Every year I pick something to give up for the duration of Lent. To clarify, I am not Catholic. I am not even Christian in the sense that I do not follow an organized religion. I am spiritual but have always believed more in a one on one relationship with a higher power as opposed to attending services. I simply use the 40 (46) days of Lent as a challenge to improve some aspect of my life I feel I have been lacking in leading up to it. This year I attempted, and failed, to work on three areas simultaneously.
The first area I badly needed to work on was my exercise. I have a very on again, off again relationship with the gym. I love the classes but am a world class procrastinator so I have a tendency to find a way to not attend them. Even classes such as Zumba that always make me happy, or kettle bells / body pump that are so satisfying. I am easily able to talk myself out of going. I pulled out my step machine I have at the house but have only managed to get on it a few times. Again, I feel great when I get done but I am exceedingly lazy. I also get sick easily and parlay illness into further laziness. I am aware of the issue but have yet to fix it.
The second area is, of course, my writing. I want to be consistent on my blogging. I want to complete more writing projects. I need to edit at least four books plus read several novels in the genre I will be tackling next. I have managed to create a timeline of when I would like to accomplish these different aspects of my writing life. In fact the plan takes me all the way into 2020. I have an entire list of books to read for research, ones for my personal reading challenge to keep me well rounded and the ones I need to draft / edit / rewrite / beta / submit / publish. The first of my books in this list is Breathe which I have begun editing and revising but I could be so much further into it if I were able to stay more focused. As for my reading challenge, I have read half a dozen books but have over forty left plus the research and craft improvement books. Needless to say, I am behind. The only part I have managed to improve to a level I am happy with is this, my blog.
The last area is my diet. I have struggled with my weight for well over a decade. At one point I wouldn't look in the mirror or go near a scale because just living was a depressing time let alone confirmation of the level I had allowed myself to reach. I have since made great strides and came down from, lets just say WELL above the two hundred mark, to a semi respectable one hundred sixty eight. Still not a healthy weight but far more acceptable in the long run. My goal has always been between a hundred and forty-five to a hundred and fifty though. Eating is my biggest battle since I fight portion control and type of food. I have made this part my biggest focus for the challenge and managed to drop down to one hundred fifty-two as of this morning. But now comes the fun part, moving forward.
The challenge technically ends at midnight tomorrow night. At that point I would be allowed to eat anything, do or not do anything and have no regrets. I am aiming a little higher however. I have enjoyed getting back to blogging almost everyday. I missed a few but did my best to stay on track. The diet has made me feel immeasurably better so I would like to continue that as well. Now I just need to find a way to incorporate the rest of the challenge into my daily life. I need to set aside time to workout, and then follow through with it. I also need to find the deadlines I created for my writing and editing then break the work down to manageable milestones so I can keep myself on target.
I took on too much and will now have to adjust but I think, as in anything we do in life, it is about accepting setbacks and working around them. You will rarely be completely successful on the first try. Instead when you fall back you learn, readjust and begin moving forward again. Sometimes when we take on things like this we only see the short term. I am now working to move on to the bigger picture and looking forward to finding new ways to make things happen and share them with all of you.