Year of Living Without 2024

As mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to take time in January to give thought to what I would do without in 2024. I thought that another round of monthly themes would come out of it; however, I’m taking a more basic approach for 2024. Rather than doing without something for a month to train my mind or body to lean into discomfort, I’m going to cut out 3 things for the entirety of the year. Those 3 things are:

  1. No soda.
  2. No phone usage in bed.
  3. No device usage in the bathroom.

I don’t drink soda often as it is; however, I’m going to go without it completely for the remainder of 2024.

I slowed my fiction reading toward the end of last year, and the phone slipped its way back into my end-of-night routine. I’m cutting the phone out of my wind-down routine to resume fiction reading during that time. Starting tonight, the phone will go on the MagSafe charger that’s mounted on the back of the headboard. If there’s a legitimate need to grab the phone to do something (like check the outdoor cameras, etc.), it’s there. It will still serve as my alarm clock (should I sleep through my vibrating alarm on the Apple Watch). I’ll continue wearing my Apple Watch for the silent alarm that allows me to wake up without disturbing my wife. The watch will also allow me to listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks with an AirPod as I fall asleep. There are a few shows that I’m excited to watch soon, so just before sleep is the only time I have; I’ll use the iPad from the bed or the couch in our bedroom vs. making an exception for the phone. Almost any exception to use the phone from bed leads to using it for anything and everything, so I’m avoiding that risk.

After doing without devices in the bathroom last year for a month, it was a habit that stuck with me for most of the months after that. Sometime during the last two months of the year, I got less aggressive about maintaining it. For the rest of the year, I’m back to no phone, watch, or any other device usage in the bathroom.

There are lots of themes and new habits I want to build during 2024 that have to do with doing MORE of something vs. doing without something, so I think by simplifying the Year Without criteria to 3 year-long eliminations, it will make it easier to also focus on doing more of some things. I’ll write more about that soon.

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