Why you should think about adding something in to your life during this period, rather than taking something away this year.
Newsflash…Pancake Day is not actually just a made up day for us to be gluttonous and come up with the best concoction of sweetie goodness possible, it is followed by Lent; a religious observance from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. In the New Testament, Lent is connected with the forty day fast without food which Jesus undergoes. Nowadays people don’t really think about the religious connotations but rather you are more likely to hear them say:
“I’m going to give up chocolate”
“I’m going to give up biscuits”
“I’m going to give up alcohol”
“I’m going to give up EVERYTHING which is bad for me.”
Yes, all of the above would be great in an attempt to kickstart improvements to your health and lifestyle, but how likely are you to stick to it? If you currently eat a biscuit everyday with your cup of tea mid morning, chances are you are going to try and find an alternative to satisfy those sweet cravings, maybe a piece of cake or chocolate bar…so in this case what has giving up biscuits actually achieved?
Research also suggests that banning certain foods from your diet will lead to increased cravings; which may ultimately lead to binging on foods which you didn’t even want in the first place! We’ve all been there, somebody tells us that we cant have something, or we cant do something and it just makes us want it even more. Why do this to yourself unnecessarily for forty days?
I am all for a balanced lifestyle, a little bit of chocolate every day is not the devil. Going out for a couple of drinks with friends or your partner once a week isn’t going to make you lose all your ‘gains.’
Why punish yourself when there is no need?
Add something to your life for forty days rather than taking something away.
Building habits is the best way to create a healthier and better version of you. If you try to change everything all at once with one huge overhaul, I am afraid to say that there is a high chance you are going to fail. According to Leo Babauta, the author of ‘The Power of Less’, when only one habit is adopted at a time success rates are as high as 80%, but when people get too ambitious and attempt more than one habit simultaneously, success rate drops to below 20% for each habit! Of course some people will succeed in adopting more than one habit at a time, but start off as simple as possible, enhancing your chances of success!
This is my challenge to you for lent:
Pick something which will add value to your life
It could be health and fitness related, to do with work or it could be anything at all.
Here are a few ideas:
– drink a litre of water before breakfast everyday
– have a green vegetable with every meal
– instead of the biscuit mid morning, replace it with a piece of fruit
– park your car an extra 10minutes away from work and walk the extra couple of miles
– read a chapter of a book every night before you turn the lights off
– create a grateful journal, and write in it what you have been grateful for that day
– spend 10minutes meditating and completely relaxing each day
– put £1 into a jar everyday and treat yourself at the end
– tell that special someone you love them every day
There are tons of options!
Pick just one
Perform it every day
Set a reminder in your phone, put a post it note by your computer at work or tell your friends and family if you need help remembering.
By the end of lent, you will have produced a new habit. You can then move on and initiate starting a new one.
You won’t have created a new you, but rather you will have created a better version of yourself!
Let me know what you choose and how you’re getting on!
Love Abi x