How much time do you spend watching television? According to the A.C. Nielsen Company, the average American watches more than four hours each day (or twenty eight hours a week, or when added up – two months of per year). In a sixty five year life, that person will have spent nine of those years in front of the television! It’s probably fair to say that most people watch more television on the weekends than they do during the week, so at least eight hours of your weekend – but probably more like twelve are burned watching televsion. Think of all the things you could do with that time!
How much different would your life be if you spent those hours each day working on something else? Consider the changes you could make to your health, social life, family life, and personal development.
You may be saying, “But I need my down time – it helps me relax.” I’m not suggesting you get rid of your television time completely, but consider this – Spend just one weekend without TV and see what might happen. It’s not that much when you consider the big picture. You may even discover some of these benefits:
You’ll be led to investigate other interests. Watching television is often a default action. It’s what you do when you don’t have plans, feel like vegging, or can’t find anything else to do. Invention is the mother of necessity. Without your default distraction, you’ll find other ways to entertain yourself. Who knows – maybe you’ll find something even more enjoyable. You’ll certainly find something more productive.
You can spend more time with your family. Instead of watching the ball game or Rocky for the umteenth time, take your family to the park. Have a cookout in the backyard. Go camping. Take a weekend road trip. Or just sit together and talk.
You can improve your health. How would your health change if you dropped just four hours of television per week and spent that time getting some good physical activity instead? This weekend is a great chance to get started on a new exercise program, go dancing, or take a nice walk.
You can connect with other people. Instead of ordering a pizza and sitting in front of the TV on Saturday night, pick up the phone and call an old friend. Get out of the house and be around others. You might make a new friend or find the love of your life.
You could read a book. Most people fail to read even one book per year. Imagine the advantage you’d have if you became a regular reader. If you don’t have the time or funds to visit India, you can read about it. Nearly every bit of information in the world can be found in a book. If you don’t care to read, there are so many audio books available that you could easily find something that interests you.
The weekend is a great time to tackle a major project. Big projects are challenging to start. It’s a little easier to gravitate to the television and stay there until there’s not enough time left to do any real work. Maybe next weekend. Turn off the television and you’ll have plenty of time to tackle a major project and get a great start. You will get the extra bonus of feeling a sense of accomplishment when you return to your regular Monday through Friday routine.
Here’s a novel idea – spend time with yourself. Can you stand to sit with yourself for an hour? Most people can’t. Television is a great distraction. There’s sound, moving pictures, and a compelling story. It’s a perfect way to distract yourself from your thoughts. If you’re stressed, your TV is one of your first stops. Instead, take some time to reflect on your life, journal if you like, and appreciate where you are in life and where you want to go. It will be time well spent.
Take some of that time to address your challenges. Address the aspects of your life that make you unhappy. Watching television solves nothing. In fact, it usually makes things worse in the long run. Spend that time enhancing your life by facing your challenges head-on.
If you usually spend your weekend watching a lot of television, consider unplugging for just one weekend. When you see how much more you can accomplish, you’ll be hooked. Television is a habit that can limit your life. Spend more time with your family and the people you love this weekend. Get away from that television and enjoy your life. Let me know how it goes.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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Serenities Now LLC is a holistic health practice that will find you the tools you need to bring calm to your chaos, take back your control, and break through your barriers, so you can become your best self ever.