How to Battle with the Biggest Distraction in Life

I have been listening to this motivational audio book by Rachel Hollis "Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are." One chapter in the book really inspires me, the one when she tells her journey about how she managed to get rid of Diet Coke from her life. She said all she needed was to have this one-time successful experience to prove that she could do it: making the right choices in her life and sticking to it. That mindset totally ignites my determination and pushes me to think deeply about how to get rid of the biggest distraction in my life (or should I say "addiction"), which is: Binge Watching.

How did it all start?

I got into this binge-watching rabbit hole: every night after I put my kid to sleep, I will indulge myself with some TV time-watching shows on Netflix or Hulu. I'm that kinda person who is so easily drawn to other people's stories (most of them are fictional but somewhat relatable) and I just couldn't stop watching once I started a show. What makes it worse is that I HAVE to eat something, snacks, fruits, nuts, or anything sugary that's absolutely against my doctor's recommendation.

This binge watching and snacking habit is not a new "addiction" to me. It goes way back to those college years when I was studying in Beijing China, where almost any TV show could be found online for FREE and you can stream as many episodes as you like. (I mean you love it, but you also hate it!) I've done this so many times finishing a whole season of prime time TV shows simply over a weekend. It's crazy when I look back at those days when so much time was wasted on screen, whereas I could use those hours to focus on personal growth or at least figure out what to do with my life after college. 
"I could have made more friends and built connections, or devoted those precious time in blogging and performing arts..."
So many things I could have done. I keep finding excuses for my bad habit. But now I'm a grown woman with a career, family, and kid. Binge watching is not only affecting my productivity and creatively thinking, but also decreases my physical health conditions. I'm basically sitting ALL DAY from work till bedtime, which directly results in bad blood circulation with low energy issues. My body posture was not straight which has caused my rib cage hurts, and doctor warns me about my late night snacking habit that endangers my digestion and might trigger gallstone problems. Yup, things are getting REAL bad...
"I have to do something about it before it's too late."

The Change...

So I'm trying to use Rachel Hollis' method to change my lifestyle and mindset about binge watching. First off, I have to think about if I have ever had an experience when I successfully get rid of a bad habit in my life that I can refer to... The only example I can think of was when I tried P90X, a trendy workout routine very popular back then,  for 90 days with my boyfriend (mostly to impress him since he believes that "working-out brings out the best of a person"). Did I lose a whole lot of weight or score a sexy six-pack? Nah, you can barely tell any difference except my body felt a little more energetic than before. To me, it was more about the journey that my bf and I got to work on something together and it mattered a lot to our relationship at that time. I did gain something from this workout experiment: I discovered yoga and pilates, which showed me that workout didn't have to be pumping iron, and I fell in love with both.

Ok, now that I found my "achieving" moment, how can I channel that experience to help me get rid of the binge watching/snacking habit? --the Mindset Switch! Every time when I start to think about watching one more episode, I will resort to that one time when I successfully controlled my impulse and stick to the workout schedule (memorizing how proud I felt by sticking to the healthy routine of that day.) I know I did it back then, and I just need to do it again today and my body will thank me later for sticking to the plan!

Besides channeling that inner motivation, I also find something alternative to substitute my needs for watching TV. I realize I can find similar things that fulfills my needs for fascinating stories. I tune into audio books for inspirational and relatable stories, start journaling to feed my creative thinking, read scripts to practice acting, and do yoga to keep my mind off the chaos of a hard day...Anything that can occupy my mind from clicking the remote control would work for me! And if I managed to control the urge today, I will use that positivity and momentum to make it work tomorrow.
"I set myself a mini goal as a starter: no binge watching and snacking for 30 days straight."
The first couple of days are the hardest, but after a week, it's getting much easier. Right now I'm in the last week of this 30-day goal and I'm positive that I have no problem knocking this one out of the park. I highly recommend anyone who has a bad habit/addiction to try this method. It's not only a short-term experiment, but it actually sets a milestone for your brain that motivates you to push for a long-term target. If you decide to give it a try, I would love to hear your experience and feedbacks. Meanwhile if you need a "get-motivated" buddy, I'll be right here with you.
You Can Do It!


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