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Thriving - A Journal


Vee

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I keep my own journal on Obsidian, so this thread will be more for a sense of accountability/venting than anything else.

The Past

The first time I think I had an issue with gaming was when I was 13 (in 2002) and used to skip lunch to play games in the IT room, which continued for about two years. Throughout my 20s and early 30s, it has been a crutch. Even when working full time I would rack up 30hrs+ a week gaming, and when I've not been employed 60-80hrs is often standard. The longest I've gone without it is about three weeks, back around 2015. It's been so ingrained in my life that it's hard to really know how much it has affected my basic functioning.

I've experienced depression for a long time, which is hard to untangle from gaming. Has depression made me inclined towards gaming, or has gaming made me more depressed? Is my low functioning due to gaming, or due to depression? The obvious answer to both is that it's mixed, but I haven't really had (or can't remember) a "before" stage to truly pin things down. The first time I self-harmed was when I was 8, and I also had a weird amount of anxiety at that age (I don't broadly consider myself an anxious person). I'm not sure I'd say I became depressed until I was 15, but still had other (mild) mental issues between 8-15. I was moderately depressed throughout my 20s. I've never developed any habits/routines that are considered normal, like brushing my teeth. My lowest point was in 2021, but things have gotten better since then.

The Present

I am currently NEET by choice (I'm living off a solid amount of savings from my previous job) and in a really good position in life. I'm living with brilliant friends in a decent town and have good energy levels. While I am trying to get into the habit of feeding myself, my housemates often cook food, so it's not the disaster it once was. This year, for the first time in my adult life, I've begun exercising (I used to walk a bit, but nothing more than that), although because there was a heatwave recently I've fallen out of the routine. I've also done a few things this year which are outside of my comfort zone, such as going to a four-day dance festival.

I feel...Not depressed? Maybe? Because I have a lifetime of below-average functioning, I am still externally not great. I really struggle with forming any kind of routine, but internally I feel positive. To give an example that sounds utterly ridiculous: I didn't know what magpies looked like until this time last year. I've never been one for leaving the house much, but even when I did go outside, it was like viewing everything in the world as box-like placeholders. Birds might as well have just been moving boxes in the sky, they couldn't possibly hold my interest. I guess the usual way of framing things is like saying the world was black and white and now it was in colour, but that doesn't really portray how hard it was to register what was happening around me.

I uninstalled Steam earlier this month, didn't play for three days, then reinstalled it to play a narrative game. I uninstalled Steam again two days ago. I was falling into a pit of playing three different incremental games at once, despite telling myself that I was only going to play that one narrative game. Browser-based games are also an issue for me, but there aren't any that I am currently fixated on.

The Future

I'll be honest, I don't like the idea of setting any too strict rules on what I'm doing or not doing. It hasn't worked out well in other areas. My current rough idea is: I will avoid PC games for one month (until October 18), review how I feel, and hopefully go for a longer stretch from there. Broadly I want to avoid mobile or console games, but it's not something I'm too concerned by, as I've so rarely been truly engrossed in anything not on PC. Odd as it sounds, I don't think my brain's mental map has strong pathways for using my phone or holding a controller, even though I could literally play the same games on those platforms.

While I can fall into watching too many random YouTube videos, watching too much TV, or reading pointless articles, I don't want to be overly ambitious in my goals. I would like to avoid those things, but I am not going to be strict about them in the same way I hope to be with PC games. I intend to note when I have done these things - I want to heighten my awareness of how I am actually spending my time.

I don't want to fall into some productivity trap where I'm constantly striving for something in the distance, never content with what I have. While I would like to do some career course (I am vaguely thinking of doing the AAT for accountancy), or, even better, be self-employed, I need to work on exploring possibilities and simply learning how to enjoy things. So my goals fall into two categories. The below are roughly in order.

Foundational:

  • Primary goal: Eat three meals a day (Breakfast is the only one I'm currently good at) and do at least a tiny bit of cooking
  • Exercise at least three times a week (Running, else walking if I'm really not up for it), and try to at least do a few pushups on off days
  • Sleep hygiene - ideally go to bed before midnight and wake before 9am. For me, this tends to be about having other things aligned in my life (e.g. not being engrossed in a game, or not going to bed hungry).
  • Hygiene - brush my teeth at least once a day, shower at least twice a week or after exercise (whichever is more)

Complex (for want of a better word):

  • Journal daily, or close to. Make weekly reflection notes in Obsidian, and generally just use Obsidian more. I love the program, but I don't utilise it to its full potential.
  • Write - ideally daily. I also want to start submitting some of my old short stories to magazines, and engage more in my writing group (which I've largely ignored for months)
  • Read - ideally daily
  • Explore other potential hobbies - juggling, ukelele, hiking, volunteering, kickboxing...

Doing all of that is obviously very ambitious for someone who currently eats 2 meals a day at best and (now that I've fallen out of the routine of running) doesn't leave the house every week. As long as I've not played games and I've eaten three meals, I will consider it a good day. Everything else is a bonus. I've had some success just trying to do things for five minutes at a time - juggling for five minutes, or tidying up the kitchen while I'm waiting on the microwave - so I will persist in trying that more.

Today

Today I will look into website blocking, and use Obsidian to ponder over what goals are realistic for me in the short-term. I hope to go for a run and then cook myself rice. It would be nice to plan out the next section of my novel after that, but I might just watch TV and not pressure myself with "should"s.

Edited by Vee
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I wrote the above at midday, but since I want to post at the end of the day going forward, I'll do a second post for today.

I didn't game today, and I ate three meals!

Got a fair few little things done today, both things I want to be routine and one-off tasks. Emailed for more info about kickboxing and a volunteering thing I was looking at a while ago, and finally started sorting out investments. In terms of routine things: brushed my teeth, went for a mini jog, showered, did ten minutes of juggling, a little bit of reading, a few minutes of household chores.

From 5-8pm I did some frictionless stuff (watching TV), then I just pondered over potential hobbies, looked up local places, and made a few notes in Obsidian.

I've been trying to work out how to mentally frame "productive" things vs "relaxing" things. I feel like definitions are important for how I process my behaviour, and "productive" is a term that is far too loaded for me. For things like watching TV (which I don't want to be constantly doing, but I'm not interested in cutting out) calling them "relaxing" also causes issues because it makes it seem like the other category can't be relaxing. I hope to get to a stage where running, writing, or juggling can feel relaxing. "Frictionless" feels like the best term, as other activities can naturally slip into that category as I become more familiar or proficient with them. Currently, my frictionless category is tiny - gaming, watching TV, daydreaming, and sometimes browsing the internet.

That still doesn't help with naming other things, which range from the semi-necessary (brushing my teeth, eating meals) to the "currently have to push myself but can be fun" things like running, some types of socialising, or writing. "Challenging" makes them seem daunting. "Meaningful" makes them feel too important and potentially guilt-inducing. The closest thing I can think of is calling them "momentum-building" activities. It does still have a slight connotation that frictionless activities are in some way "stagnant", but I don't think my mind connects that too strongly. It doesn't feel like a guilt-inducing word, it doesn't suggest they are/aren't relaxing and it doesn't suggest they are/aren't tedious. In the future, an activity could be both frictionless and momentum-building (fingers crossed that will happen with writing). Or something can move from being a momentum activity to being a frictionless one - I don't aspire to "do" anything with my juggling, or constantly progress, but it's a cool skill that doesn't have downsides like gaming does. It doesn't quite fit for everything (and I am perhaps slightly twisting the word anyway), but it's the best fit I've come up with so far.

I know it sounds like I'm overthinking it, but words are important to me!

Tomorrow

Tomorrow I hope to start waking up earlier. If I have the energy, I'll go for another mini jog, otherwise a brief walk to get myself out of the house. I want to focus on my writing tomorrow.

I'll probably stop writing a wall of text after today as well!

Edited by Vee
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  • Vee changed the title to Thriving - A Journal

I think frictionless and momentum-building are two great classifications. I suppose throwing time-scheduling into the mix might complicate things - @Yan is good there. Heh, but really, it's pretty clever to define the feelings of activities up-front as much as their approximate value to everyone else.

We're having a Spring heatwave too in Australia at the moment, which has almost completely knocked outdoor activities on their heads since the weekend. 

Over!

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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17 hours ago, wheatbiscuit said:

We're having a Spring heatwave too in Australia at the moment, which has almost completely knocked outdoor activities on their heads since the weekend. 

 
 
 

For me it was a bit of an excuse - I could still have pushed myself and jogged (or gotten up early to jog when it wasn't so hot) but I wouldn't have enjoyed myself.

Today

I didn't game today! And I ate...two meals. I've eaten a couple of snacks for dinner, but I couldn't really manage a meal and it just felt inconvenient. I could have planned my evening better to fit it in, but oh well.

I woke up super late and felt sluggish and a bit moody for most of the day, BUT I went for a great jog in the rain this evening! I was just going to do a mini-jog, but when I realised how lovely the rain was I went for my standard length of 7K. The first half of it felt like the most natural thing in the world. My body moved so effortlessly and the rain was lovely. The second half was also good, but slightly more of a push, and I had two very brief walking bits. It ended up being my third best for 5K, which isn't bad considering I've fallen a little out of the habit. I also got a wave from another jogger, which was a lovely brief connection.

I spent a good hour planning the second chunk of my novel (I've divided it into five chunks). It's not a super thorough plan, but it's good enough I could start writing it. After my jog, I went on my writing group call, which I haven't attended for weeks, maybe months. I didn't share anything, but gave some hopefully good feedback, and our chat was fun.

Tomorrow

I want to work on my writing some more, although I'll decide tomorrow if that's more planning or if I should just jump into writing. I haven't touched my ukelele in about a week (I only bought it recently), so I'll try that, even if just for five minutes. I want to get back into reading, but I'll decide tomorrow if I'll go for a book or short stories.

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I didn't game today and I ate two meals. I missed dinner, didn't really feel hungry, but I know I should have tried to eat something anyway as I've barely snacked.

Pretty much only did frictionless things today - daydream and watch YouTube. I went to bed at midnight, but couldn't get to sleep until after 2am. At 2am I did technically do a bit of writing on my phone (since I clearly wasn't sleeping), and I've typed that up on my computer this evening, so technically I've done a tiny bit of writing. It's so frustrating - writing is FUN, I love what my brain comes up with, but I have such weird blockages around it so much of the time.

For five days in a row I've managed to eat breakfast and lunch, brush my teeth, and journal. I've not gamed for four days in a row. So by several measures I am doing better than I usually do, even if the bulk of my day hasn't been doing any momentum-building activities.

Tomorrow

I want to start jogging soon after waking up. I guess this means I'll have to jog on an empty stomach, but I think it would set me up well for the day - either making me feel more ready to approach other momentum-building things, or else just boost my mood even if I just do frictionless activities the rest of the day.

I hope to have a writing day tomorrow. If I do end up jotting down notes in the night, then I should try to type them up after breakfast. If I had done that today (instead of typing them up late) it might have led to me doing some writing. After breakfast (regardless of whether I've had to type up notes), I should at least read through my writing plan from the other day - not putting pressure on myself to do anything further, but not blanket avoiding the whole concept. Simply reading my notes is almost frictionless.

While I've chatted a bit with my housemates this week, I haven't really reached out to any other friends. Maybe arrange meeting up with someone? I'm really bad at initiating. I should check in with my micro writing group (me and two others from the bigger writing group) and see how they are getting on.

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I'm excited to see someone mention they use Obsidian! I use Zettlr and have also tried Obsidian. I've been attempting to get in the habit of doing a Zettelkasten, but without a productive or creative use for it, it's been difficult. I used to have a blog, maybe I should start that up again just to synthesize my learnings. Something I'm trying to work on...

On 9/19/2023 at 6:03 PM, Vee said:

I've been trying to work out how to mentally frame "productive" things vs "relaxing" things. I feel like definitions are important for how I process my behaviour, and "productive" is a term that is far too loaded for me. For things like watching TV (which I don't want to be constantly doing, but I'm not interested in cutting out) calling them "relaxing" also causes issues because it makes it seem like the other category can't be relaxing. I hope to get to a stage where running, writing, or juggling can feel relaxing. "Frictionless" feels like the best term, as other activities can naturally slip into that category as I become more familiar or proficient with them. Currently, my frictionless category is tiny - gaming, watching TV, daydreaming, and sometimes browsing the internet.

I agree, these definitions are important. If it helps, I have been using the terms "active entertainment" and "passive entertainment." Neither necessarily means it is good or bad, just that by its definition I can more appropriately choose what to do based on my energy levels. In my latest journal entry, I mentioned how even certain books are more demanding than others. The ones that are less demanding are almost a form of passive entertainment. Still, I know that in my own mind I have a built in hierarchy of what types of entertainment are better than others. I have also started classifying some things as "meditative" so that I'm willing to do them in silence to relax - for example bathing my dog and cleaning all the old records I bought are both considered meditative to me.

I like what you said about avoiding a productivity trap and not wanting to "do something" with juggling. Our culture now makes it seem like we need to monetize or capture attention with everything we do. We are inclined to consider the value of an activity by its monetary or social worth, having lost the sense to do something for its own sake. I struggled with this a lot in many of my hobbies and only recently have started to just let them be. It wasn't that I wanted to always "do" something with them, but there was an ingrained feeling of needing to be productive with or about the hobby (if that makes sense).

You have a very thoughtful journal and it seems like you are taking great steps. Congrats on your progress so far!

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8 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I'm excited to see someone mention they use Obsidian! I use Zettlr and have also tried Obsidian. I've been attempting to get in the habit of doing a Zettelkasten, but without a productive or creative use for it, it's been difficult. I used to have a blog, maybe I should start that up again just to synthesize my learnings. Something I'm trying to work on...

 
 

When I started using Obsidian, I spent ages looking into all the different note-taking methods, but now I've just leaned into chaos. My main use for it is as a journal (sometimes using dataview to pull through information to other pages). While I do keep all my writing notes there, I don't have any special system - I might as well use Google docs like I used to. But I like that I can make things more structured if needs be. Certainly if I was writing a story from multiple POVs or world-spanning elements I would have more structure to my creative notes, but that isn't currently necessary.

8 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I like what you said about avoiding a productivity trap and not wanting to "do something" with juggling. Our culture now makes it seem like we need to monetize or capture attention with everything we do. We are inclined to consider the value of an activity by its monetary or social worth, having lost the sense to do something for its own sake. I struggled with this a lot in many of my hobbies and only recently have started to just let them be. It wasn't that I wanted to always "do" something with them, but there was an ingrained feeling of needing to be productive with or about the hobby (if that makes sense).

You have a very thoughtful journal and it seems like you are taking great steps. Congrats on your progress so far!

 

Thanks! I do struggle with the concept of enjoying something for its own sake. Definitely true with my writing. Although I explore themes I find interesting rather than what I imagine will be popular, I still get bogged down by thinking about how engaging my story will be to the reader. Once I actually get into the flow, it's great, but it's tricky getting there.

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Today

I didn't game today! And I ate two meals. I ended up napping at lunch time and couldn't decide on what to eat afterwards, so just had a snack.

A lot of today was spent lying down and daydreaming/napping. I'm not sure if it's that the lack of gaming exposes my actual energy levels, or if I just struggle to engage with other things. Still, I did do my pre-breakfast run. I...don't intend on making that a habit. I was awful - I couldn't even run 1k on an empty stomach before switching to walking and it left me feeling unsatisfied. I tried it before with similar results, but I had hoped it would be different. I will have to stick to running later in the day, probably pre-lunch.

I got some writing done! I've now put "read writing notes" as one of my daily to-dos as it's an easy first step and I usually can't resist doing at least a little bit of writing or planning. Did some juggling as well while waiting for food (we got takeaway for dinner).

This evening I spent an hour watching my housemate play Baldur's Gate. Didn't feel tempted to play it myself, it actually seemed mediocre. Did want to play something though. Nothing specific, I just I want to watch numbers go up. I want the feeling that I'm constantly improving, on a minute-by-minute basis. Whenever I've tried gamification habit apps they haven't hit the spot at all because what I want is CONSTANT FEEDBACK. I'm not sure if any other hobby is comparable in that regard.

Tomorrow

Technically I could go to a Parkrun, but the housemate who has done them before is busy, and I don't want to go on my own... Also my sleep has been rubbish recently, so I'd struggle to wake up in time (I'm writing this after midnight...Damn my nap). Maybe next week?

I think I'll still go for a run at some point tomorrow. I also want to do more writing - I didn't get into the flow today, but I feel solid about the next two scenes.

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3 hours ago, Vee said:

This evening I spent an hour watching my housemate play Baldur's Gate. Didn't feel tempted to play it myself, it actually seemed mediocre. Did want to play something though. Nothing specific, I just I want to watch numbers go up. I want the feeling that I'm constantly improving, on a minute-by-minute basis. Whenever I've tried gamification habit apps they haven't hit the spot at all because what I want is CONSTANT FEEDBACK. I'm not sure if any other hobby is comparable in that regard.

Weightlifting might compare - you've either got the strength to move a specific weight, or you don't; if you do, try the same movement a few more times and then go from 4 to 8/12/16 times (I say in fours because you can keep a rhythm to music easily that way)! 

I'm sorry to pounce like that - I'm truly a resistance training advocate :3

Edited by wheatbiscuit
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19 hours ago, wheatbiscuit said:

Weightlifting might compare - you've either got the strength to move a specific weight, or you don't; if you do, try the same movement a few more times and then go from 4 to 8/12/16 times (I say in fours because you can keep a rhythm to music easily that way)! 

I'm sorry to pounce like that - I'm truly a resistance training advocate :3

 
 

I would like to get into lifting! I've tried a few times and never managed to make it a routine. I need to at least somewhat sort out my eating first though.

Today

I didn't game today, and I ate two meals (skipped lunch). Didn't do any writing and did a mediocre jog.

Had low energy and low mood most of the day. Spent a lot of time lying down day-dreaming - an issue that's cropped up previous times I've tried to quit gaming. Today though it's been more clear that the primary issue is lack of calories, probably anemia too (I'm prone to it). Jogging worsens my appetite, which is frustrating (I probably shouldn't have gone jogging today...). Not having my usual constant stimulation probably also contributes to the sense of low energy (if not the reality), as when I'm fully engaged in something (e.g. gaming) I find it easy to ignore energy problems.

My eating habits are a foundational issue, and if I can at least somewhat improve it, everything else will be easier.

Tomorrow

I need to make a plan regarding eating... It's been a lifelong issue, but I think simply having a list of potential meals and snacks could help, dividing them up into easy (banana, ready meal) vs more scary/time consuming. When I've tried to do something before, I attempt overly-ambitious (for me) meal plans and then fail quickly. A list will remind me that I can at least eat a piece of bread, if I can't manage a meal. Such a basic thing for most of humanity, but I forget bread (and most other food) is an option. I should look into ARFID - I'm not sure it's quite the same issue, but it's the closest thing I've found. Maybe I'll set an actual alarm (rather than a reminder) to eat at 2pm and 7pm and try to stick to it (a snack at worse), rather than put it off.

I'll go to the supermarket and buy bananas and whatever else strikes me as sufficiently easy for a meal/snack. I could look into Huel again, but I don't really want to go down that road - I think meal replacements are avoiding the issue rather than addressing it.

I'll avoid jogging for at least a couple of days. I've over-done it this week, and it both interferes with my appetite and means I ought to be eating more.

If my energy continues to be low, I will temporarily use my laptop in bed. I know it's bad sleep hygiene, but I think it's mentally and physically better to do that than sleep or day-dream. 

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I'm going to jump on the wagon with @wheatbiscuit and advocate for weightlifting as well! I started about 10 years ago and it has truly been life-changing. It has changed my confidence and the way I view myself. It has also helped me to learn how to focus on my own goals and not compare to others, because what matters is the goals you set for you, not what the person next to you or your friend is lifting.

Only a suggestion, but I'd recommend checking out https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/. You don't have to use his stuff forever, but he really helped me to understand the basics and cut through a lot noise in the weightlifting world. He simply explains diet and optimal workouts. You can start with the beginner workout which is very short, only three exercises three-times a week. It helps build a foundation of strength and a habit.

I agree with you, fixing your diet will also help. I'm with you on not eating enough. In my latest journal entry, I had actually just written that I need to create a meal plan and reminders to eat (funny you were thinking the same!). I don't eat enough during the day and it has held back my workout progress. I'm starting with some easy snacks like dried edamame that I can put in containers ahead of time and some protein shakes that I can mix up the night before. That way I can just take them right out of the fridge at the time to eat tomorrow. I'm also making a meal for lunch that will stretch three days, because lunch is my weakest meal. I only choose 1-2 elaborate meals for dinner a week to expand my cooking without overwhelming myself. Maybe these will help? But as you said, start slow so that it is sustainable.

Sorry for the book...

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Today

I didn't game in any problem sense (in-person Trombone Champ, a party game, which falls more under socialising than gaming), and I ate three meals (although other people made lunch and dinner, so that made it easy).

I forgot we had a friend round today, so we all sat around chatting for most of the day and I missed the supermarket Sunday opening times. I also didn't write up any eating plan. Still, my mood is a lot better today, and my energy was good enough that I didn't have to nap.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow's plan is to actually make some sort of eating plan. I guess the reason I'm good at breakfast is that I have the same thing every day. If I could at least make rice every lunch time (a small amount if I'm really not hungry) then that would sort lunch out, and I can vary what is added to it, if anything. Dinner is always going to be more of a variable because of housemates. 

Technically, I could go to my first kickboxing session tomorrow... I will have a think about it.

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On 9/24/2023 at 2:27 PM, FDRx7 said:

I'm going to jump on the wagon with @wheatbiscuit and advocate for weightlifting as well! I started about 10 years ago and it has truly been life-changing. It has changed my confidence and the way I view myself. It has also helped me to learn how to focus on my own goals and not compare to others, because what matters is the goals you set for you, not what the person next to you or your friend is lifting.

Only a suggestion, but I'd recommend checking out https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/. You don't have to use his stuff forever, but he really helped me to understand the basics and cut through a lot noise in the weightlifting world. He simply explains diet and optimal workouts. You can start with the beginner workout which is very short, only three exercises three-times a week. It helps build a foundation of strength and a habit.

I agree with you, fixing your diet will also help. I'm with you on not eating enough. In my latest journal entry, I had actually just written that I need to create a meal plan and reminders to eat (funny you were thinking the same!). I don't eat enough during the day and it has held back my workout progress. I'm starting with some easy snacks like dried edamame that I can put in containers ahead of time and some protein shakes that I can mix up the night before. That way I can just take them right out of the fridge at the time to eat tomorrow. I'm also making a meal for lunch that will stretch three days, because lunch is my weakest meal. I only choose 1-2 elaborate meals for dinner a week to expand my cooking without overwhelming myself. Maybe these will help? But as you said, start slow so that it is sustainable.

Sorry for the book...

 

Somehow missed this yesterday! Thanks for the link - I will have a look at the workout stuff, but probably file it away for a bit.

I've got a rice cooker so I'm going to focus on having rice + different veg for lunch each day. Dinner is sometimes cooked by a housemate, or else there can be leftovers, but I need to figure out a backup option that I don't find intimidating. I want to start cooking for housemates sometimes (I do help out with chopping and/or washing up!) and generally branching out, but I have inexplicable hang-ups around food and cooking, so I haven't worked out yet what are plausible goals for me. 

Today

I didn't game and I ate three meals! Admittedly dinner was pretty light, but still a meal. Ate at reasonable times too, rather than having a super late lunch or dinner.

Got a little bit of tidying done and did a little bit of writing (hopefully will do more as its not bedtime yet). Mood has been good, energy ok. Didn't go to the supermarket even though I meant to and had enough energy.

I really just want to get into a bit more of a routine. I get so stuck on the idea of "oh, I'm just inherently terrible at routines" but I wonder if I'm just particularly bad at change, since I do mostly manage to stick to the "routine" of being on my computer all day. I'm great with large changes though (moving house, switching jobs, etc), and to be fair I suspect the main reason I have managed to jog somewhat regularly this year is because I have no routine with it - no regular time, no regular days. Thus relatively few negative "should" feelings. So I'm still not sure what works for me. My peak hours for feeling alert and motivated are early afternoon at the moment (12-3?) so trying to write or do one-off tasks in this time seems like a good idea.

Still haven't heard back from the volunteering place I emailed last week. Will email another place this week.

Tomorrow

Plans: Jog, make rice, write, go to the supermarket. Nothing extraordinary.

I might start using Bearable (an app I own but haven't used in ages...) to track my mood/energy throughout the day. If I know my prime hours and sluggish hours it might help me with routine.

At some point I'll probably stop doing these entries daily and instead go for twice a week. I have a private journal anyway, so this is more for accountability and occasional interactions.

Edited by Vee
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15 hours ago, Vee said:

Somehow missed this yesterday! Thanks for the link - I will have a look at the workout stuff, but probably file it away for a bit.

No problem! I think a moderator had to approve because I posted a link, so there was a bit of a delay.

15 hours ago, Vee said:

I really just want to get into a bit more of a routine. I get so stuck on the idea of "oh, I'm just inherently terrible at routines" but I wonder if I'm just particularly bad at change, since I do mostly manage to stick to the "routine" of being on my computer all day. I'm great with large changes though (moving house, switching jobs, etc), and to be fair I suspect the main reason I have managed to jog somewhat regularly this year is because I have no routine with it - no regular time, no regular days.

People are hard-wired to resist change. Our routines provide us a level of comfort and moving out of them makes us uncomfortable until that new one provides the same assurances that the old one did. So not to worry, you aren't alone. Just give yourself some grace as you slowly shift your routines and know that the feeling of being uncomfortable is totally natural.

Edited by FDRx7
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Today

I didn't game today, and I ate...2.5 meals? I ate bread for dinner, which isn't a meal, but it at least isn't junk snack food. Made rice and beans for lunch. Went for a mini-jog. Didn't write, but I did technically jot down a few notes, albeit for all of ten minutes.

Last night I read for an hour or so before bed, which I think helped with my sleep quality and I ended up waking up earlier.

Most of today I've spent daydreaming/napping. I had energy, but I chose to daydream instead of engaging with the real world. I'm not specifically craving gaming, but I am craving that feeling of losing myself in something. It does sort of happen with watching TV, although the lack of interaction doesn't make it the same quality. It can happen with writing, and with reading, but it's rare enough, or else takes long enough to get into the flow, that I'm not driven to seek those pursuits out. 

My friend's dad has added me on Strava! It makes me feel weirdly driven to continue jogging and eventually be as good as him, in speed if not in distance (I have no interest in jogging more than 10k). I'm visiting my friend's family at Christmas, so maybe we could all go for a jog and I can aspire to keep up with him. It's a lovely countryside area, I'm quite looking forward to the idea of jogging each day there, with or without others.

I've now brushed my teeth for ten days in a row! It still doesn't come naturally to me (I remember specifically because I have a habit tracker), but I no longer get that weird resistance to the concept that I usually do.

Tomorrow

I really want to experience that flow state with writing again. It's been so long! I can never work out how to best nudge my brain in that direction. Cleaning my desk a bit might help. Maybe moving downstairs, so I don't have my bed to flop on. I've tried to write downstairs before and it hasn't been an improvement, but that was when I was gaming, so maybe it will be different... Although there are more distractions downstairs. We'll see. I could juggle when my brain has a lull. I could even try writing in the garden, in a notebook, or on my phone.

Will jog, depending on how hot it feels.

Also, writing group call tomorrow.

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4 hours ago, Vee said:

Today

I didn't game today, and I ate...2.5 meals? I ate bread for dinner, which isn't a meal, but it at least isn't junk snack food. Made rice and beans for lunch. Went for a mini-jog. Didn't write, but I did technically jot down a few notes, albeit for all of ten minutes.

Last night I read for an hour or so before bed, which I think helped with my sleep quality and I ended up waking up earlier.

Most of today I've spent daydreaming/napping. I had energy, but I chose to daydream instead of engaging with the real world. I'm not specifically craving gaming, but I am craving that feeling of losing myself in something. It does sort of happen with watching TV, although the lack of interaction doesn't make it the same quality. It can happen with writing, and with reading, but it's rare enough, or else takes long enough to get into the flow, that I'm not driven to seek those pursuits out. 

My friend's dad has added me on Strava! It makes me feel weirdly driven to continue jogging and eventually be as good as him, in speed if not in distance (I have no interest in jogging more than 10k). I'm visiting my friend's family at Christmas, so maybe we could all go for a jog and I can aspire to keep up with him. It's a lovely countryside area, I'm quite looking forward to the idea of jogging each day there, with or without others.

I've now brushed my teeth for ten days in a row! It still doesn't come naturally to me (I remember specifically because I have a habit tracker), but I no longer get that weird resistance to the concept that I usually do.

Tomorrow

I really want to experience that flow state with writing again. It's been so long! I can never work out how to best nudge my brain in that direction. Cleaning my desk a bit might help. Maybe moving downstairs, so I don't have my bed to flop on. I've tried to write downstairs before and it hasn't been an improvement, but that was when I was gaming, so maybe it will be different... Although there are more distractions downstairs. We'll see. I could juggle when my brain has a lull. I could even try writing in the garden, in a notebook, or on my phone.

Will jog, depending on how hot it feels.

Also, writing group call tomorrow.

There might be some low-carb, high-protein bread available at some of your supermarkets (like eating meat, but with fibre - a newish product) that I have definitely counted as the last meal for the day before. 

Day-dreaming (as opposed to ruminating) still sounds pretty healthy post-gaming, especially if you're taking in a lot of information. I sort of know meditation in a nice outdoor setting to be similar.

I also get lazy with any second bouts of brushing - going out anywhere where I or others have duties and might end up smiling a lot is a good daily reminder. The other is, forgive me, the idea that a me and a miscellaneous member of the public might wind up lip-locked while out for a walk or something! 

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16 hours ago, wheatbiscuit said:

There might be some low-carb, high-protein bread available at some of your supermarkets (like eating meat, but with fibre - a newish product) that I have definitely counted as the last meal for the day before. 

Day-dreaming (as opposed to ruminating) still sounds pretty healthy post-gaming, especially if you're taking in a lot of information. I sort of know meditation in a nice outdoor setting to be similar.

I also get lazy with any second bouts of brushing - going out anywhere where I or others have duties and might end up smiling a lot is a good daily reminder. The other is, forgive me, the idea that a me and a miscellaneous member of the public might wind up lip-locked while out for a walk or something! 

 

I ate 1.5 slices of bread with no spread, so I wouldn't count it as a meal 😄

When I spend literally hours daydreaming (usually lying down) I'm not sure it's healthier than gaming. It's fine for certain times (when falling asleep, while on the bus), but otherwise not great. Maybe I could at least try to daydream in the garden.

Today

I didn't game, and I ate two meals. I ate lunch super late and didn't have the appetite for dinner.

I wrote just over 3000 words today! I'm very pleased with the bouts of focus (although I still wouldn't say I truly got into a flow), and while some bits are clunky, it's not terrible.

Today is the tenth day of no gaming, probably the longest period in several years. It has helped me refocus my energy into other pursuits, but it hasn't been long enough to drive true change. Even a month won't be. I'm trying not to think about it long term. I'm not sure if I will ever be capable of having a balanced attitude towards gaming, but officially quitting (or attempt to quit) for good is too intimidating. Pondering on the concept just leads me down the path of obsessing over the past and future. Right now, I am not gaming. And I'm happy with that choice.

Tomorrow

More writing? I have less of a concrete idea of the next couple of scenes, so I'll probably need to do more planning first. I should also email the other volunteering place tomorrow - I meant to do it today but didn't specifically put it on my to-do list.

Didn't jog today, so I want to jog tomorrow.

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16 hours ago, Vee said:

Today is the tenth day of no gaming, probably the longest period in several years. It has helped me refocus my energy into other pursuits, but it hasn't been long enough to drive true change. Even a month won't be.

I'm just starting to realize this as well. I was looking at my graph today and discovered that it has taken me almost 25 days for the "noise" (of stopping old habits and starting new ones) to clear up. The graph has only started to flatten out within the last few days. I suppose that's why they recommend the 90 days.

16 hours ago, Vee said:

I'm trying not to think about it long term. I'm not sure if I will ever be capable of having a balanced attitude towards gaming, but officially quitting (or attempt to quit) for good is too intimidating. Pondering on the concept just leads me down the path of obsessing over the past and future. Right now, I am not gaming. And I'm happy with that choice.

I think you hit the nail on the head here. It's about taking it one day at a time. I have been pondering this concerning YouTube and alcohol. Sometimes I think, "Do I want to quit forever?" Yet, I don't need to decide that today. Or tomorrow. I only need to focus on what I've determined to do on this day. I think being happy with your current choice and where you are in this moment is a good outlook.

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8 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I think you hit the nail on the head here. It's about taking it one day at a time. I have been pondering this concerning YouTube and alcohol. Sometimes I think, "Do I want to quit forever?" Yet, I don't need to decide that today. Or tomorrow. I only need to focus on what I've determined to do on this day. I think being happy with your current choice and where you are in this moment is a good outlook.

 
 

Thanks! I wasn't capable of looking at things like that when I was younger - the idea of taking things one day at a time seemed like an impossible concept!

Today

I didn't game today! And I've eaten...one meal. I've barely even had snacks since breakfast. It's 9.50pm now so I might try making a small dinner, although it's later than I like to eat.

On the plus side, I wrote another 3000 words today! It feels amazing to get this amount done, and for a couple of chunks I felt in the flow. Out of curiosity, I've tracked my writing bouts with Toggl the last couple of days, and found that my writing sessions tend to be 45-55m long, with varying breaks. Not enough data to draw any real conclusions or actions, but interesting. I used Brain.fm a bit both days as well, having seen it mentioned in @FDRx7's journal. I'm not sure the music specifically helps me focus, but it helps set the intention of a focused session. I don't know if I'll use it long term.

According to my fitbit, I napped for 1.5hrs, but I suspect it was a little longer than that. I didn't need to nap, but with the amount of writing that I've done I'm not too annoyed.

I sent a friend the first 14k words a few weeks ago, and she told me yesterday she really enjoyed it. She will hopefully type up feedback over the weekend. It will be interesting to see if her critique overlaps with my thoughts on problem areas. I look forward to reading some of her stuff in return.

Tomorrow

Writing: I need to do a little research for the next (chunky) scene, but I should be able to do some actual writing on top of that. I don't want to lose the momentum here. At this pace, it won't be long until I'm out of planned scenes and will need another pure planning session. Next month I want to start thinking about returning to short stories, alongside the novel.

I haven't jogged for a couple of days, so I really want to jog tomorrow, even if it's just a mini one. Even two days makes it tricky to push myself outside. More than that and I might have to lure a friend into jogging with me. At worst, I should push myself out for a five-minute walk. I need to remember jogging isn't the only way to leave the house.

Need to arrange the monthly meeting with my mini writing group. 

A housemate has some friends round for boardgames tomorrow. Unless I'm really in the flow with writing, I'll try to play at least one game. I don't dislike his friends, I've just never really made conversation with them when they are round. 

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16 hours ago, Vee said:

I used Brain.fm a bit both days as well, having seen it mentioned in @FDRx7's journal. I'm not sure the music specifically helps me focus, but it helps set the intention of a focused session. I don't know if I'll use it long term.

I think you're right; the ritual of focus is definitely part of it. This particular music works for me due to something about the repetitive rhythmic nature of it (I end up syncing my fidgeting to it haha). The intention of focus is what matters most because even when I use this music, sometimes if I am really distracted and throw it on hoping for a magic pill, it doesn't work. It helps, but I still need to stop and make sure I'm intending to focus. 

If you still are interested in it, try some of the different genres and low/medium/high effect ones. Not all songs work for me. I do better with the electronic, post rock, and lofi ones. Ambient and drone, while quieter, don't work as well for me.

Great work though on writing! I've been following and it seems like your energy and productivity are ramping up. Keep at it, I think it will only get better for you. 🙂 

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On 9/27/2023 at 12:01 AM, Vee said:

Most of today I've spent daydreaming/napping. I had energy, but I chose to daydream instead of engaging with the real world. I'm not specifically craving gaming, but I am craving that feeling of losing myself in something. It does sort of happen with watching TV, although the lack of interaction doesn't make it the same quality. It can happen with writing, and with reading, but it's rare enough, or else takes long enough to get into the flow, that I'm not driven to seek those pursuits out. 

It's been four years since I quit and I don't think I've experienced what you're describing as often as when I gamed. Regardless, an emotional high of immersion for, well... having a normal life is a tradeoff I'll gladly make.

On 9/27/2023 at 12:01 AM, Vee said:

I've now brushed my teeth for ten days in a row! It still doesn't come naturally to me (I remember specifically because I have a habit tracker), but I no longer get that weird resistance to the concept that I usually do.

Good job! I had issues with my brushing when I was a teenager, so I know it's hard to get back on track or even start anew. It kind of helps that I have sensitive teeth; if I go without brushing for a few days, I get toothaches whenever I eat. Nowadays I can confidently say I brush 6/7 nights of the week 😄

22 hours ago, Vee said:

Writing: I need to do a little research for the next (chunky) scene, but I should be able to do some actual writing on top of that. I don't want to lose the momentum here. At this pace, it won't be long until I'm out of planned scenes and will need another pure planning session. Next month I want to start thinking about returning to short stories, alongside the novel.

I'm writing my master's thesis at the moment. I can say is that I need to worry less about how much time (or how many days) it will take me to move to the next stage. It's because the next stage (or even multiple stages) pops up during the process from the unknown. I know that if I put in two three quality hours of work in every day, I'm going to finish it, just like other students before me did. I promised my tutor a concept of a questionnaire at the end of the weekend and that's what he and I shall have.

6 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

I think you're right; the ritual of focus is definitely part of it. This particular music works for me due to something about the repetitive rhythmic nature of it (I end up syncing my fidgeting to it haha). The intention of focus is what matters most because even when I use this music, sometimes if I am really distracted and throw it on hoping for a magic pill, it doesn't work. It helps, but I still need to stop and make sure I'm intending to focus. 

Yes! I found out that many of the games I played in the past have several tracks or even whole soundtracks I can listen to indefinitely and which can serve as great background/time stamps for me. The genre is generally classical voiceless (as many of the games of the 00s had these), although some have some modern element mixed to it. I think voiceless D'n'B tracks work the best for me. I've been meaning to try out some jazz music as well, but I have issues with actively listening to tracks if I don't already know them and that's not conductive to work 😄

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8 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

If you still are interested in it, try some of the different genres and low/medium/high effect ones. Not all songs work for me. I do better with the electronic, post rock, and lofi ones. Ambient and drone, while quieter, don't work as well for me.

Great work though on writing! I've been following and it seems like your energy and productivity are ramping up. Keep at it, I think it will only get better for you. 🙂 

 

Thanks! Yeah, I've mostly only used the low-effect ones because I usually live without music (I'm not one for listening to music while running or out and about, I mostly only listen to music when someone else puts it on). I'm liking the cinematic and post rock settings so far.

59 minutes ago, Ikar said:

It's been four years since I quit and I don't think I've experienced what you're describing as often as when I gamed. Regardless, an emotional high of immersion for, well... having a normal life is a tradeoff I'll gladly make.

 

True! Any mild pros of gaming don't really outweigh the cons.

Today

I didn't game today! And I've eaten breakfast and lunch, and might eat a very late dinner.

I realised that yesterday I passed the 20k mark for my novel!

I went for a mini-jog today with a housemate. I've been feeling really grateful for my friends and the straight-forwardness of all of my friendships (having heard about friendship drama elsewhere...). I also love the feeling of being there for a friend - listening, asking the right questions, being a sounding board for issues they've run into. Some of my friends are particularly good at pointing out my good qualities and showing appreciation. That positive feeling also helps me show appreciation, whereas in the past I'd just appreciate them in my head. I haven't had many terrible friendships in the past, but the ones I have now just feel particularly...symbiotic? We all encourage growth and thoughtfulness in each other.

I made a few small writing notes today, but otherwise most of my day was spent bumbling about on the internet. It felt like good down-time though - the content I came across wasn't utterly mindless.

Also: I've been talking about potentially doing some RP with a few friends! I've done a tiny bit of TTRPGs in the past, but I've never done any pure RP. I'm hoping it will help ease some of the writing angst that crops up sometimes. It could also potentially spark the same immersion feelings as gaming does. And... could potentially bring about similar issues as well. We'll see.

Tomorrow

Part of the reason I didn't do any writing today was that I had wanted to write the next (big) scene all in one go, but didn't want to spend as much time writing today. I ought to let go of the idea of "having" to do it in one go - plenty of times I've stopped writing mid-sentence and still managed to pick it up fine the next day, or week. I do also have a small connecting bit I need to write before the big scene - I'd like to get that done tomorrow at least (probably not even 500 words).

I feel like I ought to get out of the house and just exist in a different environment. In the past month I've barely left the house except to jog. There's a nice cafe in town that I could sit in and do some writing, or RP worldbuilding.

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15 hours ago, Vee said:

I feel like I ought to get out of the house and just exist in a different environment. In the past month I've barely left the house except to jog. There's a nice cafe in town that I could sit in and do some writing, or RP worldbuilding.

I work remotely, which has many benefits. However, this is one thing I have to try and remind myself to do - leave the house! You don't realize sometimes how familiar the four walls have become until you step outside. Even just walking the dog can be a sufficient change of scenery. I also read something about how switching up your environment - even going so far as to change furniture around in your house - can spark more creativity. I imagine that it breaks you out of a mental rut by disturbing well-worn pathways/patterns. I would think the cafe might help boost your writing because of that! Nice job though on continuing to write. Must feel good each day to see that progress. 

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On 9/30/2023 at 2:38 PM, FDRx7 said:

I work remotely, which has many benefits. However, this is one thing I have to try and remind myself to do - leave the house! You don't realize sometimes how familiar the four walls have become until you step outside. Even just walking the dog can be a sufficient change of scenery. I also read something about how switching up your environment - even going so far as to change furniture around in your house - can spark more creativity. I imagine that it breaks you out of a mental rut by disturbing well-worn pathways/patterns. I would think the cafe might help boost your writing because of that! Nice job though on continuing to write. Must feel good each day to see that progress. 

 
 
 

It's always been a struggle for me to get out of the house and I was hoping jogging would help, but it's mostly just helped me get out of the house specifically for jogging. Which is obviously good by itself, but it's a shame it isn't as transferable as I had hoped.

The weekend

I had a chill weekend - no gaming, but not much of anything else. Did a tiny bit of writing on Saturday and went for a long-ish jog. On Sunday I wrote a lot in my journal, reflecting on the past quarter. Did a bit of juggling for the first time in a few days. I also finished reading a book over the weekend, the first book I've finished since April. In my early 20s I was reading 20-30 books a year, now it's closer to 5.

Today

Continued not to game, have eaten 3 meals but most importantly...

I BEAT MY PERSONAL BEST FOR 5K! I beat it by a whole minute. I am so damn proud of myself. The amazing thing is I could have done even better - I had a 30s walk near the end that I could have skipped, and the temperature was a bit higher than I'd like as well. Not that I feel bad about it to clarify - if anything, it motivates me because I reckon I could beat my PB again very soon.

Today has been good - I woke up early (for once...), went to the supermarket, got some chores done and did a tiny bit of writing (might do some more, not sure). I also bought some herbal teas. I'm not a tea drinker, but since I've struggled to get to sleep recently, I thought I'd try to incorporate some chamomile tea into a nighttime routine, along with reading. I'm actually a little tempted to get incense or something for a ritualistic feel, but I'm sometimes sensitive to smells so I'm nervous about wasting money.

I finally got a reply from one of the volunteer places, so I'll drop by there tomorrow and see if it's suitable.

Future

At some point this year I came across the idea of having weekly and quarterly reviews, ignoring monthly, and that has really clicked with me. Thinking about things monthly often feels like a weird in-between, especially as there are only 4 weeks to a month.

I've been writing a lot in my private journal about quarterly goals, but I thought I'd specify here as well. I've set three focus areas for Oct-Dec. Although there are a bunch of other things I'd like to improve, these three are the ones I'm going to prioritise:

Writing

I've written over 20k of what I'm guessing will be a ~90k novel, so considering the time I have on my hands, it's plausible I could have a first draft by the end of the year. That would be under 6000 words a week, which felt pretty doable last week. I'm not a "must write every day" person so I don't want to set that as a habit, but I would like to move towards daily-ish. I shouldn't rely on having spurts of 3k words in a day, but 1k+ words on a regular basis is very doable.

I would also like to get back to short stories, maybe 2-4 a month. Alongside my novel, that might be less plausible.

I've started scoring each focus area 1-5 in my private journal, so I think I'll do it here too. The rough breakdown of how I'd rank various days (it's somewhat dependent on how I feel, but the time is a rough guide):

  1. Zero writing or anything to do with writing
  2. A tiny amount of writing or writing-related activity. Time dedicated to writing is less than 30 minutes and/or I've written less than 400 words. This is probably most common these days, and even then, it's usually when I make a couple of notes rather than writing.
  3. A reasonable amount of writing-related activity. Roughly 30m-1.5h worth of time, perhaps more if it's planning/editing.
  4. A good amount of writing-related activity. Roughly 1.5h-3h of time.
  5. An excellent amount of writing-related activity. Roughly 3h+ of time, or an excellent word count while spending less time. As I find planning/editing more frictionless, I'd be less likely to rank such activities 5/5 even if I have spent a fair amount of time on it.

Eating

The foundational area that I'm worst at. In the short term, I just want to work towards eating three meals a day consistently. Once November comes around, I want to do some cooking as well, besides just making rice and beans.

  1. Nothing resembling a meal - either barely eaten anything, or just snacked on sugary crap. This almost never happens as I'm very good at eating breakfast regularly.
  2. One meal, usually plus snacks. I'd like to turn this from a rare occurrence to a thing that never happens.
  3. Two meals, usually plus snacks. Currently most common.
  4. Three meals, usually plus snacks. 
  5. Three meals plus "other". Eating outside of my comfort zone, or cooking outside of my comfort zone, or maybe even just eating the meals at sensible times. Maybe also eating three meals even when it is very inconvenient. Maybe only eating healthy food.

Leaving the house

Not quite as foundational as food, sleep and exercise, but close. I've been great at going for a jog, but not so great at going out for other reasons. This one is more defined by comfort zones, which I guess technically means one activity could shift from being a 5 to a 3.

  1. Not stepped outside at all. At the moment this is almost every day that I don't jog.
  2. Either spent a fair amount of time in the garden (even this can be weirdly hard sometimes), or been outside for ~5 minutes (e.g. walking our anxious dog, who can't currently go far)
  3. Left the house for a very familiar activity - supermarket, familiar jogging routes
  4. Spent over 30m in an unfamiliar (or somewhat unfamiliar) environment that is still somewhat within my comfort zone, e.g. going to town, going on a familiar train route to go to a friend's house.
  5. Left the house to spend time in an unfamiliar environment out of my comfort zone for over 30 minutes, e.g. kickboxing, friend's choir performance, music festival.

So today the ratings would be:

Writing: ★★☆☆☆

Wrote about 300 words, did a little research and made a few notes. Technically did spend over 30m related to it, but not in a particularly focused way.

Eating: ★★★★

Ate three meals! Had a ready meal for lunch and housemate cooked dinner, but I'm focusing on the actual eating part rather than being super healthy or cooking regularly.

Leaving the house: ★★★☆☆

Doing both the supermarket and a run on the same day is pretty good for me, but both were comfortable environments.

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6 hours ago, Vee said:

It's always been a struggle for me to get out of the house and I was hoping jogging would help, but it's mostly just helped me get out of the house specifically for jogging. Which is obviously good by itself, but it's a shame it isn't as transferable as I had hoped.

The weekend

I had a chill weekend - no gaming, but not much of anything else. Did a tiny bit of writing on Saturday and went for a long-ish jog. On Sunday I wrote a lot in my journal, reflecting on the past quarter. Did a bit of juggling for the first time in a few days. I also finished reading a book over the weekend, the first book I've finished since April. In my early 20s I was reading 20-30 books a year, now it's closer to 5.

Today

Continued not to game, have eaten 3 meals but most importantly...

I BEAT MY PERSONAL BEST FOR 5K! I beat it by a whole minute. I am so damn proud of myself. The amazing thing is I could have done even better - I had a 30s walk near the end that I could have skipped, and the temperature was a bit higher than I'd like as well. Not that I feel bad about it to clarify - if anything, it motivates me because I reckon I could beat my PB again very soon.

Today has been good - I woke up early (for once...), went to the supermarket, got some chores done and did a tiny bit of writing (might do some more, not sure). I also bought some herbal teas. I'm not a tea drinker, but since I've struggled to get to sleep recently, I thought I'd try to incorporate some chamomile tea into a nighttime routine, along with reading. I'm actually a little tempted to get incense or something for a ritualistic feel, but I'm sometimes sensitive to smells so I'm nervous about wasting money.

I finally got a reply from one of the volunteer places, so I'll drop by there tomorrow and see if it's suitable.

Future

At some point this year I came across the idea of having weekly and quarterly reviews, ignoring monthly, and that has really clicked with me. Thinking about things monthly often feels like a weird in-between, especially as there are only 4 weeks to a month.

I've been writing a lot in my private journal about quarterly goals, but I thought I'd specify here as well. I've set three focus areas for Oct-Dec. Although there are a bunch of other things I'd like to improve, these three are the ones I'm going to prioritise:

Writing

I've written over 20k of what I'm guessing will be a ~90k novel, so considering the time I have on my hands, it's plausible I could have a first draft by the end of the year. That would be under 6000 words a week, which felt pretty doable last week. I'm not a "must write every day" person so I don't want to set that as a habit, but I would like to move towards daily-ish. I shouldn't rely on having spurts of 3k words in a day, but 1k+ words on a regular basis is very doable.

I would also like to get back to short stories, maybe 2-4 a month. Alongside my novel, that might be less plausible.

I've started scoring each focus area 1-5 in my private journal, so I think I'll do it here too. The rough breakdown of how I'd rank various days (it's somewhat dependent on how I feel, but the time is a rough guide):

  1. Zero writing or anything to do with writing
  2. A tiny amount of writing or writing-related activity. Time dedicated to writing is less than 30 minutes and/or I've written less than 400 words. This is probably most common these days, and even then, it's usually when I make a couple of notes rather than writing.
  3. A reasonable amount of writing-related activity. Roughly 30m-1.5h worth of time, perhaps more if it's planning/editing.
  4. A good amount of writing-related activity. Roughly 1.5h-3h of time.
  5. An excellent amount of writing-related activity. Roughly 3h+ of time, or an excellent word count while spending less time. As I find planning/editing more frictionless, I'd be less likely to rank such activities 5/5 even if I have spent a fair amount of time on it.

Eating

The foundational area that I'm worst at. In the short term, I just want to work towards eating three meals a day consistently. Once November comes around, I want to do some cooking as well, besides just making rice and beans.

  1. Nothing resembling a meal - either barely eaten anything, or just snacked on sugary crap. This almost never happens as I'm very good at eating breakfast regularly.
  2. One meal, usually plus snacks. I'd like to turn this from a rare occurrence to a thing that never happens.
  3. Two meals, usually plus snacks. Currently most common.
  4. Three meals, usually plus snacks. 
  5. Three meals plus "other". Eating outside of my comfort zone, or cooking outside of my comfort zone, or maybe even just eating the meals at sensible times. Maybe also eating three meals even when it is very inconvenient. Maybe only eating healthy food.

Leaving the house

Not quite as foundational as food, sleep and exercise, but close. I've been great at going for a jog, but not so great at going out for other reasons. This one is more defined by comfort zones, which I guess technically means one activity could shift from being a 5 to a 3.

  1. Not stepped outside at all. At the moment this is almost every day that I don't jog.
  2. Either spent a fair amount of time in the garden (even this can be weirdly hard sometimes), or been outside for ~5 minutes (e.g. walking our anxious dog, who can't currently go far)
  3. Left the house for a very familiar activity - supermarket, familiar jogging routes
  4. Spent over 30m in an unfamiliar (or somewhat unfamiliar) environment that is still somewhat within my comfort zone, e.g. going to town, going on a familiar train route to go to a friend's house.
  5. Left the house to spend time in an unfamiliar environment out of my comfort zone for over 30 minutes, e.g. kickboxing, friend's choir performance, music festival.

So today the ratings would be:

Writing: ★★☆☆☆

Wrote about 300 words, did a little research and made a few notes. Technically did spend over 30m related to it, but not in a particularly focused way.

Eating: ★★★★

Ate three meals! Had a ready meal for lunch and housemate cooked dinner, but I'm focusing on the actual eating part rather than being super healthy or cooking regularly.

Leaving the house: ★★★☆☆

Doing both the supermarket and a run on the same day is pretty good for me, but both were comfortable environments.

Thanks for liking my post 🙂 Nice in depth journal. Very organized even with a cool visual star rating. Sorry if you already talking about this a lost but what're you reading?

 

That's also very interesting practice to grow your comfort zone by spending 30m outside of it. Is there something specific you're wanting to get comfortable with or is it just like, you know it's a use it or lose it situation and the goal is to keep the comfort zone growing just to grow it? Like how people save money just to save it. <---definitely my mentality.

 

Dang that's impressive the novels going well and props on the 5k speed

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