He whispered “cable guy” when I asked a new friend what his occupation had been. Not a whisper, exactly, but I could barely hear the words from behind the hand in front of his mouth. A shielding hand that was meant for the reply “CIA “ or “repo man”, or maybe a password or PIN. Oh no, just your cable repairman, who had endured unending flack about that almighty connection. Secrecy understood, but in my house a change in attitude is shaping up.

Only two weeks before this my husband Bill and I had faced the Comcast clerk and declared “Cancel it.” I was surprised by my own reaction. ”What? No! Wait!” At the moment of truth, I panicked. I’ve been a fan of Law & Order:SVU for eons. And what about Colbert and Fallon? Bill was brave. He was giving up his weekend golf fix, and this should have inspired me. But…

We’d bitched about our huge cable bill before we got in the car, but I caved when I realized what good friends my favorite programs and I had become. It’s embarrassing because I’m always encouraging readers–everyone really– to move forward into change, to embrace change. Yes… easier-said-than-done.

Today, two weeks later, I’m happy to report things are smoothing out around here. We backed down from cutting the cord that day, but did drop down to a much cheaper plan. We’re taking back our evenings by filling them in with something other than what’s on the screen.

After dinner, I pick up the newspaper instead of the remote or pick one of a dozen books I haven’t read yet. Television has put me behind! First one up was Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza. The title alone MADE me buy it. After an hour it’s on to the internet, where Facebook ends the day with laughs. Getting riled up before bedtime is no way to fall asleep so I’m trying to defer anything about politics to another time. Really, my head’s about to explode on that one!

New Habits Stick Better One Small Step At a Time

I won’t lie. A lifetime habit of automatically seeking mindlessness at the end of the day was a challenge to change. My resistance was obvious, even to me. But, honestly, the couch potato in me is slowly giving way to a saner, more satisfied me and it’s exciting. What seemed so crucial then just doesn’t seem very important any more. Adjustment is close at hand.

I do occasionally meet someone who looks at me blankly when I mention a show, then shrugs and says they don’t watch TV. It’s always kind of startling but a good wake-up call since I can’t imagine life without it at all. Have you ever watched the show Nature? Every episode is compelling.

I’ve finished two books I’d started six months ago, and I’m sleeping better without all that stimulation at night. AND… our monthly cable bill is $100 less.

SECRET: Acquiring a new habit is easier when you take it one small step at a time. That gives your brain time to adjust to the new you. And a new habit eventually pushes the old one out. Weaning works.