Don’t leave the TV on all the time in the background. If nobody’s actively watching it, turn it off. A TV that is turned on draws most people towards it. If you prefer a bit of background noise while you work, try the radio, music, or a tabletop fountain instead.
Start an exercise plan. The endorphine rush you’ll get from a brisk jog or by pumping some iron will far outweigh any relaxation gained from watching TV.
Do stuff with your kids. Hang out with the kiddos and do fun stuff as a family. This can be a tough one to win over the moans of the kids but they’ll thank you later that they sledded or played a game with you instead of watching a rerun of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Check out www.insteadoftv.com for good alternatives to do with your children. My kids balked at first, but now prefer most anything to TV (with the exception of the NFL and Iron Chef).
Cook. Shopping for new ingredients and learning new recipes to cook together is actually really fun. We hold mini Iron Chef competitions complete with secret ingredients and judging.
Get into a new hobby. We all have things we’d love to try our hand at, “if we had the time”. Surprise! If you’re watching TV, you do have the time and you may even discover a hidden talent (or a new career). You will certainly feel more fulfilled than if you’d caught up on episodes of the Real Housewives of Botswana.
Volunteer. Whether your volunteerism stems from true altruism or not, studies show that people who volunteer are happier and live longer. In fact, if you’re looking for a date, volunteering might just do it for you. A recent British study showed that selfless acts were one of the top five things women look for in a man.
Regain your adventurous spirit. Ever notice that many conversations are two people rehashing sitcoms or reality shows to one another? No one seems to have stories to tell that actually involve real life adventures anymore. Go do something crazy. Get in the car and go someplace new. Hike. Take a dance class. Learn calligraphy or cantonese. You won’t have any need for an LCD window to the world when you’re actually living in it.