Originally posted on Medium.

The new year is a symbol of new beginnings. It’s why so many cultures have some form of tossing something (to get rid of the old or to cleanse), cleaning, or the setting of resolutions.

You’re also in good company when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions. With so many people making them with you, it’s a great way to stay accountable, as accountability has proven to be one of the key factors in whether or not you’ll reach your goal.

Often our goals revolve around our health (physical and mental), our jobs, our finances. Part of our mental health is in our relationship to technology and the internet. We’ve shared some of the many articles that talk about how social media is addictive, or that our phone screens can affect our sleep. As part of your 2018 goals, join us in taking a look at our online habits. We’re adopting some new habits to help improve our mental health and well-being. And since sticking to goals is easier with a few friends, we want to tackle this together.

1. Only post the positive

Searching for the few positive posts in our feeds is often the reason we keep scrolling. You can be a force for good by sharing positive stories and commenting with praise and encouragement. You may just make someone’s day.

When it comes to debate, don’t post out of anger — take a step back and try to understand the issues, and craft thoughtful responses.

2. Create positive tech behaviors

From creating phone-free zones, to enabling ‘Do not disturb’ mode, to turning off app notifications, we can learn to balance our online time with time out in the real world and gain massive benefits on our mental health.

Technology can have huge benefits on our everyday lives, but we need to be conscious of when those habits become addictive and take steps to create a healthy balance.

3. Only keep apps that make you feel good

Make like Marie Kondo, and tidy up your devices. Decide which apps spark joy, bring structure, and help you with your everyday life. Remove anything else that doesn’t feel useful or bring positivity to your days.

When you declutter you feel less frazzled and make room for new exciting things to enter your life.

4. Keep yourself accountable

Social media can be great, but it can also take up a lot more time than we intend. One way to combat that is to set a timer when logging on so we avoid the black hole of the internet and lose track of time.

Want to go a step further? Limit yourself to only checking your social feeds during certain times during the day. For example: limit evening scrolling to 15 minutes between 6–8pm.

5. Unfollow

Reduce your newsfeeds. Whether they’re Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other news feeds. Think about what posts and people you are truly interested in. What is the return on your time that you get out of them?

Take some time to look through your feeds and unfollow accounts you typically just scroll past. The next time you log into the platform, the only content left with be things you are actually interested in, helping you make the most of your 15 minutes.

Benefits of setting goals

Goals are there to help us become the best versions of ourselves. To give us something to strive towards. When it comes to technology and the digital sphere, we should be thinking “Are my interactions and habits bringing out the best in me? Are they helping me be my best self?” If not, we have the opportunity to change those habits, take back control of our digital currency — our time.

Parents who have good digital habits can reflect them to their children. If you’re thinking of making a change, it is also a great opportunity to talk to your children about why you’re doing this and asking them what they can do to maintain a positive relationship with technology.

Studies suggest that it can take a minimum 21 days for something to be a habit.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll be talking about the challenges of setting new habits and helping you take control of your digital media.

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