30 Days TV-Free: How Has My Life Changed?

“Should I give away my TV?”

I asked myself the question for so long: should I give up my TV for a time period or perhaps for good?

I am not sure when I was inspired to give up my television.  It might have been when I went on my health kick and got into the best shape of my life.  I was reading books about health and many of the stories of the professional athletes alluded to them not watching TV much or some not even having a TV in their home.

Or perhaps it was the time when I read the statistic that for every hour spent watching television, studies show you lose 22 minutes off your life.  Statistics like that really speak to a person.

Inspired, I took the plunge.  I no longer have a TV in my home and I must admit; it feels fantastic.  Now, for full disclosure, I still have the internet and will watch YouTube on occasion but for some reason I find that much less mind-numbing than TV.  I would say that 75% of what I watch on YouTube is educational in nature, which helps me grow and improve my life instead of watching my day away.

The Question Is..

Should you give up TV? To that I would say “to each their own.”  You have to make that decision for yourself.  For myself, it will be some time before I consider going back to having a TV in my home, if at all.

Benefits of Being TV-Free

For now, here are the awesome benefits I have seen in my life as a result of giving up my television:

More Exercise

I have been exercising more than usual.  For me, this is a great thing as I like to be active and engaged on a daily basis.  Taking care of my body is very high on my value system scale, so the idea of working out daily instead of sitting in front of the ‘telly’ has vibed much better with my overall life ideals.

More Reading and Learning

In addition to increased exercise, I also value learning and growing as well.  Since I gave up my television about 30 days ago, my appetite for reading has increased exponentially.  I finished my first book, Simple Budgeting and I am reading 200-300 pages more than I usually do.

I have also built up my dividend portfolio to nearly $3k in annual income.

All of these actions are more in line with my value system of learning and growing on a daily basis.

Increased Balance

With the time formerly dedicated to watching television, I am now utilizing for other pursuits in my life.  I am socializing more, reading more, finding time for meditation and taking life at a more even pace.

I am somehow filling up my schedule with much more in my life now but in ways that are helping me grow both personally and professionally.  This has allowed me to find more balance in my everyday pursuits as I am now finding time for things I had been putting off before.

Starting to Socialize More

This is a big one for me.  When I gave up my TV, I began to feel irritable, angry, and went through bouts of feeling very lonely. I deal with anxiety in my life although I work hard to put on the facade that things are great.

Giving up TV has allowed me to face the pain that has come about from routinely socially isolating myself and has turned me towards the solution rather than numb the pain away through getting lost in TV.  I find that now I am seeking out more friendships, events, working from coffee shops instead of my home office (in fact, I am writing this from a Caribou as we speak).

Out of all the benefits, becoming more socially oriented might be the hardest yet most beneficial benefit experienced thus far.

Pushing Projects Forward

Another solid benefit has been that I am pushing a few projects forward that had sat stagnant and in the ‘forever’ phase.  Instead of procrastinating through the ‘I’ll do it later’ procrastination mindset, I am actively achieving those goals on a day-by-day basis. It has been great to have more time and energy to be in a position to start pushing these projects forward.

How Inconvenient Will It Be Being TV-free

Have there been any drawbacks to no TV?  Off the top of my head I would largely say no.  However, there have been a few instances where I find myself wondering.

Did you see?

  • The game last night?  
  • The new ‘so and so’ series?  
  • The latest and greatest…..?

These are topics that people like to talk about and since I have given up my TV, I cannot speak to these.  Sometimes this is tough.

However, If I am completely honest, I am OK with this.  I usually just ask a few questions about the show, get them talking and we move on to a new topic.  I do not judge them for liking the show nor do I ‘humble brag’ about not having TV. Again, to each their own.

Missing Inspiration

One of the big things I miss is not being able to watch my sci-fi movies and series.  Something about the journey to the unknown is so inspiring to me.

Whether it is the movie Interstellar or the series The Expanse or Battlestar Galactica, I love watching the idea of what could be.  This I will miss.

But again, it comes down for me “is it reality?”  It isn’t, and reality is where I want to build my life.

TV was good ‘Down time’

Nothing was better than coming home after a long day at the office, making dinner, then popping in an episode of the latest show or movie I was watching.  TV was good down time.

The only problem was that it was 8pm by the time I was done and I only had a few hours left in my day.  This is not a situation that I liked to be in during the week. Now I have so much more time in my life that I have been taking sunset walks on the Mississippi, trying new meetup events, being around friends and family more.

Bringing it Home

As you can see, I write out the benefits and the drawbacks but in large part the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. If I had to do it over again, I would sell my TV again in a heartbeat.

Not only did I make some money off the selling of the TV, but I gained more time freedom as a result.  I also became more conscious of some personal areas that I need to work on in my life and began the process of working on those areas.

Will you be dialing back your TV viewing or giving up your TV altogether?  Why or Why Not? Start the discussion below!

Upwards and Onward towards Financial Freedom!

Disclaimer: (1) All the information above is not a recommendation for or against any investment vehicle or money management strategy.  It should not be construed as advice and each individual that invests needs to take up any decision with the utmost care and diligence.  Please seek the advice of a competent business professional before making any financial decision.

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