Breaking Bad Habits


I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before but most years I give up something for lent. I haven’t for the last few years, as I’ve either been away on holiday at that time (usually at VLV) or I just didn’t actually feel like giving up anything. I kinda of got into because I went to a catholic school and although I have never followed the religion or went to church as much as I should have (I’m not even confirmed so I’m not sure I’m a proper catholic anyway). These days I don’t considered myself religious at all, even though I still do the whole giving something up for lent.

So why do it?

Well I’ve always seen it as a good way to break bad habit or cut out seemingly harmless addictions. Lent runs for 40 plus days. They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit but newer research suggests it’s more like 66 days, though naturally it does vary from person to person and the habit they’re trying to break but 40 days will get you well on your way.

So what can you give up for lent?

Pretty much anything you want, though it should really be something you could do without or are relying upon unnecessarily. Here’s a little list to get you on your way.

Refined/processed sugar – I am a terrible sugar fiend, recently I fell off the wagon and have been walking around in a sugar induced zombie state. I have no will power, just the one you say oh go on then. So I’m cutting out sugar. But here’s the thing don’t save up all your sweets you’re passing on for Easter Sunday or you’ll end up  undoing all your hard work. This means I will also have to give alcohol but I don’t drink enough to care that much but you might have to prise the cake from my hands!

Meat – they say we meat should be a treat, even though I won’t be giving up meat I have definitely cut down over the last few months. I know a vegetarian that also went vegan for lent, it should be about challenging yourself and making yourself aware as to the benefits of giving something up.

Smoking – I quit smoking a few years ago now, I don’t even crave the odd cheeky cig any more which is good but if you do smoke it’s something to consider giving up.

Social media – I have a few friends who give up Facebook for lent. As you know I’m cutting down on my social media as it’s all too much and quit Facebook already. Or maybe you’ve promised to spend less time playing games on your phone and more time reading, you could delete those apps!

Letting go of negative habits like comparing yourself to other people and their life or work. You are your own person on your own journey.

There are lots of other things you could give up whether it be alcohol, junk food, fizzy drinks, cigarettes or whatever bad vices you can think of but don’t feel bad or give up if you fall of the wagon just get right back on it and keep going.

Taking up Good habits

Another thing you could do is take a good habit, 40 plus days is great way to kick-start something good to take up
  • It could be a creative challenge
  • or something physical like a twenty minute brisk walk everyday
  • or thinking of one thing everyday that you are grateful for/ keep a gratitude journal
  • going to bed at a regular time,
  • getting up early
  • yoga
  • meditating
  • saving money (put two quid in a jar or something similar) and then buy yourself something nice or donate to charity
  • take up learning a language, ten minutes on a free language site like Duolingo or Babble to brush up those skills.
The list is pretty much endless, so this lent whether you are religious or not maybe think about letting go of something negative and taking up something positive instead. Let me know if you do and I can cheer you on.