My Spring Resolutions – Reducing Screen Time 14



I have been challenged by The Institute of Inertia in partnership with Comparethemarket.com as part of my work with them, to share my Spring resolutions.  Did you know that Spring is the ideal time to set goals and resolutions?  Spring is the point of new beginnings, the clocks going forward bringing lighter nights, life is awakening and the days are getting warmer.  In Spring, our good intentions to get things done and make positive change are given a welcome boost by, quite literally, a brighter outlook.  Not one to shy away from a challenge I got together with the rest of the Mad Family and we decided to set a resolution of reducing our screen time.

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Our Spring Resolutions

Over the dark and wet winter, we have hibernated somewhat and both the boys have turned to the Xbox more than I would like.  I have always felt that it was important to limit technology hours and screen time at home and as they have got older it is becoming more of a challenge.

The thing is, it isn’t just the boys, both me and MadDad have been turning to screens more and more.  MadDad plays far more Candy Crush than is healthy and I am never far away from a screen unless out of the house and even then I am often glued to my smartphone.

So our spring resolution is to reduce our screen time as a family.   I know that this is going to be a big challenge, but we are all onboard and have been brainstorming how to achieve this.

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Why set your resolution in Spring?

Dr Thomas Webb, social psychologist and Chair of the Institute of Inertia says;

“In January people have a tendency to jump on the ‘new year, new you’ bandwagon. Many of us follow the crowd and get swept up in the enthusiasm around making New Year’s resolutions. However, often the goals that we set are unrealistic, are not supported by a clear plan of action or an understanding of the task at hand – in short, it’s a recipe for failure.”

I have been working with Dr Webb for the last six months and he really is a rather clever man, so I am putting his advice into practice and sharing his tips for setting achievable goals and resolutions that last.

Tips for resolution setting:

1. Set resolutions in Spring:  Quite literally, spring time is the point of new beginnings. With the clocks going forward bringing lighter evenings, nature is blooming, and life awakens. In Spring, our good intentions to get things done and make positive change are given a welcome boost by, quite literally, a brighter outlook.

2. Don’t bury your head in the sand:  Evidence suggests that people often act like the proverbial ostrich and bury their heads in the sand, rather than confront the reality that they are not making the progress toward their goals that they would like, or hoped for. One strategy for success is to keep track of your progress and be honest with yourself regarding what needs to change.

For example, if you want to start saving money, then you need to be realistic about how much is coming in and how much you are spending per day. If you don’t have the full picture, then you are less likely to be able to achieve your goal.

3. Plan ahead: Evidence suggests that planning when, where, and how you will achieve your goals is really important. When we plan how to tackle obstacles in advance we can ensure that we are better prepared giving ourselves a better chance of achieving our goals.

For example, if you are trying to eat healthily, then plan your meals out for the week and get all the necessary ingredients in. You are then less likely to pop to the supermarket after work when you’re tired and hungry and buy a ready meal or snack.

4. Bite size chunks: It can be overwhelming thinking about the end goal. Often what we are trying to achieve feels out of reach leading us to lose the motivation needed to keep going. Breaking the goal down and focusing on small achievable actions can make it feel less daunting.

For example, rather than setting yourself the task of losing a huge amount of weight like a stone or more, try and break it down to one or two pounds a week. When you succeed in the first week you should not only be motivated to keep going but your end goal may feel more achievable.

So join me and the other bloggers taking this challenge (Cass from The Diary of a Frugal Family, Donna from What the Redhead Said and Collete from Going on an Adventure) and see the small positive changes we are making that are going to help us achieve our resolutions.  You can follow my progress on facebook, twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #springforward and I would love for you to share any tips or advice you have for me along the way (just leave me a comment).

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