Bored and Brilliant challenge 3: making memories

Previous posts on the challenge:

Tuesday

I had another day without using my phone in transit. I didn’t feel any particular urge to use it or feel that I was missing anything. My biggest fear is that I will forget my Duolingo lessons and lose my 666 day streak!

I sat up the back of the bus today and didn’t think about anything much. Actually, I was mostly focusing on the challenge and what I’d write today and how I was going to get through the myriad of posts that are sitting on my computer from this challenge and my 19 for 2019 updates. What a dilemma to have!

That made me think of the word “myriad” and how in Australia we say “a myriad of [whatevers]” but in America they leave out the “of”. I wondered why this was. And then I wondered why we say “a dozen eggs” but “a pair of jeans”. “A thousand nights” but a “couple of days”.

Why?

Challenge 3: Photo-free day

This challenge considers how many photos are taken every day (10 billion a month in America, according to the book, 75 per cent of which are taken on a phone) and uploaded to social media (depending on your source it could be anywhere from 50 million to 100 million a day just to Instagram). It suggests we spend more time trying to capture the moment than we do living in it and experiencing it.

The challenge asks us to put the camera down for a day and see the world through our eyes, not through our screens.

The book reports that people who did this reported that they took pictures way more, and more mindlessly, than they had thought they did before they did the challenge.

I know this is something I do a lot. I try to download my day’s photos at the end of every day and often wonder what I’m ever going to do with a lot of them.

I noticed on Monday that I took very few photos by not using my phone in transit. This is because I take most of my photos in transit. I take photos of street corners as I’m walking past for my Hobart Street Corners project and I take photos of things that grab my attention for Straightlinesgirl, in particular, my exploration of Hobart’s architecture. I often wander to work by different routes to find new things or walk by my favourite places to photograph them in a different light or from a different angle.

Transit time is walking time is my creative time. So if I don’t use my phone in transit, there is very little I will take photos of. Keeping the phone in my bag meant that it wasn’t easy to access if I came across something I would normally take a photo of for later reference or to post to Instagram or my blog, or to share with a friend.

There’s really only a couple of things I would normally take photos of outside my transit time, so the real challenge was just to forget to do that today. And it wasn’t that hard.

The only thing I wouldn’t compromise on is that I take a snippet of video every day for my One Second Everyday project, which becomes a 365-second mashup of my year at the end of each year. But a video isn’t a photo is it . . . . ?

I think what I want to do as a result of this is to be more mindful of what I take photos of and why. For example, last year in the street corners project, I would take a photo of any old street corner and post it. This year, since setting up a separate account for it, I have started to become a bit more strategic in how often I post and what I post, to create a more cohesive collection of photos rather than posting whatever, wherever, whenever. I still have more work to do but I’ve made a start.

I survived the day without taking any photos. It wasn’t difficult at all but the book warns you that, if you thought this was easy, the tough day is coming . . .

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19 for 2019: week 13 update

Week of 25 March

On Sunday I completed the month without alcohol challenge (thing 13). I went for a whole month without a drink. Yay me!

I’ve written a lot about doing this over the month and I’m not going to go over it all again other than to say I feel a whole lot more energetic, I get tired earlier and go to bed earlier, which was my goal for the month. I also lost somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 kilos, depending on which day I weighed myself.

I was listening to the Happier podcast over the weekend, where Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft were discussing, conveniently, giving up something for 30 days.  Liz mentioned that she had given up alcohol for 30 days. She said that she felt she was drinking a lot of wine mindlessly so she decided to eliminate it, and that if she decided to bring it back in, she would be more mindful and less habitual about it. She considered it a good way to break the habit and see how she felt without it.

Something Gretchen observed was that people give up something for a period (like 30 days) as a way to get into a new habit of not having that thing and that the 30-day “without” period helps them to rethink their patterns associated with the old habit. But she also found that sometimes people give up something and think they have created a habit whereas, in reality, they have just achieved a goal, that is, the month. And that if they want to keep going it’s harder, because having reached the goal they have to start again, which she suggests can be harder than the initial abstinence. To avert this, Gretchen says you need to think of the month as a milestone in a bigger change that you’re making, not as an end goal.

In the chapter on rewards in her book Better than Before, Gretchen discusses this topic and she observes that “the real test of a 30-day blast is what happens on day 31”. She recommends that if you do this type of thing with a view to kickstarting a new habit, you should decide in advance what you’re going to do to keep the habit going after you’ve reached the milestone.

Last time I gave up alcohol I hadn’t thought about this at all and day 31 was Friday and there may have been a very large can of a product I very much enjoy consuming waiting for me . . . and it ended at 30 days.

This time, day 31 was actually day 32 and it was Monday and I’d already decided that I’m going to reinstate the habit I’d been trying to bring in for many months of not drinking on a school night. Like Liz, I want to be more mindful about drinking and make a deliberate choice about when I am going to do it, and how much I will drink, not just sit down at night and fall into that deadly trap of drinking and Youtube.

I have some more to write on this over coming days but right now I know the first danger time will be the day I decide to have my first drink.

This week’s numbers:

Day 25 (Monday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,2447 | Bedtime: 9.55

Day 26 (Tuesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,292 | Bedtime: 9.55

Day 27 (Wednesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 17,474 | Bedtime: 9.30

Day 28 (Thursday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 22,208 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 29 (Friday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 18,485 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 30 (Saturday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,707 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 31 (Sunday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 20,645 | Bedtime: 10.00

With that step count, I finished the Cancer Council’s March Charge fundraiser with a grand total of 373 km for the month (73 km over my target distance) and I raised $420.62. And I achieved my goal of going to bed before 10.30 every night. Now there’s one I really have to keep an eye on maintaining!

I didn’t make a lot of progress on other things, but here’s what I did in week 13.

Thing 6: Wellbeing: I made a cabbage salad to have for lunch (actually that was last week). It was really good. Will do again. I added quinoa to it this week.

Thing 12: 33 Beers: Complete. I finished Book 10 and added in the beers I have tried in book 11 for a total of 345 beers. The idea is if I’m out somewhere and want to know if I’ve tried a beer before I can look it up on my fancy Google spreadsheet and find out.

Thing 19: Lightroom: Still using it.

Status for week 13

  • Things completed this week: 2 (12, 13)
  • Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8. 9, 12, 13, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 2 (6, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (1, 2, 11, 16, 18)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

Bored and brilliant challenge 2: out of sight

Previous posts on the challenge:

Challenge 2 of the Bored and Brilliant experiment is called ”Keep your devices out of reach while in motion”. This means exactly what it says. You’re supposed to keep your phone out of view, including not listening to anything on headphones, any time you’re in transit, which includes driving, on the bus or walking down the street.

According to the book, the idea is that your mind is not doing nothing; rather, the times you are travelling are great times to just let your mind wander. The book refers to a conversation with “boredom expert” Sandi Mann, who said she switched off during her morning commute and found she would often come up with new ideas during those times.

The book says that we may think of times when we’re in transit as “unproductive, inefficient or lost if we’re not checking our mail or doing other tasks” but that letting your mind wander instead can be “refreshing”.

It beefs up the challenge a bit by suggesting you take the time you save by not looking at your phone on your travels to notice five things you’ve never noticed before. So that seems to me like it’s bringing some mindfulness into your day to replace phone use. Sounds good to me.

Here’s what happened on day one (Sunday). I had agreed to meet my sister on the way to an event we were both going to so she could give me a lift the rest of the way. I’d calculated it would take me about an hour and a half to walk to the meeting point so I left home at 8am, which I thought would give myself a bit of extra time. Normally walking this route I’d have my phone out some of the time, I’d probably check instagram and twitter a couple of times, maybe listen to a podcast or two and take some photos. But I’d also do a lot of the walk without the phone.

I thought it was a bit ironic that it was a podcast that actually got me into reading this book, after I’d just go back into listening to podcasts when I was out walking after a 15-month break, and now I couldn’t listen to any more because of this challenge. Walking is generally the only time I listen to podcasts.

So, with my phone dutifully stuffed into my bag, I set off.

20181028 Long Beach bathing pavilion 1

I usually take photos on my walk. Here’s one I might have taken if I had been using my phone in transit. It’s actually from October 2018.

I didn’t think about much at all really. I spent a lot of time looking at the cars going past and noticing how many of them had only one occupant. It made me think what a terribly inefficient transport system the car is. It takes so many resources to build a car and then even more more to run it and maintain it, all of which does untold damage to the environment and the planet, all to move one person from one place to another. And most of the time, most cars just sit on the side of the road or in a garage or car park, completely useless. There has to be a better way to move people than destroying the planet in such a way.

After these deep thoughts, for the rest of the walk I was wondering how I was going to get to my sister on time. I realised I’d planned my walk time for a different route than the one I actually needed to take. I didn’t end up going the way I’d thought I would go and was on the road that ran parallel to the road I had to meet my sister on. As I was walking on the wrong road and the time got close to the meeting time I realised I was going to run out of time and I needed to get to the right road sooner because my sister had said she’d drive along there if I wasn’t at the meeting point on time to find me.

But, if I wasn’t on the right road she’d miss me and then she’d call me to find out where I was and I’d fail the challenge because I’d have to answer!

I knew some of the side roads joined the two roads but I didn’t know which ones were the most direct roads and which ones would take me longer. If I’d had my phone I could have found out very quickly on Google maps (phones in transit are not bad!) but I was determined to stick with the challenge so I resisted the urge and turned up a street I knew would get me there. It was very steep and it actually took me backwards onto the road I needed to be on so it wasn’t a good choice, but I preferred that to one that might have been even worse, or more convoluted, and taken even longer.

At least I was on the right road at this point so, if I didn’t make it to the meeting point, my sister would be able to find me without me having to pull out my phone and tell her where I was.

It got to a couple of minutes before our meeting time and the phone rang. (I know this because even though it was in my bag on silent, it’s attached to my Fitbit, which alerts me to when I get a call. There is no escape from the phone.) It was her. I was not within sight of the meeting point. What to do?

I knew I was close so I ignored it. The phone rang again. I ignored it and sped up. It rang again!!!

I was remembering how, in the By the Book episode on this challenge, Kristen had been going home to get ready for some friends coming over and someone kept calling her while she was on the subway, so she couldn’t look at the message or respond. There was a delightful frenzied exchange she went through with her husband, Dean, wondering if it was the people coming over trying to message her and if it was an emergency or if they had questions about the party.

This was me right then!

Dean, not in the slightest bit worried, responded with: “then let’s pretend it’s 1982. They’ll wait until we get to a phone . .  as soon as we stop we’ll be able to call them . .” Of course, there was no emergency, the friends turned up to the party and everything was fine.

And so too with me, everything was fine. My sister found me just a block from where I was supposed to meet her about two minutes later, we made it to the event on time and, although I had picked up the phone, I didn’t actually use it.

I totally understand how Kristen felt on the subway that day!

Challenge two: success.

19 for 2019: week 12 update

Week of 18 March 2019

I’m really happy looking at my 19 for 2019 list stuck on my wall near my desk. I have six of the 19 things I wanted to do this year ticked off and it’s only March.

I finished my reading goal of 12 books for 2019, including six fiction books (thing 5), in week 11 and I think that might have been a pretty low bar. However, I’m not going to change it. I’ve made reading a habit that I do every morning and I’ve been sticking to it pretty much every day.

I’ve also started reading a few pages in bed before I turn out the light, which is something I always said I hated to do, read in bed. But I think that might have changed because my usual habit has been to be on the computer right up until I’m ready for bed and then crash straight into bed after I turned it off. This month I’ve been turning the computer off an hour before the time I’ve set as my bedtime so I’ve had some time before I feel ready to go to sleep to read. As well as that, on some days I’ve been finding pockets of time where I’ve sat down with one of the (four) books I have on the go and read a few pages then too.

So yes, I am reading more, and I’m keeping my reading list updated here if you’re interested.

I’ve now completed 24 of my 30-days alcohol-free challenge (thing 13) and it’s going well. As part of this, I’ve been tracking my energy every hour for the last three weeks. I’m still not sure whether I can draw any conclusions about what my “biological prime times” might be (you can read about that here), since I think the first week and a half at least are unreliable due to the fact I was in the process of getting used to being alcohol (and coffee) free. But looking back over the day to day averages, I can say for sure my energy levels as a whole have increased over the month. I don’t even need the spreadsheet to tell me that. I’ve felt more energetic than I did before, more motivated and more able to get things done. (This is not going to stop me tinkering with the spreadsheet and making some graphs and analysing it to death once the month is over . . . )

This week’s numbers:

Day 18 (Monday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 17,315 | Bedtime: 10.15

Day 19 (Tuesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,874 | Bedtime: 10.15

Day 20 (Wednesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 18,720 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 21 (Thursday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 23,001 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 22 (Friday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,163 | Bedtime: 10.00

Day 23 (Saturday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 17,055 | Bedtime: 9.55

Day 24 (Sunday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,268 | Bedtime: 9.55.

As for the other things, here’s how I went in week 12.

Photo course (thing 1): I submitted some photos that I took last week for assignment 16.20190317 Wrest Point Casino 2-Edit

Walk from Taroona to Moonah (thing 3): I did this last Sunday but I’ve now written a blog post about it if you want to check out the full story and some photos.

Wellbeing work (thing 6): I have done a lot of reading and note-taking and planning of ways to bring more vegetables into my diet. The next step is to actually follow through. Always my stumbling point!

Photojournal (thing 11): I printed the last four collages on Monday and have stuck 26 into the book to complete the first book. 26 to go and I’m done!

33 Beers book (thing 12): I entered book 9 into the spreadsheet. One more to go (and the one currently in progress).

Bucket List book (thing 18): I’ve added a couple more things to the draft list. I know I’m probably missing the point with this book. I should just write the things in there and get on with doing them rather than making a list and then working out what to put in and what to leave out. It’s just a book, after all. And if I end up getting them all done I can always get another book . . . I don’t need to limit myself to 100 things.

Lightroom (thing 19): I’ve been editing some photos on the desktop version instead of on my phone.

Status for week 12

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 6 (3, 5, 7, 8. 9, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 7 (1, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  2, 16,
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)

19 for 2019: week 11 update

Week of 11 March 2019

Week 11 has been interesting. I’m halfway through my 30 days of no alcohol (thing 13), which I wrote about on Thursday and onto day ten without coffee.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m also tracking my energy levels over the course of the day, which have so far been rather erratic so I’m not sure what conclusions to draw from that other than my body is probably still settling down after its rude removal of caffeine. The big thing that I’ve noticed is that most nights I’m tired and feeling ready for bed by 9.00, which I put down to my tiredness not being masked by the fake energy that drinking alcohol gives me in the evenings. So, getting to bed by my goal time of 10.45 hasn’t been a big challenge at all.

Here’s how my week has gone.

Day 11 (Monday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 17,401 | Bedtime: 10.15 pm

Day 12 (Tuesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,879 | Bedtime: 10.15 pm

Day 13 (Wednesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,610 | Bedtime: 10.10 pm

Day 14 (Thursday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 20,566 | Bedtime: 10.00 pm

Day 15 (Friday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,046 | Bedtime: 10.10 pm

Day 16 (Saturday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,527 | Bedtime: 10.45 pm

Day 17 (Sunday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 34,443, | Bedtime: 10.10 pm

According to my trusty Fancy March Habit Tracker™, this week I succeeded in turning my computer off an hour before my allocated bedtime of 10.45 five out of seven nights. The goal of turning it off and disconnecting an hour before my actual bedtime, which has somehow become closer to 10.15 most nights, is nowhere near happening and I don’t know if that’s realistic at the moment.

Turning off your screens anywhere from an hour to two hours before you go to bed is a big favourite of the sleep gurus. For example, the US National Sleep Foundation says that using devices (including computers, TV and phones) before bed can mess with your body’s internal clock, reduces the amount of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin released into your body and makes it more difficult to get to sleep. The main reason is the blue light emitted by the devices. It claims “using these devices before turning in delays the onset of REM sleep, reduces the total amount of REM sleep, and compromises alertness the next morning. Over time, these effects can add up to a significant, chronic deficiency in sleep”.

I don’t think I’ve read anything ever that says using devices right up to bedtime helps you sleep better, and most articles on sleep suggest turning off devices as part of an evening routine to help you get ready for sleep.

Even though I’ve tried developing an evening routine in the past I’ve never really made it work, and my evening routine is basically turn the computer off, clean my teeth and crash into bed. Given that most of the stuff I want to do is on my computer, I don’t know what else I might incorporate into an evening routine after I’ve shut the computer down and turned my phone off. Reading comes to mind but that’s about it. Anyway, I’m going to use this week to play around with bringing my bedtime back to 10.30 and my device off time to 9.30 and seeing if that makes a difference to my sleep quality. Since I haven’t gone to bed later than 10.15 this week I don’t see 10.30 as being a problem, but the 9.30 shut down might be!

It’s one to work on in the coming weeks.

Here’s how I’m tracking with the rest of 19 for 2019:

Photo course (thing 1): I completed the day 19 lesson and assignment.20190310 Assignment Day 19 05Walk from Taroona to Moonah (thing 3): I did this on Sunday! I walked over 34,000 steps, or 22 km, and I took heaps of photos.20190317 Moonah sign 1 editReading (thing 5): I finished book 13, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick, which is my sixth fiction book, so I have now finished this thing!20190314 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? editWellness (thing 6): I watched a video and I have a couple of ideas on what to do this week.

Photojournal (thing 11): I have now made all the collages for 2018 and they are ready for printing. All I have to do is stick them in the book.

33 Beers books (thing 12): I entered books 7 and 8 into the spreadsheet. I have two more to go.

Bucket List book (thing 18): I didn’t write anything in the book but I made a new note in Evernote with the heading Bucket List and I put one thing into it. The idea is when I get to 100 I will go through the list and pick 50 that I am really committed to doing and put them in the book to start with. I think I’m paranoid about putting something in the book that I’m not actually ever realistically going to do, and then failing to complete everything in the book. It’s the same thing as the fear of making the first mark in a brand new notebook, I guess! I think I have to take the perspective that this is a bit of fun, not a lifelong commitment to ticking off 100 things, and just start writing.

Lightroom (thing 19): I made some workarounds to avoid an issue that is constantly frustrating me. I edited some photos for a blog post.

Status for week 11

  • Things completed this week: 2 (3, 5)
  • Things I progressed: 7 (1, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  2 (2, 16)
  • Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)
  • Things completed: 6 (3, 5, 7, 8. 9, 15)

19 for 2019: week 10 update

Week of 4 March

Well, things took an unexpected turn this week, with a no-coffee experiment being unexpectedly thrown into the mix. You can read about that in Saturday’s post.

Everything else is going slowly, with my main focus this month on getting more sleep, avoiding alcohol (thing 13), and doing at least 15,000 steps a day for the Cancer Council’s March Charge fundraiser.

To get more sleep, I’m attempting to move my bedtime back from sometime between 11pm and midnight to closer to 10pm, with my interim goal being 10.45. I achieved this every day last week, and most of those days I was in bed well before 10.45 but decided to read for a bit before I went to sleep, so the times I’ve recorded are the times I’ve turned the light off, not the actual time I was in bed.

I’ve also been trying to turn my computer off no later than 9.45, to give myself an hour of screen-free time. That has been less successful, so I’m looking at things I can do to make it easier to do.

Here’s last week’s tracker:

Day 4 (Monday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,618 | Bedtime: 10.45

Day 5 (Tuesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,421 | Bedtime: 10:45

Day 6 (Wednesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 28,311 | Bedtime: 10.45

Day 7 (Thursday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps:19,963 | Bedtime: 10.30

Day 8 (Friday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,775 | Bedtime: 10.45

Day 9 (Saturday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,825 | Bedtime: 10.45

Day 10 (Sunday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,916 | Bedtime: 10.15

I’m also tracking my wakeup time and my computer off time, as well as keeping an hourly record of what I’m doing and what my energy levels are as Chris Bailey describes in Chapter 3 of The Productivity Project. The purpose of this is to determine what my times of highest energy are so I can make sure I’m working on the things that are most important to me at these times. After ten days, the results are inconclusive. There were a couple of unusual things that probably threw a couple of days’ results off, and Chris also notes that if you’re making a switch to no alcohol and no caffeine, the first few days might not be entirely accurate as your body adjusts to being without those stimulants. So I’m planning to keep this up for a month and see if things become more consistent later in the month.

So much tracking!

20190308 Waterfront from Mac 2 3 edit

A morning walk

Onto other things on the list.

  • Photo course (thing 1): I watched two videos (day 17 and 18) but haven’t done any more assignments.
  • Reading (thing 5): I finished three books this week, one fiction and two non-fiction (The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey and The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz). I’ve now read 12 books this year but the brief was six of them had to be fiction and I’ve only read five fiction books, so I don’t consider this thing to be complete.
  • Wellness program (thing 6): I guess cutting out alcohol and coffee should contribute to reducing my stress levels and helping me stay calm, even though they are not specific issues that have been covered at this time. My main focus is on building up strategies I can call on when I get overwhelmed so I can better deal with those situations. I haven’t done a lot this week.
  • 2018 photojournalism (thing 11): I stuck a couple of collages in the book.
  • Beer books (thing 12): I entered one more book into the spreadsheet so I’ve finished six books, with four to go.
  • Explore a track on kunanyi (thing 15): I already did this in February but I got another opportunity this week to accompany a group of kids from Kramstable’s school on a day bushwalk on the Pipeline Track so I can tick this one off again!
    20190306 01 View from the Pipeline Track edit

    Pipeline Track, kunanyi

    20190306 07 View of the Mountain from the Waterworks edit

    Looking back at kunanyi from the Waterworks after the Pipeline Track walk

  • Lightroom (thing 19): I haven’t done anything specifically new; I’m just getting familiar with it by using it.

Status for week 10

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed: 4 (7, 8. 9, 15)
  • Things I progressed: 7 (1, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 19)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 2 (2, 16)
  • Things not started: 6 (3, 4, 10, 14, 17, 18)

19 for 2019: week 9 update

Week of 25 February 2019

After my two mid-week posts, it’s time for my regular weekly update on 19 for 2019.

You most likely would have seen my posts last week about starting my 30 days alcohol-free (thing 13) and how I’m using that to try to get to bed earlier. Cleverly, I picked one of the longest months, which also happens to have five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sunday, which are the days I’m intending to restrict drinking to once this month is over. (No drinking on a school night!)

March is also the month I’m taking part in the Cancer Council’s March Charge fundraiser by walking 300 km in March (15,000 steps a day) as well as trying to get more sleep by going to bed earlier. The three are all linked, because to be able to walk 3000 steps per day more than I normally do (that’s about an extra two km), I will need more energy. To get more energy I need more than six hours sleep a night; to get more sleep I need to go to bed earlier; and to go to bed earlier I need to cut out drinking so I don’t get caught up in that “just one more”, “oh, I’ll just watch this YouTube video”, “I’ll have quick top-up because the video hasn’t ended,” “this video looks interesting, I’ll watch that while I finish my drink” . . . “oh no! It’s 11.30 and I have work tomorrow . . .” spiral.

So. Today is day four. Day one was helped a bit by the fact that I felt really unwell on Friday and didn’t want anything to drink.

Day 1 (Friday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,180 | Bedtime: 10:40

Day 2 (Saturday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,858| Bedtime: 10:50

Day 3 (Sunday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 19,324| Bedtime: 10:00

It’s a bit soon to be drawing any conclusions at this stage. I also need to work out a fancy tracking system so I can keep track of things.

In other things:

  • Photo course (thing 1): My flash arrived so I completed assignment 11.
  • Read 12 books (thing 5): I completed book 9 (2001 A Space Odyssey), which is my fourth fiction book. I’m now reading books 10 and 11, both of which are non-fiction.
  • I got a new electric oil burner to replace the one I smashed and am keeping it in my room rather than the bathroom so if it gets knocked off it won’t shatter. I’m trying out different scents to see if any of them affect my mood or my state of mind. I did some of the journalling work this week (thing 6).
  • Photojournal (thing 11): I printed weeks 30-48. I stuck a couple of collages in the book. This is really a low-energy task that I have to remember to do if I get a few moments when I’m not sure what to do, rather than reach for my phone and get sucked into social media.
  • 33 Beers (thing 12): Book 5 completed. (5 down, 5 to go) I appreciate the irony of the fact that I am having a month off alcohol yet spending time updating a spreadsheet of all the different beers I have tried over the past four years.
  • Lightroom (thing 19): I’m still using it.

Status for week 9

Things completed this week: 0

Things I progressed: 7 (1, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 19)

Things in progress I didn’t progress: 2 (2, 16)

Things not started: 6 (3, 4, 10, 14, 17, 18)

Things completed: 4

  • Thing 9 (9 January)
  • Thing 8 (21 January)
  • Thing 15 (1 February)
  • Thing 7 (12 February)

You can expect me to be posting more frequently in March with updates on the no-alcohol challenge and how I’m going with my walking.