Changing a habit, one episode at a time
I love a good story, and I have trouble turning off the TV when I’m tired. Netflix knows this and has made it so easy to watch one episode after another without lifting a finger. My sleepy self loves this feature. My tomorrow morning self regrets it. That’s why I’ve decided to limit my TV watching to get more sleep.Here’s my tips for changing a habit.
- Understand your inspiration for change.
When I had a dream I was running a half marathon with Lorelei Gilmore, I knew I better stop before I watched enough nightly episodes to officially be deemed a resident of Stars Hollow. I wanted to be a resident of well-rested town instead. Motivation: good night’s sleep. If you understand what your habit is costing you, that will inspire you to change it.
2. Choose a defined, simple action.
Once I understood my motivation, I decided how I would get there. I switched to watching one episode per night. I’m training myself to lift that finger to press “stop” once it says the next episode will start in 6 seconds. Then I choose something else that will help me fall asleep, like reading or watching the news. Choose one simple, do-able thing you want to change
3. Give yourself a reward you value.
Once I’ve stuck to the “one episode” rule for a month, I’ll get a reward: a Mini Happy Planner in the “Life is a Party” design. The weekly organizer with pretty pages gives me a little mood boost while organizing hectic days of work and family life balance.
Getting an organizer as a reward might sound silly to you. Reward yourself with something that is valuable to you, and don’t let anyone tell you what it should be.
I’m three weeks into Operation Press Stop. I’m enjoying limited time with Lorelei and Rory, while also bumping up my nightly sleep by 48 minutes. I hope you figure out what button to press that can improve your life.