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Ikar's Diary


Ikar

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Since I quit gaming four years ago, I got curious a few times and logged into Twitchtracker to see which of the people I used to follow/watch still stream and which don't. Most smaller/medium streamers don't. The bigger streamers that streamed for a living continue to stream.

I don't have any nostalgia about the time. I'm just wondering: Would I be better off if I had "made it" as a streamer? I think not. I'd still be a sorry-ass baby, giving way to my bad character, fueled by the money people would send me.  In some way, if I wanted to become a streamer, I'd have better chances now than back then. Quitting gaming made me a better person.

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18th June - 24th June:

I've been busy improving and researching my business. I attended two meetings during the week - one for networking and one for marketing. I need to get used to networking meetings a little. The marketing meeting was a good reminder of what I already somewhat know.

I also did evaluation for my language school students. I can see many things I could do to improve the evaluation process, because the language schools don't really have an effective system to gauge progress.

I fixed logos on my website, so they look cleaner now. I introduced short-form telephone calls as another service I offer, got one student onboard already. One language school gave me a 14% raise, the other one 10%. It's not very much considering the double-digit inflation around here, but it's just one more reason to keep working on my business, so I can do what I want.

Submitted my air ticket claim (again) and the waiting period via this public institution is around 1,5 years. I guess now I know why the period eligible for the compensation is 6 years 😄

Otherwise normal stuff: reading, meeting, girlfriend and English lessons.

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25th June - 29th June:

I did some cleaning, read about finance, worked on my blog and went to the swimming pool with my girlfriend on Sunday.

I did laundry, had a few lessons and went for sushi with my brother on Monday. I've been reading almost every day too.

---

Still kind of on and off with porn, which is slightly annoying, though I've been working on it. I'm gonna use the below to help me, adapted from one article by Mark Manson:

Quote

First, I made a resolution: if my addiction makes me lie to myself to keep smoking, my conscious mind can lie to myself to stop smoking (watching porn). So I started lying to myself to absolutely abhor cigarettes. Irrespective of rationality, I began blaming everything wrong in my life on smoking. Tired today? It’s because I smoke. Feeling depressed? It’s because I smoke. Getting sick again? It’s because I smoke. Unproductive? It’s because I smoke. Moody and angry with friends? It’s because I smoke. Stock market crash? It’s because I smoke. I anchored everything negative in my life to cigarettes.

Second, I built a rational case against smoking by writing down what smoking cost me in real terms and looked at it every day when I had a craving.

At least 30 minutes a day lost.

Lesser sex drive with my girlfriend.

The smell of semen/need to wash immediately after.

Lethargy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

30th June - 10th July:

I've been doing the usual. Reading, meeting with friends, planning, fixing my car and bike, teaching...

I also went for one smaller and one bigger car trip with my girlfriend. We had a good time and we solved all unexpected problems without an issue. We both agreed that next time we'll do something that involves less traveling/driving around, as there are better ways to spend our time. 

Right now, I'm catching up on things that piled up during my five day absence. I have a lot of "free" time as I have less classes during summer, but I still have a lot of tasks to do and plans to make.

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 I'm using the template I used the last time. 17/06/23 - 11/07/23

"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.

 

--- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: I got into "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress" by Steven Pinker and I've been enjoying it. I got through my newsletters and now I am dealing with them as they come, rather than to wait for a huge backlog to accumulate.

T: Still reading the book, although I am nearly finished. It's been encouraging and well grounded in data. Haven't been active on the newsletters in the past ten days or so, because I've been busy otherwise.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

(Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

 

Family:

L: I visited a concert with my grandma. The furniture was supposed to be at her place already, however the last week my car battery died and I'm currently working on replacing it. Meeting my family as usual.

T: We got the furniture to my grandma's flat with my brother three weeks ago. I met with him for sushi as well.

Spoiler

Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

Weeks 11 and 12:

Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

Weeks 13 and 14:

Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

Weeks 14 and 15:

Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

Possible direction/goals:

Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: The exam was successful, so now I have to get working on the thesis and after that the finals.

T: I'm going to start work on the thesis this week after I finish the UI for my finance blog.

NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

Possible direction/goals:

Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Business/English:

L: The mentoring program is over, however it provided great insight into my business, some connections and ideas for the future.

I sent out a questionnaire to my students and the response was positive with no surprises, just a few minor clarifications, so I am happy that my feedback system works well.

As it's the end of the school year, I wrote an email to one of the language schools and they promised me an increase in pay. I'm gonna write an email to the second one if they are going to give me something as well.

T: I got some final inputs from questionnaire. Fixed logos on my website for better visuals. Got minor pay raises from language schools. Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required. Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar. Introduced "phone call" classes.

I have two meetings planned in the second part of July.

-

Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work.

Note: July and August and maybe September are going to be abnormal, as some courses don't run during summer and people are often on vacations.

An example for 19 hours this week: Category A 55% (48); B 0% (9); C 11% (13); D 18% (13); E 16% (17). Brackets are % values from previous month.

-

I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

-

NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

Possible direction/goals:

With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

Networking and business events.

Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

Past projects:

Questionnaire.

Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

Got minor pay raises from language schools.

Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

Introduced "phone call" classes.

 

Exercise/Movement:

L: Went for a bike trip to my family the last week. Went swimming a couple of times too.

T: Swimming, walking, hiking, mostly with my girlfriend.

NOT: I don't want to become fat.

Possible direction/goals:

I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

Keep in shape.

 

Blogging:

L: I got my financial blog up at the end of March and I posted a few introductory articles in May. Suffice to say, I think it's ready to be published, but I need to find a suitable UI template to go with it and set up some basic emailing for subscribers. I have some backlog of written articles that just need a few finishing touches.

T: Updated and posted a few articles. Going to work on the UI this week.

Possible direction/goals:

Find a suitable UI/web template.

Set up emailing for subs.

Post two articles a month.

 

Women/Dating:

Removed. I think the category became obsolete. Maybe I could replace it with "Relationship", but I honestly don't know what would I write about. 

 

---

 

What to do if I am bored?

Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, uni work, blogging

 

---

 

Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

This month, I did these cool activities: business events, spending time with friends and my girlfriend, kitchen transport my grandma, car trip with my girlfriend, going to sushi with my brother, blogging.

 

---

 

Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn.

Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them. This month (March) I had a good run without porn and too much news 🙂

Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

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11th July - 18th July:

Started reading Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg, worked on my blog, set up my holiday event at the shooting range, met with friends and spent time with my girlfriend. I did more physical activity than usual. I even got around to look onto my diploma thesis concept, although at this point it's best if I just start writing and improve it or search for more sources as I go.

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19th July - 25th July:

I went for an afternoon cycling trip with my girlfriend, got the tickets for our holiday in Georgia, continued planning and organizing my birthday party at the shooting range and had a very nice business meeting. I had a family celebration and I worked on my blog, as well as my business by re-thinking the pricing scheme for September. I'm also looking for a new book to read.

I've been two nights without porn. It doesn't sound like much, but I hope to get the momentum started after months of back-and-forth.

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26th July - 31st July:

Started work on my master's thesis. I've already planned it out, got the outline down and got the first draft of the introduction. I also officially published my financial blog.

I also celebrated my birthday at the shooting range with my friends. It was a group of about 12 people, so I had time to talk to everybody and it was nice to get together with them, granted that meeting during summer holidays is somewhat complicated.

I'm still going strong on no porn. A week ago, I decided to start leaving my phone on the desk across the room before going to bed. The effect has been twofold: I can't watch porn on my phone before bed as I used to. I also get up when my alarm rings at 7, as I have to drag myself across the room to turn it off and get my day started!

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1st August - 5th August:

I've worked on the thesis every day. Now my draft has a bit over 3000 words. I had a good stretch of writing for a few days, as I came across a good and reliable source. Now it's more difficult, as I have to combine multiple sources and the information about the recent past is not that easy to find and extract compared to more distant past.

Spent time with my girlfriend, going for a cycling trip, walking and watching films together. Came across a nice blog about pricing and I got some useful information for my business. Had my birthday yesterday too 🙂

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Having read your goals, i want to share my thoughts.

When you had started becoming more responsible, did you feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first acting with initiative and power?

If we take a scale from very shy to over confident, where is the right point? I hear that when it counts, exert maximum pressure on your counterpart.

If you demand of yourself the most rewarding job (applying yourself in the best possible way) you will be more willing to risk, to resign from a position, to create a conflict and excitement in the interview room

Similarly, the social, economic and political catastrophes cannot be averted because actors are too stuck in their short term personal interests to be of any value to their organizations and communities. Nice guys don't like to plan and hate acknowledging they have responsibilities.

So when you do act with initiative and power and say things that you have to say, it feels very odd. People can’t take you seriously because making decisions is out of the current trend. Being the victim of a layoff, unhealthy environment, dysfunctional organization is IN the current trend.

People look at you with disbelief when you start showing responsibility for your own welfare.

Edited by Amphibian220
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3 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

When you had started becoming more responsible, did you feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first acting with initiative and power?

I was getting incrementally more responsible even as I was approaching quitting gaming, although you probably mean the period after I quit. I have to say I am naturally quite assertive, self-reliant and normally convinced of the validity and righteousness of my actions. I felt very curious most of all, I remember the feeling "Wow, I have some much time. How do I fill it?"

3 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

If we take a scale from very shy to over confident, where is the right point? I hear that when it counts, exert maximum pressure on your counterpart.

I'm very confident in things I have good knowledge of. I'm shy in things where I feel I have weaknesses. By default, I'm somewhere in the middle.

I hate when people manipulate one another emotionally and I don't spend time with these people. Though I normally have a good time when having some intellectual or logical argument to find out what is true/false, which solution is better etc.

3 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

Similarly, the social, economic and political catastrophes cannot be averted because actors are too stuck in their short term personal interests to be of any value to their organizations and communities. Nice guys don't like to plan and hate acknowledging they have responsibilities.

So when you do act with initiative and power and say things that you have to say, it feels very odd. People can’t take you seriously because making decisions is out of the current trend. Being the victim of a layoff, unhealthy environment, dysfunctional organization is IN the current trend.

People look at you with disbelief when you start showing responsibility for your own welfare.

This has a lot to do with the culture. If you are in a country when making decisions gradually gets you in a worse place, you will stop making decisions. I believe that socialism in my country fostered the "can-not-do" culture antithetical to the US "can do" attitude. No wonder; if you wanted to study at the university, your parents had to be members of the communist party. Even if you had that and you graduated, you had to "pay back" your studies by staying and working 3-5 years in a place where the state sent you. Back in that environment, many things were just "given". Now we can do many more things and do them in our own way. 

This forum has many long-timers with a "can do" attitude. For example @BooksandTrees used to write walls of text full of anger and rage and now he doesn't! @GrainSiloEnthusiast decided to make her situation better by improving her financial literacy. There are many other people and stories around the website, but I picked them out as examples to prove that the "can do" attitude works.

Even if it didn't, what else is there? It's pathetic to just blame the politicians, the family or the past, even if all of these factors can be negative. The natural world wants us dead by default; we starve, age, catch diseases, get eaten by snakes and whatnot. If you make your own decisions and they don't work out, at least at the end of the day, you can say you tried. If you didn't make any decision, you just suffer pointlessly.

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3 hours ago, Ikar said:

This forum has many long-timers with a "can do" attitude. For example @BooksandTrees used to write walls of text full of anger and rage and now he doesn't! @GrainSiloEnthusiast decided to make her situation better by improving her financial literacy. There are many other people and stories around the website, but I picked them out as examples to prove that the "can do" attitude works.

Thanks for the recognition. I think therapy and anger management really helped me with this. I was just determined to change as a person and feel lighter, happier, and more determined as a result. I want to be a better person and I think it makes a difference. 

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  I'm using the template I used the last time. 11/07/23 - 11/08/23

"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.

 

--- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: I got into "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress" by Steven Pinker and I've been enjoying it. Still reading the book, although I am nearly finished. It's been encouraging and well grounded in data. Haven't been active on the newsletters in the past ten days or so, because I've been busy otherwise.

T: I finished the book. I also finished Smarter Faster Better by Duhigg. I set up a SMART goal for my university thesis. I wanted to borrow a new book two or three weeks ago, but the uni library is closed for the summer. Caught up with my newsletters.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

(Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

 

Family:

L: We got the furniture to my grandma's flat with my brother three weeks ago. I met with him for sushi as well.

T: The kitchen plan ran into (another) problem. The working desk is a few centimeters shorter than needed, due to the fact there are unmovable drain pipes near the wall. The best solution, according to my father (and I share it), is to get a wider working desk, rather than to cut the cupboards to let the pipes through them.

Another piece of family business that I'm dealing with is my mom. Overall, she's too wishy-washy and disorganized for me to deal with. I'm gonna talk to her tomorrow and try to find out how we're gonna approach our relationship.

Spoiler

Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

Weeks 11 and 12:

Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

Weeks 13 and 14:

Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

Weeks 14 and 15:

Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

Possible direction/goals:

Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: I'm going to start work on the thesis this week after I finish the UI for my finance blog.

T: I started daily work on the thesis two weeks ago. I have some four thousand words on the paper, with a few ideas for future chapters and the direction of my research. My plan is to send the draft to my professor in three weeks before I go for a two week holiday with my girlfriend.

NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

Possible direction/goals:

Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Business/English:

L: I got some final inputs from questionnaire. Fixed logos on my website for better visuals. Got minor pay raises from language schools. Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required. Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar. Introduced "phone call" classes.

I have two meetings planned in the second part of July.

T: One of the business meetings was great, the other one more of a revision of what I already know from other meetings and from the web. I did some minor promo/advertising on my social networks. I read some articles from an interesting pricing blog. I worked out the personalized price increase from September and I'm gonna start telling my students the next week. Quiet month overall.

-

Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work.

Note: July and August and maybe September are going to be abnormal, as some courses don't run during summer and people are often on vacations.

An example for 19 hours this week: Category A 67% (55); B 0% (0); C 6% (11); D 14% (18); E 13% (16). Brackets are % values from previous month.

-

I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

-

NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

Possible direction/goals:

With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

Networking and business events.

Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

Past projects:

Questionnaire.

Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

Got minor pay raises from language schools.

Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

Introduced "phone call" classes.

 

Exercise/Movement:

L: Swimming, walking, hiking, cycling, mostly with my girlfriend.

T: Going for walks almost daily and cycled perhaps 100 km the last month in total.

NOT: I don't want to become fat.

Possible direction/goals:

I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

Keep in shape.

 

Blogging:

L: Updated and posted a few articles. Going to work on the UI this week.

T: I got the blog online at the end of July! There are some minor things to improve, but I put it out there and posted it on social media to get the word out. There are about five articles thus far. I even wrote a brand new article this week.

Possible direction/goals:

Find a suitable UI/web template.

Set up emailing for subs.

Post two articles a month.

Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones.

Finish articles in concepts.

 

---

 

What to do if I am bored?

Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, uni work, blogging, diploma thesis

 

---

 

Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

This month, I did these cool activities: going to the shooting range with my friends to celebrate my birthday, publishing my blog, cycling trips with my girlfriend, business events, meeting my old friends and new people.

 

---

 

Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn.

Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them. This month (March) I had a good run without porn and too much news 🙂

Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

---

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  • 2 weeks later...

11th August - 20th August:

I had some family meetings. I've also been busy with the thesis and I sent my draft to my tutor. I also read about pricing.

I went to a networking event. I was fairly nervous before going there, because I've never been to one, but it turned out great. I was surprised that it went that well. I had interesting conversations and I'm sure I can get at least a student or two for my private lessons.

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  • 2 weeks later...

21st August - 2nd September:

My girlfriend got me a massage voucher and I went there last Tuesday. It wasn't anything special, however it's in the back of my mind to do something to help me rehabilitate my back. I spend a lot of time sitting and I sat even more when I gamed.

I got two new pairs of shoes: one for general purpose walking/hiking and one for more social meetings. My old shoes were quite run down and it was high time I got new ones.

---

I'm somewhat upset today because:

1) My girlfriend and I are leaving for Georgia today evening. This includes packing, preparing and the whole shebang.

2) I picked up my PC headphones in the morning and found out the sound is distorted. I don't know what happened overnight, but the bottom line is I need to fix this problem either today or after I return from Georgia.

3) My tutor still hasn't responded to the draft of my thesis I sent him two weeks ago. It's possible he's just been on holiday or that there is some glitch in the mailing system, since they're reworking the whole uni IT environment. I'm gonna send him the current version and if he doesn't respond, I'm just going to ask some other professor who has time or interest to help me out, because I can't wait forever.

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On 9/2/2023 at 5:37 AM, Ikar said:

21st August - 2nd September:

My girlfriend got me a massage voucher and I went there last Tuesday. It wasn't anything special, however it's in the back of my mind to do something to help me rehabilitate my back. I spend a lot of time sitting and I sat even more when I gamed.

I got two new pairs of shoes: one for general purpose walking/hiking and one for more social meetings. My old shoes were quite run down and it was high time I got new ones.

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I'm somewhat upset today because:

1) My girlfriend and I are leaving for Georgia today evening. This includes packing, preparing and the whole shebang.

2) I picked up my PC headphones in the morning and found out the sound is distorted. I don't know what happened overnight, but the bottom line is I need to fix this problem either today or after I return from Georgia.

3) My tutor still hasn't responded to the draft of my thesis I sent him two weeks ago. It's possible he's just been on holiday or that there is some glitch in the mailing system, since they're reworking the whole uni IT environment. I'm gonna send him the current version and if he doesn't respond, I'm just going to ask some other professor who has time or interest to help me out, because I can't wait forever.

Have you sent any follow up to the tutor or did he reply when you sent it to him?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/3/2023 at 8:19 PM, BooksandTrees said:

Have you sent any follow up to the tutor or did he reply when you sent it to him?

Yes, I sent a second email before leaving for my holiday two weeks ago. It's true we last talked about it in person a year ago, though I let him know my time schedule then. I am decided to visit his office on Monday to find out what's up.

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3rd September - 15th September:

I'm back from my holiday in Georgia. It was a pretty intense experience. That was mostly due to the fact that we spent a lot of time planning our trips and on the go between different places. Both my girlfriend and I agreed that it was good, but that 10 days of being in this mode was just enough. I'm however happy about how we handled these challenges. The nature was of course beautiful and we got to experience how people live elsewhere. Truly a different world.

I already had some lessons with students yesterday. Gonna spend the weekend acclimating and catching up on stuff that piled up in my absence.

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16th September - 22nd September:

So I've caught up on all the important things, though some non-urgent stuff is still awaiting my attention. I visited my family at the weekend. I finally connected with my tutor; there's been some mess with communication, as the uni IT department is transferring the emails, but I hope now I have all the relevant information. I also attended an university event, did some reading, connected with two new students and spent time with my girlfriend.

I believe I am porn free for about a week now, thanks to my newly implemented blocks and my laziness to crack them open due to unknown complexity of such a challenge 😄

I've been feeling the taste to play "Total War: Shogun 2" here and there for a few days now. Granted it's a fairly complex game, I think my brain is craving some complex problems to solve. Therefore, I'm going to direct my attention towards complex problems in the real world to keep it busy 😄

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17 hours ago, Ikar said:

been feeling the taste to play "Total War: Shogun 2" here and there for a few days now. Granted it's a fairly complex game, I think my brain is craving some complex problems to solve. Therefore, I'm going to direct my attention towards complex problems in the real world to keep it busy 😄

Good job being aware of this. Maybe there's some sort of control you're looking to have on something and maybe there's a better outlet. 

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4 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Good job being aware of this. Maybe there's some sort of control you're looking to have on something and maybe there's a better outlet. 

I think that's true. I came back from my holiday a week ago, but in my head I've been having trouble getting my handle on things. I'm likely doing a decent job, but day-to-day progress on long-term projects is hard to appreciate.

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 I'm using the template I used the last time. 11/08/23 - 22/09/23

"L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term.

I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period.

 

--- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

 

Books/Reading articles:

L: I finished the book. I also finished "Smarter Faster Better" by Duhigg. I set up a SMART goal for my university thesis. I wanted to borrow a new book two or three weeks ago, but the uni library is closed for the summer. Caught up with my newsletters.

T: I read "Be Obsessed Or Be Average" by Cardone and I got rather mixed feelings about the book. I also started reading "World Order" by Kissinger. Not caught up with my newsletters.

Possible direction/goals:

Continue getting through the newsletters.

(Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

 

Family:

L:

The kitchen plan ran into (another) problem. The working desk is a few centimeters shorter than needed, due to the fact there are unmovable drain pipes near the wall. The best solution, according to my father (and I share it), is to get a wider working desk, rather than to cut the cupboards to let the pipes through them.

Another piece of family business that I'm dealing with is my mom. Overall, she's too wishy-washy and disorganized for me to deal with. I'm gonna talk to her tomorrow and try to find out how we're gonna approach our relationship.

T: I met my mom for lunch about a month ago. Other than that, there's nothing special happening, except the fact that I'm going to visit my family/grandma every week until my grandma's kitchen is reconstructed.

Spoiler

Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

Weeks 11 and 12:

Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

Weeks 13 and 14:

Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

Weeks 14 and 15:

Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

Possible direction/goals:

Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

 

University:

L: I started daily work on the thesis two weeks ago. I have some four thousand words on the paper, with a few ideas for future chapters and the direction of my research. My plan is to send the draft to my professor in three weeks before I go for a two week holiday with my girlfriend.

T: Currently on nine thousand words, although I wrote the last of them at the end of August and then I left for my holiday. This week, I resolved the email communication issues and had a consultation with my tutor. He advised me to be more specific with my topic and to send him a short summary at the weekend, so that he can insert the thesis assignment into the system.

NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

Possible direction/goals:

Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

 

Business/English:

L: One of the business meetings was great, the other one more of a revision of what I already know from other meetings and from the web. I did some minor promo/advertising on my social networks. I read some articles from an interesting pricing blog. I worked out the personalized price increase from September and I'm gonna start telling my students the next week. Quiet month overall.

T: I attended a networking event and I'm happy that I did! I also met my online students face to face while visiting their city, which was also nice 🙂

On a more practical note, I got a small pay raise from both the language schools, as well as from my students by creating a new price list. I also got an invitation to a weekly outdoor English project, however it's in a bad time slot, as I already have classes there.

-

Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work.

Note: July and August and maybe September are going to be abnormal, as some courses don't run during summer and people are often on vacations.

An example for 23 hours this week: Category A 63% (67); B 12% (0); C 8% (6); D 4% (14); E 13% (13). Brackets are % values from previous month.

-

I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

-

NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid.

Possible direction/goals:

With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

Networking and business events.

Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

Check out business vouchers for equipment.

Past projects:

Questionnaire.

Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

Got minor pay raises from language schools.

Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

 

 

Exercise/Movement:

L: Going for walks almost daily and cycled perhaps 100 km the last month in total.

T: We walked and hiked quite a lot with my girlfriend in Georgia. I make an effort to go out every day, to at least read a book outside or go for a short walk. Cycling/walking to my students in the area as well.

NOT: I don't want to become fat.

Possible direction/goals:

I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

Keep in shape.

 

Blogging:

L: I got the blog online at the end of July! There are some minor things to improve, but I put it out there and posted it on social media to get the word out. There are about five articles thus far. I even wrote a brand new article this week.

T: I haven't had time to even think about blogging with everything that was going on, although I do have a half-way written article in the works that I could publish soon.

Possible direction/goals:

Find a suitable UI/web template.

Set up emailing for subs.

Post two articles a month.

Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones.

Finish articles in concepts.

 

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What to do if I am bored?

Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging, diploma thesis

 

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Additional thoughts/activities:

My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

This month, I did these cool activities: going for a massage, spending time on the GQ forum, visiting Georgia and visiting my students, buying new shoes and shirts, visiting a cottage/cycling trip, having good conversations with my girlfriend.

 

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Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. We did it! 🙂

Stop watching porn (again), stop reading too much news (again). - Got some blocks going on. The past week was clean!

Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

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23rd September - 28th September:

I visited my family, worked on a business presentation for young students, did some cycling and walking as well. I also attended an online meeting regarding English lecturing and it gave me a nudge to continue working on myself, my lessons and my business.

My plan for today was to work on my diploma, yet I didn't. (What I did instead was to catch up on newsletters and on select financial topics that interest me.) I communicated with my tutor at the weekend, however I haven't heard back from him since. I'm gonna work on it tomorrow - I have a plan to create a questionnaire for my thesis and use the data, so I want to send him a concept of it by the end of the week to give him some incentive to reply. Inactivity in this area makes me nervous, even though I still have well over three months to finish the thesis.

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