Wednesday, January 27, 2021

31-Day Phone Challenge - Day 27


My amount of self-control can feel limited. I wake up in the morning with great intentions, but my resolve crumbles by night.

We know we shouldn’t go grocery shopping when we are tired and hungry. It isn’t wise to browse online when we are tired and lonely.

One Sunday afternoon this summer I had a headache. I took my laptop to my room planning to quickly look up something then take a nap.

An hour later I had watched several Youtube videos on (I hate to admit this) fashion, specifically “How to not dress frumpy after 40.” I wish this wasn’t a true story.

Somehow in my exhaustion, I lost my good sense and swapped unprofitable media for a nap.

James Clear writes in Atomic Habits, “If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have a bad system.”

Make decisions concerning media when you are clear headed, not when you are weary. Set up systems that will encourage good habits without draining your self-control. My choice to keep my phone out of my room at night was partly because I was much more likely to scroll aimlessly when I was weary than at other times of day.

Some people use an app like Freedom, SelfControl, or Offtime to block certain apps or maybe the whole internet during certain hours of the day so they can focus on their work or family. For example, you can decide to give yourself one hour every afternoon (or once a week) to check Instagram and block it the rest of the time. Or shut down the internet after 10:00.

Building systems take time and should be done slowly so they become part of your lifestyle. But once systems are in place, they should take less thought which means less stress and self-control for you.

Today’s Challenge: Set up systems for success. By now you may know the triggers that make you reach for your phone. Start with small things, such as turning off notifications, deleting apps, and moving the phone from your bedroom. Consider a blocking app. Allow the small successes to spur you on to more steps.


  1. "An hour later I had watched several Youtube videos on (I hate to admit this) fashion, specifically “How to not dress frumpy after 40.” I wish this wasn’t a true story."

    I love your honesty! We can all relate. Thanks for this thought-provoking series.

  2. I'm thinking of using the YourHour ( thank you for the suggestion) to lock me out of apps like Instagram after a certain amount of time. It's harsh but it's something I need to control. I've already deleted Gardenscape from phone and oh how I miss it but at the same time I've gotten so much more stuff done because I'm not playing games on my phone or tablet.

  3. Oh, long as you have your dear daughters by your side, they can be your advice givers on that topic. I haven't searched it yet...but I have thought about it. ;-) Thank you so much for sharing this's been good for me to make some small changes that will lead to more God honoring habits, Lord willing. Love you! ~Eunice

  4. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention about the YouTube videos. I admit I will sometimes watch the fashion videos but oh dear they make my cape dresses look like I'm stuck in the 1800s!


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