Wednesday, February 22, 2012

24 Ideas for Lent and Beyond

Lent is a special time to strengthen one's faith.  Many of us take it quite seriously, so it may also be a time to actually follow through with our hopes to to improve our life.  Similar to a Lenten Promise, we can decide TO GIVE UP something, or we can decide to DO/HAVE something to become healthier!  We can make any ACTION -- FOR GOD :)

Remember, every large body of water began with a single drop.

SO, while the following suggestions may not seem like a big deal, making small changes equals BIG results because they can be maintained!

Why not strengthen your faith and your body at once?  Here are a few examples that you might want to implement into your life, beginning with Lent.  Don't bother with giving up chocolate, as long as it's dark! Health Benefits HERE.  Instead try something below, or come up with something on your own!

  1. Do something nice for a stranger each day.
  2. Decrease the amount of caffeine you're consuming (I recommend doing this gradually).
  3. Eat an avocado each day.
  4. Eat a handful of nuts each day.
  5. Have some chia seeds each day.
  6. Do a 15-minute exercise video each day -- check out P90X or Shawn T -- these guys BOTH have awesome workouts!
  7. Meditate for one minute daily by simply focusing on your breathing -- check out Deepak Chopra's lesson HERE.
  8. Keep your kitchen sink clean.  Check out #6 from this related SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE post!
  9. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual.
  10. "Go" vegetarian.
  11. Only use the internet for (30 min, 1 hr, 15 min, etc) each day.
  12. Decrease the amount of pop you're consuming.
  13. Eat 4 vegetables each day.
  14. Listen to this hypnotic trance daily to become a better YOU!  I've listened to this free mp3 file many times -- from Paul McKenna -- LEARN MORE here.
  15. Drink 2 cups of green tea each day.
  16. Make your bed each day.
  17. Do one load of laundry each day.
  18. Wash one bathroom each day.
  19. Walk one mile each day.
  20. Make a Dr Oz Green Drink or a Super-Shake each day.
  21. Write down 5 things that you are grateful for each day.  Research shows that after just one week of this practice, you can have benefits of being happier for up to SIX MONTHS!
  22. Eat 2 Laraballs each day -- believe it or not, you be healthier for doing so!
  23. Drink a liter of water each day (that's just a little over 4 cups).
  24. Follow one of the spiritual suggestions from Regina Brett in THIS ARTICLE!
You can adapt any of these goals to be more or less challenging depending on where you are in your life today.  You could decide to do something listed 3 days per week.  Or you could change the quantity you hope to consume, for example 4 veggies per day could be 2 or 8!

Remember this simple idea for any GOAL you set.  Make your goals SMART!

SMART Goal-Setting

S - SPECIFIC - For example, say "I will eat 2 apples each day during Lent", rather than I will try to eat more fruit.

M - MEASURABLE - in the above example: 2 apples is measurable -- this way you can tell how successful you were if you ate only 1 each day, rather than failing, you achieved 50% of your goal!

A - ACHIEVABLE - it is possible to eat 2 apples each day, but eating, 50 apples a day is closer to impossible -- given you aren't a "food eating contest professional".

R - REALISTIC - this is pretty much the same idea as achievable.  Aiming to eat 2 apples per day is realistic, while hoping to change your entire diet and not eat another cookie ever again isn't realistic.  But you could try these Cranberry Cookies and still be eating healthy!

T- TIME-RELATED  - "each day" and "during Lent" both define specific time frames which help you to measure your success, as well as activity durations, 15 min, etc.


I recommend setting a MAXIMUM of 3 goals per week.

WRITING them down makes you much more likely to achieve them.  

Also, contrary to today's readings about not letting anyone know you are fasting, TELLING people about your goals makes you more likely to achieve them, it's about ACCOUNTABILITY, and EXPECTATION.  If you're friends and family think you are going to work on a specific goal, you're going to try harder to achieve it!

Good luck and GOD BLESS YOU!!

Plus, check out this awesome article about by Regina Brett about Lent -- Click HERE!  Regina Brett is a Plain Dealer columnist originally from Cleveland, OH and a National Best Seller Author of God Never Blinks.  She has a beautiful, honest faith that she shares so lovingly.  This is a beautiful piece about all that the Lenten Season has to offer!

SHARE IF YOU DARE!  What goal are you setting for the week or Lenten-season?  What other ideas for health goals or Lenten Promises do you have?

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