65 Things To Do Instead of Watching Television

Walking on the beach

In yesterday’s post, I talked about living a “television-free” lifestyle. People often ask me: what do you do with your time if you don’t watch television? I get a chuckle out of this as I feel pressed for time as it is – I couldn’t imagine spending several hours every night watching television. I would never get anything done!

Below are 50 things you can do instead of watching television:

1. Take a walk around your neighborhood
2. Read a novel
3. Bake cookies
4. Learn a musical instrument
5. Have a potluck dinner
6. Go out to a neighborhood coffee joint
7. Learn to knit, crochet or make a quilt
8. Write in your journal
9. Write a short story
10. Visit a friend
11. Spend the evening at your local library
12. Go for a bike ride
13. Go swimming
14. Go for a jog
15. Start a Memories Scrapbook
16. Write a letter to a far away friend or relative (a real one, not an e-mail)
17. Phone a friend or relative
18. Go browsing in a used bookstore
19. Rent a canoe or kayak and go for a paddle
20. Go on a picnic at a local park
21. Watch the sunset
22. Attend a free or low-cost local concert
23. Attend a play at your local high school theatre group
24. Go to a local high school or college sports event
25. Learn how to can jellies, jams and vegetables
26. Grow a vegetable garden
27. Go to a museum
28. Join a local book discussion club
29. Play a board game
30. Go to an old movie at a local inexpensive movie house.
31. Listen to your local National Public Radio Station
32. Watch the sunrise
33. Have a lively discussion with friends or family
34. Have a lengthy candlelight dinner
35. Start a blog
36. Take a class at your local Community College
37. Join Toastmaster to learn public speaking
38. Play cards
39. Bake homemade bread
40. Attend a lecture by a guest speaker
41. Learn a foreign language (or maybe more than one)
42. Learn a new computer software application
43. Learn how to program computers
44. Write a novel
45. Practice meditation
46. Join a local Meetup group (check out Meetup.com for a group near you)
47. Learn how to bake pastries
48. Listen to a book on CD
49. Declutter your house, garage, etc.
50. Spend time camping
51. Listen to a Podcast that you find interesting
52. Go fishing
53. Register in a local Master Gardener program
54. Acquire a new skill – or two, or three
55. Go bird watching
56. Join a local social/outdoors organization
57. Run for the local school board
58. Attend activities at your local Community Center
59. Create your own custom greeting cards
60. Take an online class through Lynda to learn a new computer skill
61. Take a photography class
62. Go on a Photography Walk
63.  Learn how to ride a motorcycle or scooter
64. Join a local storytelling group
65. Walk the Appalachian Trail

If you have spent a lot of your time in the past watching television, “kicking the habit” will certainly simplify your life. I know it has mine. Think of all the time you’ll have for developing new hobbies, making new friends and spending time with your loved ones. Rather then living a passive existence in front of the set, you’ll engage in more face-to-face real contact with real people. You will find yourself participating more in your real world and community rather than the fictional ones that stem from the imaginations of Hollywood writers. You’ll suddenly find yourself with time to think, reflect, dream and create and you’ll become a much more interesting person to boot. In no time at all, you’ll be glad you gave up television as your life becomes simpler and richer. I know it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

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