The Community Journal Thread (share your progress + updates)


#1

Since we had to move the journals category of the main page, I thought it would be a cool idea to have a more general, community journal that everyone could participate in.

Also just for everyone already keeping a journal, feel free to keep up your existing one! This is just for the main page.

So what goes can you post in the community journal?

  • Progress updates that you have, whether things are going well or they aren’t
  • What you did today/what you’re working on
  • Plans you have for the future
  • Setting goals for yourself
  • Your thoughts or helpful advice you want to share for other members on other members journal entries.

#2

This is an AWESOME idea! I love it.

Some small successes I’m excited about:
Finally have managed to get my sleep schedule back on track and have gone to sleep before 11pm for the past few days :confetti_ball: The second tiny win is that I’m making good progress on my reading list (the only downside is that this reading list is made up of 4 books I already purchased. I ALWAYS DO THIS TO MYSELF. Putting a freeze on getting more books until I finish these :rofl:)

Some things I’m working on:
This week I’m focusing on implementing fixes to problem areas I’ve noticed in my habits. One small example is I spend an hour each weekend reflecting on my past week and planning out what matters to me in the week coming up. The problem? I wait until the last possible moment Sunday night to do this and it causes me to stay up late and ruin both my sleep schedule, and my goal of working out in the mornings. So this week my goal is to experiment with scheduling certain tasks that I’ve realized need scheduling (like moving my reflection to first thing Sunday morning), while at the same time keeping some level of flexibility and freedom in my day (was never a huge fan of purely time based task scheduling). Hoping to find a nice middle way that works for me!


#3

This sounds like a great idea, because I like keeping up with other members, but I don’t always have time to read their individual journals.

@stdin_stdout_stderr Congrats on your new sleep schedule. I know it can be very tough to get to bed on time, and your body might fight you at first, but after a few weeks your body will fully adjust. My husband has a MA in sleep science, and often reminds me that it takes the body a surprisingly long time to adjust to an earlier sleep schedule (i.e. going to bed and waking up earlier). If you can make it a habit, you will have great success!

I have been changing my sleep schedule too. My success this week was waking up at 5:20am on Monday and Tuesday for a workout class. I still need to ingrain the habit, but I’m proud of my progress. I spent three months working up to this wake time, and I did it without stressing my body too much.


#4

Congrats! How did you do it? Slowly start waking up earlier in small increments like 5 minutes at a time?


So this last week I’ve been really disciplined about not using any screens early in the morning and late at night. I’ve been doing this in an effort to intentionally slow down time and also keep my mind stress free.

So now every morning I’ve been writing down a few thoughts in my journal (my physical one) and it’s helped me get back in the habit. I like writing down a few short things rather than trying to write long, deep entries like a used too. I guess I have to adapt with my current life and go with what’s most practical.

The Moleskine that I’m using right now only a has a few pages left in it so I have to think about getting a new journal. In retrospect, I regret buying the Moleskine. I would’ve spent the money on a Rhoda instead. But now I have my eyes on a Seven Seas Writer made by Nanami Paper. It’s a bit pricy but it has 480 pages and is made with Tomoe River Paper…from Japan!

So I’m planning on getting it as a present to myself for my birthday…I’m super excited (do normal people get this excited for notebooks? :joy: )

Yeah so the morning + evening routine has become a really important part of NoSurf for me. The evening is harder though, I find the boredom a bit more difficult to deal with then. Still trying to figure out ways to deal with it.

Sitting outside is helping a lot but sometimes the mosquitos aren’t on board with my peaceful evening routine idea :confused:


#5

Oh wow, that notebook is beautiful, and I think it would be a good buy for you with its 480 pages. Moleskines, unfortunately, are now so common and industrialized that they’ve lost their charm. I love notebooks and paper, so I can understand your excitement for the book.

In theory, yes. In practice, my wake-up time changed almost every day – sometimes earlier, sometimes later – but was never more than a 20 minute change. Of course, I kept pushing myself to wake earlier if it was possible. The reason it was random was that I tried not to wake up during REM sleep, which can make you really groggy. You can usually tell if you’re in REM if you’re having crazy weird dreams and have a very, very hard time waking up.

One of the things that helped me was having a goal for my morning (the workout class), and keeping a spreadsheet of my wake times.


#6

I received my first French magazine, XXI, which is also my first foray into the realm of slow journalism. The magazine is 200 pages long and contains lots of beautiful commissioned art and photos.

Despite the fact that this copy is from 2017, I am amazed at the content in this magazine, especially when compared to regular online news content. Everything is curated by journalists and writers. All the articles are presented with intention and care. It is so different than reading news online.

After each major article, there is a page that has a list of recommending reading and watching, À Lire, À Voir, as well as maps and additional information about the article.


#7

This looks more like an illustrated book than a magazine. It‘s a beautiful thing that formats like it still exist in this fast-moving world of ours.


#8

This makes me nostalgic of the really old national geographic magazines at my grandparents home. I feel like the content was much better than magazines today where it’s 20% content and 80% ads.


#9

Also guys I started using the Colibri browser (single tab browser) because they released a Linux version. It’s only been maybe 20 minutes but I really like it so far.

It feels like a calmer way to browse compared to how I usally do it. Which is open up 5-6 tabs via ctrt + t or right clicking and jumping through them quickly. This forces me to slow down and do one thing at a time.

If you want to give it a try:

https://colibri.opqr.co/


#10

I think the people at National Geographic think the same way but are bound by enonomic necessities.


#11

Nice! I would use it, but I don’t know if my Chrome extentions are compatible (Adblock, Awesome Screenshot, Right to Copy, Trafficlight, Windows Defender, DF Tube, Cold Turkey) This is what is holding me back from going to this browser.

Now I will state my own problems. My Discord use has skyrocketed to 4-8hrs per day. I am trying to cut back on even more YouTube subs, particuarlly MoreJSTU, but I am waiting for a series to end before I unsub. Should I wait or just go unsub? My full journal is in my profile under website.


#12

Unsub. There will always be some reason to keep subscribed to something. It‘s just something we tell ourselves to not have to bear the pain of letting go.


Summer Recovery: mabelgkim's journal
#13

Agreed. In response to me waffling about quitting Reddit, I think it was @Nik who said something like, “Nike’s motto really applies: Just Do It.” One can always find excuses, so sometimes it’s good to cut your losses and make the jump.


Summer Recovery: mabelgkim's journal
#14

Thanks for your input! I believe both of you are right. I am in the process of my sub cleaning right now, so the time of your response is perfect!


#15

So, after “giving up” on my personal journal, I guess I’m gonna post a little update in here!

I generally manage to stay off the internet pretty well and studying is also going great! But I still have a few days where I get nothing done. Yesterday was one of those days.
I recently downloaded an app to help my track my habits (shout-out to @Ramirez122 for recommending the app; it’s awesome!) and yesterday, I couldn’t continue any of my streaks, because I really didn’t do anything. I seem to have these days more frequently recently, so I sat down and thought about possible reasons for this. And I figured it out. All of it. I even realized that this “trigger” is responsible for unproductive days I’ve had a few weeks ago as well; it’s been with me quite some time!

And it’s so simple: Whenever I don’t start studying by about 1pm, I get nothing done for the rest of the day.
It’s sound weird but that is what every unproductive day I’ve had the last few weeks has in common. When I start studying early, I sort of fall into this “routine”. I get done with studying for the day at about 3-4 pm. Then I do some stuff from my to-do list and read a bit.
If I don’t, I tell myself that it’s not worth starting to study right now, because we’ll have lunch soon, so “I’ll start afterwards”. After lunch, I’ll be tired, and tell myself that I’ll surf on the internet a bit, and then I’ll start. When I’m done surfing “a little bit”, it’s about 3-4pm and I feel unmotivated to study because it’s “so late”, and I’ll “just study a bit more tomorrow to make up for the wasted day”. And this negative attitude stays with me for the rest of the day.

I guess the solution is relatively simple: I have to establish a strict morning routine, that ends with me studying by about 11am. I guess I’m gonna start with that particular rountine tomorrow, because it’s already 12am :sweat_smile:

Besides that, seeing the magazine that @zeldajones recently got, got me interested in slow journalism. I looked around a bit and found the Delayed Gratification Magazine. Has anybody here read it and recommend it? Or do some of you have other recommendations?


#16

Wow, I love how you figured out how the difference between your productive and unproductive days, and how you’re going to correct it.

I was looking for slow journalism magazines in English before I looked in French, so I’m aware of the Delayed Gratification Magazine. I loved the way it looked! It is worth noting that it’s a UK publication. I wanted something more local if I was going to be reading in English, but I don’t remember being able to find an American equivalent. :frowning:

In other news, last night was bad for me. I started binge-watching The Ozarks, which is a stressful show, but is definitely designed to keep me watching. I stayed up way later than I intended and I didn’t get my studying tasks done for the day, and then this morning I woke up late. I think I did so terribly yesterday because we did something out-of-the-ordinary: my husband came with me and the dog on our walk to a café, and we ran into some people we knew. We spent at least an hour talking with them before coming home. And that, for whatever reason, messed up my sense of the whole day. I’ve noticed that I do poorly on my routines and goals when I start off my day by socializing, even good socializing.

I’m not sure what to make of it, but I don’t want that to happen again, even though I had a really amazing time chatting with our friends. :neutral_face:


#17

It has to do something with your sense of gratification. Socializing seems to be wired for you in a way that it primes you for leisure time, even if it‘s still the start of the day. So you have to be conscious to override these associations.


#18

Well done! @MaxWolf
How does it feel finally having that “a-ha!” moment? Good job on identifying your trigger, I would think that yours is more subtle than it looks to be so that’s a nice find by you. It’s funny how different triggers work. I dare to call myself a “successful nosurfer” although I still do have trouble getting distracted by YouTube before sleep. I’m starting to think my trigger is working overtime in a way (a bit on the opposite spectrum to you) when I still have time to work I don’t stop and take a break, I keep going and when it becomes nighttime I feel exhausted not in the physical sense but the mental sense and so I feel the urge to “wind down” before sleep.
My problems are much better now than before but it’s somehow relieving to see that my struggles are shared and others are finding ways to combat them. Good luck with your studies! I’m glad you found the app useful and I wish you the best of luck :slight_smile:


#19

I have noticed that the short things are way easier to keep up with during the weekdays and in general for the long term. I think I’ll make one longer and deeper entry during the weekend or whenever I have extra time and am bored during the week. I was on a big streak making a journal entry each day, but since my working environment changed a little bit, I haven’t written a single proper entry for months. I find this to be a downside of the Moleskine as well, since each page is dated and now I feel bad for (not) using the space, so I’m not really sure what to do with it.

May I ask how and when you entered your wake-up times in the spreadsheet? Did you first write it down on a piece of paper and once per week entered it into Excel?


My personal plan for the coming week is to sent out some long over due e-mails that I have been avoiding for the last weeks. I noticed it is a really bad habit of mine, that when I am in a bad mood, I try to escape or avoid responsibilities. So this weekend I fully recharged myself by doing some new and relaxing activities of which I hope to write a quick post soon.

Furthermore, after reading the post by @MaxWolf on tracking habits and his identification of a possible trigger, I am motivated to do the same. I can already say, that his insight is one I had quite some time ago, but noticed it is a really tricky one to change. My next approach would be to install slow time clocks on my direct environment. Meaning I can’t see the precise times, but just have a general idea of how late it is in the day and for the rest use a simple 20-min hourglass that I got as a gift last Christmas. This way I shift my sense of time from a very precise timekeeping piece to something a bit more vague, but intuitive and more likely to inspire action.


#20

I agree with @horatio and @zeldajones. The problem is that right now you can’t see Discord or YouTube objectively because you’re in the “Bubble of Rationalization”. This is what I call the the series of thought processes that occur when your brain is still receiving good chemicals from something whether alcohol, or YouTube.

In this state the “Primitive Brain” desperately wants to keep getting good chemicals so it creates a set of recurring thoughts, rationalizations, by which it can prop up the belief that you still need Discord, YouTube, or alcohol.

Every single one of these thoughts will seem logical. That’s the problem. These thoughts can masquerade as those of your own, so you can’t really distinguish between whether do “I” want to remain subbed to people on YouTube? To stay signed in on Discord? Or is it the primitive portion of my brain that wants these thing?

You won’t be able to distinguish between these two versions of “you” while you’re in the bubble of rationalization. You’re too zoomed in. Only once you step out and put some distance between you and the addiction can you see with total clarity that all the “logical” thoughts you had, the beliefs you had about needing YouTube or Discord, were lies and rationalizations that you’re brain was telling you.

As far as I know, there are two different ways to overcome this.

  • 1 is by using logic itself. You can use CBT to root out cognitive distortions. Or something like Socratic dialogue (thinking from first principles?) where you question yourself a series of questions to arrive at what is ultimately the truth. Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns is a good introduction to this. This approach works really well but obviously has a learning curve associated with it.

  • The other is kind of what I told Zelda, which is the “just do it” approach. What I’ve found is that this works really well when you entertain the idea of taking a small, temporary break rather than quitting permanently. When you try to quit something permanently that triggers the rationalizations into high gear. But when you entertain the idea of taking a break nearly everyone can think something like “…well it’s just one week I’m trying this for…YouTube will still be there in one week…I can do this”. This makes it a lot easier for you take action and results in your mind finally getting the space it needs to look at your use with clarity.