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Circadian Rhythm

CR - When do I level up outside?

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PRE-DAY 1

Just the act of putting DAY 1 at the top of a page like that in BLOCK CAPITALS is equal parts gratifying and terrifying don't you think?

Unfortunately as I watched some gaming related content on YouTube earlier today I don't feel like I can truly count this as Day 1. But thems the breaks and will mean I won't have any doubts that I've done this properly by the end of my 90 days. As far as a structure for this goes, I'm going to set out my initial goals in this post and monitor them and my thoughts with each subsequent entry. What I'll do as well is name three things I'm grateful for with each entry as well, as I think this will help keep me in the right mindset as I move forward.

Forewarning for anyone reading that from my own personal diary experience is that I can ramble on about complete nonsense for paragraph after paragraph without shame, so reader discretion is advised. Reader complaints will be snarkily but good-naturedly observed.

 

GOALS (Achievable ones)

A sub 20 minute 5km run

To play on stage as part of a band this year

To take on extra responsibilities at work as part of my ongoing development (including additional training)

To find other hobbies that aren't either escapist, or feel like a massive amount of work like my current ones*

To fix my sleeping routine (proper sleep - 9:30pm - 10pm bedtime + elimination of bad habits)

No gaming for 90 days (duh)

Limit my YouTube time to a maximum of 2 hours. (will review this)

New wardrobe and equipment for running

Take more responsibility for my own resources instead of just going along with what my parents provide

Have made a full/detailed plan of what I want saved up by the end of the year for my house deposit.

* I run and play guitar, don't get me wrong, I love them but they stress me out something fierce.

 

LONG TERM GOALS (Less tangible/will come later)

Write my own music and form my own band

Move into my own place

Take my first solo holiday

Properly learn piano this time

Get a pay raise

Write my first story (likely short)

Make some friends I feel more aligned with

Get into a relationship that doesn't feel like a complete disaster from the get go

Learn to cook properly

Run the London Marathon

Get properly fit

Become a vegetarian

 

Yikes that list ended up a lot longer than I thought it would. They won't all be this long. I may have to break this up a bit more but this looks like a good initial list

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PRE DAY 1 THOUGHTS

Deciding to do this has of course been most of my thinking today and so far so good. I've still got a lot to do now including a run, which will probably have to be on the running machine as it's getting dark here, and I'm running late on some extra work I have to do, but I can do that now just before my run. It's all very well setting this out too but I have to follow it up with finishing my washing and a proper sleeping routine tonight. We'll see where we go from there. I'm optimistic of course but cautious about getting carried away. No doubt some things above will need explaining and context but that will come over the following entries.

I'm grateful for

  • Being in an environment where I can start over/something like this. That's an immense privilege. Not everyone gets the opportunity to go back to their beginnings and get the time to be so introspective.
  • My mother for being so supportive. I run things by her a lot and not once has she complained about me leaning on her, or told me to piss off and move out already.
  • My amazing new year trip to Brighton, which I will be using for stories long into the year.

So entry one complete. Lets see how this goes.

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35 minutes ago, Circadian Rhythm said:

Yikes that list ended up a lot longer than I thought it would.


There is nothing wrong with having a lot of  goals, on the contrary it's a good thing, you have a lot of options to do things with your newfound free time. You will find that free time is the death of progress when it comes to replacing bad habits. You need to be proactive.
 

37 minutes ago, Circadian Rhythm said:

I run and play guitar, don't get me wrong, I love them but they stress me out something fierce.

What stresses you out about them?

 

38 minutes ago, Circadian Rhythm said:

Unfortunately as I watched some gaming related content on YouTube earlier today I don't feel like I can truly count this as Day 1.

Life is, at best, two steps forward and one step back. Perfection is an illusion and mistakes are often part of the process. Set high but achievable goals for your days and be forgiving but not forgetful with yourself when things aren't perfect. Ask yourself if your today was better than your yesterday. See if you are any closer to your goals today than you were yesterday, that should be your compass imho.

Embrace the hardship this change comes with, take responsibility for your actions and their consequences and you'll have it easier than if you didn't! All the best.

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1 hour ago, fawn_xoxo said:

There is nothing wrong with having a lot of  goals, on the contrary it's a good thing, you have a lot of options to do things with your newfound free time. You will find that free time is the death of progress when it comes to replacing bad habits. You need to be proactive.

Oh I agree. I think I was thinking more about how it would be to read. I work in a field where brevity is so so important in writing so I naturally feel a bit apologetic when I have a list like that. I've had experience of the boredom sometimes being difficult to deal with so I do wonder how what will happen when I realise I for once, feel like I have time.

1 hour ago, fawn_xoxo said:

What stresses you out about them?

Different things for both. With running it's all the organisation that goes into getting to and from running training sessions as I'm part of a club. From work I need to make a real quick turnaround to get there through rush hour traffic in a busy town, more so if I've had to stay late, and doubly so if I haven't packed my kit for the night. I'm a new driver and the route up there is driving hell. Once I'm there, I'm fine really, even if I give myself a bit of a hard time for being a slow runner sometimes! It's also keeping up with the races and travelling and having everything ready and organised there too, including getting up early on Saturdays. I'm hoping the extra disciplines I'm putting in place will finally give me the impetus and organisation to succeed and finally improve. Too often I'll be have gotten to a few in a row and get tired out/distracted by everything else going on. Story of my life.

With guitar I don't feel like I've progressed. It's been too easy to stick with the styles I've learned already and I think it's made me a player that's too safe and too sloppy. Especially after a hard work day. I could do with structuring my practice time a lot more. Or just have some revisit lessons. Also writing my own stuff has been frustrating being something of a perfectionist. The world doesn't need any more E-A-G-D players. I'm pretty reasonable but that's all I'll ever be unless I kick myself up the arse a bit. My buddy and I are forming a band this year and we're meant to be having our first writing session sometime in the next 2 weeks. I don't really feel ready. But I just need give it a go.

1 hour ago, fawn_xoxo said:

Life is, at best, two steps forward and one step back. Perfection is an illusion and mistakes are often part of the process. Set high but achievable goals for your days and be forgiving but not forgetful with yourself when things aren't perfect. Ask yourself if your today was better than your yesterday. See if you are any closer to your goals today than you were yesterday, that should be your compass imho.

Embrace the hardship this change comes with, take responsibility for your actions and their consequences and you'll have it easier than if you didn't! All the best.

It has been. Thanks for the kind words! I don't feel particularly down about it. This morning I wasn't sure whether I was going to join and that's when I was watching the YouTube video. This afternoon I took the step to do something about it. That's the responsibility I'm taking for it and that's a step closer to getting what I want. This morning is gone and I want to concentrate on the now.

My work's done and I just need to do that run. Other than that it's probably dinner and bed. The new sleep routine will be a big part of this so I'll write some more on that next time.

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DAY 1 (Properly this time)

It's only day 1 one and I already feel like I have a lot to talk about. Let's start with my sleeping routine.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

For a long time I've had a sleeping routine where I've been going to bed with my devices. Always browsing something fairly mindless, watching YouTube videos, Netflix, gaming content passively, watching porn, just things that have involved having a device with a significant amount of blue light just before bedtime. And I've allowed whatever it is to keep me up until way past appropriate. Almost like a druggie looking for one more fix. It's gone as far as needing the laptop on to play a podcast. Just to have the level of background noise I need to silence the noise in my head to put me to sleep.

Last night was the first time in years that I switched my laptop off by 9pm (after booking a half marathon place on it and using it purposefully - more on that in a future entry), made my sandwiches and set out my clothes for the morning, went to bed by 9:30pm and READ before bedtime, just like I used to do when I was about 10 years old. I really go through periods of falling in and out of love with reading and it was a bit like meeting up with an old friend. I wondered why we'd spent so much time apart in the first place, such was the comfy familiarity. I'm interested to see how many books I might be able to read in this way if I keep this up.

Sleeping itself was much more difficult, I really struggled and was distracted. The novelty of doing this was almost akin to being a kid at Christmas again (weird right?), and I didn't drift off until about 11-11:30pm. Presumably the novelty will wear off and I'll have less energy when I start doing more physical things than just running. I actually dreamt about getting a new job, which felt significant in the context of what I'm doing.

 

For the morning I managed to get up at 6am, half an hour earlier than usual, didn't immediately spend 20 minutes on my phone to distract me from the horror I usual feel at just being alive, and got straight in the shower, was massively grateful for the things I prepared last night, and turned up at work just under an hour earlier than I usually do. I managed to get a big headstart on the day which was a big help.

Work isn't perfect right now and I'm finding it very stressful. I work for a marketing company and at the moment our figures aren't good. One of my goals is to take more control of this and to try and provide some solutions. I'll talk more about this in another post as this one is already going long. But I'm finding it very taxing.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall, so far so good! My only real thoughts of gaming are to do with certain triggers I have for them. Music's a big one. I LOVE music and a big part of my initial taste came from gaming. I'm avoiding songs specifically made for games but feel that real songs on game soundtracks are fine. I've not really had any cravings to play yet or watch gaming videos but I've kept busy. I had a gym session as soon as I came home and writing this, eating and socialising has been the rest of my time. Will be interesting to see how I feel when this inevitably starts happening. One thing I have felt that I didn't expect was that my libido has been super high. Like my body is crying out for a serotonin rush of some kind. I'm also still get distracted a lot by certain aspects of drama in my life that I could do with cutting out. But so far so good.

I am grateful for

  • The forum for being so welcoming so far
  • My stepdad for me offering dinner
  • The roads being blissfully clear this morning
Edited by Circadian Rhythm
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DAY 2

Only a quick check in this time. I'm awake much later than usual as I had a leaving drink with a friend who's moving to Canada. I'll miss the guy but he's pursuing his goals, so I'm equally happy for him. He's been planning to move out to Whistler to become a snowboarding instructor and has given up a steady career to do it. I can't help but admire his courage.

Overall a productive day at work, a decent morning routine apart from forgetting my lunch. Still so far so good. Other thoughts will come in another post and I'll no doubt pay for this a bit in the morning. But when else am I gonna see a buddy off like this?

I am grateful for

  • My content meeting at work going about as smoothly as it could do today
  • A mutual friend of mine and Canada guy (who was there tonight) being so chill. To keep it simple we went on a date once. It didn't work out. But it's never been awkward and we're very good friends ourselves now. I'm grateful we've both been mature enough to allow that.
  • My metabolism holding out. Meaning I can occasionally get in at 11pm on a weeknight, and just bung a pizza in the over and not have to worry about my waistline yet.
Edited by Circadian Rhythm
Forgot the gratitude diary

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DAY 3

Right. We're back on a more regular night than last night. So I can write a decent entry and concentrate far more on building new habits.

Morning routine still seems to be going really well and I love the extra time I have in the mornings. I still will surf Reddit in the mornings in something of a mindless way, but it's a least during eating and not stopping me from doing what I need to (mostly anyway). This is perhaps something that I can work on with time if I so choose.

I feel reasonably relaxed at work too and certainly compared to last week. Again gaming isn't really a distraction apart from musical cues or occasionally I'll think of some reference from a 12 year old game. My distractions seem to be my unexpectedly high libido at the moment, and I'm a bit preoccupied about the odd old relationship or friendship at the moment that I've lost or am teasing the idea of getting in touch with them, just to see what happens. I don't really think that's particularly forward looking in the way that maybe I should be.

Some background perhaps, I'm a sucker for an intense relationship or friendship with someone, and if I lose them I get far too pre-occupied with why. It's not a negative feeling per se. I think I'm quite sentimental as a person and think I can always fix something or bring it around. I for some reason like to think about that. I always wonder how people are doing and how they've changed. Even if it's not the best idea for me to contact them as there's usually a reason we'll have grown apart. I miss people freely and easily. That's quite general but it covers a few people. I have plenty of friends now but I'm that guy who wants to try and be friends with everyone. Even if it's a little to his detriment.

This is really the downside of having all this extra energy through clean living and a good routine. I feel like I have a bunch of extra distractions and noise in my head at the moment that I don't think I realised I was silencing so hard. I'm curious to see what happens when I have this at the weekend first time and it's just me finding things to do, and having these new negatives to deal with.

For now though, I got through the work day well, although I'm flagging a bit at the end of each day, came home, went for a run, and have my dinner on now (healthy this time thankfully). I've really gotten back into discovering new music and comedians like I used to so I'll probably do a bit more of that tonight. I'll get to read a new chapter of my book in a bit. This has been an interesting journey so far. And it's only day bloody 3 eh?

I am grateful for

  • My coworker being a laugh sometimes. She gets on my tits often, but actually I've had way worse people to work with and when she's on form she's pretty great for someone you have to spend time with.
  • The mild Winter so far. Last 2 days have been lovely. I haven't had to defrost the car. Perfect. Please continue.
  • Radio 1 for playing Chalice by Donae'o the second I stepped in the car this morning. I might be an indie kid at heart, but I recognise a banger when I hear it.
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DAY 4 and 5

I'm afraid this won't be my most glowing entry. I've lost my way a bit in the last couple of days. No gaming happily. But it is making me wonder whether I need to extend the terms of my 90 days to other things and be stricter, or whether I'm happy to start slow.

It started Thursday morning. I just couldn't sleep. I woke up several times during the night and it got to 3am, I just decided to stay up. Faced with nothing to do and with my libido still silly high, I flicked on my laptop. And was surfing the web until I had to start my routine at 6am. Since then I've just been exhausted and didn't force myself to follow through on my routine the following day. I probably should have been more disciplined about it, but apparently I just found it too difficult on that occasion. The extra energy and new problems I have make me feel like I'm flying too close to the sun and I need to work out how I'm going to deal with that. I can keep this up I just need to find ways of dealing with myself when I get low and things seem impossible like that.

I'll keep this short as it's late now but ideally I get up tomorrow for my morning run and build from there.

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I reduced my internet time to absolutely minimum. Checking gamequitters, email, spotify and viber. Sometimes reddit very quick. It's worth it. My brain is not raped with this dopamine trap anymore. 

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Yes, try to clarify more goals. No gaming is good but mindless surfing gives you also those good feelings which you dont want to lose. Thats why you keep grinding in front of the display. I also recommend to put this time to a minimum. Maybe not could turkey, because you need alternatives. Things you can do instead of doing that. Otherwise this will definetely not work. Wish you the best

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DAY 6

Little entry for yesterday as I didn't get round to it. I think as my colleague suggested the other day that I'm not 100% at the moment as my sleeping has been out of wack. I slept 13 hours straight through Saturday morning which I completely didn't expect after deciding I was way too exhausted to do my 7am run. I'm struggling to decide whether it was that or whether the changes I'm making are just throwing me off or whether I've just felt a bit depressed in the last few days (which always just kills my energy). Obviously not happy with that but I suppose I have to be patient.

Positives of yesterday are at least that I got a lot of guitar practice in considering I have that first band practice on Wednesday. Spent plenty of time with the family and got to cook a decent meal. I've also been looking at starting some new projects to do with either writing or photography. I haven't decided yet.

Negatives include too much time on my phone. Far too much. I'm not sure how to deal with this yet as I listen to a lot of music on my phone, use it for plenty of positive things like measuring my running progress, guitar tabs, managing social occasions, and every podcast I listen too (which is a lot). I'm wondering whether the next step is perhaps to do things like delete the Reddit app for example and anything that doesn't serve a positive purpose to take more control over this. I wasn't strict about my night routine either but it was much better than Friday. I'll be ready to resume it tonight.

On 1/12/2019 at 9:44 AM, Samon said:

Yes, try to clarify more goals. No gaming is good but mindless surfing gives you also those good feelings which you dont want to lose. Thats why you keep grinding in front of the display. I also recommend to put this time to a minimum. Maybe not could turkey, because you need alternatives. Things you can do instead of doing that. Otherwise this will definetely not work. Wish you the best

I completely agree as otherwise what's the point in doing this right? I'm not sure what they are yet. And I don't quite know what the alternatives are as a relaxing hobby really. But I have to keep trying things (meditation, writing, reading, playing guitar) until something sticks. And make some more restrictions in terms of what I access when online to stop me from 'grinding' in front of the the monitor as you put it.

I'll be back later with another update for today but it's been a very positive one so far!

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DAY 7

Quick update but it feels like it's been an excellent day! I managed a 17.5km run in 1:37:31 which is the furthest I've ever gone in a decent time. Needed some time to recover after that. But spent the day with more time on the guitar and trying to build up to gigging standard, a lot of tidying up for the week and chores. I've started sorting through my wardrobe and finally sorted out backing up the rest of my computer and my phone. Which has been one of those annoying long term jobs I've needed to do for a while. I'd have like to have done more. But it's a Sunday and I'm happy to take it slightly easier. Discovered a bunch of new music whilst working on my chores and added it to my growing lists.

Only thing that may have been a bit of a time waster today was I did about 30-45 minutes of political reading online. Whilst it's good to be informed, with the absolute mess that British politics is in at the moment, and my reading consisting of me shaking my head and still struggling to get my head around the scale of which everything is royally fucked, probably isn't the best use of my time. It just doesn't feel productive. It's not like I'm reading to become an activist or do something with the information. So it probably could do with a rest for now.

Right, best put into place the last parts of my night's routine and now bed.

Edited by Circadian Rhythm
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