To start the year off, I made it my goal to practice positive self-talk in the month of January. I wanted to begin 2019 with the mindset that I am beautiful, I can be who I want to, and I choose faith over fear. I aimed to pay more attention to what I was saying about myself to myself and replace any negativity with these positive phrases I had chosen.
To be perfectly honest, it was hard for me to stay mindful of that. While January was a wonderful month of Jake and I staying home and just enjoying life together in our house and our city, this quiet somehow muffled my self-talk.
I realized I wasn’t talking to myself that much at all. I did have a few days towards the middle of the month where I was in a funk and I felt pretty insecure. During those times, I tried to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, but it just wasn’t very effective. When I’m down, it’s really hard for me to pull myself up. I usually just have to let time pass in order to start feeling better.
The idea that surrounding myself with positive phrases would change my self-talk was perhaps a bit ambitious. I don’t think I should’ve expected to see change over the course of the month. Having self-confidence, I’m realizing, is something that I rely on—well, external things—for a lot. I guess that’s not quite self-confidence then. But one of my goals for the year is to not rely on other people for this bolstering quite so much. I’m back in therapy and one of my main focuses is to improve my self-acceptance and reduce my codependence. I’m optimistic that this change will happen, but it’s going to happen more slowly than I had originally planned.
Shutting Off Screens
Connected to my goal for January, my goal for February is to reduce my screen time. These two tie together because I want to see just how much social media impacts how I feel about myself. Right now, I notice a lot of positive influence because of how I’ve curated my feed. But I’m curious, how much are those empowering accounts impacting my internal voice? I love that I’ve found content that builds me up, but I think it’s important for me to know to what extent it’s doing so. Is the foundation of my self-confidence dependent upon positive media? Because that’s not ideal.
Plus, I feel that I have too much tendency to consume visual media, and it’s getting in the way of me making time for other things. Jake and I were just discussing last night how we’d like to set some designated couple reading time because both of us are so bad at getting ourselves to read. If I reduce the time I spend looking at screens, maybe I’ll actually finish a book this month. Not to mention, I have 6 skeins of alpaca blend yarn waiting to be made into a cardigan that I’ve been putting off since maybe November. It’s about time I sit down and concentrate on it.
What’s My Goal Exactly?
I don’t want to set a goal of X hours or fewer each day. Instead, I want to encourage myself to be more mindful of my screen-related choices. My two biggest time sucks are watching YouTube and going on Instagram. So, I’ve created a plan for each of these two platforms.
In February, I will only watch Youtube videos that genuinely interest me. I will skip videos that simply fill time or seem like they might be clickbaity. If I’m honest, the main reason I spend so much time on YouTube is because I fall down the rabbit hole and watch stuff that later I’m like, “why did I spend 15:37 watching that?”
This month, I’ll try to limit my “main sessions” on Instagram to one per day and reduce quick sessions on the app as much as possible. I can’t stay off Instagram because it helps me promote this blog. But I can utilize the time that I do spend on it better.
I’ll use the iPhone’s screen time feature to track how much time I spend on Instagram this month, and I’ll keep a log of the YouTube videos I watch and how long they are. Check back on the first Wednesday in March to see the data I collect!