makes me think a bit harder about how much and when to drink. I have also decreased my tolerance, which I am glad for. I feel like I physically cannot have the same amount I used to, which is better for my mind, spirit, and body.

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What worked:

  • Having a partner on the journey. My wife did it with me so that I wouldn't feel alone. I think that support helped

  • Being courageous enough to tell people I'm not drinking. That alone was a huge confidence boost

  • Deciding how much I would drink ahead of time and sticking to that when I got to the party, gathering, etc.

 

What didn't work:

  • Not keeping track of how much I had in a week. I think I'm still not doing this like I should. It seems a little restrictive but it's also easy to forget when and how much I had over the course of a week, even if it's moderate. It might be best to start that up again

 

Journaling

Final average: 2.66

Median score: 4

Journaling was difficult to get a good final average on because it was mostly an all-or-nothing habit. Either I journaled or I didn't. There were a few in-between scores (hence the median score of 4), but mostly I considered this either complete or incomplete.

I chose to tie this one to bedtime, which I'll cover later. I was hoping that if I do it before going up to bed, it'll happen more often. I will say, it did happen much more often than it had in the past. Rather than skipping months, I only skipped a few days. I know that was working because now that I have reset my habit tracking, I haven't journaled in a while because I'm not tracking it as a habit before bed. I imagine that will change once I start recording that again.

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What worked:

  • Tying it to another habit. Anchoring helped me to mark a specific time/event where and when this habit should happen

  • Making it before bed was easier than trying to do it any other time of day

 

What didn't work:

  • Not setting a minimum time to journal and focusing on the quality of the entry. I felt I had to have a “good entry” which is why there are a few 3 and 4 star entries. Really, I should have done “journal for 5 minutes” and if I went longer, great. If not, no worries. It should have been about the establishment of the habit, not the quality of the entry

 

Game Quitters Journal

Final average: 4.73

Median score: 5

This wasn't too bad. My criteria was that I needed to fill out my template and write every day. I had very good adherence. I mostly did it daily at the same time. I think the accountability was incredibly important in my journey. Cam encourages at the beginning to write every day and to follow others' journals. Both were important. Being invested in others' journeys bolstered my desire to succeed and stay on track for my own. Even today, I try to read as many new journal updates from other members as I can. I've learned from others and I try to provide whatever assistance I can.

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What worked:

  • Journaling at the same time every day with a consistent format. This helped reduce the barrier, since I could copy-paste the format and simply make changes

  • Reading others' journals

  • Recognizing when it was time to change the format

 

What didn't work:

  • As I covered in the Overview section, the format grew a bit tedious towards the end and I needed to make a shift, but it served its purpose

  • Forcing myself to catch up if I missed a day or two. While it offered me complete data, it also created an obstacle to entry when a few days piled up

 

Fill the Void

Final average: 4.72

Median score: 5

Filling the void was an important habit, one of the most important. I needed to choose the right activities to replace YouTube and make them attractive. Over time, I found these activities to be more and more enticing, but it took time. At first, I had to overcome some boredom and the temptation to replace YouTube with other mindless things. You can see in the beginning I struggled with this. On Day 10 and 18, I was either distracted by my phone or excessive streaming. That problem dropped off when I cut out streaming. Those first 20-30 days really seem to be the biggest adjustment period.

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What worked:

  • Having a list of hobbies to choose from gave me options. If I didn't feel like doing one, I could always choose something else. No guilt, no pressure to “perform”, just pure enjoyment

  • Blocking things that interfered with the initial habit formation of desired activities

 

What didn't work:

  • When I didn't look at the list!

  • Resorting to my phone during times of boredom

  • Not having low-energy activities in place to account for times I want to turn to mindless entertainment. I found having lighter novels was a good solution to this problem

 

Pomodoros

Final average: 4

Median score: 4

This is a wild chart. Part of that is because the habit changed a few times. The other is that there were days this habit didn't apply, so I didn't score it. I needed some way to start moving my work forward and staying focused during the day. This began as choosing the Top 3 things to do that day, but I found this to be too difficult as priorities can quickly shift. Then, I changed it to choosing next actions, but this was also a bit too vague since the next actions I chose in the morning could once again shift. I finally changed it to counting the number of pomodoros so that I could keep track of how much time I spent in focused work, ensuring I concentrating on the task at hand.

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What worked:

  • Having a set number of pomodoros to work toward was motivating

  • Counting meetings as focused time. People often consider meetings to be wasted time, but I've found they can be incredibly valuable if you focus only on the meeting and choose to extract next actions from them. Thus, I chose to focus intently on the meeting and people, not multitasking

 

What didn't work:

  • Not having a clear definition of what I really wanted from the beginning. Although Top 3 seemed clear, it really wasn't because those Top 3 could shift. The success criteria was vague. Same with Next Actions

  • Being too rigid about the number of pomodoros. This caused stress because if I couldn't reach 8 pomodoros, then I couldn't get 5 stars. You'll notice in my new habit, I only say “work in pomodoros.” I have an idea of the number I want to complete, but I don't hold myself to that number because things change during the day and some days I'll be able to have more focused time than others. The intent is just to maximize that time each day, whether that's 6, 8, or 16. I keep a physical heatmap of my pomodoros near my desk, just for fun and awareness

 

Bedtime

Final average: 2.99

Median score: 3

Here it is, the big one... the beast that could never quite be tamed during this journey. Bedtime was highly correlated with journaling. Since I made journaling the signal for starting my bedtime routine, its completion heavily influenced whether I made it to bed – and on time. It could also be that falling asleep on the couch caused me to not journal, having a reverse impact on the journaling habit. Thus they were highly linked. I struggled with this so much because I was used to staying up very late and not wanting to give up on the night. It's much better now, especially over the last two weeks.

This is such an important habit because sleep repairs the body, heals the mind, and cements our learning and memories. For anyone reading this, prioritize getting good sleep. You'll thank yourself later.

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What worked:

  • Having a cornerstone habit, even if it didn't always happen. It was important to have a signal that it's time to begin getting ready for bed. Winding down from screens is important and journaling helped with that transition

  • Trying to go to bed around the same time. It helped with predictability

  • Tracking how much sleep and the quality using a sleep journal. This helped me understand my patterns and how to adjust

 

What didn't work:

  • Stressing about not getting ready for bed at exactly 10pm. I think a range is more helpful (ex. 10-10:30pm) though a time frame is still important

  • Laying down on the couch to read when I know I'm already tired. This caused me to just stay there

  • Not being willing to give up on the night and go to bed even though I'm tired. It's better to get quality sleep than to try and squeeze out another hour of the evening

 

What's working right now:

  • Exercising in the morning. I just started this about two weeks ago and it's wonderful. It gives me something to wake up for and, consequently, go to bed on time for

  • Getting things prepped for my workout the night before. This sets my mind up to expect I will wake up and exercise. All the work put in just assumes that it will happen. I think this has been the unexpected cornerstone habit for waking up in the morning

 

Cleaning Up

Final average:

Median score:

The final habit I tracked. This was to clean things around the house as I felt I had been neglecting that over time. It was a good habit to have, though I think I needed to be simpler with my criteria. I was proud of how clean the house was becoming just from this simple act of cleaning one thing a day. I will start this habit again soon with my new tracking method. Ultimately, I think the way this could be improved is to consider the trigger, “I see something is dirty, therefore I clean it.” Otherwise, it was too hard to determine when it should happen, even if I did get it done eventually. The point of a habit is to make it more automatic, so the best way to trigger this is to recognize dirt, desire cleanliness, clean it, and be rewarded with a fresh home.

 

 

What worked:

  • Choosing from a list of things to clean but also cleaning spontaneously when I saw something was dirty

  • Knowing I only had to clean one thing and tidy up a bit to get a perfect score

 

What didn't work:

  • Being too vague about what it means to tidy up a little vs a lot. I don't think the amount matters but the act itself

  • Stressing about if cleaning something small vs big really gave me a good score. Again, if I only had time to clean the counter that day, it's fine. That should be considered success

  • Missing trigger for when the habit should take place

 

--------------- Conclusion ---------------

 

If you read this far, I'm incredibly grateful. This took a long time to think through and write out. I'm hoping that it will be helpful to even one person in the future. My biggest takeaway and piece of advice is that it isn't about the how much or the quality, but about the what. If you focus on “doing the thing” then the quality will take care of itself over time. Just form the behavior, replace the old addictions with better activities, and over time you will heal. Additionally, blockers are so important. I know people are often resistant to the idea, but when you physically cannot access your addiction anymore, it forces you to think about how you should be spending your time. Just consider it, at least. Though my 90-day Detox is over, my journey continues. I'll still be here journaling and tracking my habits. Good luck to all and remember, you aren't alone and you have the power to change!

 

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Edited by FDRx7
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On 11/28/2023 at 5:51 PM, FDRx7 said:

Day 83

 

I think it's time I do a reassessment. While I want to be able to see out the chart to the end of the 90 days, I think it may have outlived its purpose. It has shown me trends, when certain habits influence others, etc. However, I've also noticed that it has given me this idea that there is a "more right" way of doing things than simply doing the thing. This has then directed my thoughts instead from my successes to where there are still gaps. Thus, every day I fill in my journal, unless it's 4.5 stars or above, I begin to feel like I have failed. The goal is habit transformation, not perfection.

Tomorrow, I'm going to start tracking on Everyday, which was recommended to me by @Antoni. I'm going to ease up on the success criteria and begin with just a few. I may still track the habits to kick, since those seem to be taking care of themselves, but I'll start with just a few. Going to bed seems to be the cornerstone, having cascading effects on everything else. I will focus only on getting up to bed. If I finish all of my nightly routine, great. If not, it's okay. The goal right now is going to be: be in bed between x and y time. I will slowly build from there. I'll still track trying to clean stuff in the house, but I'm not going to hold it against myself if I can't do it every day. Not right now. Sleep is the most important piece I need to fix.

 

This is indicative of misallocation of resources. I have relapsed many times because I got to a schedule deemed “successful” and found it too hard and unhealthy.

Then i realized the chronic shortcomings of not establishing better communication with family and work colleagues, neglecting competitive sport, were never targeted because they induced worrying.

I also understood that I have to probe more opportunities and strive for goals that are bordering on improbable. That gives me fuel.

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On 12/17/2023 at 10:46 AM, FDRx7 said:

Then around day 22, things started to clear up.

I always tell people it's gonna take 3 weeks or so for your mind to stabilize after quitting an addiction. 

 

On 12/17/2023 at 10:46 AM, FDRx7 said:
  • The format and time for self-assessment, while beneficial for reflection, was time consuming and grew tedious to complete toward the end of the 90 days. I think I mostly felt this fatigue starting around day 75

  • I added a gratitude portion but it didn't work for me. It ended up making the journal more burdensome so I removed it. It's not that I'm not grateful for things, but something about writing them out made it feel forced

This is very real. I used to write such elaborate posts with titles and stuff, but it turns into a job. I think you gotta use Journaling as a means to support and heal yourself. The long posts are exhausting and I see so many people do them and quit. So kudos to you for doing it for the whole 90 days. 

 

On 12/17/2023 at 10:46 AM, FDRx7 said:

If you read this far, I'm incredibly grateful. This took a long time to think through and write out. I'm hoping that it will be helpful to even one person in the future. My biggest takeaway and piece of advice is that it isn't about the how much or the quality, but about the what. If you focus on “doing the thing” then the quality will take care of itself over time. Just form the behavior, replace the old addictions with better activities, and over time you will heal. Additionally, blockers are so important. I know people are often resistant to the idea, but when you physically cannot access your addiction anymore, it forces you to think about how you should be spending your time. Just consider it, at least. Though my 90-day Detox is over, my journey continues. I'll still be here journaling and tracking my habits. Good luck to all and remember, you aren't alone and you have the power to change!

Great job!! I'm glad you're sticking around and look forward to seeing future developments. 

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On 12/17/2023 at 11:20 PM, Amphibian220 said:

This is indicative of misallocation of resources. I have relapsed many times because I got to a schedule deemed “successful” and found it too hard and unhealthy.

Then i realized the chronic shortcomings of not establishing better communication with family and work colleagues, neglecting competitive sport, were never targeted because they induced worrying.

I also understood that I have to probe more opportunities and strive for goals that are bordering on improbable. That gives me fuel.

Yes, definitely right. Though, this was over 20 days ago so I've made quite a few changes but I think you're right about the cause. For me it was less about the improbability of a goal for fuel and more about making things too onerous for me. I have a tendency to over-complicate things because I get zealous. Sometimes those complications end up creating something amazing for me or others (ex. at work, home projects, etc.). Other times, it becomes burdensome. I know this about myself and have come to learn that I will do this often.  My solution is simply to know when to drop something or simplify it if it stops working or becomes too much.

16 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Great job!! I'm glad you're sticking around and look forward to seeing future developments. 

Thanks for reading the whole thing! I felt like it was important to write that as I'm starting to see more people coming to this forum with YouTube addictions, so I'm hoping to remain a resource for those people.

Edited by FDRx7
Consolidated posts.
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On 12/17/2023 at 4:46 PM, FDRx7 said:

90-day Retrospective

Amazing, great work! You did a great job visualizing and analyzing the past three months. I believe it was very useful for you and it was an interesting read for me too.

I can say I love analyzing stuff too, so that's why I write a bigger report every month. At the same time, I also create about five smaller posts a month whenever something is on my mind. I believe it is like therapy. Then again, to get into deeper and more complex ideas, I can't just talk it over with somebody, I need to write it out and think about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/17/2023 at 5:46 PM, FDRx7 said:

No YouTube

Final average: 5

Median score: 5

Proud of this one. This was my main goal, ending my YouTube addiction. I achieved it with flying colors.

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What worked:

I cannot stress enough how important the blocker was. I used Cold Turkey and my wife held the passcode. There were no allowances, just a pure block. I had her do the same on my phone, only with the iPhone Screen Time feature. Finally, on our smart TV, I enabled parental controls and had her create a passcode there. Thus, she was the ultimate keeper of each passcode. There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to watch YouTube, even if I wanted to. It was almost like removing any form/source of alcohol from a recovering alcoholic's home. It just couldn't happen, no matter what my cravings. Eventually, I stopped thinking about it and now I honestly have no desire to return. I don't even wish to remove the block because I know if I absolutely need to watch something, I can ask my wife to temporarily unlock it. Otherwise, I don't need it.

Additionally, filling the void with new activities as Cam has stressed was important. There were some days I just stared at the ceiling but the boredom led to action, eventually.

 

What didn't work:

Nothing. I guess you could say everything else I tried before this such as:

  • Giving myself a time allowance and a block that ended after a certain amount of days (I would just go back to my normal habits after the block was up)

  • Putting the TV remote in a kitchen timer container (only worked until the timer was up as I didn't fill the void during the time it was in there)

  • Telling myself I could watch in moderation

Awesome solution. Proud of you.

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On 12/17/2023 at 5:46 PM, FDRx7 said:

No Excessive Streaming

Final average: 4.86

Median score: 5

Scoring was pretty consistent here, except for that dip between 12 and 20 days. Streaming was a tempting alternative to YouTube, so I had to cut it off early. Even now, I still need to be careful as it's so easy to get sucked in.

image.thumb.png.8485343c8cb22714c4d22cd0b96ecb5d.png

 

What worked:

  • Blocking streaming. I did this because I noticed it was starting to take the place of YouTube, and I couldn't allow myself to simply create a new addiction in place of the old

  • After the block was implemented, there was no trouble with adherence

 

What didn't work:

  • Thinking I could watch this in moderation after trying to kick the YouTube habit. It was too close in activity level to really work that way

Great work being honest with yourself and seeing how it's just a replacement and cutting it down.

 

On 12/17/2023 at 5:46 PM, FDRx7 said:

No Excessive Podcast Listening

Final average: 4.78

Median score: 5

This was another interesting habit because, as I've written in some earlier entries, it seemed like one that few people have tried. Podcasts seem to be a way of life right now, and we've just accepted that they must all be better than other forms of media like television and video games. However, I have found that the quality varies widely, and most just aren't worth listening to. In fact, I had been using them as a distraction from my thoughts and from simply being quiet. Now I will still listen to music sometimes when there is quiet, but the processing of music is different than a podcast. I can listen to music with no lyrics in the background and still hear my own thoughts, but with podcasts that's not really possible. The extra processing required made me tired and burned out, though before starting this journey I didn't know that.

Adherence leveled out after I stopped listening entirely. I also don't think I want to go back to listening that much. My mind feels so much clearer without all the noise and I realize how little I actually gained from what I listened to versus the cost of a fatigued mind.

image.thumb.png.562efe37572d2a05c0876b15cc604982.png

 

What worked:

  • I needed to stop listening entirely. I was trying to listen in moderation but it was really being used as a distraction to keep from addressing my thoughts and being comfortable with silence

 

What didn't work:

  • Telling myself to just listen mindfully. It usually didn't work, and I often just used it as noise and a distraction.

I see that a repeating occurrence is that you try to mindfully listen and it doesn't work. I'm also a fan of cutting things out completely because for me it also doesn't work and I believe it is the same for most people. 

On that one, I'd like to say I have continuously been having an Audible yearly membership (two books a month, and I listen to the books currently during meal prep. about 40-60 minutes a day. I love this habit, would you opt for that one? Or would you rather keep the silence completely?
 

 

On 12/17/2023 at 5:46 PM, FDRx7 said:

No Excessive Gaming

Final average: 4.96

Median score: 5

It's ironic to come to Game Quitters and be less concerned about quitting video games, but I consider this platform to extend to internet addiction as a whole. That said, there was a time where I worried whether I was becoming addicted to games. I don't think that's the case anymore, but during my 90-day journey, I wanted to ensure that gaming did not fill the void of YouTube. Except for one night where I played a bit longer than I'd planned, this was relatively easy to adhere to. For some reason, I just didn't feel the draw, so I didn't play very often. If I did, it wasn't for too long or only for an evening with some friends.

image.thumb.png.04bf90d36e3e4987b48938633575433d.png

 

What worked:

  • Honestly, I'm not 100% certain but I think it was filling my time with activities like reading, listening to records, etc. Those activities created a greater pull over time and I felt less like spending my time playing a game.

 

What didn't work:

  • Not deciding ahead of time how much I would play. I think that one time, I needed to log off and simply should have had the courage to say, “Okay, I need to get off now.” I did, but later than I had planned

Considering what I said earlier, I believe it might be a place where you are tricking yourself a bit, especially considering what you wrote regarding the "Not deciding ahead of time how much I should play.
If you haven't decided, how could you tell specifically you're adhering to your plan and how could the graph be flat?
It is possible you've let yourself a bit off the hook here, give it a little thought and see if you need readjusting (Just a thought here, I might be completely wrong of course)

I myself quit cold turkey, but if you want to keep it in some amount here mindfully and set a definite clear boundary, it might work for you. Even when I talked to my brother about games yesterday, I  felt it was distracting our conversation from real more important issues and just an escape from reality, which I would rather not have, even as a fundament for social gatherings. In fact, at my current time in life, I am completely comfortable with omitting about 95% of social encounters, especially because they are surrounded by this sort of "Reality evading activities"

 

On 12/17/2023 at 5:46 PM, FDRx7 said:

No Excessive Drinking

Final average: 4.99

Median score: 5

It's funny, this is almost the exact reverse image of the gaming habit, only off by a day. I decided before my YouTube detox to stop drinking and see how I felt. So it was its own 90-day journey. There was only the one day where I felt I had more than I planned, but overall this was a great experience for me. Though I have gone back to drinking again, I am now much more mindful. The clarity of mind and benefits to my body have made me aware of how much I plan to drink, how much is enough, and how often to drink. I'm still experiencing the benefits now, I think. I lost some body fat and I feel I've never looked better, so that result alone makes me think a bit harder about how much and when to drink. I have also decreased my tolerance, which I am glad for. I feel like I physically cannot have the same amount I used to, which is better for my mind, spirit, and body.

image.thumb.png.0ee0ad0e1aefb17a3c2a2ebb0692f867.png

 

What worked:

  • Having a partner on the journey. My wife did it with me so that I wouldn't feel alone. I think that support helped

  • Being courageous enough to tell people I'm not drinking. That alone was a huge confidence boost

  • Deciding how much I would drink ahead of time and sticking to that when I got to the party, gathering, etc.

 

What didn't work:

  • Not keeping track of how much I had in a week. I think I'm still not doing this like I should. It seems a little restrictive but it's also easy to forget when and how much I had over the course of a week, even if it's moderate. It might be best to start that up again

Just as gaming -This is a pain-avoiding activity. Instead of "Improving upon pain" activity (I've gathered these terms from MArk manson's books. Either The subtle art of not giving a fu** or Everything is fu**ed
I see you understand this and are already fighting, but again I'd opt for not doing this at all. 
(But I guess for me it's easy to say since I never dropped into this habit in the first place. The most I drank was 3 cups of wine I think, and in total, maybe I drank alcohol 3-5 times in my life, including beer. (I'm 25 btw)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thursday - January 9, 2024

Wow, been a bit longer than I thought since I last posted on here. Just had a very busy holiday season. It was one of those where you feel rested yet not because you are running around. 

Everything is still going well, for the most part. Still YouTube free, and streaming has been mostly kept to a minimum. I'm going to be starting a new planning system called the Franklin Covey Planner. It's a gift from my wife for my birthday. She uses it and has been enjoying. We both already use David Allen's GTD system which I haven't mastered yet but has been extremely helpful. I'm excited to marry that with the Franklin Planner. Additionally, this planner is all analog, so I'll be moving away from digital planning. I think that's good for me because I spend a lot of time looking at screens all day. 

I was doing pretty good with my exercise, but yesterday morning and today, I woke up with no desire to do it. The feeling I had in my mind was, "I'm burned out." However, I've only been back to consistently doing it for maybe 3 or 4 weeks? So, I'm not sure why I feel that way. Could be just because the last few nights I didn't get great sleep. But my workouts might also be too long, and maybe I'm starting to feel that and get tired. Not sure what to do about it yet, but I know that I should at least listen to what my body is saying and try to figure out why. I must still continue to exercise, that's for sure. But, perhaps I need to change it up a bit.

Hope everyone is doing well. I will try to post more often but sometimes the day just gets going and I forget...

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