So how do goals help your screen time health?
Here is what goal setting gives you:
While it can be fun to live without direction for your screen use in the short term, in the long term a purpose and direction for your screen use will significantly improve the quality of your life.
It’s often easy to let others or technology set your direction for you. You use social media accounts because family or friends do. You download an app because popular culture or the media tells you to do so. If you don’t set your screen use goals, you let outside forces control you. This can lead to stress and unhappiness. You have a greater chance of happiness when you intentionally plan out your use of screens.
Goals also motivate you to get you through difficult times and choices. Maybe reducing your use of social media or leaving your phone out-of-sight may be stressful and difficult in the short term, but in the long run, having more time for other fun activities or having more quality time with family and friends will make it worthwhile.
Screen time goals also put you in control of what you want to accomplish with your screen use. For some people, the goal might be to get better sleep at night, while for others the goal might be to free up some time to do other fun activities. If you do not set goals that are unique to you, it’s easy to become sidetracked by life and others.
Screen time goals can also help you save time. When your "To Do" list becomes too long and your calendar is too full, then you can come back to your goals and eliminate what doesn’t fit. What items help you achieve your goal? What items are necessary to your goal? Scratch off the rest as unimportant.
Just as screen time goals save time they also reduce stress. Regularly referring to your goals will focus your life and choices suddenly become easier to make. Should you watch that extra 30 minute episode instead of going for a walk? Do you really need to check your emails before going to bed?
Finally, goals give you a way to measure your accomplishments. Every goal you achieve, every step you take toward that goal, can give you a boost of energy and momentum to keep going. Each success powers you toward the next level of success.
Now go out and set your screen time goals!