Today is my 45th straight day without PMO! While I can't say that getting to 45 days has eliminated all of the problems in my life (Spoiler Alert for those of you just getting started: Ditching porn and masturbation will NOT get rid of every issue that you are dealing with...), I can definitively say that I have seen a lot of progress in many different areas. Tonight, I want to share a few of the really positive changes that I have experienced, as well as some of the things that (I think) have helped me (finally) get to Day 45. Positive changes... 1. Right now, I feel more confident and relaxed than I have ever felt in the last 15 years. Normally, I have a tendency to go from "normal" to "overwhelmed" very quickly, both at work and in social situations. In the last few weeks, however, I have felt very poised and in control, even when I'm working with a tight deadline or meeting totally new people. 2. I also feel much more motivated to make other positive changes in my life. Since dropping PMO, I have been much more disciplined not just with eating and exercise, but also with hobbies and personal interests. (In the past, I almost never made it past a few days with any such commitments.) Now that I'm not edging for an hour every night, I have a lot more time to read, for example, which has become a consistent source of pleasure in my life. 3. It sounds unscientific, but I really think that 45 days without PMO has made me look better---both to myself and other people. In recent years, I think I have often come across (physically) as "tired" or "flat." When I look in the mirror now, however, I see a liveliness and an energy that I have not seen in myself for a very long time. How I got to Day 45... 1. For me, developing bedtime ROUTINES has been a huge help. I used to masturbate before going to bed almost every night. Now, I take a shower, read about personal development for 15-30 minutes (YBOP, Designing Your Life, Changing for Good...etc...), and then write 1-2 sentences about my day in a small journal that I keep. Sticking to this routine every night has really reduced temptations for me. 2. In that small journal, I keep track of my streak. For some psychological reason, it was really intimidating for me, say, on Day 3, to know that I was a full EIGHTY SEVEN days away from reaching my NoFap goal. In order to overcome this, I decided to track my progress in mini-streaks of five days. During the course of the day, I try to think about my mini-streak rather than my longer streak. (For example, on Day 6, I told myself that I was on "Day 1" and that I only had 4 days left to finish my goal, as opposed to telling myself that I was on Day 6 with 84 days left to go.) This trick, which is very similar to distance runners focusing on a "finish line" 20 yards away (and then another...and then another...until reaching the real finish line), has been super helpful. 3. Masturbation for me used to be a solution for boredom. To combat my tendency to give in to temptation when I had "nothing better to do", I have tried to constantly surround myself with alternative things to do at home. For me, that mostly means good books in the living room and healthy recipes (and ingredients) in the kitchen. Now that I am used to reading or cooking when bored, it feels natural to me. ... Thanks, NoFap, for the support and the knowledge!