Well, that’s just an insight. Watching TV is an excellent way to unwind, to catch up on world events, to learn new, interesting stuff. It can also be a way to spend time with loved ones that’s completely free of strife or stress, and maybe even yields some affection. So your insight simply sits next to you on the couch, while you watch the same too much TV as usual.
To create change, takes a lasting shift in behavior, and turns out, that’s not quite as hard as we might think. The trick, according to happiness expert Shawn Achor, is to make it twenty seconds harder to indulge in the habit you want to eliminate. Now, for a physiological addiction, I can’t see this working, but for watching TV? His solution was, before he went off to work in the morning, he took the batteries out of the remote, and stashed them into the night stand drawer on the other side of the house.
Next day, he comes home, ready to flop onto the couch, and click the… no batteries. Hmm. The time it takes to cross the house is time to think, to reconsider, to refocus, and often enough time to interrupt what is simply a habit, not a need. The same thinking works in the opposite direction. You want to get in the habit of a short walk in the morning? Go to sleep in your walking duds, put your shoes and socks right next to the bed.
Might work. At the very least, this approach has me thinking of a) what are my bad habits, and b) what tiny changes can I make that will make it just enough harder for the force of habit to control me that I can make a positive change? What are the good habits I can give a baby-step head start on my inertia?
One I might try: I like to have a Ghiradelli dark chocolate square with my first cup of tea of the day…. and the second, and the third. The tea and the chocolate are not even one step away from each other in the kitchen. I’ll try storing the chocolate up on my bedroom, and only taking one square downstairs with me in the morning.
Any ideas coming to mind? Teeny, tiny little disruptions in routine that will move you closer to a good habit, or farther away from a bad one?
To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of The Traitor.