Stop netflixing your life away

Netflix. Such a great invention. The ability to access millions of movies and series at the press of a button. Even better now that you don’t have to change for a new episode, it just continuously runs.

I recently made the brave move to delete my Netflix. Why you ask? Well, Netflix is a distraction. It distracts us from our goals, from our vision, from what we want to achieve in life. This may sounds extreme, but think about it. See the below infographic as provided by the Business Insider:

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Here we can see how long it takes to watch an entire series. I have spent hours upon hours watching series after series and I kid you not, some series three times (Gossip Girl in case you were wondering). With this knowledge I decided to do a little calculation. Using this website ‘The Binge Clock’,  I could calculate how many hours I have spent watching Gossip Girl. Well, the truth is, I have spent over two weeks of my life watching Gossip Girl. TWO WEEKS. Lets put that in perspective:

15 days 3 hours = 363 hours

363 hours could have been better spent:

-> Going to the gym every day for a year (and would still have an extra 7 hours);

-> Sleeping more (I am constantly giving out about how little I sleep and how tired I am);

-> Taking up a new hobby such as learning to play the flute, or learning a new language;

-> spending more time with friends or family by giving them a call;

-> working on your side hustle.

But why do we watch it? I think one of the main enjoyments I derive from watching Netflix or any other sort of television series provider is the ability to live vicariously through the lives of others. Take Gossip Girl for example, I get to get a glimpse into the elite world of Manhattan socialites that I would never otherwise be allowed into. And this luxury makes me forget for a second (or for forty minutes) all my problems and brings me into this world of luxury where I almost believe, I am part of that world. Furthermore it is a distraction, a distraction from my current worries and problems, a way to ignore my issues and pretend everything is fine. Netflixing our weekends away is a modern-day phenomenon which is leading people to numb their lives by distracting themselves from their problems and not leading the life they could live.

 

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Now this article is not meant to make any one cold-turkey themselves from Netflix, but just to highlight the amount of time that is wasted on Netflix which could be used far more productively. There is a lot of good to be said for watching series as it is a great way to shut off for a while, but the bring home message of this article is to simply be aware of the tiem you are spending Netflixing especially if you are complaining about not having enoug time to do things.

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Discovering yourself: Who am I

More often then not, we let other people define ourselves. Before we are able to form our own idea of who we are, we are told. This is why it it is so important to define yourself in order to achieve the life you want.

Today’s exercise to help you discover your true authentic self is to fill in the blank: I am _______

Write down, without consciously thinking, what you are. Are you a lawyer, a mom, a student, a friend, tired of life, bored, interested, ambitious etc. Look at these words and decide, do these words/labels correspond to the life you want to live, to the goals you wish to achieve?

 

Prioritising your goals

One of the issues I face regularly when it comes to pursuing my goals is the manner in which they can clash. This happens on a regular basis for me.

To explain: As described in a previous post, I have the goal of getting a fit and healthy body. Great goal. However, I also have the goal of having more fun. One of my action steps to the broad umbrella goal of ‘have more fun’ is to socialise four times a week. However, most people socialise by getting food or getting drinks together etc.

This is where the clash occurs.

In order to get a great body, I have to commit to a fairly strict nutrition and exercise routine. This goal is compromised by my other goal to have fun which involves eating out with friends, going to the pub for pints etc.

Now, before I get to the essence of this article, I want to note one thing, socialising does not have to mean your routine goes completely out of the window. Make healthy choices when eating lunch/dinner out, go for coffee with friends instead of lunch/dinner, go for walks with friends and catchup instead of sitting in a cafe, have diet coke when you go out to the pub instead of alcohol, go to the movies instead of dinner. These are the things I do which allow me to still catch up with friends but it not affect my diet to a massive extent.

And now to the point of this article: prioritise your goals. Decide whether your health is more important than your social life. Decide where your family sits on your list. Decide where your career sits on the list. This list does not have to be static and can change.

Say for example, this time last year, my biggest priority was my education. I chose studying over going out with friends. I chose studying over going to the gym. I chose studying over eating healthy. Everything revolved around finishing my law degree as it was my priority.

Now,  my priorities have shifted. I have finished my degree and I am in my first graduate job. My studies are no longer a priority for me. Furthermore I have been shaped by experiences of the last year which have put health, relationships and having fun as priorities in my life. For this reason, I gym everyday, I stick to a nutrition plan, I keep in regular contact with my family and friends, I go out a lot, I try to travel, I have postponed further post-graduate studies for the meantime.

This shift can also occur for some people when they begin to have a family. Their attention shifts from their career to their partner and children. This shift can occur when someone has a health scare, they go from being a 70 hour a week workaholic, to cutting down their hours and spending more time on their health.

So in order to focus on what you want in your life and achieve your goals, make a list of your priorities and make sure your goals and time accurately reflect these priorities. This will enable you to achieve your goals and to assist you when you are faced with making a choice between two conflicting goals.

Let me know if you have any tricks or tips in the comment section below.

 

Goal in life.

This picture is my end goal in life. I want to be on my deathbed surrounded by people who love me and thinking ‘wow, that was fun. I am tired’.

This might sound grim and morbid thinking about my own death but  one thing everyone needs to remember is that the only thing in life that is guaranteed is death. We will all die. Everything else is a choice. And my choice is to live the best fucking life possible and to fill it with as many fun memories as possible.

Remember this, everything you do is a choice. And the only thing that is guaranteed is death. It is up to you, between now and then, to decide how the fuck you going to live it. 

Working out: making it stick

Every year, you put it down on your to do list. Go to the gym, workout more, go to more spinning classes, start running etc and we get excited and we see all the people in the gym. But as the weeks go by, we see less and less people going. The once exceptionally busy gym becomes quiet again, the early rise and grind becomes sleep and snooze. That motivation disappears and once again you are back to square one. No change.

So how to make it stick. How are you going to keep this new year’s resolution when you are tired and its raining and the last thing you want to do is go for a run or go to the gym.

Well, there are many ways, but in this blog post, I am going to focus on one of many. And that is develop a love for sport. Crazy I know. But this is all linked into the push and pull of motivation. When you are trying to muster up the motivation to go for a run, instead of thinking ‘I have to go for a run otherwise I am never going to lose this weight and I am going to be fat forever’ think ‘I want to go for a run because I love the feeling of the wind in my hair, I love the feeling of being free as I run, I love the feeling of my legs working to carry me, I love the feeling of the release of the endorphins (those happy hormone).’

This change in mindset will not only (a) associate positive feelings towards working out but will also (b) create a sustainable change by making sport an enjoyable thing. Why the latter will help is as follows, if your sole source of motivation for working out is ‘oh I look fat and terrible and I need to get in shape’, what is going to happen when you do get in shape? What is your motivation going to be then. This is why so many people regain all the weight they have lost. Once you have your dream body, the motivation to work out is no longer there. But, if you create other reasons for working out that is not relating to your physical appearance, you will find that exercise no longer becomes a chore, but something enjoyable.

 

So in a sentence: Have positive and sustainable reasons for working out such as the release of endorphins rather than negative and unsuitable reasons such as losing weight.