That’s how many seconds we all have in a day you guys. All of us. No matter who we are. No matter what we do. No matter where we live. We all have the same amount of time every single day. What we do with those seconds, minutes and hours though is completely up to us. The number one reason I hear from people when talking to them about working out or more specifically why they don’t workout is, “I don’t have enough time”. Who can relate? I sure could!! I was one of those people who gave that reason, aka. excuse not too long ago. I work long hours. I have classes to study for. I am trying to balance a social life, family responsibilities, etc. etc. etc. Sound familiar? 86,400 seconds seems like a lot of time until you fill it up with all the things you have to do each day, am I right?
I know this may come as a shock to some of you but I have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones. I don’t watch the Walking Dead or Stranger Things and I get the strangest looks when I tell people I really don’t watch any shows on TV with any regularity. Why? Because when I come home from work I WANT to workout. I WANT to take my dogs for a really long walk. I WANT to spend time cooking a healthy meal. I WANT get in bed with a good book at the end of the day and read before I fall asleep. But this wasn’t how I always was. I used to be the kind of person who rushed home from work, picked up my dinner from the drive thru window and sat on the couch in front of the TV complaining about how tired I was and how long of a day I had had before I went to bed to fall asleep in front of a different TV just to wake up and do it all again. I was miserable you guys. I was sick, tired, anxious and just generally a pretty negative person back then. I spent a lot of time complaining about not having enough time all the while I was mindlessly staring a screen for hours and hours a day.
I heard a staggering statistic the other day that was the reason I wanted to write this post. It said that on average, we spend 11 years of our lives staring at a TV screen! 11 YEARS!!!! You guys think of all the other things we could accomplish with 11 years of our lives! Here are some other pretty crazy stats I also found interesting when looking into this further:
- We now spend 11 hours each day staring at some sort of screen…whether it be a TV, computer or phone. What’s even worse is 2 whole years of our lives are spent just on watching commercials alone!
- Another 5 years of our lives are spent surfing the internet.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency, we will spend 93% of our lives indoors…in our houses, cars or office buildings. This one made me really sad. ☹ I would be outside all day long if I could!
- Nokia did a study that found we check our phones every 6.5 minutes…that is 150 times a day! Not only are we checking it but on average we are sending 100 messages a day.
There are a ton of other crazy stats out there that show how we allocate our time these days but the point is the time is there. If we are capable of watching that much tv, scrolling through endless social media feeds and/or watching a gazillion YouTube videos on how to make slime, we can surely find 30 minutes to put down the electronics and pick up some weights!!
Sorry, I am getting a little worked up over here because I am so passionate about this particular subject you guys! The reality is we have the time. We just have to allocate a little away from our daily digital exposure and put it toward working on our health. Now I am not saying toss out your TV’s or cancel your Netflix subscriptions. I like my occasional Netflix binges just as much as the next guy but what I am saying is maybe watch one less show per night. Or put your phones down for 30 minutes and go outside and take a walk around the neighborhood. Everything these days is DVR’d or pre-recorded somehow anyway so the reality is we are not going to miss out on our favorite shows and trust me those social media posts will still be there when you are done your workout. So really what is the excuse for not spending a small fraction of your day improving your health and well-being?
These days I still have all those things going on in my life that I mentioned above…busy career, studying for classes, traveling, family, friends, etc. I actually think I might even be busier now career-wise at least than I was a little over a year ago. So what changed? Where did I find the time to workout and take care of myself? Well first of all it really wasn’t that I found the time, I had it all along. And what changed was my priorities. I started with just one decision that enough was enough. I finally got fed up enough with my increasing weight, my lack of energy, and my declining mental health that I picked getting healthy over sitting around and feeling sorry for myself. And once that decision was made I just had to shift my priorities from sitting in front of the TV for several hours a night to taking care of the only body I will even have. Seems like a no-brainer when I think about it these days!!
The physical changes didn’t happen immediately or even easily. I don’t want you all to think that this was just a decision I made and suddenly I lost ten pounds overnight without lifting a finger or breaking a sweat. But the changes did happen with hard work, a commitment to show up for myself every day and dedication to living a healthier lifestyle than I had ever lived before. And the more immersed I get into this lifestyle, the more time I WANT to spend working on my health. In the beginning it was a chore. It took me actively choosing not to turn on the TV when I got home. It took sacrifice and some amount of struggle to re-wire my thinking to this new way of living. But eventually I fell in love with the process. I fell in love with the results I was getting and probably most importantly I fell in love with how I began feeling. I have become much happier, more confident, FAR less stressed out and just generally a much more positive, grateful person.
I am not saying all these things happened for me because I turned off my TV, but that sure was a major catalyst to starting my own lifestyle change. We all have those 86,400 seconds each day. Do we use them to better ourselves? Do we do something today that our future selves will thank us for? Do we push ourselves out of our comfort zones long enough each day to reach that next goal we have set? Or do we continue to do the same things that we have always done and just sit around and wish for different outcomes? I personally want to use my 86,400 each day to continue to strive to find the best possible version of myself that I can present to the world. How bout you?!??