Top Ten tips from a 135+ day Fapstronaut
I'm over 135 days clean. I still use the forum a lot and noticed a lot of people continuing to fail like I once used to. Here are my top ten tips for making it through your first, consistent 90 days.
1. Don't continue to question your initial decision to heal
The addict's brain lives in all of us. It will try to be sneaky and have you rationalize or question your choice to go clean. This is because of the chemical addiction. However, Gretchen Reuben, author of habit formation self help books, says people who stick most to their goals are the ones who decide ONCE and then don't waste their mental energy continuing to requestion their decision or purpose. Just make the choice, and then mindlessly follow through for 90 days ACTING that choice out. It's mundane, but it'll get you through the challenge and will protect you from the gremlin who whispers in your ear all the lies and falsehoods as to why you should relapse. Don't listen to that gremlin.. Tell yourself you've made the choice once, and you don't have to think through it anymore.
2. Back away from the electronic devices at the sign of any escalation
If you feel like you are starting the process of psub seeking, immediately turn your machines off and go do something else (preferably in public). I had a coffee shop near my house which I used as my escape location. Having one pre-planned for yourself could prove useful.
3. Remind yourself daily why you are quitting PMO
This can be done by having a list of the reasons printed or written out somewhere you can easily see and read through. I would maybe create an exhaustive list, and then pick out the top five which you feel would motivate you the most to read.
4. Use the power of the Ignore Member feature here on NoFap
Sadly, we can't save everyone and not everyone wants to be saved. Maximize your time on NoFap by putting people on the Ignore list. Reading how frequent others are habitually relapsing might be having a bad affect on you. By putting them on ignore while you are reaching 90, you won't be exposed or influenced by their continued relapses. Have it so that the list you see on a visit to this forum is a list of the people that inspire you, or mirror your desire to move ahead. Limit your exposure to the ones having the most trouble, as you may not be able to help them and their processes might actually be hurting yours.
5. Don't touch your wang, Don't look at it, Pretend it's Not There
It's something you use to piss with, and during pisses, you can use your underwear band to hold it up. Don't look at it, don't fiddle with it, and don't pay attention to it when you have morning wood. You and your dick are not on speaking terms and your hands and it are on a long-term timeout.
6. Visualize and physically manifest the days you've earned in real life somehow
Somewhere start creating something tangible that represents the number of days you've accomplished out of the 90. Knots in a rope, dry erase marker markings on the bathroom mirror, cards on a table. This collection is what you are building, and if it exists outside of NoFap and in real life, it just makes it that much more real.
7. Continue to build yourself up in other ways
Keep being great to yourself outside the scope of NoFap and the challenge. Get a haircut more often, update your wardrobe in small increments, clean up your place, wash your car every weekend, continue to practice your instruments, go out and make new friends, balance your budget, accomplish new tasks at work.... It all starts melding as you do these things and that positive flow will support your streak progression.
8. Tell a friend what is going on and what you are doing
Is there someone you trust that's not family? Anyone a dear friend who shows you love and cares deeply for you that's a man? (Men understand more about this than women). If there is, tell that person that you feel addicted and that you are doing this challenge to help yourself get clean. It's a powerful thing to do and really crossed me over the line towards success. If you don't have a friend like this, consider going to see a priest and just letting them know. Or, last option, see a therapist or a life coach and spill the beans to them.
9. Avoid alcohol and thought-changing drugs (this includes MO)
Stay away from anything that reduces your ability to stay in control of your thoughts and mind. You are on a quest and you need every iota of thought and energy. You have to have control and be constantly careful of avoiding getting triggered. When we're sober, we do this the best.
10. Sleep well, and avoid night-thinking or night-time computer use
At the end of the day, we're at our weakest. Our mind grows tired and requires sleep. Performing actions that can lead to PMO during this time is a bad way to go. So set a bed time and get yourself to sleep at it daily. Proclaim to yourself that you'll make important decisions in the morning when you are most fresh for thought.
And there you have it. Originally, I made this for a friend in my age group, but wanted to share with all the fapstronauts as I feel there is a lot here that will see many of you through to the end of the challenge.
Best wishes to you on your journey, and don't forget... Love yourself and be strong. We don't have tomorrow guaranteed, so how do you want to go out if this was your last day on Earth? Be a fighter with strength and strategy. Respect yourself. Win!