I've decided I'm going to take the season of Lent to alter my life-style. Now I know what you're thinking, 'isn't that what New Years resolutions' are for? Well kind of, but with new years resolutions there's no real sense of accountability. You don't have to keep them, no one else does, but people keep their Lent promises normally. Plus, here's the way I see it; if after forty days I don't like the changes, I can stop. But I have to do them for at least forty days because I know they're things I need to do. Theoretically, after forty days I either won't need to do them anymore, or I'll be so used to doing them (what is it, it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit) that it won't matter.
If I don't do things, there will be consequences. Most people for example, would say "I'll put a quarter in a jar for the church" but where I'm doing so many things, I might go poor, so each task will have individual consequences. Also, reading some of these things you might think I'm going "light" on myself, but keep in mind you can't change over night and things happen over time.
Ready? Let's get started!
" I can do all things through him who strengthens me." - Philipians 4:13 That by the way, was my randomly generated Bible verse for yesterday. Yep, even God wants me to kick Lent's butt :P.
#1- I have to exercise 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Normally I exercise more than thirty minutes when I do, but I'm pretty bad about only doing it three days a week.
Consequence: If I don't get five days (unless I have a good excuse, like you know, I got hit by a car) I have give up my weeks dessert.
#2- In reference to #1's consequence; I get only one 'dessert' per week. By this I mean that I get one guilt-free dessert, so I can get sapapias (spelling!!) from Plaza guilt free. However, I am still allowing myself to keep chocolate on hand and have a few pieces (not the whole box) at night. When you deprive yourself you over compensate by eating something else, been there, done that.
Consequence: If I decide that I want to eat a substantial dessert more than once a week, that's fine, but that means I don't get a one of my two "off" days for exercising.
#3- I have to do three sets of 15 sit-ups either in the morning or at night, each day.
Consequence: Okay, maybe I "need" a day off. That's cool- but t he next day I have to do that day's three sets of 15, followed by 2 sets of 50. Yep, won't be breaking this one much!
#4- I have to do 10 minutes of free-weight exercise a day, every day.
Consequence: I've decided that for this one since I don't want to have really sore arms if I mess up (because for some reason if my arm muscles/shoulders ache I feel like a zombie) it will have the same consequence as missing a day of sit-ups.
Life-style#5- No more staying up late. I get one night a week where I can stay up as late as I want.
But otherwise my week-day bedtime is 10:30 (I have to get up at 5:30-6:30 most days so that's not as early as it sounds). My weekend 'bedtime' is 11:30. Exceptions will be made in extenuating circumstances. For example if my apartment burns down at 11:15 on Saturday, I don't have to use my "free-night" that night. Another is that if I have an exam the next day I can stay up "up to" my weekend curfew without a consequence. However, getting a good-nights sleep is normally beneficial so I'm not sure I'll exercise that one.
Consequence: Oh, this consequence is so mean. So say I break my weekday curfew but I don't want to use my "free" day and it's 11:30 before I get to bed. That's fine. But if I was planning on getting up at 5:30, I now I have to get up at 4:30.
#6- I have to drink 64oz of water a day.
Consequence: I have to give up my "sodas" for the next three days.
#7- Limited to "one" soda a day. I'm not limiting myself to a size here because I don't get ones 'that' big. But I get one, that's it. Refills are permitted to 'top off' my cups if I got it at a meal.
Consequence: If I have a 2nd soda (not a refill but it's 3 hours later and a separate occurrence) I lose my soda's for the next three days.
#8- No more dwelling. If I'm upset I got 10 minutes to be sad, cry, pout, or simmer. After ten minutes though, it's time to let go. Holding on to anger or sadness isn't going to fix things. Solutions are normally found when you're back to being rational and level headed anyway.
Consequence: I'm still trying to think of one on this one... I'm not really sure how to 'punish' myself. If you have suggestions let me know.
#9- Only a few people know this (because to be honest, it's embarrassing) but I've been really lonely lately. I've kind of grown apart from most of the people I was ever close with, and part of me can't decide whether or not that's for the best. But I've realized I've been putting all of my eggs in one basket so each week of lent I have to ask someone "new" or kind of "outside my safety zone" to do something. It doesn't have to *happen* during that week because sometimes people are busy but there has to be intent to follow through.
***I've asked two people outside my "comfort zone" to do something today alone. GO ME!
Consequence: Not sure how to punish myself on this one either. Although it seems logical to say, well next week you have to ask "two" people, but at the same time- there's only so many days in a week. If you have suggestions let me know!
#10- I have to prepare meals more often. I've gotten into a bad habit of never making myself dinner anymore. I'll just wait for Zach to stop by and ask if we can go to Subway, or just eat something small every couple of hours at night. I just need to take the time to feed myself, really, I mean a four year old could do it, I'm just being lazy. So I've decided that I have to "make" dinner (I mean it can be a sandwich but I have to do it) 4 out of 7 nights.
Consequence: No Plaza (or okay... anywhere) on Friday night!
Here's how my weeks are going to work, since this week is a short week I'm just going to kind of half things (I get one day off of running, I only have to make myself dinner twice, etc). It will run Wednesday through Saturday, then each subsequent week will run Sunday through Saturday.
Wish me luck!!