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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

seriousjay

Jay's Epic Journey

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Take that awesome article about procrastination ;) :http://markmanson.net/procrastination
 I like Mark Manson becaus ehe makes sense and is fun to read.

I've read that one before. I might have to go over it again!

---

So today feels like a bit of a slog right now. I managed to do all the things I wanted to do but I didn't really feel like it, that's for sure. I bet a lot of this had to do with procrastinating getting out of bed this morning. I woke up at 5 AM but didn't get up until almost 6.

I did meditation in the morning and it went as well as could be expected given it was my first time in quite a while. Also did my visualization when I got home from work, found myself getting distracted but I managed to stay focused for a few minutes.

Watched Cam's video on making your summer break awesome. A lot of it had to do with simply adding structure to your life. This makes a lot of sense and things like having a schedule can really help you focus throughout the day and set you on the correct path.

I did the minimum reading of Changing For Good and it wasn't all that useful. It was simply a small blurb about a man who began to realize that his drinking problem was of his own doing, along with the other issues in his life that he kept blaming other people for. This honestly makes a lot of sense - many of our problems have nothing to do with others and we only have ourselves to blame, yet blaming other people is probably one of the most common defense mechanisms people use to justify their behaviour.

I read the wikipedia page about diabetes. Scary stuff. Preventing specifically type 2 diabetes is nothing complicated, but if you ever protract it, man, watch out. Just reinforces how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle. It might seem like it's doing no harm now but you can easily be paying for your choices for a very long time down the road.

Henrik's positivity newsletter that I read was about avoiding perfectionism. It actually makes a lot of sense because perfectionism can easily lead you to never getting anything done or never even getting started because your standards are simply too unrealistic. Today is a perfect example for me. I could get down on myself that I didn't have great motivation to do what I wanted to do but at the same time, these days will happen, it probably won't be the last, and it's good enough just to have finished what I set out to do, even if my performance wasn't the best.

---

On another note, I went to Shopper's Drug Mart today and ended up buying those cupcakes I denied myself last week or whenever it was. I had a craving for fast food and I justified buying them by saying that it at least isn't fast food and I can use these to reward myself for getting things done. I have mixed feelings about this. I'm not sure it's any better than fast food as cupcakes aren't exactly the healthiest thing around. It didn't help that I got tempted into buying additionally these sugar glazed donuts as well which was completely unnecessary. Regardless, what's done is done.

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Bleh. Today was a really lazy day. I had no motivation or energy to do much of anything. So I didn't do anything I wanted to do today.

Looking forward to a better day tomorrow!

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Hi Jay, you've been doing amazing this week! Your posts have been very reflective and in-depth.

Like Cam mentioned, the morning schedule helps. Do you know exactly why you didn't have motivation today? Perhaps that might be worth a bit of thought to avoid it happening again.

Keep it up :)

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Hi Jay, you've been doing amazing this week! Your posts have been very reflective and in-depth.

Like Cam mentioned, the morning schedule helps. Do you know exactly why you didn't have motivation today? Perhaps that might be worth a bit of thought to avoid it happening again.

Keep it up :)

I actually do have some ideas about why it happened. In the morning I ended up procrastinating out of bed for the second day in a row. Not as bad yesterday, as I stayed in bed for only half an hour longer instead of almost an hour, but maybe the effect became cumulative. It's weird though because the rest of my morning was just fine.

I think the real trouble started near the end of work. Specifically, when a customer came in I just kept doing what I was doing instead of helping him unload his car and that weighed on me a bit because I really should have helped him out. Also, on my way home from work, I didn't have to pick up my dad from the airport as I learned earlier so I suddenly had a whole evening to do whatever I wanted and I immediately thought I should go on the Wednesday hike. I decided not to go and perhaps that contributed to it as well. The reason I decided not to go was because I didn't want to miss the baseball game, which obviously isn't a very good reason as watching TV isn't any less of a waste of time than playing video games.

I think it just comes down to making better decisions during the day as well as starting off strong in the morning. I'm pretty optimistic about today however as I managed to force myself to get up from bed right when I woke up around 5 AM and I even had a cool (not cold) shower to try to help wake me up as well. I feel pretty good right now so looking forward to the rest of the day!

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Alrighty, so today went much better and I even doubled down on my daily things to make up for yesterday!

I watched Cam's videos on dealing with stress without gaming and talking to "normal" people about your problem. I find I pretty much already do just about everything in the stress video. Mainly, I tend not to dwell on anything that I can't control. I think this is one of the biggest stress factors at this time. We just don't want to feel like we aren't in total control of everything going on around us, but the reality is, we just don't. We can't control probably 90-95% of the things going on around us, but we can absolutely control our reactions to those things.

As far as the other video, the tips made a lot sense. The most important thing I think is to not give the impression that you're judging games or people who play them. Instead, just come at it from a stance of just sharing facts about gaming addiction.

In  Changing For Good, it talked about the self re-evaluation change process. This is the act of intentionally questioning why you do what you do, how it makes you feel, what would improve if your life if you got rid of your problem behaviour, etc. They went as far as to provide a chart to fill out weighing the pros and cons of eliminating your problem behaviour. Their research suggests that if the pros of changing do not outweigh the cons, then your probability of successfully changing is very small. This makes a lot of sense. If the cons outweigh the pros, then you clearly value your problem behaviour more than you want to get rid of it. They made the point NOT to ignore the benefits of your behaviour - you wouldn't be doing it if there weren't benefits, regardless of whether or not those benefits are good for you. Gaming, for example, makes you feel good, relieves stress, etc.

I took a different approach today with consciousness raising about my eating problem and decided to look at the positive benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Lots of great benefits, nothing really surprised me, but it was nice to go at it from a different angle.

The positivity newsletters talked about dealing with nervousness before some event, as well as getting back in shape. The main point of dealing with nervousness was attempting to eliminate all expectations of the outcome of the event. If you're going to do some kind of speech in public, for example, simply eliminate all your expectations of how you think it'll go. This can help you to eliminate the scenarios that you're likely creating in your head of everything that can go wrong, which we often do when nervous.

The one about getting back in shape offered simple tips. Start small, don't ramp up too much too soon or you'll burn out, try to eat more slowly in order to give your brain enough time to tell you when you're full, and try to do physical activity that you enjoy. Pretty basic.

OK that's all for today!

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Eating and living healthy is pretty basic. It is "just" a question of daily effort. A classical slight edge problem. More knowledge helps you to make better choices though and leads to motivation to do the "healthy" things.

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OK so yesterday I made a conscious decision to not do anything due to the physically demanding week that I've had. I wanted to just relax for one evening and not have to worry about anything. I don't know if this was a good idea or bad one, but the hope was to have more energy during the weekend to do what I wanted to do.

I also re-installed Fallout 4 last night again. I had been contemplating whether or not I should play it for like 2 weeks now, and seeing it installed on my computer immediately gave me a sense of relief about that. I don't know what it is about this game, honestly. Do I feel like I have unfinished business? Is the character development system that I mentioned that I enjoyed before just too attractive to me? I have put aside playing it until later today but I notice some impatience now because I'm currently sitting down to make up for what I didn't do yesterday, which is not surprising.

I'm not making any judgments about the situation right now, just putting down my thoughts.

---

So I watched Cam's videos on the sunk cost fallacy and delaying gratification. I believe I had watched the sunk cost fallacy video before and obviously it makes a lot of sense. We put a lot of time and energy into developing our characters in these games and it is a "material" thing we can cling on to and we end up with a fear of losing it. I think the most effective strategy is to delete our progress so we can move on. As Cam said, we don't have to forget about it or how it made us feel, but we can give ourselves permission to move on from it and start a new chapter.

The delayed gratification video also made a lot of sense. I am not surprised to find that people who put off gratification in the marshmallow test went on to generally have more successful lives. I do wonder about potential biases in that test, specifically, many of those kids were probably predisposed to either decision based on their lifestyle up to that point, but that's not terribly important. The important part is that, as Cam mentioned, delaying gratification is a muscle and we need to work on improving it as just about anything worth having forces you to delay that gratification. I definitely believe that most of anything that gives instant gratification is generally not good for you.

I read to the end of the contemplation stage chapter in Changing For Good and the rest of the chapter simply reinforced the importance of the chart I talked about in my last post. Specifically, the chart is about listing the pros and cons of your problem behaviour, and being very honest with yourself about them. If the pros of getting rid of your behaviour outweigh the cons, then you are probably ready to move to the preparation stage. If not, you need to apply some of the other changes processes to get to that point. Part of that may also involve changing your desired outcomes. In the specific example in the book, an overweight woman despaired that her pros of losing weight were greatly outweighed by her cons. Part of her solution was to make her goal to live a healthier life and not worry about losing weight. She told herself that losing weight would be a natural part of making better decisions about food and exercise. When she created the pros and cons chart again, it was flipped over. There were way more pros than cons, and she was able to move on. I think this will be important to do for me and I will make it a goal for next week.

Read two articles about what drinking a can of pop a day does to you, and it isn't good. I've read about it before but it always hits me hard when I do. It's honestly amazing how resilient our bodies are to abuse. Particularly interesting was the second article pointing out that even diet pop isn't good for you at all. It's potentially worse. I've read an article before about how a woman exhibiting symptoms of multiple sclerosis found out it was the artificial sweeteners in diet coke causing those symptoms to appear. I don't know if it was true or not (indeed, a friend of mine attempted to debunk it), but that isn't important. The point is that there is no version of pop available that is good for you in any way. It is completely empty calories that is increasing your chances for all sorts of very serious problems.

And I read my positivity newsletter that detailed 7 tips to spreading the optimism around. Simple things like giving someone a smile or a hug. I think it's easy to underestimate the effect that these types of actions can have,

Alright that's it for now! I have to get ready for a blood test I have at 7 AM.

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Hey Jay, I think it is really good that you write down/ summarize everything you learned over the day. Also Overweight and healthy living seems to get more important for you. DO you have plans how to improve this point in your live?  By the way it is good to be jsut aware about whats happening with you guess thsi will help you the most in the long run.

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Hey Jay, I think it is really good that you write down/ summarize everything you learned over the day. Also Overweight and healthy living seems to get more important for you. DO you have plans how to improve this point in your live?  By the way it is good to be jsut aware about whats happening with you guess thsi will help you the most in the long run.

Yes increased awareness is something I am being purposeful about acquiring.

I don't really have any plans at this point on how to improve my health habits. Maybe that's something I need to address, to actually have a plan of action instead of just taking it day by day and hope things work out. At this point I am just focusing on the consciousness raising change process to become more aware of what my habits are doing to me and finding motivation to change through that.

That being said, getting healthier has been important to me for quite some time. I've just been living unhealthily for so long that it's taking a while to change.

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Just wanna get this down here before I forget. My dad and I had a conversation about where I'm at right now in my life and he challenged me to think about the good things that happened to me basically before about 4 or 5 years ago. I drew a blank. I could only think of the bad things. I told him when a kid goes to school and gets bullied every day, then goes to a house where the parents are arguing more than anything else, what do you expect is going to happen? That being said, it's something to think about.. I thought I was well past all the crap that happened to me before but it seems I'm not. It isn't as bad as it was before but there's still some lingering bitterness it seems. To be honest I'm not sure what to do about this. Any thoughts?

He also mentioned that if he wanted to do something, he'd decide to do it, go for it and not let anything get in his way. He told me that he felt the reason I'm not the same way is because I'm weak. Maybe he's right. I feel like all those years of being made to feel worthless was responsible for that.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

I will definitely be doing that. It sounds like it would be very useful.

Just letting everyone know that after my talk with my accountability partner tonight, I will be re-committing to the 90 day detox. As part of that I will go through Respawn again as well.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

I will definitely be doing that. It sounds like it would be very useful.

Just letting everyone know that after my talk with my accountability partner tonight, I will be re-committing to the 90 day detox. As part of that I will go through Respawn again as well.

latest?cb=20150925184857

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

I will definitely be doing that. It sounds like it would be very useful.

Just letting everyone know that after my talk with my accountability partner tonight, I will be re-committing to the 90 day detox. As part of that I will go through Respawn again as well.

latest?cb=20150925184857

 

After watching the 90 day detox video a couple of things resonated with me. First, the idea that my brain wants to game as opposed to me wanting to game. That definitely feels like where I'm at right now, as I've installed and deleted Fallout 4 something like 5 or 6 times in the past week. I would play for a bit, and then get bored or frustrated and eventually end up wondering why I'm even playing it, knowing that it isn't what I want to be doing and then delete it.

The other thing thing is that I definitely find non-gaming activities much more boring in comparison. That'll be something to work on for sure.

One thing that I've been struggling with, and this happened every single time upon deleting my game, was that I kept thinking about reasons to play or not to play. I kept struggling with whatever or not I should go back into it. Upon re-committing to the 90 day detox, I have felt that struggle disappear.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

I will definitely be doing that. It sounds like it would be very useful.

Just letting everyone know that after my talk with my accountability partner tonight, I will be re-committing to the 90 day detox. As part of that I will go through Respawn again as well.

latest?cb=20150925184857

 

After watching the 90 day detox video a couple of things resonated with me. First, the idea that my brain wants to game as opposed to me wanting to game. That definitely feels like where I'm at right now, as I've installed and deleted Fallout 4 something like 5 or 6 times in the past week. I would play for a bit, and then get bored or frustrated and eventually end up wondering why I'm even playing it, knowing that it isn't what I want to be doing and then delete it.

The other thing thing is that I definitely find non-gaming activities much more boring in comparison. That'll be something to work on for sure.

One thing that I've been struggling with, and this happened every single time upon deleting my game, was that I kept thinking about reasons to play or not to play. I kept struggling with whatever or not I should go back into it. Upon re-committing to the 90 day detox, I have felt that struggle disappear.

Exactly. One thing I notice every time I'm at the gym and I'm doing core exercises, is that when I'm halfway through it always gets tougher because it's testing my commitment, but as soon as I commit in my mind that I'm going to finish and keep going no matter what, then the pain goes away and it's easier. ;)

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

I will definitely be doing that. It sounds like it would be very useful.

Just letting everyone know that after my talk with my accountability partner tonight, I will be re-committing to the 90 day detox. As part of that I will go through Respawn again as well.

latest?cb=20150925184857

 

After watching the 90 day detox video a couple of things resonated with me. First, the idea that my brain wants to game as opposed to me wanting to game. That definitely feels like where I'm at right now, as I've installed and deleted Fallout 4 something like 5 or 6 times in the past week. I would play for a bit, and then get bored or frustrated and eventually end up wondering why I'm even playing it, knowing that it isn't what I want to be doing and then delete it.

The other thing thing is that I definitely find non-gaming activities much more boring in comparison. That'll be something to work on for sure.

One thing that I've been struggling with, and this happened every single time upon deleting my game, was that I kept thinking about reasons to play or not to play. I kept struggling with whatever or not I should go back into it. Upon re-committing to the 90 day detox, I have felt that struggle disappear.

Exactly. One thing I notice every time I'm at the gym and I'm doing core exercises, is that when I'm halfway through it always gets tougher because it's testing my commitment, but as soon as I commit in my mind that I'm going to finish and keep going no matter what, then the pain goes away and it's easier. ;)

Yeah working out is one of those things where you've got to keep reminding yourself why you're doing it and that it is good for you, because the workout itself tends not to be too fun for most people. :)

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

I will definitely be doing that. It sounds like it would be very useful.

Just letting everyone know that after my talk with my accountability partner tonight, I will be re-committing to the 90 day detox. As part of that I will go through Respawn again as well.

latest?cb=20150925184857

 

After watching the 90 day detox video a couple of things resonated with me. First, the idea that my brain wants to game as opposed to me wanting to game. That definitely feels like where I'm at right now, as I've installed and deleted Fallout 4 something like 5 or 6 times in the past week. I would play for a bit, and then get bored or frustrated and eventually end up wondering why I'm even playing it, knowing that it isn't what I want to be doing and then delete it.

The other thing thing is that I definitely find non-gaming activities much more boring in comparison. That'll be something to work on for sure.

One thing that I've been struggling with, and this happened every single time upon deleting my game, was that I kept thinking about reasons to play or not to play. I kept struggling with whatever or not I should go back into it. Upon re-committing to the 90 day detox, I have felt that struggle disappear.

Exactly. One thing I notice every time I'm at the gym and I'm doing core exercises, is that when I'm halfway through it always gets tougher because it's testing my commitment, but as soon as I commit in my mind that I'm going to finish and keep going no matter what, then the pain goes away and it's easier. ;)

Yeah working out is one of those things where you've got to keep reminding yourself why you're doing it and that it is good for you, because the workout itself tends not to be too fun for most people. :)

That is the same with everything in life. You have to remind yourself why you're doing it and that it is good for you. :)

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One of the most powerful moments of my life was when I did a timeline exercise of my life, basically listed out from age 12 until then (I was 25 or so at the time) and tried to write down the highlights of each year... and I could only list the negative things that happened.

That wasn't because good things didn't happen each year, but because I was identifying more with the negative things (ie: being a victim) than looking for the good (and creating it myself!)

My life changed after that exercise.

I will definitely be doing that. It sounds like it would be very useful.

Just letting everyone know that after my talk with my accountability partner tonight, I will be re-committing to the 90 day detox. As part of that I will go through Respawn again as well.

latest?cb=20150925184857

 

After watching the 90 day detox video a couple of things resonated with me. First, the idea that my brain wants to game as opposed to me wanting to game. That definitely feels like where I'm at right now, as I've installed and deleted Fallout 4 something like 5 or 6 times in the past week. I would play for a bit, and then get bored or frustrated and eventually end up wondering why I'm even playing it, knowing that it isn't what I want to be doing and then delete it.

The other thing thing is that I definitely find non-gaming activities much more boring in comparison. That'll be something to work on for sure.

One thing that I've been struggling with, and this happened every single time upon deleting my game, was that I kept thinking about reasons to play or not to play. I kept struggling with whatever or not I should go back into it. Upon re-committing to the 90 day detox, I have felt that struggle disappear.

Exactly. One thing I notice every time I'm at the gym and I'm doing core exercises, is that when I'm halfway through it always gets tougher because it's testing my commitment, but as soon as I commit in my mind that I'm going to finish and keep going no matter what, then the pain goes away and it's easier. ;)

Yeah working out is one of those things where you've got to keep reminding yourself why you're doing it and that it is good for you, because the workout itself tends not to be too fun for most people. :)

That is the same with everything in life. You have to remind yourself why you're doing it and that it is good for you. :)

Fair enough!

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Day 1

Ok so today was a reasonably successful day. I'll probably organize my post similar to the way Alex does as I find that a pretty good way of doing it. In the morning I felt very sluggish. I asked my dad to buy me a coffee before he left for a doctor's appointment but he ended up forgetting. By the time I saw him again I felt I didn't really need it anymore. I'm still on the fence about coffee. I don't necessarily think coffee is bad or anything but I want to stop drinking pop. The best way I feel to do that is to stop drinking caffeinated beverages entirely. I feel like if I drink coffee it'll be easier to justify drinking pop.

That being said, I ended up drinking pop today anyways. When I got home I felt pretty exhausted and I ended up ordering food even though I didn't really want to. I have to get better at simply going with how I feel instead of falling back to my habits. How I feel is that I simply don't want to order, but I do it because it feels good and familiar, although I usually end up regretting doing it after the fact.

Important to note is that I did end up watching something gaming related on Youtube while I ate. I've been doing that for so long and it's mostly out of habit than anything else. It just feels weird to not watch something while eating.

OK,  so on to my daily things.

Meditation

Yep.

Visualization

I didn't have time to complete it this morning and it didn't seem to be going nearly as well as it did the day before either. I'll have to keep working at this.

Walk After Work

Yes. Just did a quick trip around the block near my house.

Watch Game Quitters Video, Take Notes

Yes. I watched the first video about improving your social skills. Not much surprised me in there. The main thing is that you don't need to go to night clubs or things like that to improve your social skills. The reality is that every single interaction you have with another person is an opportunity to improve them, it's just a matter of creating opportunities for yourself to interact with others and being intentional about using those opportunities to better yourself.

Read Changing For Good

Yes, and I am thinking of starting again from the beginning and this time actually creating an action plan from it. I want to create a skeleton which lists out all the action steps the book recommends to take and actually doing them. It would probably be good to use this approach from now on for just about any book I read.

Write A Paragraph Per Day, Weekly Goals of Two Pages

Yep, I wrote several paragraphs today. I kind of felt like I wanted to keep going when I stopped but I decided to put it down for the night. This is another area where I could stand to go with my feelings a little bit more.

Define Goals, Write Affirmations For Goals

Not yet.

Pro/Con Chart for Quitting Games and Fast Food

Not yet.

Do The Thing Cam Suggested

Not yet.

Go To Gym Once This Week

Not yet, probably not until Thursday I think.

OK there's still a decent amount of time left until I go to bed and not sure how I'm going to use it right now. But that's it for now.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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