Right when the New Years Resolutions rush is over, Lent comes along. Another season dedicated to self-improvement (or self-deprivation, depending on how you look at it). It's as if someone thinks we should constantly strive to improve as individuals? Weird. When I was younger, I gave up a ton of stuff for Lent (Chocolate, AOL Instant Messenger, you name it), and I wasn't even Catholic. I was just weird. But, over the years, I've decided to try to do something positive during Lent rather than give something up.
This inspired me to create a list of 11 "Lenten Promises" you can do from your beloved sofa! I'm not anti-exercise, I'm just pro-chocolate. I'm not sure if all of them really qualify as Lenten Promises or not, but still, they are goals you can accomplish while snacking, so what's better than that?
1. Unsubscribe from all those pesky emails that clutter your inbox. It takes under an hour, and the feeling of relief after clicking “unsubscribe” is incredible.
2. Update your resume. Even if you aren’t job searching, you never know when the next exciting opportunity will arise. Be ready!
3. Start a blog. I did this for a New Year's Resolution four years ago, and it’s still my favorite resolution to date. You can write about anything, and it doesn’t have to be for an audience at first. It’s a truly creative outlet that lets you express yourself. I'm also going to start sharing blogging tips here!
4. Meditate for 15 minutes each day. Sounds easier than it is. Spending just 15 minutes a day clearing your mind and thinking of absolutely nothing (this means zero electronics!) can really mentally benefit you. Check out this blog post I did on meditating.
5. Find a charity you support, and donate. If you're going to give something up, might as well give that something to someone else. Whether you’re able to commit to giving monthly or make a one-time donation, there are plenty of amazing charities out there. I give to World Vision and The Exodus Road.
6. Read all six of Jane Austen’s books. Plenty of people love Jane Austen, and many of those admirers haven’t read all of her books – which is perfectly fine! But Northanger Abbey and Persuasion aren't going to read themselves, you know? :)
7. Write a letter to an elderly person each month. There are many homebound elderly people who who would really cherish letters. Now is the time to get back in touch with your great-aunt, or even write to strangers in the local nursing home. Many churches and assisted living facilities are happy to provide addresses of homebound people for just this reason.
8. Watch 3 documentaries on new-to-you topics. I always want to watch educational documentaries, but television shows (cough*GilmoreGirls*cough) tend to get prioritized. Committing to watching a few intriguing documentaries can make you feel smarter and make for some ingenious conversation starters. Need ideas? Check out the Oscar noms!
9. Write more thank you notes. Can you write one a day during lent? One a week? You’ll never regret spending your time expressing gratitude for others.
10. Organize your computer desktop. If you’re like me, your computer desktop is as cluttered as your real desk, and let’s just say my real desk is not about to be featured in any interior design magazines. Organizing your digital world will leave you feeling refreshed, and able to think about more important things than "Where the heck is that document?"
11. Update your address book. Be it digital or in a Rolodex, it’s always nice to have an up-to-date index of where friends and family are residing -- especially in your 20's when everyone seems to be moving all the time. You never know when you’ll need to send spur-of-the-moment “Save the Dates.” (Sorry if I sounded too much like your mom there.)
I hope your end-of-February is going well! :) Let's hope it's the last "season" of negative temperatures for a while. xx