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Newest system

In Organization, Self Improvement on 2013/11/11 at 19:11

You know how I love my organization systems (and there have been more in the past). Following from I call the idea cascade, I developed a new system. For the first time in my life I’ve consistently followed my system. This post serves to describe this system and the benefits and challenges I’ve discovered from using it these last few months.

The system is currently focused on Goals and Actions, but has not yet explicitly included the higher Purpose/Meaning level. The tools used are Todoist and Google Docs Drive, in particular a Form. In a nutshell: I define quarterly Goals, record my progress daily and review my progress weekly and monthly. I use a to-do list to keep track of the Actions I must take to reach my goals. This system provides enough detail and data to satisfy my mildly obsessive tendencies, but also allows for plenty of freedom and flexibility so that it doesn’t stifle me and kill joy. It’s pretty neat.

Update on my chocolate breakup

In Life in General, Self Improvement on 2013/09/30 at 22:10

Heh. So I did it. I made the decision. And, startlingly, it was a lot easier than I expected (though still a hard thing to do, it didn’t feel impossible). I guess the desire to leave really had been slowly and quietly building up. Now here’s a brief update on that experience.

First, I immediately forgot that I had made such a decision. Two days later I had a cup of hot chocolate in the morning and some Hershey’s in the afternoon. Two days after that, a chocolate milkshake and chocolate froyo. I caught myself a few hours after the fact. Interesting to see how the habits I built up still had their full momentum. I’m happy to report that I didn’t beat myself up over the slip-ups at all. They’re to be expected. They’re reminders of the decision I made and proof that it was the right decision. Such mindless consumption is one of the things that drove me away.

The withdrawal symptoms are almost nonexistent. Replacing chocolate with other snacks hasn’t been too hard, and finding a replacement only rarely felt necessary. We’re still only a week or so into this thing, so there’s no telling what’s ahead. But if I had to guess from what I’ve seen, it’s going to be smooth sailing. So we can add one more thing I hate about chocolate: the way it made me feel I would have difficulty living without it. The minor difficulty I’ve had leaving it is a drop in the bucket compared to the difficulty and pain that embracing chocolate brought me.

I’m loving this new stage. Things are better, and they seem to be getting even better. Life is good for this guy.

I’m thinking about leaving chocolate for good

In Life in General, Self Improvement on 2013/09/22 at 00:04

I’ve been in a long term relationship with chocolate for as long as I can remember. It’s always been there for me when I needed it, or when I wanted it. Chocolate delighted me like no other. Or so I’ve thought.

I’ve come to this crossroads. I’ve discovered, slowly, against my own will, that chocolate, love of my life for this long, hasn’t ever done a thing that ultimately helped me. Chocolate is not the healthiest thing in the world, as you know. It doesn’t help me actually deal with my problems; just escape them for a moment. Chocolate is just there to enjoy the good times, nothing more. In hindsight, this seems pretty obvious. I guess I was just too into the good times myself to see clearly. I was in a hazy pink fog of happiness and bliss.

But worst of all is the dependency. Needing the boost to get through a tough spot. Needing it to be happy when I can’t by myself. It’s a worse kind of addiction than most. Because a physiological dependency can be broken with time, but there’s no surefire way to escape psychological addiction. I really hate that. I don’t want to be anyone’s, or anything’s, slave. I don’t want to need that crutch to get me through life’s hard places.

I’ll man up. I’ll face the root of my problem, and the symptoms, too. I don’t want to be with chocolate anymore if nothing good ever comes of it. No matter how I look at it, my life can only improve if I ditch chocolate. Now all I need is the courage and the will power to do this difficult thing. How does one swear off something so close and so dear? But I imagine doing so with chocolate is a lot easier than other things. This is preparation. This is training. It’s grace in disguise.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Today is the first day of a better life.

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