12MonthlyHabits – January Update #TrueLove

My wife told me to update the blog so I am because that’s what you do when your wife tells you to do something.  #TrueLove

As you know, our focus this month has been no screens while we are in bed.  Just to recap, my wife loves to watch TV in bed and because I want to support her in all that she does, I would also watch TV in bed.  It’s how marriage works…google it.  This month we decided to cut out all screen time once our heads hit the pillow.  We had two options:

  1. Go to sleep – easier said than done when your mind has been running all day. #WeAreEducators and #ToddlerParents
  2. Read a book – both of us have taken to this more often than not.

The biggest issue at first was finding the correct wattage bulb for our lamps.  We never really used our lamps previously because our 35 inch HD TV was plenty bright, but on January 1, we quickly realized that my 1,000 watt, flourescent bulb was too much and Caroline’s didn’t even work.  I bought a three-way bulb for my lamp and the light is perfect at 30 watts.  I bought Caroline the same bulb and of course it didn’t fit.  Naturally, I could only find a 5 watt bulb to fit Caroline’s lamp so we hooked that bad boy up, and God said, “let there be very minimal light that makes it very difficult to read.”  So like true millennial Americans, we just don’t use Caroline’s lamp.

Now for the successes —

I just recently finished a book entitled, The Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins.  I highly recommend this book for anyone wondering what to do with their money.  It’s fantastic and very well-written.  With its easy-to-read style, Collins is able to explain a lot of complex money issues in lamens terms.  If you are trying to determine what to do with a little bit of money you have saved, then look no further than J.L. Collins’ book.  Here’s the gist: contribute as much as you can to a total stock market index fund (not individual stocks), do not hire a financial advisor, and stay the course because the stock market is a roller coaster ride. I would even recommend following his blog: http://jlcollinsnh.com/.

While we are talking about money, I also recommend you check out YNAB and Mr. Money Mustache.  I highly recommend both for teachers especially but also for anyone looking to find peace with their finances.

Back to January’s Monthly Habit…

After finishing my first book, I’ve started Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.  I highly recommend the movie as well, but as always, the book is better.  For me, it’s been years since I’ve read books that I’ve wanted to read – mostly due to my graduate work – and I love it.  I find that after about 20 minutes of reading my mind is relaxed, and I fall asleep much quicker than I did before.

Ok so we are educators so what about the data? Well thankfully, I wear a Fitbit Blaze that tracks my sleeping.  Since January 1 (the first night of no screens), the number of times my Fitbit considers me restless during my sleeping time is down by 18%.  In fact, on January 7 and January 9, Fitbit did not register me waking up even once during the night.  I’d say I’m definitely sleeping better according to the data, and anecdotally, I feel more rested when I wake up.

More to come as the month progresses.  Maybe I can ever get Caroline to write an update!  Sleep well because I know we are!