This is the first post in our Kill Your TV series, designed to help you navigate your television-less existence for the next 30 days. (You didn’t think we’d spring it on you and then leave you hanging, did you?) Today’s post is all about helping you through the first week without your beloved plug-in drug – and filling those hours with something meaningful.
While it may seem obvious to those of you who have been without cable for a few years now, we’re here to present the rest of you Kill Your TV participants with 174,203 (almost) things you can do with your life instead of watching TV. (We’re also giving you links to products we like in our newly opened Amazon store, to help get you started.) Take back those hours this month and do something productive, fun, enriching or restorative. Like what? Glad you asked.
Improve Your Training Performance
- Perform self-myofascial release
- Go for a recovery walk/bike/swim/paddle/row
- Read training-related books or articles
- Do some skill work
- Practice yoga
- Update your training logs
- Get a massage
- Take an ice bath
- Connect with your trainer or fellow gym-goers
- Lay out your short-term and long-term training goals
- Get acupuncture
Improve Your Sleep
- Go to bed earlier
- Read a book
- Take a hot bath
- Have sex
- Develop a pre-bed routine
- Prepare clothes/food/work for the morning
- Buy and install black-out curtains
- Read Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival
- Read Dallas’ sleep article in Performance Menu
Improve Your Nutrition
- Prep and cook food for the week
- Try a new recipe
- Visit a local farm or market
- Clean out your pantry
- Take a cooking class
- Prepare a new vegetable
- Read a cookbook
- Make a weekly meal plan
- Find a new nutrition book
- Sign up for a CSA
- Host a dinner party
Improve Your Family Time
- Call or visit a family member
- Play a board game or cards
- Read a book together
- Go outside and play
- Cook dinner together
- Help your kids with their homework
- Take a family walk after dinner
- Plan a family trip or vacation
- Have a date night with your significant other
- Work on a puzzle
- Do a craft project
- Write a letter or send a card
- Organize family photos
- Plan a party or an event
Improve Your Household
- Train your dog
- Finish that project that’s been half done for 6 months
- Clean something
- Organize something
- Start a garden
- Mow the lawn
- Plant a tree or flowers
- Have a yard sale
- Start a compost pile
- Wash your car
- Send stuff to Goodwill
- Get your oil changed
- Do laundry
- Go through stacks of papers and mail
Improve Your Fun and Play
- Pick up a new sport
- Go rock climbing
- Learn to swim
- Go for a bike ride
- Have a picnic
- Play with a slackline
- Play boccee
- Play ball with your kids
- Climb a tree
- Have a block party
- Throw a frisbee
- Go for a hike
- Nap in the grass
- Go to a local baseball game
- Shoot some baskets
- Take an adult education class
- Get a pedicure
- Plan your dream house
- Go to church
- Learn to knit
- Write something
- Take an art class
- Browse your local bookstore
- Get involved with your neighborhood
- Get involved in local politics
- Finish your will
- Join a book club
- Meet with a financial advisor
- Organize your business receipts
- Take yourself out for dinner
- Go to the dentist
- Test drive a car you can’t afford
What Will YOU Do?
Okay, so we don’t quite have 174,203 things… but this is a darn good start. And we bet you can come up with even more ideas to fill those TV-watching hours. So what will you do instead of watching television during the month of May? Submit your best ideas to comments.
For other articles in our Kill Your TV series, click here.
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Lady E says
Television is a reflection of our society. Segregated & full of rage. So why then would we choose to perpetuate that on an intimate level? Even if t.v. were like it was..” Father knows best” and all that so called ” normal” it has inevitably gone full circle.
It’s profitable, it’s greed, it will suck you dry. Watching t.v. is a job.
People forget that cable is simply a space to display advertisements. It’s advertisement real estate. Not to mention how expensive cable and satellite costs to have. Getting rid of cable was one of the best things I ever did for myself. It freed up a lot of my time and also helped to fill out my wallet.
When I want to be entertained, I seek out the show or movie I feel like seeing, or I ask friends for recommendations. In a way, having to look for the media I want forces me out into the community and brings me and my friends closer. I interact with other people in person more than I did before, with cable. It also seems to facilitate my desire to find alternative forms of entertainment, such as live theatre, or open mic nights.
Think about the last time you went out. Isn’t it more memorable than the last night you spent watching cable TV at home alone?
PAMM Account says
Got the benefits of avoid watching TV
Quilt, ride a tandem, play volleyball, play basket ball, talk with your neighbor, call your mother, meditate, journal,knit, crochet, make new curtains, have a cup of tea, paint, draw, mow the grass, polish your nails, take a gun safety class, go for a drive, bake, I can think of many more but will stop now.
I love it!
We’ve been tv-free for 15 years. My husband said he didn’t want one in our home when we got married. It never occurred to me it was an option! We’ll celebrate our 15th anniversary next month.
I’m so glad he suggested it. I know we have a stronger marriage and family because of this decision. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!
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I know this is a bit behind, but…
I, for one, wasn’t offended by the addition of “go to church.” It was that it was put in big, bold, red letters. To me, this makes it look like it’s being emphasised, a better choice than other things that I can do. This did make me raise an eyebrow; it felt a bit like that particular option is being pushed on me.
Same with the “Have sex” one, but that one doesn’t imply any sort of specific belief system.
Note: I have no objection whatsoever to those who get something out of church. It can be a source of comfort, education, and community.
Michael Bradham says
Saw a bunch of meditation comments here. We can all meditate on our own, but at the same time: Heres to 20 Days Meditation Honoring New Year: http://llavealhighway.com/20-days-meditation-for-new-year/
Not sure why “go to church” is on this list. Generally speaking, that’s not a way to improve yourself.
Mauro Vendemiatti says
Dude, this post makes totaly sense, I have in my home over 200 channels plus Netflix outside and I’ve been seen just crap on tv. My suggestion: READ A BOOK.
Chuck Freeman says
Great list seriously!
Got another one : Start a business.
That’s what I’m doing, no more time for TV after that!
Cool post, nice blog!
We don’t have much of a TV problem in our house, we watch just a few hours a week of Netflix. BUT we have a HUGE screen time problem! Hubby spends almost all his free time reading “news” that looks a lot to me like brain candy, and i spend a lot of time facebooking with various groups of people I’ve never met, or only occasionally see in real life. I’d like to post this list on my fridge for the next time we’re feeling disconnected and uninspired. Thanks for taking the time to brainstorm it for us!
The church thing isn’t wrong, because it’s more of a support group than a religious thing… see: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/death-love-sex-magic/201212/are-religious-people-happier-non-religious-people
So stop complaining about the church thing… it just makes you sound closed-minded. I’m agnostic/atheist, but that doesn’t mean hanging out with people at a church wouldn’t be nice from time to time, eh?
Also, take a cold bath/shower should be under “improve sleep”, not a hot one. I’m sure you’ve read the stuff about a cool room/body temperature promoting sleep, yah?
Hot doesn’t do it, even if it’s relaxing, because your body then has to cool down for awhile for you to fall asleep.