I gave up TV and Netflix for 81 days, and now I make my bed every day

Today marks the last day of having to talk to my family around the table over lunch and dinner, which in other words means I can go back to watching TV and Netflix.

Initially, my family and I wanted to give up TV and Netflix for Lent so we participated in the Catholic celebration. But, we were doing so well when the Catholic Easter came around that we decided we would give it up until the Orthodox one (which was yesterday).

My family usually bonds over shows while we eat. So our Friends (aka Ross and Rachel) were our go-to entertainment (what a luxury I see it as now to be able to be entertained as you eat, as if eating wasn’t already entertaining enough). So, to have that quiet while we ate was definitely new. We had time to catch up instead of leaving all of our day’s worth of news till the hour before bed… which would quickly turn into 3 hours of talking and eye bags in the morning.

And, on top of that, lunches that lasted an hour with a case of itis and naps on the couch while the sound of the TV ran in the background turned into 30 mins max of eating and talking. Suddenly there was more time in the day!?

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I started to notice I had time to actually make my bed every morning. I had time to read devotionals and meditate on my day. I had time to read in general. I started helping out around the house way more than I used to. My grades were getting better by the weeks. My family started working on a 2000 piece puzzle we haven’t touched since Christmas break. I redesigned my room. I started writing more. I was sleeping earlier than usual. I was eating breakfast. My lesson plans for my teaching job were more effective. And, I had more time to see friends and meet new people.

One week… I actually exercised for 20 minutes every day… but then exam season came around so that just went through the hole.

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Seriously though, who woulda thought that giving up something so irrelevant would change our lives in the most subtle ways? TV and Netflix were discretely taking over our lives.

I didn’t think it would make a huge difference really when I first started to resist reaching for the remote and when I had to look away if my cursor ever hovered over the Netflix App on my laptop. But, little did I know my life was about to get a lot less busy and a lot more productive. The first couple of days in were complete torture, not gonna lie. And, it surprises me that we were able to hold back this well because whenever any of us tried to give up something in the past, it always ended with cheat days and non-realistic expectations.

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cheat days be like

But, I think it’s because we were giving it up together, so we were able to be each other’s accountability partners in a sense. Now, I really want to give it up for good – no more “Netflix and lunch”. I don’t want to open Netflix anymore… it just feels weird. I’ve created so many good habits after giving up this one so it just makes me feel odd to go back to the bad habit I broke. And, it’s not like I’m going to be missing out on today’s culture and trends or I’ll be out of the loop and no longer socially aware in this generation just because I don’t watch TV.

I’ll definitely enjoy an episode of a good show every now and then, a movie for girl’s night, or the news. And I always have YouTube or social media to take up my time, but Netflix is just not something that I can see being a part of my life any more. And, having the TV as a noise filler is no longer what I need; I’d rather have music play in the background or the voices of people talking around me.

They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and 66 to turn it into a good one. I think I’ve finally done it, and it’s changed my life forever.

They also say if you’re caught up on all your favorite shows you’re not working hard enough to realize your dreams. What a wake-up call.

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Thanks for reading y’all! I hope you find it in you to give up a bad habit of yours and hats off to never looking back.

Xo

-Amanda

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