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Is Netflix Stopping You From Achieving Your Dreams?

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Have you seen the final series of Ozark? What about the latest episode of Drive to Survive? Whatever the show, I can bet that you’ve had these conversations with friends before. I’ve even found myself binging on ‘How I met your Mother’ every night after putting the kids to bed for days and hours on end and waking up cranky every morning until I got to that special final episode where [don’t worry I won’t tell]!

Well, we’re not alone. And this isn’t some strange phenomena. In fact;

As of 2020, Netflix users watched an average of 3.2 hours of video per day through the service⁠—that’s 6 billion collective hours per month.

So, what’s going on? Well, Netflix is an amazing content creator and an even more amazing marketer! They create shows that entertain, they know what you watch and they recommend relevant content to you every time you log back on – keeping you hooked day in and day out. Ever watched Pitch Perfect only to find Rebel Wilsons face in ‘How to be single’ smiling right back at you next time you log on?

That's great to feed our inner need for entertainment (and to some degree the desire to be socially relevant) but what if watching all this content is leaving your ship full of dreams sailing away because you’ve let go of the helm? Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix, I love all TV in fact, how couldn’t I, I grew up in the 80’s! But I’ve been thinking about how much time I spend just plonked mindlessly on the sofa every night watching the latest talked about series, only to realise I’m not spending any time doing stuff that is actually going to help me feel fulfilled and experience growth. It feels like we’ve entered a time where if we don’t take back control over our lives, our actions will continue to be determined by the very clever marketing of the big brands, leaving our hopes and dreams a distant memory.

Think about it. How many times have you used the excuse ‘I don’t have enough time in the day’ to [Fill in with good intention]? But the reality is that we might have more time than we think we do just by being more intentional with what we spend our time doing. If this sounds interesting, then here are 6 simple steps you could take right now to find more time and take back a little bit of control of you own actions so that you can get closer to realising your dreams, turn that ship around (and turn Netflix off for a bit):

1. Set a short-term goal. This will give you focus. Fill in this sentence ‘For the next 3 weeks I want to [FILL IN WITH GOAL]’ e.g. ‘For the next 3 weeks I want to eat more healthily’

2. Write a list. Get some paper and think about all the things you could do to achieve your goal - make this list as long as possible. Here’s a little list for how I might eat more healthily:

o Clean out my cupboards of sugary foods

o Buy a healthy cookbook,

o Do more home cooking

o Bulk cook at the weekend and freeze for the week

o Buy only healthy food

o Maybe sign up to ‘Hello Chef’ or another subscription service to help with the cooking

o Watch healthy cooking series

o Get help from someone who could cook a couple of meals for me a week

o Only eat out once a week …and so on!

3. Get creative. Keep going with your ideas. But this time get to the root of the challenge. Ask yourself the following question ‘I keep switching on the TV every night because it makes me feel [FILL IN]’ e.g. ‘I keep switching on the TV every night because it makes me feel entertained and close to my partner’. Now brainstorm some more ideas that connect your goal with your need to feel a certain way. Here are some of my ideas:

o Sign up to the MASTERCLASS with Gordon Ramsay with my partner (so I will learn new cooking skills, be entertained and do it with my partner)

o Watch my favourite program in the kitchen whilst bulk cooking healthy food for the week or preparing my overnight oats for a healthy breakfast the next day

o Only turn on the TV once I have planned my healthy meals for the next day

o Only turn on the TV once I have prepared my healthy food for the next day …keep going and lots of ideas will come to you.

4. Make a realistic plan. Now look at your amazing list of ideas. Which of them feel exciting, which of them feel achievable, which of them do you think you could start straight away and that could fit easily into your daily life? Choose 2-3 of the ideas from your list to get started on. Remember, we can sometimes get overly ambitious with change so in this step stay realistic. Think about starting small so that you have a higher chance of sticking to your new habit - you can always build up to the bigger ideas once you’ve seen success on the smaller ones!

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become”. James Clear, Atomic Habits

5. Make a commitment. Finally, get a calendar and write in the actions you are going to take over the next week. Keep these actions small and simple. I call these Mini edits – they are small changes that you will make in your daily life to help you on your journey to achieving your goals. Here’s my action plan:

o Monday evening after work/kids are asleep I will clear out the cupboards of bad foods and research healthier alternatives

o Saturday every week I will research recipes and make a healthy meal plan and buy the ingredients

o Sunday every week I will watch my program whilst preparing healthy meals for the week to freeze

6. Enjoy the journey. Whilst the goal is important, remember that it is more important that you enjoy the journey. This will give you a much higher success rate!

I guarantee that once you start to see how you can use your time more intentionally you will get hooked! I would love to hear your story so please let me know how it goes and what changes you’ve been able to make.

If you feel like you need more support in helping you change certain habits don’t hesitate to get in touch to book a wellbeing consultation or sign up to one of our Edited Wellbeing Programs.

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Sep 30, 2022

Such a great article, I’ve been thinking about this recently and really helpful to have it articulated so clearly with so many helpful suggested actions. I’ll be following your advice and making a change today

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