Have you have wanted to spend more time with your family, friends, or community, but found this time sucked into your TV set? Have you have wanted to accomplish other goals, but found it impossible to find the time? Have you have wanted to become fit and healthy, but somehow lacked the time and motivation to follow through with a fitness regimen? If so, here are a few tips to help you get in control of your TV watching and find the time you need to actively enjoy the rest of your life.

1) Fill the time normally spent on TV with more rewarding activities

The most important step will be to decide how you are going to fill this time. The average person watches TV for 4 hours 32 minutes per day. Choose other healthier activities. Would you like to exercise? Would you rather enjoy the great outdoors by camping or hiking ? Would you rather spend more time with your family? Would you like to start a new business? The sky is the limit! The main problem facing families who have tried to turn off the TV is how to fill the time. Choose other activities before you try to cut back on watching TV.

2) Create a TV schedule

Next, it would be very helpful for you and your family to devise a TV schedule and stick to it. How many hours does each person get on the tube? On your schedule you could also write down the activities you would like to do instead of watching TV.

3) No TV at Dinner

Make dinner a time for eating and being with your family. Too many families eat dinner, and other meals, in front of the TV. Simply turning off the TV at this time is a great first step in getting control over your TV in general. Eat. Chat. Talk about everyone's day. It is the perfect time to connect with your family.

4) Get rid of extra TV's

Additionally, if you have more than one TV, it might be helpful to get rid of some of the extra ones, especially any in the bedrooms. Extra TV’s make it more difficult to keep to a schedule. TV's in the kids' bedrooms are especially harmful, since it is much more difficult to monitor WHAT they are watching. Moreover, it isolates them from the rest of the family.

5) Move TV into a remote location

To shift your family’s attention away from watching TV, move the remaining TV to a remote part of the house, like the basement. Make the bedrooms for sleeping. Make the family room for family time. You will probably find that your house becomes instantly more peaceful and quiet.

6) Cover your TV

Once your family decides on a schedule, a good trick is to cover your television set when you are not using it. I discovered this trick when I was trying to limit my kids viewing. It sends the clear message that the TV is OFF. Cover it with an elegant lace tablecloth or a simple blanket. Keeping your TV out of sight will help keep it out of mind. It will also help everyone stick to the schedule. Otherwise, the TV may start calling to you from across the room: "Watch me. You must watch me. C'mon, just one little show!"

7) Disconnect your TV

Disconnect one or more of the cords in the back of your TV set. Maybe even hide the remote. Make it more difficult for you to turn the TV on. In the time it takes you to plug everything back in, you could consider whether or not you really want to watch. You might very well decide that you have something better to do.

8) Cut the Cable or Satellite Subscription

Disconnect your cable or satellite dish. You will immediately get the benefit of $100 or so per month. There will be fewer temptations to lure you to the set. After a while, you will probably realize that you are not missing anything from those 500+ channels.

9) Skip all commercials

There are 15-20 minutes of commercials for every hour of TV. Skip them and you immediately cut your viewing time by 25% or more. This is especially important for children, because marketers design commercials to teach kids to NAG. Skip the commercials to help skip the incessant nagging. If you are trying to lose weight, it also helps to skip all the mouthwatering, waist-enhancing, junk food commercials.

10) Find other methods to relax

One of the main reasons people watch so much TV is that it helps them relax. Find other methods to relax. One possible aid in breaking the TV habit is meditation. Laughter is another. Have a family tickle-fest to reduce stress. Go for a walk. Of course, exercise helps reduce stress as well, but find what works best for you and your new life.

Author's Bio: 

Katherine Westphal is the founder of Trash Your TV and the author of a revolutionary e-book system, The TV-FREE System. Get in control of your TV watching and create the life you want, whether it is to create the body, the mind, the business, the family, or the community of your dreams. Receive free pages of the TV-FREE Workbook, when you become a member at Trash Your TV.