Oh my goodness, habits! We are habitual creatures. From the first thoughts we have in the morning, to what we eat and how we spend our free time, habits influence all of our decisions. Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.
I have some good habits going on right now.My morning routine is rock solid. I wake up at the same, early time every day, I take the steps I have outlined as necessary towards achieving my goals, I learn, I show up, and I interact. I exercise regularly. I go to school, attend all of my classes, do my homework, and get good grades. I work hard and when something social is happening, I go. I am definitely showing up to my own life.
HOWEVER. This is one thing that I need to work on, one area of my life that could stand for a major makeover and change of habit. And this is my evening routine.
Let’s get down to it. At the moment I live alone (I’m actually moving over the next couple of weeks so this will change but I’m talking present moment here). Unless I am spending the day with my family, a friend, or a lover, I eat most of my meals alone and spend my evenings alone. I’ll clarify quickly that I LOVE being alone. I’m a fiercely independent introvert and this is when I charge up my batteries. If I am in a place where I’m not getting ENOUGH alone time, I’m in big trouble. But, when my batteries are charged and I’m still alone, I get lonely.
I have moved around a lot and my best friends are spread out all over the continent, a few farther still. If I had three wishes, one of them would be to scoop them all up and plop them down next to me. I know it’s a bit selfish but hey, they would adjust. I deeply wish I had that core group to laugh, talk, cook, eat, and chill with. But I don’t right now, not in Sacramento.
So, what do I do at night after a day when I’ve done ALL the things? I watch Netflix.
It’s true, I do. It is my go-to way to relax, to check out when I’m feeling tired, lonely, and/or uninspired. If this was a once in a while occurrence I wouldn’t be too concerned. But right now it’s a habit and I don’t like it at all.
Television seriously affects us, you guys. At least, it seriously affects ME. It’s addictive and hypnotic, so even if my intention is to watch a single episode of a show more often than not I watch more than one. This is the first time in the course of human evolution that we have been able to STREAM ENDLESS TELEVISION MATERIAL FROM OUR LAPTOPS. Seriously, think about that. We didn’t even HAVE television 100 years ago. It has evolved from being a few entertainment shows which were on in the evenings and encouraged families to gather TOGETHER, to Blockbuster stores where you had to drive to town and look at the movie selection before you watched. Now, it’s just a click away 100% of the time.
We all have our own sh** to sort through. I know a lot of people have families, children, and partners that occupy their evenings. Watching Netflix isn’t even an option for you and you might be thinking, “Girl, that isn’t a problem. I wish I had time for that”. Or, you may be ultra aware of the negative effects of television and so you don’t go near the thing. Good on you. But I guarantee that you have something. There is something you do, some way you spend your time, some thought pattern you have, something you eat when you are upset, some conversation that keeps coming up – some bad habit that could stand for a change.
We all have them. Mine just happens to be watching Netflix at night when I am alone and tired. What’s yours?
By golly am I ready to reclaim my nights! Yep, I just said “by golly”. Not sure why, but I did.
What will happen when I stop watching Netflix? When I free myself of my WORST HABIT? I’m thinking my mind will clear up, my creativity will flow stronger, I will READ more, sleep better, eat better, buy less, and spend those evening hours working on things that I LOVE.
I’m excited for the change. Stay tuned. Let’s see how this goes.