How TV Can Cost You

I often lament that I always seem to miss my favorite shows. I can’t watch because I’m so busy doing other things. But wait, that’s not such a bad thing, is it? I am on this planet to live life. Watching TV doesn’t add to that. In a lot of ways, watching TV actually takes away from our lives.

TV costs money. No matter how you bundle it, cable bills add up. Cable bills can cost us about $60 a month. That’s $60 that could be going toward paying down debt, savings, or other household expenses.

TV floods your home with advertisements. These ads make you want to buy stuff. They are designed to make you feel that what you have is not good enough. They try to convince you that their product will bring you happiness and success. Once the need for the product is created, we rush out and buy. This is unnecessary temptation for the minimalist.

TV steals time away from us. TV costs us more than money. As a society, we spend way too much time in front of the TV. Time spent in front of the TV is time that could probably be better used to write blog posts, exercise, prepare a meal, or spend time with family.

TV contributes to bad health. Obesity is on the rise. Sitting and watching TV is almost always a sedentary activity. TV also encourages poor eating habits, as unhealthy foods are constantly advertised.

TV slows us down. Ever tried to study and watch TV? Personally, I can’t get anything done with the TV on. The TV steals my focus, and compels me to watch it. In a busy world, the last thing we need is another distraction.

If it’s so bad, why do we watch? Well, we’re used to watching TV. Everyone else is watching TV. Plus, it requires little effort. It’s just easy to waste an evening in front of the TV.

But for me, it’s time to shut off the glowing box that beckons me. My productivity suffers when I watch TV. I’m not exercising when I’m watching TV. There’s so much that’s not happening when I watch TV. It’s just not a good use of my time. So I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with not knowing what happens to my favorite characters. Instead, I’ll be out there creating my own story.

Day 3

Three days ago my family and I decided to go on a juice fast. After fasting for three days, we evaluated, and my aunt and I decided to extend our fast.  Every day, I juice fruits and vegetables to create the gorgeous green elixir that we drink several times a day.

Well, it’s Day 3 and aside from the intense craving for french fries (with extra salt!), I seem to be doing ok. I started out thinking that this would be the jumpstart of a radically changed lifestyle. Sadly, I don’t think this is going to be the case. This craving for french fries is so strong that I’m pretty sure I’ll cave in a few days. That is because even though my behavior has changed, my mind has not.

Similarly, when I was working the job from hell, I went shopping on several weekends. Generally, I did well purchasing only what I needed. I bought consumables (tea, groceries, hair products) and things that I genuinely needed (new bras!). But I spent time shopping when I could have been writing. It is what I have always done. It is almost as if I gave myself permission to fall back into that habit because I made more money.  The result? I got things I needed, and a few things I didn’t. While I did manage to limit my spending, the fact that I shopped recreationally is evidence that my mindset still needs some work.

I’ve heard it before, but over the last three days I have come to understand this truth: in order to achieve lasting change, you must replace old habits with new ones. Willpower isn’t enough. Sure, it will work for a while, but when you’re in a pinch, or a crisis, or even when you’re bored, you will go back to old habits. There has to be something to take the place of the old, destructive habits in order for a change to stick.

So my goal for the remainder of this juice fast is to look for ways to replace old habits. I have joined a 30 Day Vegan Challenge to help me find some healthy recipes and to replace bad habits with healthy ones. I have a new writing project that I will begin very soon. Over the next few days I will explore more ways to replace bad habits with good ones. And after the fast is done, I will begin installing those new habits so that the changes are permanent. I’ll keep you posted.