Living in the Breakthrough: Social Media II

Progress and What I'm Trying Now

If you missed my first Living in the Breakthrough post last Wednesday, I'll recap:

I started a new series called Living in the Breakthrough. The purpose of this series is to show how I use coaching tools to accomplish. my goals. I want to do this real time so I can take you all along for the ride. Each week, I'll share what I tried the previous week and what the effect of that was, and then I'll outline what new strategies I'll be trying in the upcoming week. My hope is that if you had goals you're going after, that you could use these same tools to help you accomplish them. The process always looks like this: set a goal, put in the work, staying committed to doing the work, even when you fail over and over again, manage your mind, and continue taking action until you achieve the result. That's it. If you want to read my first post, and why I'm trying to use social media less/more purposefully, you can check it out here.

Let's get started. Week 2:

My plan from last week: 

I wrote two specific goals for myself:

1. I will spend an hour on Instagram, per day.

2. At the end of the day, my screen time will be 2 hours or less.

And I practiced thinking the thought:

I like when my screen time is less than 2 hours per day.

The result/data:

Thursday: Instagram: 1 hour, 24 minutes | Screen Time: 3 hours, 33 minutes

Friday: Instagram: 1 hour, 10 minutes | Screen Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Saturday: Instagram: 1 hour, 21 minutes | Screen Time: 6 hours, 1 minute

Sunday: Instagram: 1 hour, 21 minutes | Screen Time: 3 hours, 46 minutes

Monday: Instagram: 1 hour | Screen Time: 3 hours, 9 minutes

Tuesday: Instagram: 1 hour, 52 minutes | Screen Time: 5 hours, 23 minutes

Wednesday (today, as of 2:11pm): Instagram: 34 minutes | Screen Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes

I hit my Instagram goal 1 day (Monday) and hit my screen time goal 0 days. My plan to not have a schedule did not help me reach my goal. I did however gain valuable insight into why things weren't working.


I had a couple. The first, is that I see using my phone as inherently bad/negative. So when I was on my phone or using it more, it lead to me feeling shame, which of course feels awful. Instead of just feeling the same, I would use my phone more to escape the shame, aka I'd buffer with my phone to avoid feeling shame. Once I realized, this, I worked on asking myself why I saw it as negative. Did I like those reasons? Who says using my phone is negative? The other problem this was creating for me is it caused so much negative chatter in my head; I kept getting stuck in a feel bad -> use my phone loop instead of asking myself why I wanted to use my phone. What emotion was I trying to avoid feeling?

The second realization I had was: I'm not 100% committed to decreasing my phone use. I didn't have a compelling why. Because someone else says so is not compelling. Because I'm telling myself it's bad is not compelling.

I got clear on my compelling 'why':  I realized my phone use feels very, very similar to a job that I had in the past and that I have the opportunity to go back to next year. Part of me loves the job, but a *slightly* bigger part of me knows I've outgrown the job. Both the job and my phone use feel really comfortable, familiar, and there are things that I love about them. But, future me, the one who has hit all of my big goals, knows that I can do more. I can keep growing and keep challenging myself. Both the job and the phone keep me stuck where I am. It's not bad here, but I can help more people if I keep growing.

What I'm doing this week:

  1. Decided last night that I'm 100% committed to spending my time intentionally on social media.
  2. I deactivated Twitter. Again. For good. I can just look up Sarah Cooper every so often to watch her videos.
  3. I scheduled in 3 times per day for me to consume social media and news and I'm sticking to it. When I want to post something or share something on stories, I do. But what I don't do during this time is scroll. I get on, I post what I want to post, I get off. If I catch myself unconsciously scrolling - hello, habit - I just notice and I say, oh yeah, we're not doing that right now. I don't beat myself up or make it mean anything. I know it's an ingrained habit that will take a little bit to unlearn.
  4. Set 2 new goals: I will follow my phone schedule, 7/7 days. I will keep my total phone use to 3 or fewer hours per day.

The thought I'm practicing when I have urges to check my phone when it's not on my schedule is: I respect my schedule and I'm 100% committed to following my phone plan that's written in my schedule. I follow it for everything else, my phone is no exception.

The other thought I'm practicing is: I do want to check Instagram/the news/whatever it is that I'm currently wanting check, but I want to grow into the person I'm becoming more. This thought acknowledges how I'm currently feeling but then shifts my focus to my future. The skill delaying pleasure instead of giving into instant gratification is a huge piece of developing new habits. Instant gratification always has a net negative result. Even "small" moments of instant gratification. It's like death by 1000 cuts or taking 10 steps forward only to take 9 steps backwards. It's hard, but worth learning because it saves you so much time and keeps you moving forward - quickly.

Alright! That's what I have for you this week! I will keep you all posted on my stories on Instagram! I'll post screenshots of my screen time each night so you can keep up with my progress! I'll be sure to check in here next Wednesday as well and share how things are going.

If there is a goal you would like help with, schedule a free consultation and let's get started on creating permanent, lasting change!

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