Lent is here. Typically, a Christian tradition, however many others follow in the footsteps. So, for 40 days people all around the globe "give up" guilty pleasures to show self-restraint and possibly try to break a bad habit and improve health.
People tend to give up candy, pop, sweets, popcorn, ice cream, meat, social media, TV, alcohol and so on and so forth. We give up our bad habits and/or our guilty pleasures for 40 days and then day 41 hits and almost always we are back to binging whatever we gave up.
The point is not to show self-restraint for 40 days like some fad diet. The kind of 40 days that helps mold you to be a better person and then here we are Easter Sunday, day 41 and you are back to the old you. The bad habit you. Lame.
So this Lent, if you are having trouble deciding what to "give up" change it up. Instead of giving up something, start doing something. Be better. Thrive. Be authentic human beings. Make the next 40 days not a fad but a lifestyle improvement. One in which continues past day 41. One that knocks bad habits not purposefully but accidentally because you don't feel the need for them anymore.
If you are needing help this Lent, start with these:
Instead of saying you're going to be nicer, actually take action. Start doing one random act of kindness a week. Buy someone Starbucks, hold the door open for someone, say hello to a stranger, pick up trash instead of walking by and looking at it. Get creative!
Instead of giving up being a couch potato/laziness, pick up a new hobby. A healthy one. Yoga, pilates, boxing, running, walking your dog on the regular, golfing, taking a walk with friends. Just start to be more active!
Instead of giving up sweets make an effort to eat a salad a day. If you want something sweet, eat some fruit. Eat a greek yogurt, you have the options.
Instead of giving up watching television, commit to reading a book during that time. Why not gain knowledge or use pure imagination instead of burning your brain cells to death? (If you need book ideas, I am a book worm ask and you shall receive.)
Instead of wasting all you time and energy stalking on social media and using the excuse that you want to know what is "going on" in your family and friends lives... Start sending them mail, catch them up on your life and ask them to return the favor.
Instead of giving up gossip, start having meaningful conversations with people. Without the distraction of technology. Compliment people instead of judging and throwing around insults.
Instead of giving up photoshopping your pictures (this should be an idea for some people out there) to be the prettiest you you can be, start to believe that you're actually the prettiest you you can be. Don't give up hatred self talk just improve it. Improve it, then believe it. You are you for a reason and that reason is because you are awesome just the way you are.
Instead of giving up caffeine, coffee, and energy drinks, start walking up early and working out in the morning. I promise that doing this will give you more energy even if you don't think that is possible.
Instead of giving up road rage, start actually following the traffic guidelines. Chances are you're upset because you're speeding and the person in front of you is actually going the speed limit, or they are stopped at the red light, not turning right, because there is a sign that says "NO TURN ON RED"
Instead of giving up wasting food and forcing yourself to eat leftovers everyday even though you don't want to, give it to the homeless. They will eat anything, and be grateful for it.
Instead of giving up envying others, work harder so that you start to reallllly love your life. Envying is just wishing and wishing isn't going to change a damn thing in your life. Get it done!
Instead of giving up twitter rants, start writing in a journal. You're getting your thoughts out without the expense of making a fool of yourself.
By doing things off this list, you're subconsciously breaking bad habits and creating good ones. You no longer feel like you're punishing yourself for 40 days. You're not giving up being lazy, watching TV, gossiping, etc... you simply won't have the time for them anymore and that my friends is the key. You're not fad dieting. You're not losing your mind because you NEED and I mean NEED that piece of chocolate that you can't have until day 41. You're not twiddling your thumbs for Lent's entirety because what else is there to do besides binge watch Netflix, gossip with friends, and sit on very social media platform known to man kind. There is plenty to do you're just choosing not to indulge in them on the regular.