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How to Unplug from Technology and Keep Social Media at Bay

 

Here’s the disturbing truth about our technology-fueled life: our devices, social media sites, and games are literally engineered to be addicting. Facebook, CNN, and Pinterest all get more money the more time we spend on their sites (via ad revenue and sponsorships).

It takes serious effort to pull yourself away from the screen and disconnect, but we’re reminded over and over again that it’s sooo worth it. After all, how many of your favorite moments from the past year were spent staring at a screen?

March 3-4 is National Day of Unplugging (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday). We will be participating and are seriously looking forward to the clean break from tech.

There are lots of ways to keep technology at bay without unplugging cold turkey, too. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Turn off phone notifications of all apps. Without having your phone buzzing all day, you will be less inclined to look at it.

  • Take a close look at the folks you follow on social media. Ask yourself, “Are they adding value to my day-to-day? Would I even notice if they stopped posting?” Unfollow often and don’t forget-- we often compare our behind the scenes to everybody’s highlight reel.

  • Sign out of social media apps and sites when you’re done checking them. Adding that little bit of effort every time you visit a website will help you pause and think, “Is this what I really want to be doing?”

  • Delete apps from your phone. Check the ones you use often on your laptop only.

  • Keep your phone in a different room. If you’re reading in your living room, keep your phone in your bedroom so you’re not tempted to pick it up.

  • Block distracting websites on your web browser. There is no shame in that, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

  • Turn your computer and phone off when you’re not using them.

  • Keep your phone on airplane mode (Fun Fact: Putting your phone in airplane mode helps conserve battery and makes it charge faster when it’s plugged in).

  • Make a list of what you’d rather be doing instead. Being excited about going for a hike and spending quality times with you friends will make you less vulnerable to spiraling into a social media black hole.

  • Use your Habit Calendar to track your technology use-- try creating a habit like “Check Facebook only 1 time/day”

Happy unplugging!

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4 Ways to Celebrate Galentine's Day with Your Gal Pals

Our good friend Leslie Knope once wisely said, “Galentine’s Day is only the best day of the year!!” Obviously, we totally agree with her. Valentine’s Day is for celebrating with your significant other but Galentine’s Day is a chance to celebrate your favorite gal pals for sticking with you through thick and thin. Need some new ideas on how to celebrate and make this the best Galentine’s Day ever? We’ve got you covered!

Host a self care night

You know the dozens of tiny skin care samples that have taken over your medicine cabinet? Those are the perfect ingredients for a self care night with your besties. Put on your favorite rom-com and spend the night giving each other manicures, trying out new face masks, relaxing, and enjoying each other’s company. Keep the good vibes going and send everybody home with a Self Care Index.

Shower them with sweet treats

Your gals might get candy hearts and a box of chocolate from their valentine but nothing beats homemade treats baked with love. From waffles to cake pops, the options are endless. Make them a sweet treat and surprise them by dropping it off or leave it at their doorstep to come home to after a long day.

Make them their own playlist

Curate a one of a kind playlist for your galentine. You probably know her guilty pleasure artists better than anybody else. Whether she listens to it during a sweat sesh at the gym or on a long commute home, she will be thankful for being able to press play and enjoy the jams.

Brunch with your babes

In our opinion, brunch is the most important meal of the day. There is no better way to bond than over waffles and mimosas. Try out a new restaurant or head to your favorite spot. For Clevelanders, we love going to Jack Flaps to get pancakes the size of our head, biscuits and gravy from Lucky's Cafe and making our own crepes at Townhall.

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Journaling Prompts for the Best Year Ever

The week between Christmas and New Year's is always my fave. After a couple of days of rest, I'm usually flooded with new ideas and motivation.

Here are some journal prompts you can use to reflect on the past year and gear up for the year ahead.

  • What was awesome and not-so-awesome about this year? (Take a look at your planner or Google Calendar and make a list of +'s and -'s.)
  • Looking at my highlights of the past year... What themes emerge? What goals/habits can I set around these themes to create more highlights next year?
  • What advice would my 80-year-old self give my current-day self? (Inspired by Susan O’Malley’s Advice from My 80-Year-Old Self)
  • What were the biggest lessons I learned this year?
  • What made me uncomfortable this year that turned out to have a big payoff? (This one always reminds me that challenge = growth. At the end of the year, I'm often most proud of the things I did that were the scariest at the time.)
  • How can I make the world a better place and help others this year?
  • At the end of this coming year, what would I be super psyched to have accomplished?
  • What monthly goals would help me get to those accomplishments?
  • What daily habits would help me get to my January goals?

There are lots more questions like this in our the Habit Brainstorm Guide of our Habit Calendar. After you figure out where you want to focus this year, you can track the small habits that can add up to some big goals.

Do you have any other prompts that you use to wrap up the year? Let us know on Twitter!

Have a great year!

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A few favorite quotes about habits

How to use "committment devices" to form new habits

"Find ways to automate your behavior beforehand rather than relying on willpower in the moment."

-James Clear (via)

This is one of my favorite pieces of advice for keeping my goals on track. Examples from my own life include:

  • Not having the Facebook app or games on my phone
  • Paying for a class to learn a new hobby (instead of saying that I'll teach myself... because I won't!)
  • Schedule reoccurring Craft Nights with my friends for the year. I love hosting craft nights. Setting them in advance takes any decisions out of the equation.

Why planning for setbacks is important for long-term success

"It’s important to plan in advance to fail. Perhaps we should call failure something different – a moment of indulgence, a moment of rest, a saving of willpower."

-Rita Coelho do Vale (via)

Sticking with what works

Success is often a result of committing to the fundamentals over and over again.

-James Clear, How to Stick With Good Habits Every Day by Using the “Paper Clip Strategy”

7 Evening Rituals from Eric Barker

  • Have a “shutdown ritual.” Write down worries and make a plan for tomorrow. Work is over.
  • Turn weeknights into weekends. Weekends are happier because of time with friends. So see friends. Not hard.
  • Mastery, not TV. Hobbies make you happier. Spend nights getting awesome at something.
  • Wind down, don’t collapse. No screens. No coffee. No skydiving.
  • Never go to bed angry with your partner. Kiss and make up. And kiss. And kiss some more.
  • Write down the good stuff that happened. Force your brain to think about the good and life will be good.
  • Schedule something to look forward to. Anticipation is like 401K matching for happiness. Double the happies.

Read Eric's full article here.

Relationships are the key

Relationships are the key to a happy life.

-, (via)

Where confidence actually comes from

"True confidence emerges when you consistently push-through things that suck."

-Benjamin P. Hardy, If It Doesn’t Suck, It’s Not Worth Doing

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