Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. For much of the Christian world, this begins Lent, a 40 day period of fasting from certain “luxuries” and showing greater devotion to God. This is seen as a representation of Christ’s fasting for 40 days and a preparation for Easter. Growing up, I frequently remember friends giving up chocolate or desserts for Lent.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about a growth mindset. A growth mindset is where you are looking for growth in all that you do, even in failure. You try to view failure not as a set back but instead as a place to grow from. I think this is so helpful in the area of health especially. One of the online workout coaches I like said something I found powerful – when we work to the point of being out of breath, we aren’t losing our breath but we are gaining greater life. What a great way to look at it! We all “slip up” at times – over eat, over indulge, skip exercising, don’t follow the meal plan or diet plan we are hoping to, etc. But I have really tried to start focusing on those events being a way for me to get better – why did I do what I did, how can I use that experience to avoid it in the future, etc?
Growth mindset and Lent may seem at odds with each other. However, I think they can go together. Christian or not, most religious people would agree that God gave us a great gift of our body and want us to take care of it. It is the vessel for our soul. We can commune with the world and the greater being(s) better when we are healthy. So my challenge today is what can you “give up” for Lent (or do for the next 40 days) that will help you gain greater health/life? Can you look at your sacrifice for Lent as a springboard for a greater life in the future?
My goal: drink my 17 ounce water bottle 4 times each day. This will involve me giving up soda and sparkling water at times. It will mean a sacrifice of time as I focus on that instead of other things (as well as deal with the consequence of drinking more water). It will also be a slight sacrifice of warmth right now. I struggle to drink water in the winter because it has to be cold but drinking it makes me cold. But my gain is greater health. I feel better, have more energy, and am happier when I am well hydrated.
I’d love to hear your goal/sacrifice in the comments!