2021 Themes

With 2021 now upon us, I have thought deeply for the last month on what resolutions I wanted to pursue. What would make the year a success? In the end, two resolutions came to front of mind.

  1. Be healthier.
  2. Less screen time.

Yep. Probably the two most common resolutions on Earth. Nothing surprising. However, I thought about ways to increase the likelihood of success (and what success really meant).

What does be healthier really mean? What does less screen time really mean?

While exercise certainly will play a part, my real focus would be on eating better. Less garbage in.

In 2020, garbage in generally meant ordering in. Chinese. Pizza. Italian sub.

So my problem wasn’t eating poorly per se as much as ordering poorly. What if instead of saying, “Be healthier”, I changed the resolutions to:

  1. Stop getting take out.
  2. Less screen time.

If I am no longer ordering take-out, I need to buy food and make it myself. With that goal in mind, I have begun cooking for the last week and being much smarter on how I eat by ordering healthy, clean foods and preparing them nutritiously. I’ve also picked up some cooking tips and have cooked for my wife and I the last several days.

  1. Cook all my own meals.
  2. Less screen time.

With the first theme finalized, I moved onto less screen time. Look, I love looking at screens. Scrolling Twitter and watching The Sopranos for the 50th time happen to be a couple of my favorite pastimes. However, they aren’t providing any fulfillment. All they are doing is wasting time. Is that how I want to live my life? By wasting it.

So I don’t really want less screen time as much as I want more time spent doing other things. My first thought was:

  1. Cook all my own meals.
  2. No TV.

No TV. Seems like a great starting point. By eliminating TV, I will be forced to pursue other activities or stare at the wall. “Oh, the places I’ll go.”

However, there are some things my wife and I share through TV and we both enjoy. For one, we are in love with MasterClass. Thomas Keller has already helped me prepare the best scrambled eggs and I’m playing to make a killer omelette tomorrow. Is it the screen time that’s bad, or the mindless screen time?

  1. Cook all my own meals.
  2. Planned screen time.

Too often, when I turn on Netflix, I found myself throwing on The Office and zoning out in front of the tube. Without fail, I would begin scrolling my phone with Michael Scott as background noise. I wasn’t being intentional. I wasn’t focused on anything. The Office being taken off Netflix coincides perfectly with changing my viewing patterns.

  1. Cook all my own meals.
  2. Planned screen time (and only one screen at a time).

For example, my wife and I already decided that we are going to finish The Right Stuff on Disney+ tonight. After that, we are either going to both read or watch the documentary on Showtime about The Comedy Store. And I will turn off my phone or put it in another room.

The single screen will have my full attention. If I get bored of whatever we are watching, I will go up to bed and read, which I am sure will help put me to sleep earlier than I normally would. And will help with my original resolutions.

  1. Be healthier.
  2. Less screen time.

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