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NEW PODCAST: Dealing with Gaming Nostalgia

James Good

The Next Chapter

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These two days make all the difference in the world. They can be a proof that you are still identifiying yourself as a gamer. In contrast, the days, where things are harder, where you are alone, where no one is watching and it is all about you and yourself, they can be great measures for your identity as a non gamer. And this is what you want. You want to be a non gamer. 

Not gaming, when someone else is around is easy. Not gaming when you are busy is easy. Not gaming when your surroundings are fitting is easy. Right now, you use your bad surroundings as excuse for gaming. Sure thing, when your surroundings will be more fitting, you will have an easier time with not gaming. I am quite convinced about that. But what happens, when another even longer stretch happens, where things will get tought again? Where you are alone, maybe your girlfriends breaks up with you? Are you willing to take the risk of falling in a deep hole again? Let me tell you something: Those two days matter more than every single one of the following 365 days!

Sure, I also had little stretches, where I was gaming. The last time two weeks ago, when I was out with people at a Saturday and they happened to play a couple of rounds of  Mario Kart. Sure, I was playing a little bit with them and it was fun. But I knew that gaming was not a problem anymore, because I really did not care, whether I win or not and when it was turned off, it was ok. That was a nice proof for me. But I was sick the last couple of days. No contact with other human beings really. Normally, I would play games all day. Not this time. When I was feeling really bad, I had a sitcom playing in the background. That was fine. But the moment I became conscious again, I started my usual routines: Learning etc. Right now, I am drawing and learning dutch everyday. I am not wasting a single day with gaming anymore, when I in fact could do something meaningful instead. Why waste my time with gaming? I know, what will happen, when I download a game again. It is just not a normal hobby, it is a method of escapism, something that is meant to make me feel better. You know, how I call that? A drug. Why consume it in moderation? To proof your willpower? To proof that you are now "normal"?

I beg you, don't game under these "harder" conditions. I want the master of the gamequitters podcasts to be the lead example with stellar armor, who is not gaming, even when things are tough! 😞 

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@Alexanderle @Amphibian220 Thank you for your messages, genuinely.

An interesting thing happened today. I finished up the call with my therapist, immediately opened up Twitch + Steam and started playing. A few hours later, though, something changed.

I wish I had another word in my vocabulary for it, but I was simply bored. For the first time this week I was viewing myself from a third person perspective, and was trying to come up with a single reason as to why I was doing this.

I spent some time scrolling Steam and other websites looking for a new game to play, and man, it was so boring. That's really the only way I can describe it. Complete and total boredom.

I refunded the game I had been playing. I deleted all of the apps on my laptop, blocked the problem websites, and meditated for 10 minutes.

I'm sitting here now in a coffee shop feeling like a different person.

I feel motivated to change myself for the better. To never play video games and make the next year the best I've ever had.

 

I don't know what brought on this change all of a sudden. Perhaps a combination of these messages on the forum + my therapy session. This stood out in particular:

5 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

Why waste my time with gaming? I know, what will happen, when I download a game again. It is just not a normal hobby, it is a method of escapism, something that is meant to make me feel better. You know, how I call that? A drug. Why consume it in moderation? To proof your willpower? To proof that you are now "normal"?

I beg you, don't game under these "harder" conditions. I want the master of the gamequitters podcasts to be the lead example with stellar armor, who is not gaming, even when things are tough! 😞 

What am I trying to prove by having one last gaming 'blowout'? Nothing at all. There's no reason for me to game on these last two days. None at all. I'm just trying to excuse myself to play games and escape and waste time.

 

Regardless, this is the day I no longer identify as a gamer. That life is behind me. February 1st is the last time I let this happen to me, and it's the start of the next chapter.

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I am sincerly happy for you and believe every single word you are saying. I can relate to the whole idea of being bored. This can be quite a reliable reason not to game anymore. And I belive you that you were trying to escape and waste time. I just think that it can be dangerous for people with our gaming background: It would not be the first time, where "just one more time" leads to a devestating chain of events. Btw. love how you ended your post with "the next chapter". Killer move!! 

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James what's going on with you right now is so frighteningly similar to my experience that it hurts a little bit. I'll tackle this in chunks:

On 1/18/2020 at 4:59 AM, James Good said:

I know there are some people in the community who see me as a figurehead for Game Quitters, as some guiding bastion of self-improvement that can never make a mistake, especially as I'm in charge of our podcast and 95% of the articles on our website, but that's just not the case. I've been in Game Quitters for around 5 years, and I'm still struggling with gaming. I'm still making mistakes. 

We are all human. Do not apologize for that.

On 1/20/2020 at 6:23 AM, Alexanderle said:

- You said: ' Now, I will say that a lot of these habits will improve A LOT in the next couple of weeks.'

I guess you are right, a switch in your environment always has an influence. But don't rely on it. At some point you will get used to certain things and the magic you felt the first couple of weeks will decline. Speaking about this decline, I focus on this in my next point. But the real work and grind happens, when you are alone. Not your surroundings can prove your new identity to you. You have to do it yourself! Like writing in the morning or playing the guitar.

The amount of truth here cannot be understated. The only way you will ever form lasting habits is if you do them for yourself. Not for your girlfriend. Not because you moved to some place new and exciting. For yourself. Girlfriends come and go. Eventually your surroundings become familiar and boring. Relying on those things is not a long-term solution to change.

You need to figure out what you want to do and come up with a reason why you want to do them. Even starting new things can seem exciting and that can motivate you for a time. Eventually, even those new things that in your heart, you know you really love start to seem boring. It's going to start feeling monotonous and like work. That's when your why needs to take over. If the why isn't more powerful than the boredom, the habit will fall apart.

On 1/20/2020 at 6:23 AM, Alexanderle said:

- Speaking about habits: They are mirroring your identity and vice versa. Let's think about this for a second. Just by doing something, even badly over a short period of time is a prove of something. Therefore, James Clear came up with the 2 minute rule: You start your new behavior by doing something for ONLY 2 minutes. After two minutes, you just stop. For instance, you go to the gym for only 2 minutes. You warm up a bit and then you go. You play the guitar for 2 minutes. Then you stop. I write for two minutes. Then you do something else.  May sound stupid, but it could work. The idea is that at some point, you WANT to do more than 2 minutes. 2 minutes are just not enough. At some point, when your identity is based around those habits and you ultimately want success with it, you WILL do it longer than 2 minutes. I never used this technique, but it could be helpful.

To what should be no one's surprise, doing something for a little bit at first and progressing gradually from that point is a more effective way of building a habit than sitting there doing nothing at all. A mistake I constantly made in the past was putting on way too much pressure on myself to get x amount done. That is not sustainable. That led me to do nothing at all because it felt too overwhelming.

If your habits really do start to feel boring and like you don't want to do them at all, try the 5 minute rule. "I'll do this for 5 minutes and if I don't want to do it after that, I'll stop." It's amazing how often you end up doing the habit for a lot longer than 5 minutes. 🙂

And try to exercise self-compassion when you inevitably fail at things. Either you don't do them at all, or you don't do them well, etc. Forgive yourself for the failure and resolve to do better next time. It's the only effective way I've found to pick yourself back up after falling down.

On 1/27/2020 at 1:50 AM, James Good said:

This is extremely powerful, I'll have to read his book. It sounds incredible!

It really is quite good. 🙂

On 1/27/2020 at 1:50 AM, James Good said:

Not sure why I do this to myself, as I know it's leading to cravings, but I can only do my best to work through it and trust in the process.

That's a question I still ask myself whenever I get fast food. I know how it makes me feel, especially the day after when my stomach hurts and I have other issues. It's the rush, man. It's the dopamine. It's the craving that will never, ever get satisfied. It's never enough. There will never be a last time. You just have to make a decision to let it go and ride out the cravings if you have to. It's really, really hard and we will fail sometimes but the important part is to have a long-term trajectory in the positive direction and not worry too much about the ebbs.

On 1/29/2020 at 12:37 AM, James Good said:

I could see it happening a mile away. During the day while watching live-streams + YouTube videos I'd already told myself that I was going to download these games that I used to play. 

This often happens to me too. Well, not often but it happens. I make the decision that I'll have the fast food hours, maybe up to half a day before I actually end up getting it. During the lead-up to the moment, I keep thinking about it. The best thing to do and by far the hardest in this situation? STOP THINKING ABOUT IT! Do whatever you have to do to distract yourself. It's not going to work every time. But it does work. And it gets easier.

On 1/29/2020 at 12:37 AM, James Good said:

On the other hand, when I'm back in Chiang Mai I'll be living with my girlfriend. I know I won't be gaming then, I can't let her see that version of myself. She knows that gaming is a problem for me, although due to the language barrier it's difficult to get across how much of a problem it is.

  James no offense but this is a terrible approach. If you allow yourself to game while she's not there, eventually it WILL find a way to spill over when she is there. Gaming addiction has no destination. It just keeps going and the train gets faster. Either you will start gaming while she's there, or you will resent her for being there because you can't game, etc.

I think the best thing to do is the counter-intuitive thing. Tell her about your struggles and what's going on. Give her a chance to help you. You might be surprised how much of a relief it will be to get that off your chest, especially if she reacts with understanding and compassion. The fact of the matter is that this problem isn't going away easily and the tension in your mind is only going to build up over time. Eventually she'll realize something isn't quite right and then you'll be forced to tell her anyways. But it's your call.

14 hours ago, James Good said:

Sure, the first day or two are usually pretty great, but then I realise that the tasks I've set will take a lot longer than or they're much more difficult than I realised. This results in me getting annoyed with myself and stressed, and confused as to why I'm so stupid that I can't do a few simple tasks.

You set yourself up for failure with the amount of work you put on yourself. Break it down into manageable chunks. I think you've got a good idea of how much you can handle so stop overburdening yourself. That's causing burnout and contributing to you going back to games. I did this a lot before and I ended up getting next to nothing accomplished because it was just too much to try to get done.

14 hours ago, James Good said:

Well, I have 2 more days in Vietnam. Then, after I return to Chiang Mai I'll have a whole year of uninterrupted time. No travel outside of Thailand without my girlfriend, I'll have a routine, I'll have structure, I'll have a kitchen so I can eat healthily, and I know in my heart that shit will be awesome.

That's 365 days to get things done.

These 2 days, in the grand scheme of things, aren't going to make a difference.

I'm going to allow myself to play games this weekend, and not beat myself up about it. I genuinely do want to play them, I want to catch up with my old YouTubers and Twitch streamers, but I'm still going to make sure I get to sleep at a normal time.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Don't fall into the trap dude. You tell yourself now that the 2 days is enough. It isn't. It will never be enough. Ever. There will always be another game.

You can justify it all you want, but deep down inside I'm sure you know that if you give in to it now for those two days, it'll only be harder to stay away from it later.

14 hours ago, James Good said:

I have a strange calmness over me at the moment. It's possibly the first time I've really allowed myself to be truly okay with what's going on.

This is a fucking trap. Don't fall for it! You're only feeling this way because you've convinced yourself that it'll be OK to game. Your brain is now relaxed because of this and sees no reason to hit the alarm bells.

I know, because I did this to myself a lot as well.

4 hours ago, James Good said:

An interesting thing happened today. I finished up the call with my therapist, immediately opened up Twitch + Steam and started playing. A few hours later, though, something changed.

I wish I had another word in my vocabulary for it, but I was simply bored. For the first time this week I was viewing myself from a third person perspective, and was trying to come up with a single reason as to why I was doing this.

I spent some time scrolling Steam and other websites looking for a new game to play, and man, it was so boring. That's really the only way I can describe it. Complete and total boredom.

This was my experience with games for a long, long time. I wanted to game so badly, but they were all boring. I can't tell you how many times I started playing all excited, only to quit and delete the save files. Over and over again. I kept trying to justify gaming. Let's just do this mission one more time. Let's experience that one more time. I would look up and down my Steam list. I would contemplate playing Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2. I'd look over what's on sale. It's never enough!!! When you're deep in the shit and actively looking for reasons to game, that's when you know you really don't want anything to do with it anymore.

At this point there is no enjoyment to be had from games for me. Not really. My brain gets stimulated but I am emotionally dead to games. I experienced this firsthand with Heroes of the Storm. I was going to play it to replace the fast food cravings. Didn't work. Deleted.

Keep up the fight James. This is a very critical time for you. It took me a fucking long time to get myself past the point you're at now, but you're almost there. You are literally one very hard and very important step away from being done with games for good. I promise you that. Just keep fighting for what you believe in and deserve!!!!

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I'm finally back in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and man does it feel good to be back.

I've moved into my new flat with my girlfriend, and will be signing up to me 1 year Thai language course tomorrow. Things are going great.

However, I've noticed something interesting since getting set up in my flat. I'm not sure if it's because of the money I've already put into it, but the small problems I have with the place are really standing out to me, and they're all I can focus on.

I don't think about how lucky I am to be able to live in an awesome place in a great location, I can only notice how the shower temperature fluctuates too much or there's too much light at night and not enough in the day. There's a music event going on nearby this week and it's keeping me awake until past 1AM, and it's really annoying me. Everything is frustrating me, even though I know that they're not permanent problems.

Maybe it's a sleep deprivation thing, a gaming/social media detox side-effect, or something else. I'm not sure. Maybe it's something I can bring up with my therapist.

I've also had the urge to go back to watch gaming YouTube videos, but when I've typed the name into the search bar I've managed to stop myself from pressing enter. I still have a block on all social media outside of 12pm-1pm and 7pm-9pm, and while it's a pain in the ass I've definitely noticed a different in my ability to focus on work and avoid distractions!

Finally, I went to go and check out the gym that's about 50m from my flat and it looks great. I'm excited to get back into the morning workout routine tomorrow!

 

Pretty short post today, haven't got a huge amount to write about. Maybe next time! Peace.

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16 hours ago, James Good said:

I'm finally back in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and man does it feel good to be back.

I've moved into my new flat with my girlfriend, and will be signing up to me 1 year Thai language course tomorrow. Things are going great.

However, I've noticed something interesting since getting set up in my flat. I'm not sure if it's because of the money I've already put into it, but the small problems I have with the place are really standing out to me, and they're all I can focus on.

I don't think about how lucky I am to be able to live in an awesome place in a great location, I can only notice how the shower temperature fluctuates too much or there's too much light at night and not enough in the day. There's a music event going on nearby this week and it's keeping me awake until past 1AM, and it's really annoying me. Everything is frustrating me, even though I know that they're not permanent problems.

Maybe it's a sleep deprivation thing, a gaming/social media detox side-effect, or something else. I'm not sure. Maybe it's something I can bring up with my therapist.

I've also had the urge to go back to watch gaming YouTube videos, but when I've typed the name into the search bar I've managed to stop myself from pressing enter. I still have a block on all social media outside of 12pm-1pm and 7pm-9pm, and while it's a pain in the ass I've definitely noticed a different in my ability to focus on work and avoid distractions!

Finally, I went to go and check out the gym that's about 50m from my flat and it looks great. I'm excited to get back into the morning workout routine tomorrow!

 

Pretty short post today, haven't got a huge amount to write about. Maybe next time! Peace.

I think the frustrations might be a result of the gaming/Twitch binge. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless it really becomes a recurring issue.

Keep up the good work! 🙂

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Been a while since I updated this journal.

Since moving into my new flat things have gone both better and worse than expected. On the one hand, I've found it incredibly easy to stick to a daily gym routine at exactly 7:30am (the time my gym opens otherwise it'd be earlier). I'm sleeping well, although it hasn't been as good the last couple of days due to my girlfriend working late, and I'm eating pretty well. Or at least I was until a few days ago.

On the other hand, I seem to be completely powerless against every other impulse and craving I have.

I'm watching Twitch and YouTube a crazy amount, I'm spending a load of time on Reddit and Twitter, and I've started being much less strict on my diet.

It's so frustrating.

Its been 2 weeks since I last played a video game, so maybe I'm being too hard on myself. I'm expecting everything to just be okay and for me to be able to be productive every day. Instead I just let myself be taken over my urge to watch Twitch or eat shit food for dinner.

I finish up in the gym at around 8:30am, and head to a coffee shop to start work at around 9:30am. My head starts off in the right place, but for some reason as soon as the coffee gets brought to my table it triggers 'relaxation mode' or something.

In my head it's impossible for me to work without distractions and to drink my coffee at the same time, even though I do that with water anyway, and so when I have the coffee I open up YouTube/Twitch and then the cycle starts. I start browsing Reddit and whatever else, I distract myself, and then before you know it lunchtime has come around.

I have BlockSite installed on Chrome but it's incredibly easy to disable, that I haven't bothered re-enabling it. I have all negative apps blocked on my phone outside of 12pm-1pm and 7pm-9pm. My phone isn't the problem here.

I'm thinking of installing something like Freedom or Cold Turkey, because I feel like it's impossible for me to stay away without at least some outside help, at least for the next 90 days until my brain can stop being so full of shit. Seriously, it just feels clogged up all the time and I have trouble on focusing or enjoying anything I'm doing. Even though I don't enjoy watching gaming videos, my brain prefers them to whatever work I need to do and so it directs all its attention to them.

Even as I'm writing this I have a video on in another tab. 

I know that I can't expect everything to work out great straight away, these things take time. However, when I think about getting rid of Twitch/YouTube/Reddit/Twitter my first thought is "You won't be able to focus on the mountain of work you have anyway so what's the point", even though I know it's the right decision.

Ugh.

 

Also if anyone reading this can avoid posting stuff in an attempt to be motivational or tell me what to do, please don't. I hate that shit. I'm writing this as a way for me to get my thoughts out and see if anything comes up.

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3 hours ago, James Good said:

I have BlockSite installed on Chrome but it's incredibly easy to disable, that I haven't bothered re-enabling it. I have all negative apps blocked on my phone outside of 12pm-1pm and 7pm-9pm. My phone isn't the problem here.

May I ask what app you use on your phone to block stuff? I was using BlockSite and, like you said, it sometimes is pretty buggy and I can work around it pretty easily. I recently installed Coldturkey in my PC and man, that shit is good. For sure you can work around it, but it's much harder. But I read that the mobile version is not as good as the PC one, so I'm looking for a new app.

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I am thinking:

our fathers did not even have this threat directed at them. Their cognitive abilities were and are much better. The television was the only thing then but it wasn’t accessible to every household. Even the households that had it, could only see programs at certain times.

1) Mainstream Entertainment was of the healthier kind. You could play a sport, run to the nearest cinema where the film could be boring (healthy) and more down to earth. In fact entertainment and work overlapped a lot.

2)You were drafted or conscripted into the army in most countries.

3) Most office work was handwritten paper work (I am only assuming- in the 70s there were no commercial computers in USSR). A lot of work was still in manufacturing and agricultural industry.

Now:

-Manufactured items, most of your food is farmed abroad and shipped and flown to you at a high ecological cost.

-You seldom know what is happening in your locality.

-Media makes you worry about things you cannot control. 

These challenges are mind blowing. Our parents wanted us to escape poverty, but did they know about this unexpected challenge?

 

 

Edited by Amphibian220
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@WhatAboutToday? I got something called AppBlock and use it in combination with BlockSite. If you spend a couple of dollars on AppBlock it's pretty robust. Although obviously you can just uninstall the apps, but this is the same with everything you try. Surprisingly the mobile version of BlockSite is better than the desktop version, especially if you block yourself from opening the app. I just installed Cold Turkey and I'm going to give it a go. Even if I block it in the morning to get some work done it'll be better than nothing.

 

@Amphibian220 Yeah it's crazy the level of stimulation which we're being subjected to nowadays. Like you said it's not just traditional media, but our food and work too. We're accustomed to incredible tasting things at the push of a button, our entire life is online, and we have an infinite amount of entertainment at our fingertips 24/7.

I shouldn't be surprised that it's having such a big effect on me, but man is it frustrating. In the past I hadn't had too much of a problem giving up both gaming and gaming-related content at the same time, but now I'm waking up thinking about specific streams and YouTubers.

 

I'm going to start tracking the number of days I'm game and game-content free on this journal, so let's see how it goes!

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On 2/15/2020 at 9:41 AM, James Good said:

Also if anyone reading this can avoid posting stuff in an attempt to be motivational or tell me what to do, please don't. I hate that shit. I'm writing this as a way for me to get my thoughts out and see if anything comes up.

Usually when we get to this point is when we most need outside help, but we don't want to admit it/feel like we should be able to do it on our own/etc.

I've done this before. Just "getting my thoughts out". It works as a temporary relief but it doesn't actually do anything to solve the problem.

James, is it practical for you to take a vacation right now? Like, a serious vacation? Away from Game Quitters, from the podcast, from everything? Just go somewhere and do nothing but relax for a bit? Maybe it's a weekend, maybe it's a week, whatever you think you need. Because you are so clearly burnt out. You're so hard and strict on yourself and your brain and body are trying to tell you that it's too much.

If you insist on continuing your routine, see if you can find things that you don't need to be so strict on. Adhering to a strict routine or schedule or whatever is difficult for the most disciplined people in the world, and right now you're a mess. You've taken on way too much and it's catching up to you. At some point you need to do what's best for you and fuck everything else.

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@seriousjay been thinking about this message since you posted it.

You're 100% right. About everything.

I've been wanting to just escape from everything for a long time. Pretty much since my expedition to the Yukon, which was over 18 months ago.

My mind is so busy, all the time. It feels like I'm constantly sprinting but not really moving and I hate it. 

I convinced myself the only way out of it was to push through and keep working harder, but I can't even do that. Which results in me feeling like a failure.

Right now it's not feasible to take a vacation, I'm broke until next month (paying for 2 months rent + 1 year of a language course drained me this month). However, I'm looking at taking a weekend off next month to go to one of the Thai islands in the south with my girlfriend.

In my head I have this idea that I can push myself in the short term in order to live the life I want in the future. Which is true. I do need to work hard to get to where I want to be. But if my head is fucked up and I can't even avoid gaming, how can I expect to make a success out of that.

I often dream of living in a remote place, perhaps Canada, self-sufficient and at peace. I love quiet, and tranquility, and zen, and nature. Why am I trying so hard to force myself to be something else?

I have no idea. I feel pretty clueless about a lot of things right now.

 

But, thank you for your message. It really helped a lot.

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8 hours ago, James Good said:

@seriousjay been thinking about this message since you posted it.

You're 100% right. About everything.

I've been wanting to just escape from everything for a long time. Pretty much since my expedition to the Yukon, which was over 18 months ago.

My mind is so busy, all the time. It feels like I'm constantly sprinting but not really moving and I hate it. 

I convinced myself the only way out of it was to push through and keep working harder, but I can't even do that. Which results in me feeling like a failure.

Right now it's not feasible to take a vacation, I'm broke until next month (paying for 2 months rent + 1 year of a language course drained me this month). However, I'm looking at taking a weekend off next month to go to one of the Thai islands in the south with my girlfriend.

In my head I have this idea that I can push myself in the short term in order to live the life I want in the future. Which is true. I do need to work hard to get to where I want to be. But if my head is fucked up and I can't even avoid gaming, how can I expect to make a success out of that.

I often dream of living in a remote place, perhaps Canada, self-sufficient and at peace. I love quiet, and tranquility, and zen, and nature. Why am I trying so hard to force myself to be something else?

I have no idea. I feel pretty clueless about a lot of things right now.

 

But, thank you for your message. It really helped a lot.

Hey, good on you for realizing what's going on. Self-awareness is one of the most valuable tools you can develop for yourself.

I think I have the opposite problem right now. I'm procrastinating on the things I know I want to be doing. Not exactly sure why. Am I afraid of the hard work? Am I afraid of failure? Am I afraid of success? Am I just afraid? I constantly second guess myself even when I know what I'm doing is the right thing.

Not sure what the answer is--for either of us--but all we can do is keep moving forward towards our dreams and let the chips fall where they may.

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So it begins... My official 90-day detox. Today I played video games for the last time. I'm sick of it.

I'm not thinking about the future, or my work, or my goals. I'm just focusing on getting through each day.

Even though I've read through it for marketing purposes, I've never actually followed Respawn, but I'm going through it now. I'm recording my progress via video and I'm going to be releasing updates on YouTube/social media to keep myself accountable. The videos will likely be unlisted to begin with, but I'll post them here when they're up. First two will go live tomorrow!

I'm going to be making a real effort to work on my other hobbies and goals. This includes:

  • Learning/studying Thai every day (I have a Thai girlfriend and am currently doing a 1 year Thai course at a language school, so it's not too difficult to do this one)
  • Go hiking once a week. I miss being outdoors so much. It's such a core part of my being, and I often find myself looking at pictures of mountains or landscape just to give myself this overwhelming feeling of contentedness and bliss. I've made so many excuses as to why I don't do it here - no walking shoes, bad air quality which is a genuine concern), can't drive (my girlfriend drives and wants to start hiking). So yeah, that's big one for me. Maybe I can dedicate Saturday each week to hiking
  • Start boxing or Muay Thai. This is mostly just a money thing right now. I'm so broke mostly because I had to pay $1500 at the start of the month for rent + language course which cleaned me out. Will start learning to fight from next week.
  • Rediscover my love for photography. Pretty obvious one really. I've been lacking a real creative  outlet, and this used to be my go to when I lived in the UK. But now I'm in Chiang Mai all I can do is street photography. But maybe I can turn that into a project of sorts, or try to improve my street photo skills, as it's one of my weaker areas.
  • Play more golf. Again this is a money thing, but come next week things should be better.
  • Actually practice guitar. When I pick up my guitar I have a tendency to play a few songs I already know, mess around a bit and then put it down. For someone who used to have music as such a huge part of my life before I became addicted to gaming, I mean I had an album and played at festivals, to then go to playing barely once a week is just sad. It hurts. I made a goal to release a single on Spotify this year, so that's something I can work towards.
  • YouTube channel. Something I've wanted to do more is put my name out there, and YouTube will be a good way to do it. I think I'll post about self-improvement, the outdoors, and video game addiction (but different content to what I would post on the GQ channel).
  • Public speaking. Another thing I want to get involved in, and I have a great opportunity to do it being so close to Game Quitters, Cam, and having a ton of media features to my name already.
  • Make more money. Probably the most important one on this list. I have a couple of options when it comes to this. Provide immense value to GQ, or do my own things on the side. We'll see what happens, but for now I'm pretty committed to GQ and in March I might take up a couple of side gigs like writing/audio/photography work.

This isn't an exhaustive list, and I'm not going to do everything on it straight away. It's moreso just a list of things I'd like to do. I'm not going to put myself under too much pressure. Which is a mistake I've made in the past.

Like I said, one day at a time.

My biggest issue at the moment is avoiding Twitch/YouTube Gaming. On top of this throughout the day random images of the games I've been playing (Dark Souls) pop into my head while I'm doing random shit. For example today I was washing the dishes and all of a sudden I saw myself fighting a boss for half a second. Like what?

No doubt I'm going to experience hella cravings over the next 3 months, but that's all it is. 90 days. 3 months. Less than 13 weeks. I can do that. I can make it through.

I want to beat this thing once and for all. I'm tired of mediocrity. I'm tired of going through cycles of relapsing, gaming, depression, and whatever else I seem to do.

I've got big plans for where I want to be in 10 years time, but for now I need to focus on the next 3 months. The next 3 weeks. The next 3 days and the next 3 hours.

 

Thanks for reading, follow if you wanna.

Peace.

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3 hours ago, James Good said:

I can't drive (my girlfriend drives and wants to start hiking)

I'm happy my parents got me to go to driving school when I was 17/18, so I got the license early, even though I did not seriously drive (at least once a week) for two more years. I'm sure your girl would help you out as well! Getting a driver's license also a nice medium-term goal, as the whole list of yours is really 9 habits you want to start/get better at, so there might be some utility in having a nice and clear-cut goal. Consider putting that one in!

Keep up the fight and welcome back!

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8 hours ago, Ikar said:

I'm happy my parents got me to go to driving school when I was 17/18, so I got the license early, even though I did not seriously drive (at least once a week) for two more years. I'm sure your girl would help you out as well! Getting a driver's license also a nice medium-term goal, as the whole list of yours is really 9 habits you want to start/get better at, so there might be some utility in having a nice and clear-cut goal. Consider putting that one in!

Keep up the fight and welcome back!

Haha sorry I realise now it was poorly worded! I've been able to drive for almost 8 years now, but because I'm in Thailand it makes getting a car a bit more difficult and isn't something I want to spend the money on. But rather I was trying to say that not being able to drive isn't an excuse because my GF has a car and since she wants to take up hiking she can just take us both 🙂

Thanks for the support!

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I wasn't planning on doing an update post in the morning, so soon after my previous one, but I feel like if I have something to share I shouldn't unnecessarily hold off until the evening.

Most of the night while I was struggling to sleep, I couldn't stop thinking about video games. It was crazy. I was already having a hard time sleeping because I'm trying to get used to life without air conditioning, to prepare myself for the upcoming 40°C summers, which will be worth it in the long run but man is it uncomfortable.

But yeah, my mind kept switching between different games like Dark Souls, Skyrim, and others. I was imagining myself in them, I was imaging playing them, going through different areas exactly as I had done the day before with my own character. Basically just reliving my play through.

Whether this is my brain trying to keep me thinking about games, it knows I want to quit and is screaming "noooooooo" like something out of Star Wars, but I really can't wait for it to stop. The cravings are intense. All I can do is try to keep focused on everything else. My goals, my relationship, the gym, my work etc etc. 

One day at a time.

 

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38 minutes ago, James Good said:

I wasn't planning on doing an update post in the morning, so soon after my previous one, but I feel like if I have something to share I shouldn't unnecessarily hold off until the evening.

Most of the night while I was struggling to sleep, I couldn't stop thinking about video games. It was crazy. I was already having a hard time sleeping because I'm trying to get used to life without air conditioning, to prepare myself for the upcoming 40°C summers, which will be worth it in the long run but man is it uncomfortable.

But yeah, my mind kept switching between different games like Dark Souls, Skyrim, and others. I was imagining myself in them, I was imaging playing them, going through different areas exactly as I had done the day before with my own character. Basically just reliving my play through.

Whether this is my brain trying to keep me thinking about games, it knows I want to quit and is screaming "noooooooo" like something out of Star Wars, but I really can't wait for it to stop. The cravings are intense. All I can do is try to keep focused on everything else. My goals, my relationship, the gym, my work etc etc. 

One day at a time.

 

Withdrawal. Nothing to do except ride it out.

You've got this keep it up!

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No Gaming - 1 day

On the whole today was a great day. My first day without video games or Twitch/YouTube Gaming videos.

I uploaded my first VLOG to YouTube only to realise I'd accidentally cut half the video off! My bad. It'll be up tomorrow because it's too late for me to fix now, I'm not that bothered by it. I've got 3 videos recorded and I'm going to try and keep a decent backlog of them, and record one each day (or as close to every day as I can).

Cravings haven't been too bad, all things considered. I went on YouTube during lunch and it was hard to stay away from gaming videos, but I managed it. However, I spent a decent amount of time (1 hour) scrolling through Twitter and Reddit. Whatever, it's better than gaming. My pro trial of Cold Turkey stopped so I'm going to have to get that again now that I have some money.

Don't seem to have a lot of time in the day to work on my hobbies. I wake up around 7am, work for a few hours, go to the gym, eat, work some more, eat, and then maybe I've got some time depending on how much work I get done. By the time I've finished having dinner with my girlfriend it's already 8pm and then I need to study Thai, shower, journal, and read for a bit which brings me to bed time.

I'm planning on dedicating more time on the weekends to my hobbies. Perhaps weekdays can be 80/20 work/hobbies and weekends can be 20/80 work/hobbies. That sounds quit appealing in principle.

Worth a shot!

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How to make a great first impression with your GF's friends? Go to dinner, eat 2x as much as everyone and then have your nose continuously bleed for 10 minutes without warning.

Good one.

All things considered they were fine, more concerned than anything which is pretty typical Thai culture. I'd had a nosebleed earlier in the day and maybe the spicy food and hot temperature of the restaurant caused it to start again? I don't know.

Regardless, had a great time. I wanted to write about the habits and routines I currently have, and some of thoughts behind why I think they're so easy for me to follow.

I've been using my current morning/evening routine for a couple of weeks now, and it already feels like a fully formed habit. In the past, I've struggled to adopt new habits due to putting an unnecessary amount of pressure on myself to track them and stick to them every day.

This time, though, things seem to be different.

I have specific ending tasks that I want to do for example start work or freshen up, which are then made up of individual habits.

My current routine looks like this:

  1. Wake up at some time between 7-7:30am (not too strict)
  2. Drink around 500ml of water. I don't measure it I just chug a load.
  3. Turn on the kettle that I filled up the night before
  4. Brush teeth + wash face with water
  5. Make coffee and get into gym clothes
  6. Sit down in my office, review my tasks, take some gorilla mind pills, drink my coffee while doing forum/email stuff
  7. Start work

It might sound complicated, but everything flows so seamlessly together and it's almost impossible for me to do one task without doing the previous one. I didn't do this intentionally, I just focused on how I wanted to be feeling after it or what I need to do to get into the right state of mind for work, and that's what happened.

Now, I do want to add meditation into this at some point, but I don't know where.Maybe after work and before the gym at around 11:30? I'm not sure.

Regardless, I think it's interesting to see what kind of effect its had by shifting my focus towards the desired feeling/state as opposed to specifics.They don't feel like habits or routines to me, they're just natural, and it'is great.

 

Unrelated, but I actually feel really good. I have cravings, sure. But I feel happy. I'm excited for the future. I look forward to booting up my laptop and getting to work on some juicy Game Quitters marketing stuff. I'm developing my skills, I'm trusting in the process, and I'm just taking each day at a time knowing that wherever I am is exactly where I need to be. I'm not focused on the future, on how much work I have to do.

I'm being present.

 

Also, if you want to see day 1 of my 90-day no gaming VLOG just follow the link in my signature and it'll take you to the playlist!

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Hello, looks like you have a pretty good use of your time setup. That’s great you have a gf and are learning Thai. What’re these hobbies you’re trying to spend more time on?

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@Erik2.0 Thanks! Yeah, it's going well.

I listed a few of them in a previous post but for now my mains focuses are:

  • Learning Thai
  • YouTube videos
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Hiking
  • Golf
  • Boxing/Muay Thai

Not an exhaustive list but I think it gives me a good balance of different types of hobbies while also allowing me to develop skills and build useful habits.

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On 2/28/2020 at 9:05 PM, James Good said:

@Erik2.0 Thanks! Yeah, it's going well.

I listed a few of them in a previous post but for now my mains focuses are:

  • Learning Thai
  • YouTube videos
  • Music
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Hiking
  • Golf
  • Boxing/Muay Thai

Not an exhaustive list but I think it gives me a good balance of different types of hobbies while also allowing me to develop skills and build useful habits.

Nice list! It is well balanced. I used to train Muay Thai too. I still do a little shadow boxing. Are you training at a gym? What're you writing and watching on YouTube? Or is it posting to YouTube? I think I saw you were putting up VLOGs of your GQ experience.

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