Looking for New Year’s resolutions that will change your life? I invite you to consider making a promise to yourself to be more present in your life and put your phone down. Look, I totally get it that smartphones have made life much easier for us all. You can’t get lost thanks to GPS, you can find exactly what you need in the palm of your hand and shop smarter at the supermarket, and you can be more efficient.
But for many of us, we get sucked into the mindless stuff we can use on our smartphones too. From endless newsfeeds to time-wasting apps, it can cause us to be glued to our phones instead of living in the moment with friends, family, and our kids.
Be honest, do you have a phone addiction? Let me know in the comments below where you fall on this spectrum.
Take control in 2019 to be more present and enjoy more of life through your eyes, not the lens of your phone. Here are 5 ways to make that happen.
Watch how much time you spend on your phone
It might help to keep a log as we often use our phones for business too. If you’re an iPhone user, the latest iOS update now includes a screen-time breakdown where you can see how much time you’re spending on your phone, and where. You’ll be shocked by the amount of time you’re spending. Thankfully, you can use settings to kick you off your phone if you’re using it too much, to retrain yourself.
Turn off useless notifications
Go to your notifications and turn them off for apps you don’t need. There’s no reason to be notified every single time one of your photos gets a like. Set a time of day where you’ll go to those apps and catch up, and set a time limit for how much time you’ll spend. When the time is up, close the app until tomorrow.
Do something more meaningful
Not all apps are a waste of time. Some of them can inspire you to do other things. One called Giantgood provides suggestions for how to add more meaning while putting your phone down. You might be told to go for a walk after dinner, call someone you love, or do something kind for a complete stranger.
Spend time outdoors
When was the last time you spent an afternoon outdoors? And no, walking from the parking lot to your office doesn’t count! I mean when did you last connect with the outdoor world? You don’t need to be a rustic outdoorsy person to benefit from nature. Just get out there and do something you enjoy, and ignore your phone while you’re there.
Say “no” to devices at dinner
For the family, enjoy more time together at the table by leaving devices off of it. Enact the rule that no one is allowed to use their smartphones or tablets, or even watch TV while you’re at the dinner table. This helps you reconnect in the real world. Find fun dinner conversations online to print off and have on hand to engage in an enjoyable discussion each night at dinnertime.
Start with one of these tips and gradually adjust to create a balance between the real world and the glossy virtual world we create and you’ll find you’re more satisfied with your life. And, who doesn’t want that?!