Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Top 20 Tactics for Taming Terrible TV Addiction Madness

I basically made one New Year's Resolution last week: to work on my TV addiction. It's been with me for a long, long time, from my early days when I rushed home from school to watch Dark Shadows, through my higher education years (majoring in Television and Communications - what else?) I've realized I need to do something to curb my nightly channel surfing activities, but I wasn't having much luck in figuring out exactly what to replace the tube with until I fell upon The 9 Step Television Diet (at Think Simple Now, by way of The Happiness Project.)

Tina's list of television's evil effects hit home for me, and her options for battling this particular monkey are simple and achievable. They also encouraged me to come up with my own list of Things To Do Instead of Watching TV and Ways To Battle the Madness. They are:

1. Turn the TV on later in the evening. (I got used to this when I was working at home all last summer and fall.)
2. Cultivate the ability to turn things off. (I turn off the stove after using it - think of the TV as the stove.)
3. Increase my stamina. (This helps with number 15, below.)
4. Replace with working out, a class, a hobby
5. Move to someplace more active all year round
6. Turn on the radio - methadone for TV addicts
7. Call people on the phone
8. Take the laptop to a coffee shop
9. Turn the set on, but turn off the sound
10. Figure out other relaxation methods
11. Go to bed earlier. (This will allow me to Get up earlier.)
12. Move the Tube - to a less central and accessible location.
13. Get rid of cable. (This one's tough, unless I really start thinking about what I can buy with the money I've saved after 6 months - which amounts to a weekend trip to the beach!)
14. Stay longer at work.
15. Move my gym workouts to the evening.
16. Do home improvements
17. Plan out tomorrow or next week (lunches, dinners, work plan, workouts)
18. Allow for some (few) days when I will watch TV the way I used to. (During blizzards. And cold torrential downpours. When I'm sick. Or after a particularly stressful week or month.)
19. Freelance! (Make extra money!)
20. Blog.

(I would put "reading" as number 21, but for me, reading can become an addiction too. So while I definitely think it's better than watching "The Biggest Loser," I also consider it the methadone of TV addiction cures.)

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