8 reasons to stop watching TV and begin living a life full of intention and gratitude. Those once “unattainable” goals are closer than you think!
The kids just went to bed. It’s finally quiet. You’ve tidied the living space and the kitchen – redeemed the house, as we like to call it around here. You’re exhausted. All you want to do is sit on the couch and watch the next episode of ‘This is Us.’ Man, I love that show.
But, you’ve decided you want to live with intention. You don’t want to use this time for TV watching – you always regret it the next day. You wake up and find yourself thinking you could’ve done yoga. You could’ve spent time with your spouse. You could’ve worked on your budget – finally taken that first step towards getting your life back. You could’ve read that book you’ve been meaning to read for years. You could have set some life goals.
New brain research has been showing that we have the power to change things about our lives…even with just a little bit of positive thinking or reframing a negative pattern into something more constructive can help us to have a better outlook on intentions and move us forward. Here’s a good interview of Norman Doidge – who has been on the forefront of the research involving neuroplasticity.
This same research has shown that breaking the pattern of saying to yourself “I just can’t do it. I’m not that person who can work at night. I’m just too tired.” Instead, reframe the situation by saying “I am going to turn the TV off tonight and work on some goal-setting (or whatever you’d like to work on). I am tired but I know I can stay up until 10pm in order to change my life in a positive way.” Your brain wants to be right, so it will agree with this statement and work towards creating thoughts that will affirm this situation.
Let’s do this. Stop watching TV, put a curtain over it, hide your remote – whatever it takes, to begin with new habits and move towards some life-giving intentions. Habits that will not leave you feeling regretful in the morning.
You’re still not sure that TV is really the problem? Read on friend.
Let’s just imagine you had an extra 1-2 hours every night. The research states that in 2016 American adults watched an average of 5 hours 4 minutes of TV per day. Yes, per DAY! It’s not hard to imagine that at least 2 hours of that is in the evening. So, you’ve turned the TV off and you have 2 hours before going to bed.
Here’s what I’d love for you to accomplish:
One on One time with your spouse.
This is intentionally number 1 on my list! When is the last time you had some quality one on one time with your spouse? Where you looked into each other’s eyes and were really present with each other? Really listened to what each of you was saying, what each of you is needing in this present time? Is TV really worth missing out on a deep connection with your love?
Ask yourself, What do you really want out of these few minutes to yourself?
This is really the ONLY time you’ll get to yourself today. Unless you’re an early morning riser, this. is. it. The only time you have without tiny voices requesting things, asking questions, challenging you. Gah! Stop watching TV and be open to something new. Try something new – get started on that creative endeavor you’ve been longing to try. Play a game. Take a bubble bath. Learn a new hobby. The possibilities are endless!
Use this time to get together with a girlfriend; or a friend you’ve been wanting to get to know better.
Ask her over, make some tea and chat about life. Most likely she’ll be needing the connection as much as you.
Write a physical card of gratitude to people in your life.
I usually do this during my morning routine but it would work just as well in the evening. I spend a minute or two being grateful for people in my life – I choose 1-2 and write out my gratitude for them in a super personal note. Be prepared for some hugs and gushing later on in the week – people are usually so overwhelmed by these cards, it will have a cascade effect in the world. Beautiful. Which would you rather put in the world, a cascade of love or more TV watching?
Do a nighttime yoga routine or start a meditation practice.
I know. This one may actually involve turning the TV on. It’s OK! Yoga with Adriene has a nice, free, nighttime routine to wind you down, de-stress, and let go of any pent up energy and anxiety. I also love Fightmaster Yoga. You’ll sleep like a baby. A non-colicy, just fed, fat and happy, 12 month old baby.
Read a book.
Reading ALWAYS (unless I’m reading Harry Potter, man, those would keep me awake and suspenseful for hours!) winds me down, and usually makes me sleepy. You could even read some books that will help you reach some of your goals. I’ve even created a FREE downloadable list of some of my favorite reads on budgeting and intentional living for you to consider reading – with all your new found time 😉
Plan your menu for the week.
Look at your calendar and be honest about what you have going on this week. Do you need a quick and easy dinner on Monday and Tuesday night, but Wednesday through Friday you have more time for preparation? Figure out which meals you can make each evening and then make a grocery list for the items you need. This hour or so of prep per week will save you SO much of your precious time and money through the rest of the week!
Set some intentions.
Take this hour, or two (if you’re lucky and the kids went to bed without much struggle) and think about what you want out of your life for the next 4 months. Write down some specific things you would really like to figure out how to accomplish for yourself this quarter.
What do you want out of your finances? What’s the first step in accomplishing that vision?
What is your hope when it comes to work, motherhood, your relationship with your spouse? Plan a date night.
Figure out what kind of mama you want to be and set some action steps on how to get there.
Pick one intention and set a few action steps – it feels really amazing to begin living your life with intention. You’ll never go back. I’m sure of it.
Listen, sometimes, “This is Us” is the best thing to happen to you in a day. I get it. On those days, just ignore all this. We all have days like that – but, the norm that I’m trying to challenge is: turn on the TV every night – perhaps TV is not really all that important to our well being. I’m just sayin’…
Try to interject an alternative, intentional choice into your evening routine. Choose to stop watching TV and be intentional about doing things that feel most important to YOU. Like…
Take that first step towards budgeting.
Ask your spouse to sit on the couch and just talk to you.
Do an anxiety busting, restorative yoga routine.
Meet up with that mama you’ve been wanting to get to know better.
You’ll feel such a sense of gratitude and satisfaction rather than the usual regret. Trust me. I’ve been there. They (the researchers) say it can take anywhere from 2-8 months to form new habits. Why keep putting it off? Start now. Start small. Begin tonight, just one day this week – then see how you feel in the morning.
You might just surprise yourself.
P.S. You could also begin working through my “Defining Your Values” workbook. Get that FREE here and start working towards clarity in your finances and life.