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Jay's Epic Journey

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Figured I'd start one of these myself. :) Don't know if I'll post every single day but it'll be good to use as a way to focus myself and to measure progress. Also never done journaling before so this will be a fun new experience.

Well yesterday was the day that I really decided yet again to start the process of quitting not only video games, but also fast food, another addiction of mine. They come hand in hand really. How easy it is to order fast food that you don't have to spend time prepping and cooking when you've got to beat Hero Slayer, Fiend of the Void!

I was actually largely inspired to give it another shot after my counseling session yesterday. Sometimes I need a kick in the butt to get myself going! I do highly recommend professional counseling if you've got no one else in your life to talk to in real life. Counselors make for a great support system, as generally they are non-judgmental and got your back all the way!

Anyway, I had previously deleted all the games from my system as the Respawn guide suggests but I needed to take it a step further - actually work to have all my online accounts (Origin, Battle.net, Steam) permanently deleted. I went ahead and did that with Origin and am working on Battle.net (they want you to send them a letter with photo ID and everything, but given that this is an irreversible process I can understand why they'd want to make the barrier high). Still waiting on a refund for Fallout 4 before I go ahead and dismantle my Steam account.

It actually feels quite liberating to go ahead with these decisions. It's interesting because once the cravings kick in and we relapse, we often forget how good we feel when we make these important changes. Perhaps writing it down in some form will make it easier to remind myself of this going forward.

Going forward, I'm probably going to get back into cooking for myself to improve my nutrition. Beyond that, to fill the void left behind by games might be a struggle. This is the main issue I dealt with then trying to quit video games before. For now, I will be actively pursuing stuff on meetup.com. I have joined some board game and outdoors groups so there should be a lot of things I can participate in.. provided I find the motivation to do so.

Does anyone have any ideas for what to do if you've got family members that you live with who have video game consoles around the house? I have already sold everything that I personally own, but I cannot do anything about my brother's stuff. It's typically not an issue but I want to be ready in case it ever does become one.

Also, if I stop posting here for an extended period of time, PLEASE feel free to bombard my inbox with messages. Like I said above, sometimes I just need a kick in the butt to get myself going again. I will definitely not be offended.

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Always love seeing another journal up here. Can't wait to follow along. Where are you from Jay?

When it comes to your brother's gaming stuff just try to focus that much more on being out of the house more often and following the steps outlined in Respawn to have other activities going on. Also, when he's gaming, I'd create a boundary around his room and not spend any time watching him play. That almost always leads to a relapse (Alex's journal for an example.)

Edited by Cam Adair
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Yeah for sure, watching someone else play isn't a whole lot different from playing yourself. I have repeatedly asked him to stop talking to me about video games and I basically just ignore it when he does play them. That's about all I can do at this point. Definitely agree that getting out of house would help, it's just a matter of doing it. Fortunately my work schedule has me working while he's at home so it's a lot easier. Just gotta avoid his consoles. :)

Fortunately I have started to take steps. I have joined a few more Meetups from meetup.com and am rekindling my interest in some of the other ones I am already a part of. Going to a euchre night next Thursday and a board game night the week after. I have also taken steps to remove from my life the remnants of the video games that I own. Gave away my Steam and Battle.net accounts today. I no longer have access to them at all.

As far as stuff about me, I'm 28 years old from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Currently I work at my dad's company, Luba's Linen Supply Inc., just a medium sized linen supply service business. I mentioned that I definitely want to get more education but I'm not sure just yet for what. A bit of that fear creeping in as I am scared of starting something that I'm not going to do anything with yet again.

Some things that I do have an interest in are: astronomy (mostly dabbling, I like reading up about other planets in our solar system and stuff like that), sports (pretty major interest for me, particularly baseball and hockey), politics (mostly just discussions, I never let it get to the point of heated arguments though), motivating and helping other people as much as I can (this one is HUGE for me, if I could help everyone I would). I think a lot about ways I could turn these interests into a stable career but before that I think I need to just start doing something first and see if it's something I'd be interested in participating in long-term. One thing at a time though. :)

Cam one thing I do want to say is that I think it's super awesome that you actively participate in these forums. You must be a very busy guy so to take time out of your day to interact with us is incredible and also extremely important I think. So thanks! :)

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OK so I didn't have time to post yesterday but I really had a blast! I went to work in the morning and was pretty excited about being able to leave at 1:00 PM! That gave me enough time to go on the hike that I wanted to go on. We left Hamilton around 2:45 PM for Elora, hiked for about 2.5-3 hours, had a nice dinner and got back around 9:45 PM. During the hike and drive there and back I got to know a couple of pretty cool people as well. The guy, Joaquin, largely drove the conversations but I learned quite a lot from him. He has numerous degrees and certifications, and shares a lot of values with me. I think I could learn a great deal by talking to him a lot!

Today wasn't as great. It felt like a bit of a slog. Not that I wasn't motivated to do the things I got done, I just didn't feel as energetic. It might have been exhaustion from the previous night. I ended up ordering chicken wings tonight which isn't so great as I am also trying to quit fast food, but I didn't order any pop to come with it so that's fine. Bend but not break! Tomorrow will be a great day!

I did do some thinking about the short term goals and routines I want to accomplish and I came up with a few things:

  • create a schedule for myself so I can get into more of a daily routine
  • start reading at least 1 hour a day
  • go hiking with the meetup group at least once a week
  • go to the other meetups that I am a member of at least once a week (board games, card games, trivia nights, etc.)
  • watch all the videos on the Game Quitters channel

I think just getting a nice rhythm going with respect to how I go about my day to day activities should help to keep me motivated, focused and energized.

Here are some of my mid to long term goals:

  • quit video games and fast food completely by Jan. 1, 2016 (on track)
  • go back to school for something by Sep. 2016 (not really sure where this is at)
  • renew my gym membership and start going 3 times a week by May 13th, 2016 (on track)

That's about it for today. :)

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Great update. One trick to avoid fast food is to have (healthier) food you can eat in the house. Every few days I cook up a bunch of food (tends to be quinoa, bok choy, peppers, and a protein source like lean pork, pork chops, chicken) and then I put it all in tuberware for the next few days. It's "fast" because it's already cooked. :D

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Great update. One trick to avoid fast food is to have (healthier) food you can eat in the house. Every few days I cook up a bunch of food (tends to be quinoa, bok choy, peppers, and a protein source like lean pork, pork chops, chicken) and then I put it all in tuberware for the next few days. It's "fast" because it's already cooked. :D

That's great advice Cam! I am rather picky with my food though. :P In the sense that I really prefer freshly cooked meat. This aligns quite well with my goals anyhow as I really want to learn how to cook. Tonight I will be cooking chicken parmiagana for example. :) Cooking really is quite easy it's just a matter of getting off your bum and doing it! Much cheaper than getting fast food as well!

Since I'm posting anyways I might as well post about my day. It was quite a good day actually. Woke up around 5:00 AM but didn't get up until about 7:00 AM, watched my motivational videos, meditated, updated some stuff on here and meetup.com and then napped for a couple hours! And I learned a few minutes ago that I don't have to work tonight so I will be going to a trivia night with one of my meetup groups! Should be a lot of fun. :)

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Nice to see you making progress Jay!

I'd suggest you number the days you have went without games, it will help motivate you to do the full 90 days. In terms of reading, please read The Slight Edge, it goes hand in hand with the goals you are setting up.

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Nice to see you making progress Jay!

I'd suggest you number the days you have went without games, it will help motivate you to do the full 90 days. In terms of reading, please read The Slight Edge, it goes hand in hand with the goals you are setting up.

Alex I have just bought the book and will start reading it tomorrow. :) Thanks for the tip.

As for numbering the days, I will start doing that as well!

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I finally got around to reading your journal!  I would like to offer a belated welcome to you.  I try to read every post on the site, but it takes me quite a while.  In your first entry, you said that we can bombard your inbox with messages, and I want you to know that you can do the same to me.  I will answer any PMs before I get to reading other posts.

As for education, I would like to suggest taking a class or two at a community college if you have the time to do it.  That is where I found out that I really wanted to study architecture.  I was just taking interesting sounding classes until I took a history of architecture class and just kept going!  I don't know if I will ever pursue a career in architecture (I probably will), but it is my dream to get my degree.  I enjoy learning all about it!

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I finally got around to reading your journal!  I would like to offer a belated welcome to you.  I try to read every post on the site, but it takes me quite a while.  In your first entry, you said that we can bombard your inbox with messages, and I want you to know that you can do the same to me.  I will answer any PMs before I get to reading other posts.

As for education, I would like to suggest taking a class or two at a community college if you have the time to do it.  That is where I found out that I really wanted to study architecture.  I was just taking interesting sounding classes until I took a history of architecture class and just kept going!  I don't know if I will ever pursue a career in architecture (I probably will), but it is my dream to get my degree.  I enjoy learning all about it!

Cam offers some great advice on this - just start trying stuff and see what happens. :) Joaquin, who I met at the hike I went on a couple days ago, feels the same way. If you don't like it, you can always change it. He made a great point that starting a new career in Canada is so easy, so there's no real reason to not just go out and try new stuff.

Still not quite sure what that new stuff is but I won't get anywhere just sitting down and contemplating it. Perhaps I might take general arts and science from my local community college and just go from there. :D

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Since I made the commitment to quitting video games last Thursday, this would be..

Day 7

Today was awesome! Even though I woke up at 7:30 AM, then 8:30 AM, and didn't actually get up until 11:30 AM, I have had a productive day! It's so easy to wake up late, think about how much time you've lost in the day and get down on yourself, but that's exactly the type of attitude I want to avoid.

I went and bought myself a good pair of hiking boots and now I'm even more excited to go on hikes with my meetup groups, especially on the more rugged paths! I also started reading The Slight Edge, and I wholeheartedly agree with the principles set forth. Pretty much all the books I've read so far say generally the same thing, just using different words.

Change the way you think, the way you view yourself. Your perceptions of yourself will manifest externally in your actions. If you care deeply about yourself you will do everything in your power to make your life better.

Create new habits for yourself. Reading, walking, studying something every day, just create new, positive habits for yourself and be consistent. All those little things will develop the discipline you require to reach your goals!

There's so much else as well that I probably haven't even learned yet. Exciting times!

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You're right that all of the books we talk about here have much in common.  I see them like pieces of a puzzle that becomes clearer the more you read.  They have helped change my life.  It's funny that before I read "The Power of Habit" I thought it was going to be cheesy and make me feel like a loser.  It's really nice to be wrong!

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Congrats on Day # 7 Jay! I'm happy for you!

I agree with both of you, the books we read here do have patterns, and I felt the same as Joe & his book when I picked up The Slight Edge, I thought it was going to be gimmicky and I was going to be disappointed, but I was presently surprised and couldn't put it down. I feel like I should read it again.

 

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You're right that all of the books we talk about here have much in common.  I see them like pieces of a puzzle that becomes clearer the more you read.  They have helped change my life.  It's funny that before I read "The Power of Habit" I thought it was going to be cheesy and make me feel like a loser.  It's really nice to be wrong!

Congrats on Day # 7 Jay! I'm happy for you!

I agree with both of you, the books we read here do have patterns, and I felt the same as Joe & his book when I picked up The Slight Edge, I thought it was going to be gimmicky and I was going to be disappointed, but I was presently surprised and couldn't put it down. I feel like I should read it again.

Thanks! :D

These books are usually pretty exciting for me because I tend to find they have very valuable information in them. It's just a matter of applying what you've learned - most people won't and that's why it doesn't work for them.

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OK the day has barely even started but I'll post a bit about today for now..

Day 8

So last night I fell asleep around 11:15 or so and I didn't think I would need my alarm clock but to my amazement, I woke up at around 9:15! I must have been really tired or something, haha. Regardless, I am going to make it a point moving forward to always maintain the same schedule when sleeping so that I can develop a consistent routine every single day. So far that is:

7:30 - get up
7:35 or so - take a shower (10-15 minutes)
7:50 - eat breakfast (between 10-30 minutes depending on what I decide to eat)
8:00~8:30 - meditate (about 15 minutes for now)
8:15~8:45 - watch my motivational videos (about 40 minutes)
9:00~9:30 - read at least 2 chapters out of whatever book I'm reading

After that it gets less certain. I've never been much of a schedule person, so I kinda like to just wing it at times, but I understand the importance of a daily routine and want to get my mornings down pat, since that essentially sets up the rest of my day! I'm still not 100% sure of the activities I want to replace gaming with but I do have a few ideas:

- learn polish (mainly cause most of my family speaks polish)
- going to the gym (3 times a week)
- painting my room (not sure when I'll start this but it's something I want to do)
- go on a walk or run on days when I know I won't be going on a hike

One thing I'm definitely doing right now to improve my social skills is getting out to meetups as often as I can. My work schedule makes this a bit of a challenge right now but whenever I can do it, I will! Another thing I think I want to do to take up the time in the mornings (and something I know can fulfill several of the needs that gaming does) is volunteering somewhere.

I also read a couple more chapters today of the slight edge and it's such a fantastic book. The idea that little decisions we make every single day compound to something big later on really resonates with me. I look at my situation right now and I absolutely believe where I am right now is the result of many choices I've made in the past. Even though a lot of the choices are boring, when you consider the big picture and when you consider what you want out of life, it's absolutely worth it!

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My language learner sense tingled, I think someone said they wanted to learn a language! 

I have never tried to learn Polish, so I cannot speak for the quality of the Polish being taught on these websites, but I can tell you I've enjoyed these sites for Japanese, French and Portuguese!

https://www.memrise.com/ Think of it as flash cards with a memory aid

https://www.duolingo.com/course/pl/en/Learn-Polish-Online Their Polish course is not done yet, so it maybe something to keep an eye on until it releases!

http://forvo.com/languages/pl/ You can look up words in ANY language and get prouncation from a native speaker, I've linked you directly to the polish one

http://www.fluentin3months.com/polish/ Really good article and some pretty good links at the end

http://4chanint.wikia.com/wiki/Polish The 4 chan /int/ wiki has some good articles on a language learning, and on polish resources

Before you journey into the wonderful world of language learning, I would like to warn you about something. Remember the end goal is to learn the language! There is so much anger and vile in some communities and circles when speaking about how to learn a language. My recommendation is to not get caught up in this, just figure out what works best for you and DO IT! There are people online in every language community, but I saw it a lot in Japanese, who spend more time arguing and yelling at people that they "SHOULD BE LEARNING THE POLITE FORMS OF VERBS RIGHT NOW YOU SERIOUSLY SHOULDN'T SKIP IT WHAT ARE YOU THINKING OMFG YOU IDIOT" then studying the language. 

This is very Star Wars-esque... Don't fall to the dark side Jay!

EDIT
Also, the Slight Edge is super relevant for language learning! 

Edited by Elegwa

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My language learner sense tingled, I think someone said they wanted to learn a language! 

I have never tried to learn Polish, so I cannot speak for the quality of the Polish being taught on these websites, but I can tell you I've enjoyed these sites for Japanese, French and Portuguese!

https://www.memrise.com/ Think of it as flash cards with a memory aid

https://www.duolingo.com/course/pl/en/Learn-Polish-Online Their Polish course is not done yet, so it maybe something to keep an eye on until it releases!

http://forvo.com/languages/pl/ You can look up words in ANY language and get prouncation from a native speaker, I've linked you directly to the polish one

http://www.fluentin3months.com/polish/ Really good article and some pretty good links at the end

http://4chanint.wikia.com/wiki/Polish The 4 chan /int/ wiki has some good articles on a language learning, and on polish resources

Before you journey into the wonderful world of language learning, I would like to warn you about something. Remember the end goal is to learn the language! There is so much anger and vile in some communities and circles when speaking about how to learn a language. My recommendation is to not get caught up in this, just figure out what works best for you and DO IT! There are people online in every language community, but I saw it a lot in Japanese, who spend more time arguing and yelling at people that they "SHOULD BE LEARNING THE POLITE FORMS OF VERBS RIGHT NOW YOU SERIOUSLY SHOULDN'T SKIP IT WHAT ARE YOU THINKING OMFG YOU IDIOT" then studying the language. 

This is very Star Wars-esque... Don't fall to the dark side Jay!

EDIT
Also, the Slight Edge is super relevant for language learning! 

Yeah, I'm not too concerned about the proper pronunciations or the proper grammar or anything like that, I figure that stuff will come in time and being corrected. :) I actually found a pretty cool website about this here: http://www.linguatrek.com/

David actually learned Polish himself and discovered a different way to do it than just taking classes and I absolutely love his method. It's more about just going through some material, looking up words you don't understand, and most importantly, also listening to that same material. He used the first Harry Potter book.

So, Day 10. (Actually, Day 9! Whoops, too excited I guess!)

Yesterday evening was great, as usual. :D I went out with my meetup group for a night of Euchre. Was great, talked to some really nice people and met someone who is doing material science at McMaster University and he's 29 years old. I don't know if my friendship with him will go anywhere but it was nice to meet someone closer to my age, haha!

What went not so great was my sleep! I went to bed at around 11:00 PM and didn't fall asleep until 3:00 AM. I have no idea what's causing this. The night before I fell asleep almost immediately upon going to bed around the same time. This is something I'll have to figure out as I believe having a regular sleep schedule is absolutely critical to your health in so many ways. If anyone has any suggestions I'd be happy to give them a shot!

As for today. so far it has been FANTASTIC! The days just keep getting better and better really. I have a feeling it has much to do with what I've learned in The Slight Edge today regarding having happy habits. Specifically, I was excited to learn that I already do two of the happy habits, and in greater quantities than recommended! I meditate twice a day for about 20-25 minutes total, and obviously I also do this journal. I had also planned to start doing a morning walk anyways on days that I am not going on a hike (and I may just do it every day regardless!), so learning that it was also a great happy habit was awesome! I went on my first one today. :)

To be honest, that book is probably the single best literature I've ever read on personal development. Everything just makes so much sense. I look back and I can very clearly see the decisions I made in the past that led to the life I have. I dropped out of college 3 or 4 times. I quit many things in the past that I didn't give all my effort to up to the point that I quit. All of that compounded to the life I currently have. I absolutely don't regret it though. As the book says, it's never too late to start living with the slight edge, and I am doing that every day now. Just a few examples:

  • Yesterday I went to the grocery store simply to pick up some lettuce because I wanted to make a salad. I could have decided to just not do that and look for something else to eat, but it would have been so easy to give up that search and go order some fast food. So I went and got that lettuce.
  • Also last night, I decided I needed to fill up my car's gas tank. Shortly after that, I thought, it's late, I'll just go home and do it tomorrow - but no. What if tomorrow I say, "oh I'm not planning on going anywhere anyways so I'll just do it the next day". So I went and filled up my gas tank.
  • Today, same thing as with the lettuce, I wanted to make a salad but ran out of tomatoes. Again I was faced with the choice of either going to the store and getting some tomatoes or looking for something else, and risking what I described previously. So I went and got tomatoes after my morning walk.

Every single one of these choices, and we are faced with dozens, if not hundreds of them on a daily basis, gather together to form what I call the "pool of discipline". Every positive choice you make adds to that pool, and hones your discipline. Each choice you make, makes it much easier to make the next one. Conversely, each negative choice affects it the same way, but in the opposite direction. It becomes easier to make the lazy choice each time we make it. Unfortunately, this is the type of life I was living before, but no more!

Edited by jaylajkosz

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Happy to hear you're enjoying the book and that your days are improving! It's one of my favorite books for a reason. :D

It's a good one, no doubt about it!

I will probably finish Think and Be Phenomenal next. It'll be interesting to see the overlap between the two books. :)

Actually, while I was sitting in bed last night, I started reading "How to Manage Your Money When You Don't Have Any". The author seems a bit.. bitter about the success of guys like Dave Ramsey, so we'll see how it goes! I've only read chapter 1 so far.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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