30 days to fix my life

These are the last few hours of my 30-day trial of various changes to my life. For the last 30 mornings i have got out of bed and got going at 7am consistently. I have completely cut out coffee, i have gone to bed at a decent time and i have prioritised my evenings more effectively, much reducing the amount of time i spend watching television.

By consequence i’ve felt a lot happier, more engaged, more enthusiastic to do my job and do it well. My weekends have seemed more structured. I’ve felt emotions that seem somehow more authentic, and i’ve looked forward to my bedtime, enjoying a good read in bed. I’ve often woken up before my alam sounds in the morning, and enjoyed dozing in bed listening to the birds and the weather. I’ve given up chocolate almost by accident, and i’ve no intention to start eating it again. I’ve come to absolutely love Rooibos Tea! :)

Several people have asked me: what happens next? Well, ideally more of the same. I spent 30 days exercising my self-discipline, forcing myself to follow a routine in order to establish a habit. I’d like to think it won’t be difficult to keep it up now. I used twitter extensively, tweeting every morning that i’d got up on time. Some of my followers will be glad to hear that i won’t be doing that anymore! Twitter is a great motivational tool, but i no longer need it. I think it would feel weird now to stay in bed after my alarm has sounded.

So the experiment has been a great success and it has set me up to continue the good habits that i’ve established. Thank you everyone for your encouragements during the past month. I’ve really appreciated it!

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Progress update on my life improvements

So it’s been 10 days since i started implementing the changes to improve my life. I think it’s time for a little progress report. On the whole it is going incredibly well, better than i even imagined.

The caffeine withdrawal symptoms were horrible. I stopped drinking coffee on Sunday 18th July. By Monday evening i had a heavy headache, not particularly painful but giving a compressing feeling on my brain, making me feel fuzzy and slow-thinking. Then i threw up. Just a little bit at first, but later on i threw up really horribly and painfully. I never imagined that i could get sick from lack of coffee! Funny, it explains why i’ve sometimes been sick when i go away to visit people. Looking back now, it’s obvious it was the coffee withdrawals that caused it.

On Wednesday and Thursday i felt as if my natural emotions were returning. I began to feel a genuine sense of calm and happiness, quite unlike anything i’d felt for a long time. By Friday i was positively bubbling with wellbeing. It was amazing.

Going to bed on time has been quite easy. Without caffeine, i’ve felt ready for bed at the right time. I feel a genuine tiredness without the caffeine giving me an artificial sense of being awake. Some days i really look forward to bed time. With my routine, i’ve found i prioritize my evenings much more effectively. Knowing that i’m going to get ready for bed at 10pm means that i am much less inclined to watch television, putting off other things until later. I’m also delighted for the opportunity to read in bed, now that i’ve made time for it.

Getting up has not been a problem. The last 10 days i’ve been up at 7am sharp. I’ve written down my whole routine, so i do the same thing every day, including weekends. I found it useful and enjoyable to go out for a walk on Saturday and Sunday morning, at the time i’d normally walk to work. It keeps my routine consistent and means i’ve kick-started my day, getting useful things done early, and getting a bit of exercise.

A completely unexpected side-effect of giving up coffee is that i also seem to have given up chocolate, quite by coincidence! I guess i’m on quite a healthy living trip, so i felt if i was going to cut out caffeine, i ought to do it properly … but it’s amazing how i’ve not even had any desire or craving for chocolate. Every time i’ve given up chocolate before it’s been massively difficult and a big deal.

All in all, i’m feeling a whole lot better than before. My enthusiasm has returned, my lust for life is alive and well. I’m sleeping better, performing better during the day, enjoying my work again. I’m fairly sure this will prove to be the best thing i did all year! Maybe next i’ll even find a desire to do some serious exercise! :D

Leaving Things Undone

I’m exercising a bit of LTU tonight – Leaving Things Undone. I really think it’s beneficial – perhaps even necessary – to spend time deliberately relaxing. Last week i had such a busy time at work, and i had commitments every evening, and at the weekend too. I think i really overdid it, and it has been taking its toll on me the last few days.

So long as i have recorded somewhere what still needs to be done, i don’t need to worry about it. It’s incredibly reassuring to think, “There is nothing i have to do right now.” There are plenty of things that i could do, but i am not obliged to do any of them. With any luck, i’ll be in bed soon!

Perhaps i could write a best-selling book about this! Heh!

We had some lovely pancakes tonight and i have had my last chocolate until Easter. Last year it was absolute torture for about 4 weeks until i got over the chocolate cravings. In the end i found that i no longer wanted chocolate, even when the fast was over. Unfortunately i am now addicted to chocolate again, so i want to give it up again. Just to prove that i can!

Valentines

Two nice things about today being Valentines day.
1. It is a Saturday
2. It is not in Lent!

This time last year Lent had already started and i had given up chocolate. No chocolate on Valentines Day is no fun at all! This year i both gave and received chocolate as a gift! :)

My just-happens-to-be-on-valentines-day gift to myself is a new phone! Haha! My other phone is definitely broken, so i got a nice cheap and cheerful Nokia 2600 from Argos. Plug in my SIM card, ready to go. Yep, much easier to go to Argos. We went in all the phone shops and it’s all like, “£15 a month, £9 a month, £45 a month, 100 free texts, 500 free minutes, Skype, Facebook, unlimited internet, £10 top-up, free handset, latest latest …!!!” You go into Argos, pick the phone in the catalogue, it just works. Okay, it’s not the latest and greatest, but it has a camera and plays music, and lets you record your own ring tones. The user experience is almost exactly the same as my previous phone, although i notice a few minor improvements.

Right now i’m having a little lie down, geek about on my netbook in bed, read a bit of the “Getting Things Done” book, just cloned the source code of ykyat.com so i might even code up a few improvements! My beloved is making something nice for me … it’s a surprise! :)

Chocolate-free?

The weirdest thing is happening to me! Even though i could allow myself chocolate again today, i find i genuinely don’t want any!! I am looking forward to our ‘eggs’ which are made of German Printen and beautifully decorated:

Frohe Ostern!

There is absolutely no chocolate in them. I expect we will have them with a cup of tea in an hour or so! :)

We are not making the Chocolate mousse cake today because we don’t have enough butter.

I’d just like to say how wonderful 43things has been for me during Lent. I have got to know some people attempting the same goal as me within the same period of time, we encouraged each other during the difficult first 4 weeks, shared our feelings and experiences, and now we are discussing how our attitudes towards chocolate have changed as a result. This is 43things at its best! :)

Working on my willpower

My manager has today brought in a huge box of Terry’s All Gold and placed it right next to me! ARRRGGHH!!! This is a huge test of my chocolate resisting for Lent.

To encourage myself i have made a ticker that shows that i have been without chocolate for 22 days! :)


I am mostly tracking my progress on 43things. At somebody’s suggestion, i am going for 43 days rather than the traditional 40 days of Lent. This should avoid a dangerous chocolate overdose on Easter Day! :)

Lent

I have given up chocolate for Lent. I’ve tried it before and not succeeded, but i am determined to give it a good go this year.

Last year i just gave up milk chocolate and only ate dark chocolate instead. That was a great success, and i actually went off milk chocolate altogether! For the rest of the year i continued to eat mainly dark chocolate.

I am seriously addicted to chocolate – i have had two cravings already today! Luckily we get free fruit provided at work, so i will make myself eat fruit instead whenever i get the cravings. I can beat this – day by day, craving by craving! It’s a really big deal for me, so i will not be giving up anything else in addition.

There are two conditions under which i will break my goal to eat no chocolate during Lent:

1) if i get dreadfully moody and irritable, when a square of dark chocolate would fix everything!
2) if i end up stuffing myself with crisps, sweets or other junk food in replacement. Hopefully the fruit plan will ensure this does not happen!

We are taking Suzie to the vet tonight … i hope everything goes well and we soon get Suzie nursed back to full health and happiness.

We are also (hopefully) picking up a bookcase that my partner has found on Freecycle! We are much in need of another bookcase, and it sounds as if it’s a really nice one. Fingers crossed that we get it! :)

WISPA BARS!!!!

Something has completely just made my day!! I went to Morrisons at lunch time and guess what i found: WISPA BARS!!! They were at the front, near the cigarette counter, a whole big display of them, with the slogan: “Some things are better left in the 80s. Other things aren’t!”

So of course i bought one! I had to! This must be as a result of that petition to bring it back. But you know what, if they can bring back Wispa, surely they can bring back Fuse! That was the most delicious Cadbury’s chocolate bar evarrrr!

Ooooh, here’s a news article! :)

Happy happy!!

Just finishing up configuring the computer … i have managed to enable sound – hooray! Strange it didn’t just happen automatically when all i needed to do was run alsaconf and it figured it all out for me. Also playing with Samba and network sharing … at the moment i can see my partner’s computer, but it’s not working the other way around, or at least, i don’t know what authentication details my partner is supposed to supply. No worries, we don’t really need it right now. I am also finally figuring out symbolic links and how to use them effectively.

OH MY GOSH!! I have just found this Rhythmbox music management package which has managed to connect to my iPod and play stuff from it – annnnnnd connected to MuggleCast and is currently playing me the latest episode!! This is the greatest!!

This computer is such a great birthday present to myself! :)

Here are my other presents and cards that i had this morning:

Birthday presents

Now we’re looking into Songbird – as a cross-platform alternative to iTunes. Exciting!

Cadbury's Wispa

I just heard on XFM that Cadbury’s are going to be re-launching Wispa, after a long, hard campaign to bring back the chocolate bar of which Dairy Milk Bubbly is an extremely poor substitute.

What i want to know is … when are they going to bring back the Fuse bar?!??!! I really miss that lovely chocolate bar!

In other news …

It’s Caturday!!!!!!!

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