It all starts from a New Year resolution. Because aren’t we so in love with them? Don’t we set up resolutions every single 1st of Jan? We even do the list before, to make sure all we are wishing for is gonna be on our minds right at midnight. When the countdown starts, we bring them all there, all the resolutions, as a bunch, to whish for all of them when everyone shouts, “Happy New Year”, having that first toast that for some reason is the most special. Unless you’re getting married that year.
But guess what? We drink enough champagne to forget about all those resolutions by the 2nd of Jan. After awakening from the hungover a few days later, we remember there was a list somewhere. Oh, s**t, where did I put it?
How did I start this year?
I wrote my list right at midnight. And I promised myself this year is going to be so different. Well, it is a bit better to be honest, but not as good as I would have wanted it to be. And the first month is almost gone.
What did I wish for?
I wanted to stop wasting my time on things that are not worthy of it. Like scrolling, replying to stories continuously, going out just for fun, watching non-sense YouTube videos for hours, not to mention the series and movies.
You will say now, “But what’s wrong with all these?”
Well, there’s nothing wrong, unless you do it occasionally and responsibly. There’s nothing wrong if there is actually something you can learn from it.
It is very wrong though, when…
- we’ve spent over 3 hours watching YouTube videos and that is happening every day
- we turn on Netflix and even if your eyes are begging you to stop, you keep going for the 4th, the 5th, the 6th episode, and eventually fall asleep on the sofa
- we scroll on Facebook and Instagram for about 2 hours and keep refreshing that page obsessively, maybe someone else liked your pictures or replied to your stories
- we go out 3-4 times a week, and our money go out with us as well. We do come back, the money don’t. And it would be amazing if we would spend quality time with our friends in those 2-3 hours. But we don’t. We keeeep scrolling.
- we check the notifications every 2 minutes, getting upset when someone didn’t reply to our e-mail in that very next minute, and constantly thinking about doing these things all-over again.
It’s time for it to stop!
Creating habits for a better life
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to stop using my phone for so long as used to. It was literally sticked to my hand all day long. I was going to sleep with it and waking up with it.
2 weeks ago, I put the phone away for the first time, I used it for less than 2 hours, when the usual average would have been somewhere around 5 hours at least.
A few days like this and I thought I am good. I uninstalled Facebook, I set a timer for Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as for Samsung Internet, and I deactivated all my notifications.
I started listening to podcasts, I started reading more than usual, replacing the music I was listening to in the morning on my way to work with an Audio book.
I told myself I really want to make a change, I really do.
Even if I wasn’t working at nights anymore, many times I would have passed my bedtime, using excuses not worth mentioning.
Wait for it, I’m getting there!
I used to take the bus in the mornings, I am now walking to the train station every day.
This is the 4th consecutive day when I am writing.
I am not using my phone for longer than 2 hours a day on an average (screen time, not phone calls) and that is mostly because I need it at work.
So far it sounds great, huh?
But… this is just how I am lying to myself.
What about the Facebook tab opened constantly in my browser? WhatsApp Web? Gmail? All in separate tabs, ready to be clicked at the very first notification.
Working on myself is not as easy as I thought it would be
So, what have I done? I replaced my valuable time scrolling, with some other valuable time clicking tabs.
Yesterday I spent 2 and a half hours on my phone screen mostly for fun, and I was so disappointed with myself.
Yes, I walked to the train station, and yes, I listened to my audio book all the way there and read my paperback book in the train. I did the same on my way back home, but instead of leaving my phone in my backpack, I kept checking my notifications and messages like they would have disappeared the next minute and I would have missed them.
No, they don’t go anywhere. The likes stay there, the WhatsApp notifications stay there, the e-mails as well, the Birthday notifications on Facebook, someone’s post in a group you’re following, the messages, the instant messages, the emojis. They all stay there.
If anything bad happens, people will call you. If anything good happens… well… No one will call you.
Is clicking and checking those messages and e-mails really that important?
Stop for a minute and ask yourself why you’re doing this?
Why would you check every single notification? Why would you refresh the page? Are you bored? You’ve had too much of your tasks already? Need a break?
Scrolling and refreshing pages is not the way! Do something else! Take your book and read a few lines or pages, create something, go for a walk.
But please, stop with all that wasting time non-sense!
I feel really guilty when I find myself checking my phone for no genuine reason. It might be because I am stubborn or just because it might take a bit longer than expected to create this habit of not using it.
What about you?
What are your New Year resolutions? How is it going so far? Are you as successful as I am?
Don’t worry if you’re not! Keep working on it.
Eventually we’ll achieve it, as long as we are aware of our actions.