5. Rearrange the furniture. Design your family room so that the television is no longer the focal point of the room, but an afterthought that requires twisting around or rearranging chairs to view it.
6. Hide the television. Put it behind a screen, hang a cover over it or stick it inside a cabinet. Do whatever you can to ensure it fades into the background and can’t be seen when it’s off.
7. Eat meals, especially dinner, with the television and computer firmly OFF. And ensure that every family member knows that eating at the computer is a no-no at any time. That goes for games consoles as well.
8. Make a TV-watching plan each week. Sit down with the viewing guide and pick out the programs you want to watch that week. View only those programs and, when they’re over, turn the TV off.
9. Set surfing, MSN and Facebook limits. Social networks have transformed computer use among the young, and adults are now fast catching on. Or you may just love to blog, check news websites or search for books or holidays. Time flies. But set yourself limits – no more than an hour an evening, say. And then try to do something more physical.
10. Make a rule that you must read 30 pages of a book or magazine before you can turn on the TV or PC. Pick the right reading matter and you’ll soon find you’ve created a new addiction.
11. Create a list of 1 hour evening projects. List everything you can possibly dream of: cleaning a particularly messy cupboard, organising recipes, touching up the paint on your bedroom walls, sharpening kitchen knives, sorting through your sewing materials. Then try to do one each evening.
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