Coaching Your Brain Monthly Challenge

For the month of June, I’m combining a couple of different challenge ideas from CGC (Conscious Growth Club) to do every day. Every day before 3PM, I want to avoid using YouTube, playing PC/phone games, streaming services, movies, shows, TV in general, and social media (mainly Instagram). I have a few exceptions to the challenge, such as watching a video to meditate or exercise or promoting a song on social media. But otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward. I also want to intentionally do an activity (either from a list of activities, or an inspired activity) every day, while also reflecting on the mantra, “I am intentionally living my life.” This will hopefully also help me make a dent in achieving some of my goals for the year.

The reason I chose 3PM is because I think that gives me enough time to do something meaningful each day. At the same time, it’s not so strict that I will feel tempted to give up. If I was avoiding YouTube, gaming, or social media all day every day, that would be pretty difficult as I would have to find ways to fill up all my time. It’s easier when you already have some activities going for you, such as a class, or a hobby. I think I’d have to work my way up there though. It’s not impossible. It’s just been a while, and I tend to have a lot more free time compared to most people. I do remember though when I was living in Korea, I hardly if ever watched YouTube or played PC/phone games. I think I still used social media, but mostly for posting, not really consuming.

The other day, I was talking to a group of people and this idea of “lucid waking” came up. It’s a pretty new concept to me. From what I understood, it relates to intentional living or mindfully being conscious. There’s lucid dreaming, where you become conscious in your dream and decide what happens in it. But in the waking world, people don’t really think too much about what they’re doing day-to-day. Most times, you’re on autopilot. I don’t want to be that way when I start off my day. I want to deliberately choose to do something meaningful. It’s easy to mindlessly engage in a time sink. So, I hope to engage in my lucid waking while going through this challenge. (I don’t know if I’m using the term correctly, but a simple Google search shows more results of lucid dreaming than lucid waking, so I’m treating it like a new subject/idea in general. 😂)

I don’t think this is on purpose, but sometimes I feel like I go on YouTube/play games/browse social media as an avoidant behavior. It prevents me from taking on something more challenging. Some activities require more mental energy, and sometimes I just give into these easy activities so that I don’t have to think so much. It also gives me an easy dopamine hit. I’d like to exercise my brain more, especially to learn or create. I also want to rewire my brain so that it’s not always going for the easy short-term rewards, but to build up for the long-term.

Most of the activities I came up with for the challenge are mental, such as meditating or reading. I tried to include some physical activities too, such as going for a walk or decluttering my desk. I also wanted to make sure that some of these could be done without a screen or a device, such as nail care or journalling. It’ll be interesting to see what activities I end up doing. I also want to see how many days I go without following an exception.

I’m not really framing this challenge as a way to improve my productivity or to reduce my procrastination. I think it’s more important to create alignment in life. There’s no point in being “productive” if it’s making you miserable. And, there’s no point to avoiding “procrastination” if you’re not replacing it with something meaningful/enjoyable. For me, YouTube/games/social media are not “distractions” per se. I’m just not consciously spending that time. I don’t have anything I feel obligated to do. So, it’s really just an experiment.

I also feel like there’s certain things that I want to do, but haven’t really been making time for. One of those activities is blogging. I wrote a few drafts of blog posts, but only published one this month. I’ve been pulled to do other things instead. So now that I’m deliberately carving out time every day, I should (hopefully) be blogging more!

I can’t say for certain, but maybe this will last long-term. Or, maybe I’ll decide to do something different, like create reaction videos or stream myself playing games. It could be something I share in the future rather than just consume alone. Or, maybe I’ll pick up an entirely new hobby. We shall see!

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