February 1, 2012

Desperate for Intentionality

As we all know, the holidays can be rough. In terms of getting stuff done, that is. There’s so much to do, so many people to see, that it’s understandable when we don’t get much crossed off of our to-do list.

But then, January hits. We should be fresh, raring to go. In my case, I couldn’t wait to dive into editing my first novel and outlining my second.

People, I’m here to tell you that I’ve done a crummy job so far. It’s February 1 and where is my motivation? Oh, that’s right. It got buried under all the Christmas presents. It’s shown itself occasionally, but likes to play hide and seek with me. While I watch TV.

But I’m through playing games.

For the month of February, I’ll be fasting from TV and movies*. Yep. No bemoaning Regina’s evil schemes in Once Upon a Time. No anticipating what crazy stunt Shawn will pull next in Psych. No finding out which girl Ben is gonna boot off The Bachelor next.

So, why am I doing this? I guess I’m sick of my daily go-to-work, come-home, sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-TV-because-I’m-tired bit, especially when my goal had been to write 1,000 words. Or spend quality time with my husband. Or read a craft book that will help me improve my writing. Or blog. Or exercise. Or, you know, spend time in God’s Word (yep, hate to admit that I’ll sometimes choose the glowing box over this).

I’m not saying TV is a bad thing, but too much of it is. And sometimes, for me to gain control over a certain area of my life, I need to quit it cold turkey for awhile.

I’m hoping it will give me perspective. I want to be indulging in my OWN world more often, not the fantasy world created by the television.

I probably watch about 5-7 hours of TV on average per week. It doesn’t seem like a lot at the time—only an hour a day at most—but if that translated to word count instead, and I was able to crank out 500-1,000 words an hour, well, my goodness, I’d have anywhere between 2,500–7,000 more words per week than I do now.

That’s 10,000–28,000 more words per month! (Cue jaw drop.)

Now, I don’t plan to spend all of my extra time writing (there were those other things I mentioned as well), but I am hoping this little fast of mine helps me to focus again on my goals. On my family and friends. On God. On the things that are really important to me.

I want to live my life to the fullest, not wasted. I think that’s what God wants for all of us. It may look different for each person, and it may look different in each season of your own life, but intentionality is of utmost importance.

Your Turn: Have you ever given up TV or something else in order to make more time for your goals? How did it go? If you haven’t, could you see yourself doing something like this in the future?

*I will make two exceptions for pre-arranged movie dates with friends, but that’s it!

20 comments:

  1. As a matter of fact, I *have* given up TV, and I've never looked back. BUT (and it's a big but[t]—like my own, from not exercising lately), I seem to have replaced the hours spent watching TV with more hours of lingering on the internet when I should be writing. Ugh. That one is harder to change b/c "research" and "learning about craft" becomes this time-suck of bunny trails, which often times ends up as information overload.

    Sorry I'm not of help, but I sure will be cheering you on and hoping you'll meet your goals and segue into new & improved habits during the month February! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL about the but[t] comment, Barb! And I totally know what you mean about the Internet being a sucking vortex. :P That's encouraging that you've given up TV so easily. I kind of hope that's where this break leads me...

      Delete
  2. Oh boy! I think it's a good idea though. We have a tv for watching movies, but no cable/satellite/or even any channels. If I want to watch a show I'll go on the show's website but I usually don't watch an hour of tv a day and yet my time still seems to be full. I hope February proves more fruitful for you! ;-) I need to buckle down on my writing too. You're not alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We only have like four channels, so I watch everything on Hulu. Which makes it even harder to give up, because I'm on my computer writing...and could just switch to watching TV so easily. And thank you for the encouragement. It helps to know I'm not alone!

      Delete
  3. Yep, TV. I hardly watch it.

    And I don't "do lunches" very often at all.

    I'm home...writing. The preschool moms were so thrilled to get me out when I went with them to a bounce place yesterday.

    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes we have to give up things we love--or do them less frequently--in order to achieve the dream. I admire your discipline, Wendy!

      Delete
  4. Yep, I have given up TV...but not by my own choice. I have a teenager in the house so all we watch is football or basketball or ESPN talking about football or basketball. And the hubby watches "Pawn Stars" when there is no football or basketball on.

    So, not being able to watch what I want on TV means lots of time on the computer writing, blogging, chatting, tweeting, and researching.

    I also find that ministry keeps me in God's word alot. I am also going to help out Tri-Grace Ministries this year with their social media so that will also keep me busy.

    Did I mention I work full time, train for half marathons, and am a wife?

    Now you know why I am exhausted all the time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Busy, busy woman! I don't know how you do it all. I'm just hoping that by eliminating one thing from my life that's not really all that necessary, I can be more disciplined and gain more energy. :P

      Delete
  5. Wow, good for you! That's awesome. I actually grew up hardly watching any TV whatsoever...but I've noticed myself slip into a habit of more and more lately. I want to give it up! The good thing is, what shows I do watch, I watch on the Internet - usually right before bed. So it's not really taking time away from writing. But what it is doing is getting me addicted to storylines that I feel the need to keep up with. I don't want to be "committed" to TV. So, that's where my beef with my own habit is. :)

    But I definitely have given things up to write. I used to paint a ton, but I now take that time to write. And I say "no" pretty easily to evening activities on nights when I've set aside time to write. What I don't like is when I see myself completely neglecting my social life.

    Ahhh, it's a balance, isn't it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, definitely a balancing act, Melissa! It actually feels really freeing to be doing this, because, like you said, I was feeling like I HAD to watch the next show because I HAD to know what happens next. I don't like feeling that way, so I'm taking control! :P

      Delete
  6. I wish you well as you embark on you TV fast, Lindsay, and hope you have oodles of fun working on your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Keli! I'm having fun on the rewrites so far. And soon I get to start outlining my second story. I like that step in the process!

      Delete
  7. I actually gave up TV during the week in Januaruy. I hadn't thought of it as a "fast" though my intentions were one and the same. Reading your post this morning actually spurred me to write a follow up blog on my journey, recommitting to my "fast" and being more intentional in completing my goal. I love how you equated TV time into words written, what an eye opener! This post was the encouragement I needed today. Thank you, oh and because I liked it so much, I linked back to it in my blog!

    Blessings :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Teresa! Thanks for stopping by and for linking to my blog on yours. So cool. And so glad my journey could inspire yours.

      Delete
  8. When I was pregnant my husband and I did the Daniel fast. Since I couldn't fast food, I chose to fast all TV and to limit my time on the computer (I was scared I would trade one for the other). It was amazing how much more productive I was during that three weeks. Like you, I don't watch much TV, an hour or two tops a day, but that really adds up. By the end I told my husband we could get rid of the TV...he didn't go for it.

    Good luck on your endeavor. It really be a great time of productivity for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I'm hoping for, TC. Productivity galore! Glad to hear it worked for you in the past. Onward!

      Delete
  9. Good for you, Lindsay! TV is such a time suck. I try to limit it, but I still get hooked on certain shows. Maybe an "unplug" should be in my future too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll let you know how it goes, Sarah! :P

      Delete
  10. Cheering you on, Lindsay.
    Quite honestly, I rarely watch TV. Well, except for football games ... but, once the Super Bowl is done, I'm done pretty much. An occasional movie or episode of Lie to Me ... other than that, not so much.
    Not to say I can't lose track of time.
    Social media can suck hours out of my day. Trying to learn how to handle that better. I'll keep you posted.
    :O)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the cheers, Beth! And yep, I think everyone has something that could turn into a time sucker if we let it. It's all about balance...

      Delete