A few months ago, my husband and I canceled our Netflix account. We loved it a little too much.
After binge watching the first season of Turn and all seven seasons of The West Wing, it was time to cut off this addiction at the source. It had become our nightly habit, and instead of building our relationship as newlyweds, we were mindlessly zoning out in front of the TV. We figured we would probably pick it back up at some point, but we needed a few months to break our habit.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, let me recommend a few alternatives (and even if you’re not addicted to Netflix or Hulu, these are still fun alternatives when you just need a change of scenery).
1. Subscribe to Groupon or LivingSocial and plan fun activities around town. This one will probably cost you more than a monthly Netflix subscription, but it’s a great way to try new restaurants or activities. And you can check the daily emails for special offers. I’ve found lots of fun things to do like trivia nights, human foosball, a pizza arcade and tickets to see the Christmas lights at the zoo. If you eat at the same places and tend to do the same things on a Friday night, these types of emails are a great way to gain exposure to some fun and different alternatives.
2. Switch up your routine. You probably have hobbies or interests you pursue, but try getting out of your comfort zone. Try a new class at the gym or sign up for a new fitness trend. If you play in a recreational sports league, try a new sport. If you tend to read a lot, try a genre you don’t typically read. This idea is less about starting a new hobby and more about adding variety to something you already do.
3. Do that thing you keep putting off. We all have those things on our to-do lists that we keep finding reasons not to do. Maybe you have a bathroom you’ve been wanting to re-tile or a refrigerator that has years of buildup from spilled liquid. Take the time to finally clean out your car or organize your mail. Create a budget, get those dress pants hemmed or actually print off photos from your phone. Think of how many of the little things you could cross off of your to-do list in one hour each night instead of watching another episode of Friday Night Lights.
It’s easy to binge on TV shows or kill time some other way, but if you want to start off the new year right, consider doing things that are actually worth your time.
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (Ephesians 5:15-16).