It was pretty tough to begin with and that's just because I am so used to having Youtube videos or the TV on in the background. It is actually crazy to think about how much I have the TV on for no reason whatsoever and how easily I am distracted by programmes/videos that I'm not really that interested in. Talk about force of habit?
Yeah I missed watching my favourite Youtubers and oh, how I counted down the days until I could watch Making a Murderer (which interestingly enough, I haven't watched properly yet. Well...I watched the first ten minutes and then fell asleep because I was exhausted).But other than that, I've found it rather enjoyable! Here are my pros, cons and overall thoughts:
- Spending time with Mr Blues. (Boyfriend loves Blues music but he's a cheery guy - honest!). We usually watch TV or movies together but during this challenge we've spent hours talking, listening to music and it was just nice to give each other undivided attention with no distractions. I learned so many things about him I didn't already know and we've agreed to only have TV/movie nights once or twice a month now (although he has got an endless list of conspiracy theory programmes that he is excited for us to watch!).
- Pamper Evenings. Pamper evenings were always somewhat of a 'treat' for me, usually on a weekly basis. I'd make a nice cocktail, run a bubble bath and lay out an array of hair and face masks to choose from. During this challenge, I was having proper pamper evenings almost every night!
- Getting Stuff Done. I'm definitely a list-maker and there's nothing more satisfying that putting a tick against every single item on that to-do list. Sadly, this didn't always happen as I ended up watching the most bizarre, pointless videos on Youtube! Throughout January, I definitely got more done and that was really satisfying.
- Podcasts & Books. Listening to podcasts and catching up on my reading definitely got me through the month. One of my favourite podcasts to listen to is Serial - go and check it out!
- Kicking the Habit. It was difficult to begin with, I'm not going to lie. I never realised how much of going into the living room and picking up the remote, or just playing a Youtube playlist, was a force of habit. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't allowed to watch anything for the first few days!
- Weekend Woes. The weekends were the worst, particularly if I didn't have plans and it was a Friday/Saturday night home alone because curling up with a hot cup of tea, biscuits and a good movie is just the done thing! At times it really did annoy me because I just wanted to switch off and be entertained in the most effortless way. Sunday mornings were a nightmare too because that's usually when I binge on Youtube videos. I really missed watching Lily Pebbles and ViviannaDoesMakeup who are my two favourite Youtubers.
- Missing Documentaries. Perhaps it's as a result of my law degree, but I love murder and death row documentaries. As wrong as that might sound, I've always watched them, trying to guess who the killer is. When I heard about Making a Murderer, I was so annoyed because it is right up my street! So yeah, missing out on these programmes made this challenge extremely difficult.
I'd definitely do this challenge again and I would recommend it to anyone. It really made me consider whether I use my time effectively and I now realise I don't always do that. I'm definitely now making a conscious effort not to have the TV or Youtube on as much (movies were never really one of my weaknesses!) so that I can have proper time to myself focusing on reading, writing, pampering or whatever takes my fancy! And when I have conversations with anyone in my house, the TV is going off - far too distracting!
'Do one thing a day that scares or challenges you' - excited but nervous about this one!
How have you been getting on with your personal challenges/New Years resolutions? It's never too late to start. Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me @thingsarahloves. All encouragement is appreciated!