I’ve never really been a New Year’s resolution kinda person. Why? Because I’m selfish, silly. For me the new year starts with my birthday. Want to celebrate new years’ eve with me? Stockpile some fireworks from the Fourth of July, grab some champagne and mark your calendar for August 18th. My new year starts on August 19th. Therefore it stands to reason that I’m not going to put much stock in making resolutions in January since I’m almost halfway through *my* new year. Lent on the other hand is my kind of renew/restore season. Even when I’m not such a great Catholic (which is NOT what we are discussing here. Task at hand, people, task at hand) I love Lent. It’s got everything you need to reset a bad habit or start a new one; give up what hurts you or adopt what will heal you. And here’s why: start date, end date. Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. 40 days. That is why I contend that new years resolutions suck. You make a list of all the things you ‘must’ do to ‘fix’ yourself, and you start the first day of the new (calendar) year. When do you check in to gauge your progress? Never. When do you get to give it up if it doesn’t work? Never. When you do throw in the towel, how can you tell if you given yourself enough time see if it’s going to stick? You can’t.  With Lent, you decide what you’re going to do and then you give it a whirl for 40 days. If you change your mind, you *know* it’ll all be over in a little over a month. It just feels like you can do it. It’s not deciding to adopt a new habit on January 1st and keep it forever, like a new years resolution. That sounds like setting yourself up for failure. I hate that. Granted I’m sure there are some of you who make very specific, manageable lists with check-in dates and plans for evaluation and reflection and permission to give it all up. But that’s not me nor is it most of anyone else. So take your smug and perfect and scoot on out of here, the slackers are having a meeting.

And this my friends (the perfect people are gone, right?) is why my 40 days of yoga in 8 weeks challenge is working for me. Well, so far. Let’s have a brief check-in on this, the 16th day of the challenge: 12 yoga classes taken thus far (right on schedule, so far so good. Though I know next week will be tough, I’m not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We’ll just see what I can fit in and will adjust future weeks.) The organization/Studio 219 portion of the challenge: tough & slowly but surely. I’m making better use of my calendars. I (just) made my task list for Studio 219. Oh, fine, I’ll admit it: I was procrastinating. I have a lot to do and it’s frightening. But the list is made and now it can be dealt with and attended to. Onwards… The 11pm bedtime, y’all believe me when I tell you I am terrible at this. I’ve made the earlier bedtime lately. Confession: I’ve had a cold, so some of that-getting-to-bed-early is really passing out with the lights on under a mountain of Kleenex. With six more weeks to go, I’m going to keep moving forward.

If I had just decided to adopt this lots of yoga coupled with productivity as my way of life from now on, I’d be freaking out and so quitting this challenge right about now.  But instead I get to try it out and at the end I’ll be able to see what works, what doesn’t and apply it to my life. I feel so virtuous right now. (totally kidding. My halo is never on straight) Lent starts in the morning. Technically my 8 week challenge will be over before Easter Sunday.  We’ll have to see if I add an extra week/five more classes to the challenge to make it a Lenten challenge also. I’m in for at least 6 more weeks of less than minimal make-up and sweaty ponytails (and getting things done and going to bed early).

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