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Big Adam

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Day 2

Recap of yesterday's Goals:

  • Eat Paleo: ✔️.  No Video Games: ✔️.  Go to bed by Midnight on Weekends, 11:30 on Weekdays: ✔️

Goals for today:

  • Eat Paleo.  No Video Games. Go to bed by 11:30.

What I'm thankful for:

  • I have a nice coffee shop near my house that's great for doing work or reading.
  • My Health Insurance from my job is very good so I can deal with unexpected injuries.

Summary:

Did some work at a local coffee shop, then went to the gym. Tweaked my shoulder on the last rep of Overhead Press.  I've tweaked it before through Jiu-Jitsu.  I think it's a nerve issue and not a muscle issue.  I'm seeing a good chiropractor about it.  If it still hurts tomorrow, I'll schedule an appointment with him this week.  Went home and stretched, foam rolled, ate lunch and watched TV.  I'm back at the coffee shop now to write this and go through Exercise 2 of Respawn.  I've got a date in an hour and a half which will meet my Date/week goal for this week.  I'll likely have a few hours of free time after the date during which I'd normally play games.  I plan to batch-cook shepard's pie for the week, watch an hour max of TV, then read 'till 11:30.

Goals for the week (Counting Sunday as the Start of the Week):

  • 3 Gym Workouts: 1/3 so far.
  • Go on One Date/week: ✔️

 

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Action Step 1:

Reasons I Played Games:

  • Stress-Relief.
  • Sense of Adventure and Grand Purpose
  • Sense of Achievement  Progress is quick, measurable, and comes with rewards.
  • Challenge.  Challenge is always just enough to push me, rarely enough to overwhelm.
  • Quiets my mind. I can get lost in the activity and my worries, mental arguments, etc disappear.
  • Novelty. New quests, new weapons, new bosses.

I think the 4th reason is my biggest one.  I can "zone out" when I play a game.  In a way that I can't do when I watch TV.  I still feel restless when I watch TV unless I'm eating or stretching at the same time.  Playing a game engages all my attention better than TV does.  It relaxes me to play a game and listen a podcast in the background.  The only other thing that absorbs my attention to the same degree is reading a really good novel for the first time.  I can get sucked into a book to the same degree.  I'll need to find some other way to quiet my mind and get lost in an activity.

Reasons to Quit Playing Games:

To Avoid:

  • Sabotaging my health through staying up late and eating junk food.
  • Sabotaging my self-esteem by not sticking to the limits I set on playing time.
  • Gaining weight from the snacking I usually do when I play.
  • Neglecting my work responsibilities
  • Cancelling social events because I’m tired and feel bad about myself.

To Achieve:

  • Better Sleep.
  • Fat Loss by controlling my diet and avoiding sugary foods.
  • Greater Self-Esteem and Trust through discipline and sticking to my commitments

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Chapter 2: Action Step 1.

What actions will I take to set up greater barriers to entry for my games?

  1. Uninstall Games – Done.  Unfortunately, some of my games have a very quick re-install time.  Dead Cells in particular only takes 10 minutes to reinstall, so I should put up some additional barriers.
  2. Delete your accounts and characters – I play single-player games, so this would translate into deleting my save files.  I’m not going to do this since I plan to play again in moderation after the challenge.
  3. Choose what to do with my consoles – I have a PS4 which I use for streaming video.  I will purchase a cheap streaming device, then visit my parents and drop off the PS4 in my old bedroom closet so it’s not easily accessible.  I will purchase the new device by the end of the day today.  I'll drop off the PS4 at my parents' house this Saturday when I visit to play Frisbee golf with my Dad.
  4. Unsubscribe to Gaming Youtube Channels – Done.
  5. Block Sites you want to avoid – I’m not doing this for now. I don't frequent gaming forums or news sites, so I doubt this will be an issue.  If it becomes one, I'll install blocking software.

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Day 3

Recap of yesterday's Goals:

  • Eat Paleo: ✔️.  No Video Games: ✔️.  11:30 Bedtime: ✔️

Goals for today:

  • Eat Paleo.  No Video Games. Go to bed by 11:30.

What I'm thankful for:

  • My job which allows me to work remotely most of the week.
  • That my parents live close enough for me to visit occasionally.
  • That my parents are both healthy and still able to engage in physical activities like frisbee.

Summary:

Worked remotely today.  Worked most of the day at a local coffee shop, then went back to my apartment for lunch.  I was very productive while working today.  The coffee shop provides an atmosphere that helps me to focus more than I can at my apartment.  After work, I visited my chiropractor to see if he could do anything about the shoulder pain I've had since the gym yesterday.  Feels a bit better.  I won't train jiu-jitsu tonight.  I'll rest tonight and hopefully be back to 100% tomorrow.

My date last night was pleasant, but I don't think I'll see the girl again.  Conversation was enjoyable, but I am not physically attracted to her.  Nonetheless, it was great practice for me.  I took the lead throughout the date by setting the time and place, deciding when to leave the sushi shop, and deciding when to end the date.  I invited her into some fun banter which she engaged in and told a few funny stories I haven't told before.  Also experimented with a different date structure: I told her to think of a good dance song before the date, then at the end of the date I led her up to my apartment, put on the song she chose, and danced with her before ending the date and sending her home.  I'll use that date structure in the future.

Goals for the week (Counting Sunday as the Start of the Week):

  • 3 Gym Workouts: 1/3 so far.
  • Go on One Date/week: ✔️
Edited by Big Adam

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Day 4

Recap of yesterday's Goals:

  • Eat Paleo: ✔️.  No Video Games: ✔️.  11:30 Bedtime: ✔️

Goals for today:

  • Eat Paleo.  No Video Games. Go to bed by 11:30.

  • Go to the gym and work out.

What I'm thankful for:

  • That I still have close friendships with my high-school buddies.

  • .My weekly men's group. 

Challenges:

Yesterday was tough.  I had to skip Jiu-Jitsu in the evening because of my shoulder pain.  That left me with more free time in the evening than usual.  I was very tempted to play games and felt a strong craving for sweets.  I took a few breaths, calmed myself, and was able to sit with and accept the cravings.  Accepting the cravings and the thoughts that accompany them seems to be critical for me.  The more I fight those thoughts and try NOT to think about games or food, the stronger they become.  Accepting them and sitting with them without acting on them really helps.

Summary:

Worked remotely today.  Worked later than usual as I've got a big project going out Friday. Hit the gym late and reduced the weight to avoid bothering my shoulder.  Around 5:00, I was very tempted to buy something sweet to snack on.  I breathed and sat with the cravings again.  Still tempted right now.  I will try to sit with the cravings and let them punch themselves out.

Goals for the week (Counting Sunday as the Start of the Week):

  • 3 Gym Workouts: 2/3 so far.

  • Go on One Date/week:  

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Whelp.  Today is Day 1 for me again.  Relapsed hard last night.  I will take some extra steps to put barriers between me and my games.  Today I plan to delete my PSN account.  I'll also see if I can sell or give away my PS4.  I make good money at my job, so if I want to bring it back after the 90 days I can always buy another one.

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Day 1

Recap of yesterday's Goals:

  • Eat Paleo: .  No Video Games: .  11:30 Bedtime: .  Go to the Gym and work out: ✔ 

Goals for today:

  • Eat Paleo.  No Video Games. Go to bed by 11:30.  Deactivate my PSN account.

What I'm thankful for:

  • That I’m not too exhausted after staying up late last night.
  • For resources like GameQuitters where I can go for encouragement.

Summary:

Messed up yesterday. I’m restarting my count today.  I played one last run through Dead Cells for an hour as a  “goodbye”, then deleted my save file and reformatted my PS4 so it is no longer associated with my PSN account.  I’ll need to go through a long reinstall to access any of my old games.   I’ve also ordered a Roku off of Amazon so that I can stream Netflix/Amazon/etc without my PS4.  I’m going to list the PS4 on Facebook marketplace.  If I don’t get a buyer,  I will drop the PS4 off at my parents’ house on Saturday.

I fasted most of the day to recover from the junk food I ate last night.  I’ll have a dinner of meat and vegetables, do the next GameQuitters exercise, and try to get to bed early.

Goals for the week (Counting Sunday as the Start of the Week):

  • 3 Gym Workouts: 2/3 so far.
  • Go on One Date/week:  
Edited by Big Adam

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32 minutes ago, LordFederickRamsay said:

What sort of workout do you do? 

Weights? Running?

Weights.  Right now I my workout is similar to Stronglifts 5 x 5.  Squats, Overhead Press, Rows one workout.  Deadlifts, Bench, Pullups the next.  I alternate between the two.  I train Jiu-Jitsu 4-5 times a week so I get all the cardio I need through that.

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Hey Big Adam

Nice to read your journaling. I like the formatting and the idea of setting up daily goals and weekly goals. I am sort of new here as of today. Today is day 1 for me. I tried and failed about a year ago due to certain circumstances. Anyway keep trying. I believe we can do this. 

Edited by Kona450
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Chapter 4: Fill the Void

Action Step 01: Come up with at least 5 activities for each.

Mentally Engaging:

  • Learn to play guitar. 

  • Learn and practice Dating Skills.

  • Podcast Production. 

  • Learn to buy and manage rental properties.

  • Improv

  • Public Speaking (Toastmasters)

Resting:

  • Reading.

  • Drawing. 

  • Juggle.

  • Practice Guitar Chords. 

  • Knit. 

  • Listen to Podcasts during all these activities except reading.

Social:

  • Debate Club.

  • Martial Arts.

  • Local Intramural Sports

  • Swing Dance.

  • Rock Climbing.

  • Board Game Meetups.

  • Go on more Dates.

Of these activities I've listed above, I currently Read most nights, practice Mixed Martial Arts most nights, and go to Swing Dances once or twice a week.  I should start practicing at least one mentally engaging skill consistently.  And should get better about doing the other activities when I'm tempted to play games.

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Day 2 

Recap of yesterday's Goals:

  • Eat Paleo: .  No Video Games: .  11:30 Bedtime: .  Deactivate my PSN account

Goals for today:

  • Eat Paleo.  No Video Games. Go to bed by 11:30.  Finish Chapter 4 Action Step 2.

What I'm thankful for:

  • That my teeth are in good health despite my not going to the dentist for three years.

  • That my shoulder is healing.

Summary:

Went to bed early yesterday and slept well.  Feeling very refreshed today.  I’m ready to start this new chapter of my life without games.  My brother’s friend messaged me about buying the PS4 so hopefully I can sell it this weekend.  Today after work, I’ll disconnect the PS4, box it up, and install the Roku.  I’ll go back to jiu-jitsu tonight and roll light to keep my shoulder safe.  When I get home I’ll do the next ReSpawn Exercise and post a flow chart of activities for when I’m bored/anxious/etc.

Goals for the week (Counting Sunday as the Start of the Week):

  • 3 Gym Workouts: 2/3 so far.

  • Go on One Date/week:  

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Chapter 4: Fill the Void

Action Step 02: Planning for specific situations

Go-To Activities:

  •  Mental Engagement: Learn to Play Guitar
    • Backup: Read a dating book.
  • Tiredness: Stretching Routine
    • Backup: Take a 20-minute nap.
  • Making friends: Weeknight Jiu Jitsu. Weekend Swing Dance Events
    • Backup: Take a Rock-Climbing Lesson.
  • Boredom: Draw
    • Backup: Practice Coin Tricks.
    • Double-Backup: Read a Fiction Novel.
  • Stress: Take a 15-minute walk
    • Backup: Stretching Routine and Listen to Music
    • Double-Backup: 10 minute meditation.

 

To facilitate these, I will do the following.  I'll knock them out over the next few days.

  • Sign up for Guitar lessons once a week.  And buy any supplemental material they recommend to practice at home. Pick guitar up from home when I visit this weekend
  • Get a Book of Drawing exercises and a Drawing Pad. Pick these up from home when I visit over the weekend
  • Buy a book on Dating skills. Currently Reading Dr. Robert Glover’s “Dating Essentials for Men”.  Decide on what the next one will be ahead of time.
  • Buy or Download a fiction book for Boredom.  Done – Downloaded “Lightbringer” series by Brent Weeks.
  • Make a Spotify Playlist of Relaxing Music for Stretching/Meditation.

 

Edited by Big Adam

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Chapter 4: Fill the Void

Action Step 03: Nearby Alternative Environments

Local Coffeeshop - 10 minute walk - Open 'till 6 PM every night.

Starbucks - 5 minute drive - Open 'till 8:30 PM every night.

Public Library - 5 minute walk - Open 'till 5 PM most nights. 9 PM on M/W.

Gym - 10 minute drive - Open till 10 weeknights. Open till 7 on weekends.

Rock-Climbing - 10 minute drive - Open till 12 most nights

Public Park - 5 minute drive - Daytime only

Wissahickon Valley Park - 15 minute Drive - Daytime only

Schuylkill River Trail - 10 minute walk - 24/7

Downtown Manayunk - 20 minute train or Uber - 'till 1 or 2 AM

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17 hours ago, Big Adam said:

Local Coffeeshop - 10 minute walk - Open 'till 6 PM every night.

Starbucks - 5 minute drive - Open 'till 8:30 PM every night.

Public Library - 5 minute walk - Open 'till 5 PM most nights. 9 PM on M/W.

Gym - 10 minute drive - Open till 10 weeknights. Open till 7 on weekends.

Rock-Climbing - 10 minute drive - Open till 12 most nights

Public Park - 5 minute drive - Daytime only

Wissahickon Valley Park - 15 minute Drive - Daytime only

Schuylkill River Trail - 10 minute walk - 24/7

Downtown Manayunk - 20 minute train or Uber - 'till 1 or 2 AM

My public library system was open from 10am until 9pm on Mondays to Thursdays. Fridays, it was open from 10am to 6pm. Saturdays, open from 10 to 5. On Sundays, it's open from 1-5 in the afternoon. About Starbucks, the downtown region of my hometown has more open hours than the downtown region of a city where my dad works. I dunno much about the local coffee shops and the hours of operation, but I know public transit buses ran from 6 in the morning until 10 at night on Mondays to Fridays.

Edited by Natalie

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Day 3

Recap of yesterday's Goals:

  • Eat Paleo: .  No Video Games: .  11:30 Bedtime: .  Finish Chapter 4 Action Step 2

Goals for today:

  • Eat Paleo.  No Video Games. Go to bed by Midnight. 
  • Make Spotify Playlist. 
  • Make an "ideal" schedule for weekdays and weekends with backup activities for when I don't want to follow the schedule.

What I'm thankful for:

  •  That I have been sleeping well for the past few months and have rarely had restless legs at night.

  • That I found a buyer for the PS4!

Summary:

  • Worked from home today.  Took a short nap after work.  SOLD MY PS4.  A friend of my brother's is picking it up in a few minutes.  I'm planning to go to the gym for a late session in about an hour, then take the train to Center City and do a beginner salsa dance lesson.  If I don't feel like Salsa dancing, I'll at least walk around, see some pre-Thanksgiving festivities, and get out of the house for the night.

Goals for the week (Counting Sunday as the Start of the Week):

  • 3 Gym Workouts: 2/3 so far.
  • Go on One Date/week:  
  • (Next Week): Sign up for Guitar Lessons.
Edited by Big Adam

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@NatalieIt's a 5-book epic fantasy series.  I read the first four books two years ago and really liked them, but the fifth one wasn't out yet.  The fifth one is now out. I've forgotten most of the plot, so I'm going to re-read them from the beginning.  The premise is a world with a magic system that relies on extracting colors from the light spectrum (hard to explain), but most people who use that magic eventually go insane, so all Magic use in the world is regulated by a Church of sorts. The two main characters are Gavin - who is basically the head of the church/Magic Organization and Kip - his bastard son who grew up without knowing who he was.  There are a LOT of twists in the first book alone about who Gavin is and whether or not he really is Kip's father and whether Gavin is really a good guy or if he's holding up this corrupt Church.

It's one of the darker fantasy series I've read.  It's similar to Game of Thrones in that very few characters actually have the pure motives that they seem to have when you first meet them, there's a lot of death, and a lot of bad things happen to our characters.  I remember there being a lot less sex that GOT and much more humor, which I appreciate since I have trouble with books that are unrelentingly grim. 

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Day 4

Recap of yesterday's Goals:

  • Eat Paleo: .  No Video Games: .  12:00 Bedtime: . 

  • Make Spotify Playlist

  • Make an “Ideal” Schedule: 

Goals for today:

  • Eat Paleo.  No Video Games. Go to bed by 12:00. 

  • Get Guitar, Drawing Book, and Drawing Pad from Home

  • Make “Ideal” Schedule that includes designated TV/Internet time and designated “Activity Time” to Read, Practice Guitar, or Draw.

What I'm thankful for:

  • That my friends organized a Thanksgiving Eve party for this coming Wednesday.

  • For my nice little scented candles that make my apartment smell like Pumpkin Pie.

Summary:

Didn’t go into Philly last night. Decided to stay in.  I installed a few dating apps on my phone, then did some mindless internet browsing.  I ate some trail mix because I was bored.  Not an egregious diet violation, but still unhelpful.  I’m going to visit my parents today and play Frisbee Golf with my Dad. When I get back I’ll plan out an “ideal” schedule for weekends and weekdays that includes designated TV/Browsing time and designated Hobby time where I’ll do something on my Activity List.

Goals for the week (Counting Sunday as the Start of the Week):

  • 3 Gym Workouts: ✔️ 3/3.

  • Go on One Date/week:  

  • (Next Week): Sign up for Guitar Lessons.

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My Activity List.  I've structured this in such a way that I can refer to it easily when I find myself without a scheduled activity.  If I find myself with free time during the day that I would normally spend on Video Games or Aimless Internet browsing, I'll refer to List #1.  If Friday and Saturday night arrive and I have no social event or date scheduled, I will refer to list #2.  During the week, I'll refer to List #3 if I see that I have nothing scheduled for Friday/Saturday Night.

At-Home Activities for unscheduled time

(Ordered from greatest mental engagement to least)

  • Read Books on Dating/Game and take notes
  • Practice Guitar
  • Stretching Routine + Squat Hold
  • Draw and listen to podcasts
  • Read Fantasy Novel
  • Practice Coin Tricks/Juggling and watch TV
  • Grip Exercises and watch TV
  • Podcast + Swipe and Message Dating Apps.

 

Getting out of the house on Unscheduled Friday or Saturday Nights

 

Use this list on Friday and Saturday Nights when I do not have a date, Swing Dance, or other social event already scheduled.  (Ordered from greatest difficulty to least)

  • Take the Train to Center-City Philly and Walk around.
  • Take the Train to Manayunk and walk around.
  • Go to Rock-Climbing Gym
  • Walk down to the Schuylkill River Trail and Hike while listening to Podcast or Music.

 

Social Activity Options. 

Must be scheduled in advance.  Refer to this during the week when I notice that my Calendar doesn’t have enough Social Events.  (Ordered from least preparation to greatest)

  • Check the following Organizations for pre-existing Dances: SwingKat, University Swing, Philadelphia Swing-Dance Society.
  • Invite a Friend to go Salsa Dancing on Friday/Saturday Night
  • Dates from Apps and from Women I meet socially.
  • Hold a Friday or Saturday Night Game Night
  • Hold a UFC Watching Party for people from the BJJ Gym
  • Find a Meetup Group with Activities that interest me.
Edited by Big Adam

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IDEAL DAILY SCHEDULES:  I will not force myself to stick to these 100% or be frustrated if I fall outside them, but this is my ideal.

Ideal Day: A day that will be enjoyable while I’m going through it AND will move me toward my goals.  Current Goals in order of importance:  

  1. Break my Gaming/Junk Food habits.
  2. Lose Weight while maintaining muscle
  3. Date 2-3 girls casually, with them knowing that we are non-exclusive.  OR find a girlfriend if I meet one I really like. But NO settling for exclusivity with a woman that I don't want a long-term relationship with. That's not kind to me or her.

With this in mind, what do I need to do each day? Breaking the Gaming/Junk Food habits just entails keeping busy and entertained with OTHER habits.  Losing weight involves going to the gym 3 times a week.  Other than that, the weight will come off on its own if I break the Junk Food habit.  Last is creating an enjoyable dating life for myself. Which entails: practicing starting conversations with strangers (both men and women) and going on dates with women I meet in everyday life and through online dating apps.

None of that takes up too much time.  So my PRIMARY priority is to structure my time in a way that’s so enjoyable I don’t think about Games and Junk Food.

Mon-Thurs:

  • 8 AM Wake Up
  • 8:30 – 4:30: Work.  Work part of this time at a coffee shop.  Hit the gym at Noon if not too busy. Eat Lunch at 1.
  • 4:30 – 5:30: “Unscheduled Time” – Either Read or Practice Guitar.
  • 5:30 – 6: Warm Up my joints, then drive to Jiu-Jitsu.       
  • 6-7:30: Jiu jitsu Training
  • 7:30-9:30: Shower, Eat Dinner, Stretching Routine, Watch TV
  • 9:30-10:30: Free Time (Anything below Stretching Routine on the At-Home List)
  • 10:30-11:30: Read until Bedtime at 11:30
Edited by Big Adam

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Friday:

  • 8 AM Wake Up
  • 8:30 – 4:30: Work.  Work part of this time at a coffee shop.  Hit the gym during lunch break if not too busy.
  • 4:30 – 7: “Unscheduled Time” – Read or Practice Guitar for 30 mins, 20 minutes of Internet Browsing, then go down the list of At-Home Activities.
  • 7 – 7:30: Eat Dinner and Watch TV
  • 7:30 – 10.  Scheduled Social Event OR Get out of the House if I have nothing scheduled.
  • 10 – 10:30: Free Time (Anything below Stretching Routine on the At-Home List)
  • 10:30 – 11:30: Read till bedtime.

Saturday:

  • 8 AM: Wake, Meditate, Warm-Up, then drive to Gym.
  • 9 – 10:30 AM: Jiu-Jitsu
  • 10:30 – 11:30: Shower, Stretch.
  • 11:30 – 1: Go to Coffee Shop and Read.
  • 1-2: Lunch + TV/Internet Browsing
  • 2 – 4:30: Get out of the House and Walk around (Schuylkill River Trail, Wissahickon Valley Park, Downtown Manayunk). Train Leaves at 2:20 if going to Manayunk.
  • 5: Go to Gym and workout.
  • 6 – 7: “Unscheduled Time” – Go down list of At-Home Activities.
  • 7 – 7:30: Eat dinner and Watch TV.
  • 7:30 – 10. Scheduled Social Event OR Get out of the House if I have nothing scheduled.
  • 10 – 11: Free Time (Anything below Stretching Routine on the At-Home List)
  • 11-12: Read till Midnight

Sunday:

  • 9 AM: Wake, Meditate
  • 10 – 11:30: Read at Coffee Shop
  • 12 – 1: Take Train to Center City
  • 1 – 3: Grab Lunch at Chipotle or Real Food Eatery.  Swing Dance in Rittenhouse Square OR walk around.  Can also schedule Lunch Dates during this time if I meet women who live in Center City.
  • 3 – 4: take the train back home
  • 4 – 6: “Unscheduled Time” - Read or Practice Guitar for 30 mins, 20 minutes of Internet Browsing, then go down the list of At-Home Activities.
  • 6 – 8: By Food and Batch-Cook for the Week.
  • 8 – 9: Dinner and Watch TV
  • 9 – 10:30: Free Time – Anything below Stretching Routine on At-Home List
  • 10:30 – 11:30: Read until Bedtime.
Edited by Big Adam

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