Pilgrim's Roadmap

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Squire, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    This thread is where I am keeping an organized list of what I learn to help me overcome PMO. I will keep editing and updating this original post as I find new things that are useful.

    Statement of Intention
    I have the freedom to design my life however I want and include or not include whatever I think is best for my happiness. So I have made a decision to become completely free of pornography and masturbation. PM gives me short-term pleasure but in the long run makes me feel bad about myself and delays me from reaching my goals in life. I will replace PM with other activities that are more conducive to my happiness and self-esteem. - February 21, 2018

    Emotional Triggers
    These are the emotional states that most often lead me to relapse:

    • Anxiety - when I feel anxious I want an escape. A better way to handle this is self-hypnosis.
    • Boredom - when I'm bored I want something more exciting to do. A better way to handle this is to immediately change whatever activity I'm doing to something else.
    • Anger - after I had a fight with my wife I sometimes relapse, I think as a way of rejecting her. It would be better to talk through the anger, make sure I feel heard, and reach a point of resolution.
    Emergency plan to prevent relapse:
    • When I think about the past, tell myself "that was yesterday" and ignore it and move on
    • Wait 15 minutes before acting out, to give the urge time to pass.
    • Remove myself from the environment.
    • Start another activity that will distract me.
    • Ask myself why I want to relapse? What feeling am I trying to medicate?
    • Give myself a more appropriate "medication" - if I'm bored, do something interesting. Lonely? Talk to someone, etc.
    • Focus thoughts not on what I don't want to do -- that just creates tension that I end up trying to relieve by going ahead and relapsing. Instead focus thoughts on something positive I do want to do.
    Overcoming bad habits
    • It is more empowering and effective to say "I don't" do that rather than "I can't" do that. It makes you feel like you are making a choice rather than having a choice taken away from you.
    • There is a cycle from 1. trigger to 2. automatic behavior to 3. reward. The key is to interrupt the automatic behavior.
    • "Disorder and chaos tend to increase as your day goes on. At the same time, the decisions and choices that you make throughout the day tend to drain your willpower. You're less likely to make a good decision at the end of the day than you are at the beginning." - James Clear
    Building new habits
    • Reduce the habit to the smallest level to get started. Make it so small you can't not do it. For example, start an exercise habit by doing 5 pushups a day.
    • Connect your new habit to an existing habit to turn it into automatic behavior. So exercising might be connected with brushing your teeth in the morning.
    • James Clear: "When it comes to living a healthy and productive life, I do my best to focus on three things…
    1. Eliminate half–work and focus deeply.
    2. Do the most important thing first.
    3. Stick to your schedule and build the habit, no matter how small the
    accomplishment.

    Encouraging quotes

    • "I believe you will recover and your life will take astonishing turns for the better." - @Saville
    • "Be simple and move slowly." - @Saville
    • "Today we move forward with fierce intention and renewed strength." @Saville
    • "No one is as bad as their worst day, and for that matter, no one is as good as their best day. So even if you've done wrong things, what you've done and who you were on that day, doesn't have to continue to define who you are on all those other days." @JustOneDayAtATime
    • "Be aware of the low mood and then decide to not pay to much attention to it . . . Slow and steady." @Libertad
    • "A struggle today was in retrospect only a small bump in the road of recovery." @Libertad
    • "Life is a spiral. You get the same 24 hours each day; You are faced with the same challenges over and over, and hopefully you grow and mature and learn how to deal with those challenges in a better way, which can result in a higher quality of life. . . . To break free from any addition it takes an incredible amount of courage and strength of character . . . Instead of beating myself up when I make a poor decision and making things worse by wallowing in self pity and frustration, I immediately just go with it and focus on what I can do to learn from my mistake... I've learned to stop fighting myself so much. There are still some areas of my life that I just suck at and I just allow them to suck . . . I know that I can't be perfect at everything, and it takes so much mental energy to focus on too many things at once, so I make a list, prioritize the areas of my life that are the most important and just focus on making sure those areas are taken care of to the best of my ability . . . I've learned to breathe deeply into the fear AS I'm TAKING ACTION to fix whatever needs action at that time . . . I've learned that fear cannot actually hurt you. Its all in your mind so if you just force your body to take action, you will eventually get through it if you're willing to confront that demon head on . . . Once I determine that an action is needed for me to grow and develop in a key area of my life, then I begin to take action on it someway, somehow, Period, regardless of how I feel, and that has helped so much . . . I'm at the place where I'm ok with who I am today. I will continue to work to become a better version of myself, but if I can't reach this super high level or achieve this amazing purpose, I'm ok. It's soooo exhausting being motivated by fear . . . so I choose love . . . Whatever my effort yields me I will accept . . . and that's ok with me. Even if it looks like garbage to someone else . . . I feel ok with that. I have let go of wanting life to be other than it really is for me. I accept and embrace my reality and I pray for the strength and courage to continue to face life's challenges as they come. @Musicman 2.0
    • "14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. . . For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. . . Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:14-25
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  2. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide
    by James Clear
    Read this on JamesClear.com

    1. Start with an incredibly small habit.

    This is the wrong approach. Research shows that willpower is like a muscle. It gets fatigued as you use it throughout the day. Another way to think of this is that your motivation ebbs and flows. It rises and falls. Stanford professor BJ Fogg calls this the “motivation wave.” Solve this problem by picking a new habit that is easy enough that you don't need motivation to do it. Rather than starting with 50 pushups per day, start with 5 pushups per day. Rather than trying to meditate for 10 minutes per day, start by meditating for one minute per day. Make it easy enough that you can get it done without motivation.

    2. Increase your habit in very small ways.
    Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. —Jim Rohn
    One percent improvements add up surprisingly fast. So do one percent declines. Rather than trying to do something amazing from the beginning, start small and gradually improve. Along the way, your willpower and motivation will increase, which will make it easier to stick to your habit for good.

    3. As you build up, break habits into chunks.
    If you continue adding one percent each day, then you'll find yourself increasing very quickly within two or three months. It is important to keep each habit reasonable, so that you can maintain momentum and make the behavior as easy as possible to accomplish. Building up to 20 minutes of meditation? Split it into two segments of 10 minutes at first.

    4. When you slip, get back on track quickly.
    The best way to improve your self-control is to see how and why you lose control. —Kelly McGonigal
    Top performers make mistakes, commit errors, and get off track just like everyone else. The difference is that they get back on track as quickly as possible. Research has shown that missing your habit once, no matter when it occurs, has no measurable impact on your long-term progress. Rather than trying to be perfect, abandon your all-or-nothing mentality. You shouldn't expect to fail, but you should plan for failure. Take some time to consider what will prevent your habit from happening. What are some things that are likely to get in your way? What are some daily emergencies that are likely to pull you off course? How can you plan to work around these issues? Or, at least, how you can bounce back quickly from them and get back on track? You just need to be consistent, not perfect. Focus on building the identity of someone who never misses a habit twice.

    5. Be patient. Stick to a pace you can sustain.
    Learning to be patient is perhaps the most critical skill of all. You can make incredible progress if you are consistent and patient. If you are adding weight in the gym, you should probably go slower than you think. If you are adding daily sales calls to your business strategy, you should probably start with fewer than you expect to handle. Patience is everything. Do things you can sustain.

    New habits should feel easy, especially in the beginning. If you stay consistent and continue increasing your habit it will get hard enough, fast enough.
     
    JustOneDayAtATime likes this.

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