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The no complaining challenge is an eye opener for sure. Many of us (100% of us!) don't realize how much we complain - even if we are well intentioned and positive people.

Also, huge fan of Momentum. Brings a little bit of joy to my day every day.

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Attempt II Day 34

Here is my post for yesterday:

Today was wonderful as I got to hang out with a large group (15 of us) from my current high school at an all you can eat buffet!

My morning was ok, I procrastinated my morning run by reading when I woke up instead of meditation. Once I'd finished reading, I convinced myself it was too hot to have a run and so didn't do one at all. I set things right by having a midday run, as a 'punishment' for not doing my morning run by having to do it in the hottest part of the day. I didn't feel any more energised afterwards though.

As I mentioned in the opening sentence, I got to hang out with a bunch of mates from school who were from different friend groups at a mongolian quisine. I had a blast meeting up with my friends after exams have been over; it was like getting off of a deserted island to meet people because I'd been studying by myself for so long. I ate too much, but it was a nice time all round.

What am I grateful today?

-I am grateful for living in New Zealand

-I am grateful for the opportunity to see my friends

-I am grateful for the abundance of food here

What could I have done to make my day better?

I could have meditated when I got up. It is hard to get into this habit when every instinct and muscle is aching to just go back to bed.

One amazing thing that happened today:

I tested myself again at making friends, and made a friend named Thomas that came from my school. We hadn't talked to each other before and hadn't been in any classes together, so although it seemed we had nothing in common, I used that fact as a conversation starter! "Hey, you're not in any of my classes are you? I don't think we've met each other before. " It wasn't smooth, but sufficed. Even so, I felt great for stepping up to challenge my social skills; that's how I will develop those skills quickly.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

I can't say this one, I'm writing this entry the day after! What I should have done was reflected on my inability to run in the morning as a result of not meditating, as I didn't do my morning run the next day!

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Attempt II Day 35

Whoa! The days are whizzing by, now that I am not doing anything important that requires intense focus.

Just by writing that sentence I realise I should be spending much more time working on developing the website I am making for a client, it is easy to forget about it because I have finished the school work around the project.

Now for some self reflection and explanation:

I had trouble with motivation issues again today, the lack of motivation to do productive things. I expected this to happen once I started my holidays, and at the start I averted it well by keeping myself busy by doing things such as going to the museum and doing photography. Now that I have stopped planning such activities, my days seem to be wandering off the path of progress, with my sleep times becoming later and daily disciplines failing. I also forgot to mention that I didn't do my guitar practice yesterday as well as today. My time has been filled with reading and other general time wasting. On the brighter side, whilst reading 'You are not so smart' today (I finished The Power of Habit not long ago) I came across a part of the book that briefly tried to explain why simple planning doesn't work. This simple planning was what I tend to do: set deadlines of when I want to get things done according to overall goals. Although this sounds like a good idea on paper, it doesn't work most of the time for me because I hadn't devised a way to carry out the tasks that I planned for myself. In short, I had the what but didn't have the how. Even though I plan to run every morning and play guitar every day, I hadn't taken into consideration the other 'opposing' forces such as procrastination that I would feel in the future. Now I have set myself the task of finding a running buddy to join with to make sure that I run every day and to meditate immediately after waking up to clear my mind. I also plan to get a few things that 'prime' me to feel a certain way, such as candles or air fresheners that would encourage a cleaner way of living indirectly (it's just an idea at the moment, I need to do a little more research before I dive into this stuff).

It's late (I need to get my priorities right!) again to I will just have one other reflection:

What am I going to do differently tomorrow:

I am going to meditate immediately after I wake up, no excuses! Then have a run afterwards.

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I love You Are Not So Smart - great book! I think I took the most notes of any book ever in that one.

I meditate immediately upon waking up. Otherwise I put it off all day. Makes a world of difference.

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Attempt II Day 35

Today was better than last, possibly because I had some drive by meditating in the morning and had  morning run.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted a running buddy, and I had the opportunity today... A classmate from my old school was nearby when I was doing a morning run and I just said hi, kept on running. I was aware that I could have stopped to talk a little longer, but I didn't think the way I have been telling myself to, being "what is the worst that could likely happen? That's not very bad. I will take the plunge as the potential reward is much greater than the tiny risk." I don't have a way of reminding myself of such sayings or quotations other than recalling them in my memory, does anybody know a good way to incorporate smart ideas into daily life? I know I could just write them down and post them on a wall or something, but I have reason to believe I might just ignore it.

I improved through the fact I achieved my goal for yesterday to meditate upon waking up and then having a morning run, which is great. The next thing that I need to work on is consistent guitar practice. I have fallen out of the daily practice because I hit a 'road block' and haven't tried very hard to work my way around it. This will be in what I will try to improve tomorrow.

What am I grateful today?

I am grateful for the splendid lunch I had today and the chance to meet family again at my great uncle's 90th birthday! He's so old that he forgot it was his birthday...

I am grateful for the running shoes I have.

I am grateful for the resources I have on hand that I can use to help me learn.

What could I have done to make my day better?

I could have done my daily guitar practice as soon as possible rather than procrastinating as long as possible.

I will cut is short today, on the condition that I finish my journal entry tomorrow by 9PM!

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Attempt II Day 36

Today was worse than last in terms of daily disciplines, as I didn't play guitar like I insisted to, and ended up watching a lot of youtube.

I had to do quite a bit of driving today and almost caused a crash, even though I try to drive safely as much as possible, so I felt emotionally exhausted when I got home and didn't do much work as a result. I watched some junk on YouTube after doing a small amount of planned work, and here I am writing my post past the goal time. I remember from earlier to not beat myself up about my failures, but to accept that I fell down and to just pick up from where I left off. I am going to tackle tomorrow with determination to set things right, no excuses this time!

Looking back, I did get exercise in the morning and meditated twice today which is good. I just need to stay committed to my goals and remember them! I got some smaller activities done fast today from using trello, and I invested time into making a google calendar and writing a time frame from which a bunch of work was set out for me to complete. Unfortunately this time schedule was thrown off the rails when I needed to drive my Dad around, perhaps I could just write the time I expect an activity to take rather than what time I need to complete it by.

What am I grateful for?

-I am grateful for the skill to drive where I need to go

-I am grateful for the water that I am able to obtain so easily

-I am grateful for the nearby park to walk the dog.

What could I have done to make my day better?

I could have done guitar practice first because I needed to start again!

One amazing thing that happened today:

After meditating today I felt much calmer and could think a lot clearer after a shocking car experience.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

I will plan my work in terms of listing the things that I need to be doing, how much time each task will take, then estimate how much work I have to do during the day, as well as doing guitar practice first!

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I don't have a way of reminding myself of such sayings or quotations other than recalling them in my memory, does anybody know a good way to incorporate smart ideas into daily life? I know I could just write them down and post them on a wall or something, but I have reason to believe I might just ignore it.

You could write them all down in a dedicated notebook and read them when you feel you need some inspiration. Kahlil Gibran wrote some books made only of aphorisms. Check out Sand and Foam. Also, sharing quotes with others makes them more memorable to you as well.

 

After meditating today I felt much calmer and could think a lot clearer after a shocking car experience.

Nice that you resorted to calming your mind instead of ignoring the shock. Well done!

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Here is my post for yesterday:

Attempt II Day 37

Today was an average day in terms of work completed, but I got most of what I wanted done. I wrote a critical analysis of a website, I continued doing a clean out of my room (my cupboard is full of old toys and school books that I don't use anymore!). I had my morning run, did some jobs for my family, and did some marvelous practice on my guitar!

Something that stuck out to me from another post I read the other day was to 'compare gaming with hunger.' If you become full after playing games and feel satisfied, then gaming might be ok for you. If you never feel fully satisfied after playing games and hunger for more, even 'just one more round' or something, then you should probably avoid games. I had never thought of gaming this way, and I certainly fit into the 'never fully satisfied' category as I would keep playing games like an addict. This reflection has served to help solidify me in the path of recovery from the humble knowledge that I would never be satisfied playing games; I have uncapped potential outside of gaming whilst I put the effort in.

One amazing thing that happened today:

Today I was offered to have breakfast with my grandparents after I dropped off some keys at their place. It was nice to catch up with them and to have a wide range of fruit for breakfast., so I am grateful for this opportunity.

I am grateful for:

I am grateful for the abundance of spare time that I have

I am grateful for sewage systems. My home and country would be a lot messier without it!

I am grateful for having my own room, it is a nice privilege.

What could I have done to make today better?

I could have stayed off of youtube until I had finished the work I wanted to do.

What will I do differently tomorrow?

I will make sure I limit my time on youtube.

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Another metaphor for gaming is to sugar. If you have a little bit of sugar every once in awhile, it's not a big deal... but the more you have sugar, the more you want to have sugar - you even have urges and cravings for it, which makes it harder to control.

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Here is my post for yesterday:

Attempt II Day 38

Today I met up with another student to collaborate together on making a website for a client. This is the first time I have worked on a project for a client which will in turn earn me money, so requires more of my attention. It has been a good day overall.

Unfortunately I flopped down onto the couch to binge watch videos and snack once I got home for a few hours. I think this would be largely due to the lack of pressure on me from external sources to do well e.g. exam deadlines or project deadlines (there is no deadline for the website project). I have made a timeline of my goals, but is not that noticeable to me because it is on a piece of paper floating around in my room and on my google calendar, which I don't use very often.

On the bright side I meditated in the morning and did a good morning run, and ran fast the whole way! I feel I am getting fitter by doing this repetitively. I procrastinated doing guitar practice until it was too late though... I musn't do this tomorrow!

3 Things I'm grateful for:

I am grateful for having family that are willing to pick me up and drive me around if I need it

I am grateful for recycling facilities. I would be a very guilty person if I had to throw away everything  for landfill I would normally put in the recycling!

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to improve my skills in almost any area I desire.

One amazing thing that happened today:

The student I was working with was open to ideas and was a nice person to collaborate with, so I devote my amazing part of the day to working with him because we were able to get a lot done together.

What could I have done to make my day better?

I could have had a run immediately after arriving from school and played guitar, that way I would have been more energised to play guitar and got more exercise done.

What will I do differently tomorrow?

I cant answer this because I am writing the post the day after!

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Attempt II Day 39

Today has been a rather fun and diverse day for me, mostly because I pushed my own leadership qualities.

Thanks Cam for the metaphor, because I relate to that very well. Whilst I played games I could restrain myself from playing too much, but as time progressed I would let those standards slip until I started a new cycle starting from me being frightened at my own gaming usage. Speaking of sugar, I think I heard somewhere that you don't eat sugary food. I would like to change these habits of sugary food eating myself, but I am not completely sure of the consequences of sugar are worth giving up for healthier food all the time.

So today I went to a training day for peer support at my school, where we are prepared to give guidance for new students entering the school (the youngest year group). I made sure to push my leadership skills by volunteering to perform and whenever I could. It was easier than I expected, the hardest part was just to start I suppose. I could have done better to try and learn people's names, but about 3/4 of the time I didn't know somebody's name that I wanted to know, I took the plunge to get to know them, which is a vast improvement from what I'd normally do. I made about 5 acquaintances today and about 3 friends (not included), which is much more than an estimated average of 0.1 new friends per day! I wish to keep this up to keep up both my confidence and social skills.

3 Things I am grateful for:

I am grateful for the availability of petrol stations around where I live, it was a no brainer to find one today!

I am grateful for the opportunities presented by the school to meet new people by getting us into groups of people we're unfarmilar with.

I am grateful for the privelege to make my own lunch and to have pretty much all I need to make an interesting one. to add to this I am also grateful for my saving attitude because I know that I will do well later on in life by not spending money on things I don't need very much.

One amazing thing that happened today:

I led (indirectly) a group of 5 people to make a costume today and we made the best in the class because I had asked for each person to do a particular job. This worked well because it created accountability and pressure on that person because the costume wouldn't work without their help. This was a great feeling for me because I came to realise that my methodical approach to leadership may work out well and has given me a taste for being a leader.

What could I have done to make my day better?

I could have been even more outgoing and get out of my comfort zone to make even more friends today, but otherwise I believe I have done pretty well today!

What I am going to do differently tomorrow:

I am going to push myself to make even more friends and be more active once getting home.

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Good job pushing your leadership qualities! Leadership is something I'm working on nurturing in myself as well. I just picked up "Extreme  Ownership" by Jocko Willink to learn more about it. 

What consequences do you think you will have by giving up sugary foods? If it's taste, one interesting thing is that sugar changes our taste buds... so when you remove sugar from your diet everything actually tastes way better, because you're eating real food. It will take about 30 days but you will notice a big difference. An almond has never tasted so good... trust me. :) The paleo diet is a good one to start with if you're interested in learning more about food and nutrition.

 

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I could have done better to try and learn people's names, but about 3/4 of the time I didn't know somebody's name that I wanted to know, I took the plunge to get to know them, which is a vast improvement from what I'd normally do.

There are two tactics I use all the time. 1) Say it back. "Nice to meet you Alex!" 2) "Nice name! How do you spell it?"

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Here is my post for yesterday:

Attempt II Day 40

It is a nice feeling to know that I am almost halfway through the detox, and that I will continue strongly from here (I have had hardly any thoughts about games at all).

Today was the second (and last) day of Peer Support Training at school, and was great. It wasn't so interactive as yesterday because we worked with the same group and most of the students had other school related activities at various times throughout the day.

I didn't shine as much as yesterday in terms of leadership and friend making, which I believe was due to the factors listed above and because I didn't put as much effort in. I was 'on a roll' yesterday by pushing myself out of my comfort zone consistently, but today I expressed my usual introvert behaviour because I didn't feel the need to and there weren't many people I hadn't talked to recently that were around. I know I could have pushed myself again, but I just didn't. I am disappointed with my own lack of improvement in the social area, but I suppose I can't act out of character consistently.

On the bright side I got in what must have been half an hour of guitar practice, where I made up for yesterday's laziness (not playing guitar) by covering extra material. I have been getting into the habit of doing a morning run over the past week, and is almost automatic as long as I set an alarm for the morning.

I haven't picked up on programming python yet, which I should have done by now according to my calendar. I don't have excuses for that, so I need to get in action!

Three things I'm grateful for:

My brother kindly bought me lunch today, and I was grateful for his gift even though I didn't eat it (the gesture was nice).

I am grateful for the spare time I now have during these holidays

I am grateful for having the freedom to drive where I need to.

One amazing thing that happened today:

I felt refreshed after playing my guitar for a while, and felt really on top of things because I was picking up on new techniques rather quickly. This was a key point in my day because I need reminding that 'there is light at the end of the tunnel'; namely that there is great reward as long as I persist in developing my musical skills.

One thing I could have done to make my day better:

I could have put more effort into being more outgoing I suppose.

Good job pushing your leadership qualities! Leadership is something I'm working on nurturing in myself as well. I just picked up "Extreme  Ownership" by Jocko Willink to learn more about it. 

What consequences do you think you will have by giving up sugary foods? If it's taste, one interesting thing is that sugar changes our taste buds... so when you remove sugar from your diet everything actually tastes way better, because you're eating real food. It will take about 30 days but you will notice a big difference. An almond has never tasted so good... trust me. :) The paleo diet is a good one to start with if you're interested in learning more about food and nutrition.

 

Thanks Cam, I'm sure I'll find much value in developing leadership skills. I think that I like sugary foods just for the taste, so it sounds good to know that other foods will taste better if I stop eating sugar.

I could have done better to try and learn people's names, but about 3/4 of the time I didn't know somebody's name that I wanted to know, I took the plunge to get to know them, which is a vast improvement from what I'd normally do.

There are two tactics I use all the time. 1) Say it back. "Nice to meet you Alex!" 2) "Nice name! How do you spell it?"

Thanks Tom, I'll try remember to use those, I'm sure the repetition of using the names must make them more memorable.

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Here's my post for yesterday:

Attempt II Day 41

Today was a designated 'rest' day where I could take a break from my habit building (e.g. running, playing the guitar) but of course, not playing any video games. It felt nice to finally have a day that I could fully feel free to do what I liked, so I just did a lot of reading, and donated $50 to the world vision charity as part of a Christmas present. At the end of the day my ideas were reinforced that it is important to plan out my day; I didn't do much because I hadn't planned anything.

Three things I'm grateful for:

I am grateful for the time my parents are willing to spend with me.

I am grateful for having a variety (however small) of foods to eat for my breakfast.

I am grateful for the opportunity to donate money to those who need it most in other countries.

One amazing thing that happened today:

When I went to donate for world vision, the woman I spoke to came from the same school as me, and she was currently going through university. It was great to share our experiences and what life is life after high school.

What I could have done to make my day better:

I could have made sure to write my journal entry before I got to bed! I'll make sure to write mine before 8pm tomorrow so that I don't procrastinate.

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Here's my post for today! I'm glad I have stopped my cycle of posting late.

Attempt II Day 42

Today has been a relaxed day to say the least, I didn't have many things that I needed to get done other than my daily habits, and I had a positive outlook throughout the day. I posted a lot on game quitters, playing with my little brother and his school friend, and did the family shopping.

It's 8:00pm, so I am definitely going to finish this post before I get to bed (I wanted to post at around this time as the goal I set yesterday).

I did my morning run and meditation, working to strengthen these habits. As usual I felt refreshed after meditation, with all my drowsiness expunged completely. I am finding meditation very useful for after I get up in the morning, as it helps to clear my head of what I'd call 'sleeper's fog' which is the desire to continue sleeping or not get up because I would want to keep comfortable.

I was excited today to find that I had been given the opportunity to talk to Cam through the emailing list. I was rather surprised to find that most of what it talked of was relationship related but I suppose one of the main reasons I quit gaming was to improve my social life, so this should be very useful to me. Later in the day I was very excited to have booked a time to talk to him! I have started writing questions to ask to make the most of the time we will have to skype each other. I am looking forward to Monday.

Three things I'm grateful for:

I'm grateful for having my own desk. Studying and using my computer would be much harder without it!

I am grateful for the convenience of supermarkets. I know that in older times there used to be stalls for each type of good, and with the amount of food I bought today, I don't know how much more time it would have taken me; at least an hour I'd reckon.

One amazing thing that happened today:

When I received the email that I could talk to Cam, I literally punched the air to savour the moment. I feel privileged to do so as I know there will be a number of people that won't get the opportunity. I will ensure I make the most of this time.

One thing I could have done to make my day better:

I could have planned out my day to make sure that I got what I wanted to get done, done on time. Not that I had much that needed to get done, but playing guitar and learning programming I have procrastinated until the end of the day (which I will do as soon as I finish this post).

What I am going to do differently tomorrow:

I am going to use my trello account to list tasks of importance to do during the day, then out of those, the top priority tasks. I will then set a process list which will have the order I will do my daily tasks in. This way I can focus on the tasks I have set whilst knowing I can get all these done, and without any hesitation needed with choosing what I'm to do later.

I will also get quicker at writing posts!

 

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Attempt II Day 43

Today has been great, I got a heap of guitar practice in, a run, and finished writing my CV. I am now able to spam employers to get a part-time job!

My brother has gotten back home from a 3 day trip, but his distant behaviour that I picked up on reminded me of what I was like whilst I had games to fulfill my needs. He didn't want to do anything with me or my little brother unless it involved video games, and he was especially repelled from the idea of doing things outside. I was much like this when I had video games cluttering my life; gaming took priority and all other social interaction and commitments took a back seat.

I didn't do my programming today which is a little frustrating to reflect on at the end of the day. I haven't started to work on my programming skills for more than a few minutes the whole week, which I am not happy about. I will make sure to do my programming practice before I play guitar tomorrow so that I don't leave it till last minute and then leave it for the next day.

Three things I'm grateful for:

I am grateful for the fertile soil where I live. The grass has no problem to grow and makes for great scenery.

I am grateful for the opportunity to talk to Cam tomorrow.

I am grateful for having time to spend with my family.

One amazing thing that happened today:

I felt I improved playing the guitar at a great rate today and was able to play through past exercises I had done about a week ago with ease. This type of feeling I need to remember to keep motivated to learn how to play the guitar.

One thing I could have done to make my day better:

I could have made the effort to find paper and write the list I proposed earlier, but didn't do it because I used the Trello board I use for the same purpose. In future I could simply not spend so much time on my computer to make sure I have time for important activities.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

I will do alternating sessions of playing guitar and programming with breaks in between to get the most out of my day.

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Attempt II Day 44

Today has been marvelous! I started off the day by delivering flyers for my parents, just helping them out. Next I had a (once in a lifetime?) call with Cam Adair who gave me some sound advice which I might post up once I'm done editing the notes I've made. I then delivered even more fliers, did some guitar practice, played a board game with my little brother, and finally took on python programming again. I did a full 30 minutes of programming, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it compared to how I remember myself mildly enjoying it earlier in the year. It must be because of the detox...

Guess what? I did all of three of the daily habits I wanted to build on today! I did plenty of running (I ran 13.5 km today!), spend plenty of time playing the guitar (until my fingers had 'dents' in them), and made sure to get some python programming in.

I've got my 'no complaining' band on again for the 25 day 'no complaining challenge', and I am feeling happier today. I think I need to get a tighter band though, to remind me better that I need to not complain to keep a positive outlook on life.

I have finished the 'You are not so smart' book, but I didn't take any notes. I will skim over the book and take notes as I have forgotten most of the content!

Three things I'm grateful for:

I am grateful for the advice Cam gave me in answering my questions. They certainly gave me a lot to work on moving forward.

I am grateful for the dinner I had tonight. We don't often have roasts here, so it was a nice change.

I am grateful for my phone microphone working today, I used it as backup during the skype call because my laptop I used had a faulty microphone.

One amazing thing that happened today:

I would actually like to talk about two amazing things that happened today, because why not? It will only serve to make me more grateful.

1. My call with Cam Adair today was a privilege I am especially grateful for, it is not every day you get to speak to minor celebrities! (You can take that as a compliment Cam :) ). It was a funny contrast to talk about finding purpose in life one minute, then in the next, trying to help Cam find food in the supermarket, which makes it all the more memorable. xD On a serious note though, I learnt a lot and I am very grateful for this opportunity.

2. I found programming today much more engaging and rewarding then I remember it being earlier in the year. This is a great emotional foundation which I will look to when thinking about programming to see the activity in a more positive light. It felt wonderful to be expanding on my skills whilst being engaged and problem solving. I have the notion that this could be because I no longer have gaming experiences to compare to in my short term memory, so programming seems like a great stimuli for my brain without the influence that gaming would have on my brain.

One thing I could have done to make my day better:

I didn't meditate immediately upon waking up this morning, which I should have done to get myself out of the drowsy mood I would normally wake up with. I ended up reading for about half an hour, so I should make sure not to do this tomorrow.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

I will use the song I wake up to (via phone alarm) to visualise myself achieving goals I aspire to achieve. I will then make sure to meditate using one of the guided meditations I have downloaded from Tara Brach's website.

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Sounds like you're starting to get some serious momentum going.  I've found that once you get something rolling along it's much easier to keep it going.  I'm not a psychic, but I'm predicting the momentum you've got now is going to help make your 2016 awesome.

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Sounds like you're starting to get some serious momentum going.  I've found that once you get something rolling along it's much easier to keep it going.  I'm not a psychic, but I'm predicting the momentum you've got now is going to help make your 2016 awesome.

Thanks Ed, you're right about the momentum! I have read in The Slight Edge or The Power of Habit (one of the two, I can't remember), that once you start creating meaningful habits on your own, it becomes easier to continue making new habits in the future. This is exactly what you're talking about, as I feel I do have momentum to keep going with new activities now. I want to make 2016 awesome, so I'll make sure to make goals today that I'd like to achieve in 2016 and then post it in  my journal this afternoon.

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Attempt II Day 45

No complaining day 1

Woohoo!  I'm halfway through the detox! I had thought about what it would mean and what I would do at the end of the detox, but I am self assured that the detox is the metaphorical launch pad to my journey to the skies - to found the habits that I would use instead of gaming to move my life forward in the long run. If I played games after the detox, my habits, the launch pad, would disintegrate and I would never leave the ground.

Today has been a very productive day: I did my meditation, running, python programming, and guitar practice done, all of which I did overtime! I will make sure to assess my running statistics from today and try to beat it tomorrow:

  • Duration: 25 minutes
  • 146 Ave BPM
  • 3807 steps taken

I will beat the duration by adding another 2 minutes at least, and go a further distance to cover 4000 steps whilst maintaining the same heart rate.

I tried visualisation upon waking up today, but I didn't 'feel' it as much as I should have. Instead I'll set a time tomorrow where I will visualise and perhaps add body movement. I will do this at 9am tomorrow. Alarm set!

I have applied for about 8 jobs today, so hopefully I should get a reply from a employer sooner or later.

Tomorrow I will make sure to walk around town and/or go to the local library, so that I can make some new friends and apply for local jobs.

I complained once today, so I have swapped my band, and am starting again. 25 days to go! I had started this a little while ago to gain a more positive outlook on life, because it is scientifically proven that word choice influences emotional feelings and therefore the perceived quality of life. Better words will make you happier, in short.

Today I am also going to write one email per day so that I become more grateful. Today's letter goes to Cam.

Three things I'm grateful for:

I am grateful for online job listers, without them I'd be going door to door or doing a hell of a lot of phone calls!

I am grateful for my fitbit. This is the first time I'm actually going to use its features to help me stretch myself.

I am grateful for having the choice to do what I like with my time during these holidays.

One amazing thing that happened today:

I programmed during the set 'action sequence' I had planned to yesterday (being immediately after I put product in my hair). I really enjoyed today's session, and I refined my programming skills for about 2 hours at least! Playing around with previously learned commands has refreshed my memory in how to use them and was surprisingly fun like yesterday.

What I could have done differently to make today better:

I could have attempted visualising again, but that's pretty minor. I didn't meet my fitbit goal of doing 10000 steps today (I did nearly 7000) so tomorrow I will make sure to have an afternoon run.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

I will have an afternoon run, I will run for longer or faster in the morning, I will visualise at 9am in the morning. I will not complain, only making negative comments with a proposed improvement to the action or situation. I will go to town tomorrow (if I walk I will not need to do afternoon exercise) and make at least two new friends. This is a mouthful, but I have momentum in the changes I am making to my life, so I am confident I can do all these things.

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Attempt II Day 46

No complaining day 2

Today has been great in the fact that it all went smoothly, I have nothing threatening my wellbeing, economic position, etc. I spend some quality time with my little brother by walking around town to buy Christmas presents. We went to a bunch of cheap item stores and found some really neat things to buy people.

I'm sad to say I didn't cut it today in terms of the habits and goals I set myself yesterday. I was woken up rather early and I didn't want to meditate at all, it was 5:something so I just went back to bed. When my alarm woke me up I felt extra drowsy so I just skipped the meditation and running; I went straight to eating breakfast. Since I had to look after my little brother at home in the afternoon I couldn't leave to go for a run, so I didn't get the exercise I needed today. I'm not going to let it happen tomorrow though! I'll make sure to just do the meditation no matter how I feel immediately after waking up.

I had a cold shower like I told Tom I would. I don't see any immediate effects other than being cold and being much faster to have my shower, but I'm just going to have to trust the science. I didn't bother making new friends today because I was going around with my little brother, who required my attention a lot of the time.

I realise I'm just keeping fit by running in the morning, not trying to build muscle. To this end, I will just continue what I'm doing but just change up my course to increase its total distance and perhaps run slightly faster each time I run.

For some reason I didn't hear my phone alarm that I set for visualisation today, but tomorrow I will do it immediately after meditation. This way I will have a clear state of mind to visualise and it will help motivate my for my run immediately after.

My little brother has started his holidays today, and was upset that I couldn't shoot zombies with him on the XBox. I found the answer to his question to play almost automatic, and I was surprised with his reaction. I later found that he had finally realised that if I continued on the path I am now, he would never be able to play video games with me again, and only with my twin brother. I realise this too, but I know it is a much better choice to not play in the long run, and there is an endless list of things we could do together instead. This shouldn't be a hurdle for me, as I have had much more pressing invitations that I have had to turn down whilst on this journey that I've learnt from.

Three things I'm grateful for:

I am grateful for the little cheap item stores where I can find all sorts of bits and bobs that can be great gifts for all sorts of people.

I am grateful for the time I can spend with my parents now that I have time away from gaming.

I am grateful for my little brother who was a great gift spotter, he pointed out many things that were great gifts for others.

One amazing thing that happened today:

Playing my guitar today, I felt that I had gotten a better idea of how to use my low voice better when singing along to what I play. I have tried different ways whilst playing in the past few days, but I felt I am getting the hang of it. I felt optimistic about how well I could develop my guitar playing skills, and this should be another fuel for envisioning and motivation!

What I could have done to make today better:

I could have simply meditated after getting up the second time. That way I would have gone on a run, as I always do after meditating. I need to make sure that I do a full guitar session and get out of the house after my daily habits to go to the library and other stores to have sufficient time.

What I will do differently tomorrow:

I will meditate immediately upon waking up. I will practice envisioning (with music) immediately after meditation. I will complete full sessions of guitar, programming, and running (I didn't do a full session of guitar practice today). I will get out of the house to get into town before 11 if possible.

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Nice that you got to spend time with your little brother in a meaningful way! 

When my alarm woke me up I felt extra drowsy so I just skipped the meditation and running; I went straight to eating breakfast. Since I had to look after my little brother at home in the afternoon I couldn't leave to go for a run, so I didn't get the exercise I needed today. I'm not going to let it happen tomorrow though! I'll make sure to just do the meditation no matter how I feel immediately after waking up.

I had a cold shower like I told Tom I would. I don't see any immediate effects other than being cold and being much faster to have my shower, but I'm just going to have to trust the science.

 

On a day like this when you wake up drowsy try a cold shower first thing. I always do it when I'm away for work and the nights are too short. If you want to preserve water (e.g. you are training later and will have to shower anyway) try running cold water on your head. I find that the face, the back of the neck and the upper back react very well to cold.

I realise I'm just keeping fit by running in the morning, not trying to build muscle. To this end, I will just continue what I'm doing but just change up my course to increase its total distance and perhaps run slightly faster each time I run.

That won't work. If you increase total distance you just keep stimulating your low-twitch muscle fibers while eating up more calories. Running slightly faster has the same effect. To build muscle you need time under tension, progressive overload, and good nutrition.

Try the 30-20-10 workout: it incorporates sprints and it was the program for runners I enjoyed the most. Keep in mind that your gains will be very moderate anyway.

You'd better complement with some essential bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, pull-ups or chin-ups, dips, plank.

Edited by Tom
Added workout advice

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