In my 2016 reflections post, I said I didn’t have any concrete New Year’s resolutions. Most years, I really don’t. While I wake up on January 1 with the same boost of energy that most people have, I’ve never made an executive decision to start or stop doing anything at that moment.
This year, I changed my mind. Surprise!
I didn’t share anything until this point because:
1) It takes 21 days to form a habit and I didn’t want to hype it up for nothing.
2) I usually hate telling people my goals until I accomplish them (see above).
3) For some reason I was overwhelmed reading everyone else’s intentions for 2017. Should I be doing something harder? Better? Faster? Stronger?
Now that we are a month into 2017, I feel comfortable sharing my two resolutions, why I set them and what I’ve learned so far. Ironically, both resolutions had to do with my night-time routine.
Resolution #1: Stop bringing my phone to bed
Let me paint you a picture: it’s 10 p.m. on a Tuesday. I brush my teeth, get in bed and open up Instagram for a “few” minutes. Then I check Twitter…then Facebook…then Snapchat. Before I know it, it’s like 11:15. WHAT THE HELL. That’s 75 minutes of precious sleep that I will never get back—for what? A silly like or comment? Lame.
On January 1, I somewhat randomly decided to move my phone charger to a different outlet—one that put my phone out of arm’s reach from my bed. This would force me to set my alarm on my phone, plug it in to charge and then get into bed, rather than the reverse order. This would also force me to physically get up when my alarm goes off. Side note: I really should have gone one step further and purchased an actual alarm clock. I might still do that.
I’ll admit, breaking this specific habit was easier than most because, come 9:30 – 10 p.m., I’m done. Exhausted. Brushing my teeth is a taxing chore at that point. It had just become routine for me to “catch up” on social media happenings in bed, no matter what time I made it upstairs. The new charging station left me no choice but to close my eyes right away.
To many people this is a silly resolution. It might not even cross your mind as a problem, or maybe you already ditch your phone way before bed! This change was very necessary for me, mentally and physically. One month later and my phone is no longer part of my bedtime routine. More than that, I’ve created a “sleep sanctuary” that promotes relaxation, not mental stimulation. Obviously my own thoughts can keep me up at night, so it’s not a perfect change...
I’m in firm belief that we should all soak up every minute of sleep as humanly possible. Now I’m practicing what I preach.
Resolution #2: Journal every night…about work
Journaling is nothing new to me. All of the more personal posts published on this blog have started in a journal, whether an actual journal or the Notes app on my phone. In November I mentioned starting The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal and while I’m still going strong after three months, the limited space and positive nature of the book wasn’t conducive to the myriad thoughts about my work day. Let’s be honest, this learning curve has resulted in some not-so positive thoughts.
At the suggestion of a friend, I decided to document my work day. The lessons, successes, questions, etc. I replaced my mindless scrolling on my phone with quick, constructive journaling. (Not directly, I suppose, as I write before I get into bed). So far, I have one month’s worth of entries that range from vent sessions and roadblocks to current projects and personal accomplishments (like having a piece of writing published).
As much as I want to be done with this adjustment stage, I know there is value in verbalizing the emotions and actions from this time in life. I made this resolution for the future, not the present, if that makes sense.
Resolve to Evolve
Many aspects of my life could use a little TLC. They are getting addressed, slowly but surely. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, I’m focusing on small changes. Small is good. Small adds up! I can handle small right now.
Heather @Lunging Through Life says
Those are so great! I really need to move my phone. It’s unreal how quickly time passes when you are just scrolling through!
Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…A Weekend Leaving Me Feeling Refreshed
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
The phone is bed thing is so real and so hard! I realized just last week that this has to end. I’m trying to force myself to actually read a book and stay off the phone. Scrolling does nothing to help you go to sleep! I’m a work in progress right now!
One of my resolutions is similar to yours- I want to get off the phone at home. I started putting my phone in a basket by the front door as soon as I get home, and don’t pick it up until I’m getting ready for bed. It definitely has made a difference!
Gretchen recently posted…Gettysburg Marathon Training : Week 8
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
The phone in bed thing is so tricky. Honestly, when I can’t sleep, the only thing that eventually works is watching Netflix or listening to Harry Potter (hence, NEED the phone). However, I’m totally guilty of scrolling for 30 minutes before trying to sleep. Ugh. But my sleep issues are a whole awful beast right now.
I just bought two adorable journals because I want to be a person who journals. Now, I just need to write in them…
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Breaking the Rules: Why I Quit Whole30
Susie @ Suzlyfe says
Getting your email this week was amazing. Such a breath of fresh. Feel free to journal to me every night! You know I will respond. Like a journal with a brain :D
Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green says
I NEED to do the same thing with my phone.
Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green recently posted…Running Update + Hot Chocolate Run Training
OMG i know ! i am convinced that 1 min on my phone and 1 min say on the treadmill are NO WAY the same 60 secs ! its like warp speed. i do the same at night and time goes by and i wonder WTF. i actually have a reminder on my phone that pops up at 930 that says go to bed (mostly cuz i can get side tracked at night). i think i need one at 10 that says NO REALLY get off your phone ! we just went this weekend and got my boyfriend a 2nd phone. his work and new boss has been texting/calling nonstop for the past few months. 5 AM, 10 PM, etc (i know shes cray cray). He tried to talk to her about stopping that and it didnt work, so i sorta made him get the second phone so that he could leave it outside the bedroom at night and at home on the weekends/vacation so he wasn’t constantly bombarded with silly work things that can wait or be handled via email. it was stressing him out so much it was actually sad for me to watch and when it woke me up at 5 AM…that was just enough for me !!!! so not exactly the same as you of why we made the change but similar.
i make a thousand resolutions/commitments. some i sorta already do but want to keep doing or doing more of like stretching daily, gratitude journal, flossing, reading, etc. i am trying to update to doing more morning workouts and revamping my morning routine, that was a big goal of mine, making more simple dinners so i was spending less time cooking, drinking more tea and more wine (1 of those is more fun than the other), eat less, work out more, meditate, blah blah blah. i love setting goals so im a resolution girl though i try to only focus on a few at a time. makes it easier to do and more forgiving.
I love the idea of not taking your phone to bed. I feel the same way about social media every night. It takes forever to put my phone down!
My main resolution is to get running consistently again and make healthier choices about food. So far so good!
Kristin recently posted…Finding a New Routine After Maternity Leave With Baby #2
Liv @ Healthy Liv says
Plugging your phone into a different outlet is such an easy switch that makes a huge difference! I’ve actually been considering doing that, too, and you’ve motivated me to go ahead and just do it to help my sleep!
Liv @ Healthy Liv recently posted…Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions says
I don’t have any (open) outlets by my bed, so I have to charge my phone across the room when I charge it overnight. Sometimes, though, I charge it in the evening rather than overnight, which inevitably means I end up bringing it to bed and get in the exact same position as you, where 10:00 magically becomes 11:15 and I know I”m in for a VERY tired day the following morning. It’s so tough to not get distracted by it! I’ve started to realize how much time I spend on my phone, though, and I really need to work on reducing that.
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions recently posted…Weekend in San Francisco
Ok so I seriously love how you replaced one thing with another thing; I’m learning to get off the computer 45″ to an hour before bed and read or do something low key so my mind isn’t going ‘social media’ speed when I got to bed.
Emily recently posted…WIAW: Exercise Addiction ( Beauty in Christ Episode 1)
I love your resolutions! Moving your phone to a different spot was a great idea, I think that’s something that most of us can relate to. You totally lose track of time, and then for me, I’m super tired in the morning. I can also relate to not sharing your resolutions/goals. I like to make a list of goals, and break down the big ones into smaller, more attainable, ones and continue to work on them throughout the year. I usually ease into most things, I find it to be a little better method for me. If I feel completely deprived, such as if I’m trying to eat healthier and cut out sweets, then I only crave them more. If I let myself have just a small portion of a treat, I feel better and I am still moving toward my goal.