March Madness is here, today is March 1st 2017 and that means nothing to me. I literally had to look up what March Madness was, did you know it had to do with college basketball? Who knew?

Our March Madness is a goal for 30 days to convert nearly a year of bad habits into some good ones. I am very excited about this challenge and literally could not sleep last night in anticipation. Let me give you some background.

Our baby boy Alex is 9 months now and we had a fairly managed pregnancy that I had to take work off of to keep things managed well for both Baby and Momma, it also completely zapped us of our energy and kept our 3 year old girl at bay. With all of the doctors appointments and honestly not wanting to deal with actually paying attention to our daughter (hurts me to say) I bought her a tablet and loaded it with infinite supplies of things to watch and play on. She loves it! That is part of the problem.

The main problem is that over the past year our health and fun level has stayed at the level of going to doctors appointments and being tired and idle, taking it day by day. So what did we do? We do what nearly all of the United States does and we watch endless amounts of television. I’m talking about an addiction to TV, it is the first thing we turn on in the morning even before eating, and the very last thing we turn off before we go to bed completely exhausted from, well watching TV. The worst part is that my daughter is glued to the tablet, and at first I was blaming the tablet, but then something happened. I started to pay attention. My daughter is 3 years old, and she wants to PLAY ALL THE TIME, but I IGNORE HER. Not literally ignore her, but I make excuses, put her off, and half ass playing with her for just a few minutes a day. When I do play with her, all I can think about is how boring this is and am restless to get back to my TV or some other distraction. This hurts me internally, how can I be so heartless? So what does she do, she goes to her tablet since she is being completely ignored and does what the rest of the family does and glues themselves to fantasy. Letting life slip away. I just wasted a whole year of seeing my daughter grow up and my new son, because I wanted to see who got kicked off the island!

We still need to manage some things in our lives, we can’t put it on hold, but we sure can make it better than just watching TV all day. I did a rough calculation and we have the television on for about 9hrs a day, or 3,285 hours this year! That is one and a half full time jobs!! On top of this, while we are watching TV, we have two tablets running, we are surfing on our phones AND our laptops, facebooking, google grouping, linkedin’ing and in general not really spending any quality time with anyone in the family. We are isolated in our bubbles sitting in the same room together, exhausted to BE with each other. THIS MADNESS HAS TO STOP.

We spoke to our family, Roy and Raquel, Raquel told us how awesome it was to work on her business every day during her amazing 30 day challenge, and that we should do a 30 day challenge about removing TV from our lives. We all agreed excitedly and then immediately panicked, “but I am still watching…” this was 2 weeks ago, after some discussion we decided today was the day! So we have tapered our TV watching and sucked out every last drop of TV out of the time available like a junkie getting ready to go to rehab.

So here are the goals we set forth, our playbook for March Madness at our house.

Goals:

With our spouse – We want to have quality fun hangout time, adventure time, intimacy time, snuggle time, learning time, and personal time.

With the kids – We want to have fun hangout time, adventure time, learning time and TONS OF PLAY TIME!

What prevents us from getting quality time/things done:

TV Shows – continual binge watching is our downfall
Movies at home (we excluded movies at the theater as this is a date)

Facebook – it’s on our phone and is just as bad as TV, and super negative!
Phone calls – my worst distraction, I love talking!
Google Groups – Researching my laser upgrades
Phone surfing – research and other BS
Oversleeping – Kills our motivation and ability to get shit done!

So our plan is to limit everything from Facebook to oversleeping in our list to a maximum of  2 hours total. While TV and Movies at home is not an option, not on a TV, laptop, tablet or phone.

I am really excited to get started with this adventure, and will be posting or logging daily to show our progress. So what do you think, do you want to join the madness or sit back and watch it unfold?

Click here to see the results!

For the past 20 years I have been advocating and teaching about Renewable Energy and Alternative fuels. I worked in IT for 9 years and ran a few IT businesses during that time. I have worked wind turbines and in fuel cell technology and I currently teach college courses full time in Renewable’s and Alternative fuels. I am passionate about technology, building things, family and having fun outdoors. I love sharing and helping to make the world a better place in my own way.

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Erik Szewczyk
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I love it, what a great idea! I like (well, perhaps “like” is the wrong term but drives the point home) your example of spending the last year finding out who got kicked off the island versus spending the time with your daughter – you really have to ask yourself the hard question “what is important in my life?”