change your television watching habits



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IF YOU HAVE been alarmed by statistics on TV watching, or if you've participated in TV Turnoff Week and want to make a change, here are some ideas for altering your television watching habits:

1. Move your television to a location that is less visible and harder to get to. Maybe even cover it.

2. Spend a week keeping track of all television viewing in your household. Find out how many hours you spend per week. This should change the way you think about your "lack of time" to do the things you want to do.

3. Make certain days "TV-free days." On Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example, make it a habit to watch no television at all.

4. Cancel your cable service. Designate that money for something fun you "don't have the money for."

5. If your children have a television in their room, get rid of it. The presence of the TV distracts them from much more constructive activity.

6. Don't be overly concerned about boredom. In the space of boredom, creativity can bloom and physical activity becomes more appealing.

7. Have everyone in your household sit down and decide which programs are worth watching. Then watch only those programs and as soon as they're over, turn off the TV.

8. Make sure the television is off while people are eating. This makes for less overeating and more conversation and connecting.

9. Get chores and homework done before watching TV.

10. Plan activities that will necessarily displace television, like Card Game Fridays. Have a regular family game night.

11. Decide ahead of time how much television you are allowing per day. This will make you more selective and free up a great deal of time to do all the things you "don't have time for."

12. Put the remote in some remote place.

13. Do not allow any eating while the television is on. Make this the new policy.

14. Cook with one of your children or your spouse. Make it a way to connect and an alternative to television watching.

15. Try planning some of these alternative activities. They automatically displace television watching.

16. Avoid substituting the computer for television watching. Try to substitute more physical activities.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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