For the next 40 days

Hi πŸ™‚ How’s your morning going? I’m off to get our taxes done (derp). I’ll be thankful when that’s done for another year.Β 

Speaking of appreciation…Lent’s around the corner for me. I feel like it’s always an encouragement to make changes in habits that I can maintain long after the 40 days are over. Per the usual, I like to switch the emphasis from just “giving things up,” to those I want to encourage in my everyday life. These are skills and habits I always endeavor to improve, but will have increased significance for the upcoming season.Β 

Lilies  1 of 1 3

I’m going to focus on the things I’m going to do more often:

-More patience

-More gratitude

-More compassion for others

-More time with the phone down and with those I love

Walking bell

What I’m going to do less:



It’s easy to say I’m going to do less of these things, but how am I going to track it?

When I find myself worrying or stressing (beyond the normal everyday stuff), I’m going to transfer $1 into our savings account. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I think it will help me to catch the thought process.

Something I’m actually “giving up:”

-Shopping. That’s right; no clothes shopping for myself (Livi doesn’t count) for the next 40 days. Here we go….



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  1. What beautiful flowers! Those changes sound like ones I need to make too! I don’t do Lent, but those are something I can work on changing anyway. Good luck with no clothes shopping!

  2. Great ideas!

  3. I would like to do a lot less worrying as well! Living simply and presently has been something I’m working on. Good luck with no clothes buying! That’s a great challenge! πŸ™‚

  4. I like the idea of transferring $ to the savings account every time you worry. Nice way to keep you accountable! And I think focusing less on giving up things like sugar or caffeine and more on being a more compassionate human being is right on!

  5. I love your goal of transferring $1 to your bank account every time you stress. I’m totally doing this! I have so much stress in my life and I need to start budgeting. You always have great ideas!

  6. I was thinking about giving up shopping for lent… REALLY nervous about it though…

    • Fitnessista says:

      it’s going to be a long 40 days

      • you inspired me to do the same. I had been thinking of it — i KNOW i spend too much and am too focused on STUFF… NOT a good thing! So, I’ve committed! And my mom is doing it too! πŸ™‚ I’m also ADDING some things in like you — being kinder and less judgmental, and working on my relationship with my boyfriend. Thanks for the kick, Gina! πŸ™‚

  7. Hey Gina – I totally love your “little changes that go beyond 40 days” take on lent!

    Rather than the transfer on automatic complaining or worrying, why not give your self the “dedicated space” to complain or worry and then transfer funds when you go beyond that “dedicated space”?

    What I mean is, since there’s nothing wrong with complaining or worrying in and of itself, why not dedicate a time (either time frame, ie: 5-15 minutes) or time of day to allow yourself to feel those feelings.

    Ex: “I’m worried we haven’t signed a lease on a new place in SD” Then give yourself 5-15 minutes to worry about this (even articulating downright ridiculous scenarios that pop up, aka acknowledge them) and write out some actionable step like, “I am worried about this BUT I dedicate 20-30 minutes per day looking at new properties and making 2x phone calls a day about new rentals/leases” AND then… if you catch yourself worrying again that day, beyond that time-frame, THEN go transfer some funds.

    Just an idea to acknowledge what’s on your mind while also “dealing” with it.

    Or complaining: 5 minutes to acknowledge things beyond your control or whatever and then anything outside of that gets a money transfer.

    Best of luck either way! πŸ™‚

  8. Good luck with your Lenten journey! I too am trying to make some changes in daily life for Lent instead of necessarily just giving something up. I am hoping to make sure I attend church every Sunday, be more patient, and be more positive. I like giving up worrying – I REALLY need to try that one! Shopping will be a real toughy too, I’m not sure I could handle it πŸ™‚

  9. I gave up clothes shopping for Lent, too! I am also committing writing in a gratitude journal daily to help me focus more on the positives and less on the frustrations in daily life.

  10. your views on Lent are much like mine, love. I don’t give something up, either, but start doing more of something (or many things) I really need to work on patience <3

  11. I am so glad to hear your thoughts on what you’re doing this Lenten season. Lately it feels like my newsfeed is filled with people giving up chocolate/carbs/sugar … if your goal is a trimmer waist line you’ve missed the point of Lent.

    • Fitnessista says:

      i couldn’t agree more. i don’t understand when/why lenten goals start to be equivalent with dieting goals.

  12. I have been doing something similar since New Year’s: For each swearword or vulgar language I use I have to put 1EUR into my old-school piggy bank. I really have been using the f-bomb like mad last year…

    In the end of 2014 I will donate the money to an organization that helps kids with a migration background to learn German and to integrate easier!

    PS: Right now there are about 30 bucks in the box πŸ™‚ Good luck for you, Gina!

  13. A neat idea instead of transferring $1 into savings would be to put it in a jar to donate at the end of the Lenten season. You could even get Livi in on it by having her add a coin to the jar every day. I’m doing this with my 3 year old and I think it’s a great way to teach kids about the almsgiving aspect of Lent. (Plus they love dropping coins into jars!)

    • Oh I really like this idea! Instead of basically paying yourself for worrying/complaining, donate the money and help out others!

    • Fitnessista says:

      i LOVE this idea! the only prob is that i never have cash, like ever. i found a random dollar in my purse yesterday and was so excited. i use our debit card for everything :/ maybe i can think of something else liv and i can do to give this season

  14. I love the idea of transferring $1 in your savings with stress. These are great goals for lent πŸ™‚

  15. I’m not Catholic, but I like the idea of lent and giving something up or focusing on positive habits. I’m going to try to give up complaining during this period too. Good luck with your no shopping goal!

  16. Julianna says:

    Gina the picture at the top made me laugh– minus the snow pants that is what I have looked like every day this week! It has been in the single digits. Might be worth getting some hand and foot warmers for your trip.

  17. I take the approach of adding positive intentions instead of taking away as well. I did consider giving up nut butter too but my post-workout hunger talked me out of it this morning!!

  18. I’m liking the reverse lent idea. Sure beats giving up chocolate.

  19. I always have the hardest time trying to find something to give up for Lent. I think this year I’m going to go your route and focus on behavior that I can try to modify. I want to compare myself to others less and try to be my own person. I also want to be less judgmental. Sometimes I feel myself on a judgmental downspiral, whether it be from my own opinions or I’m with a group and get swept up in the gossip-ey conversation. I generally think of myself as a nice person, and I’ve realized that if I judge others unfairly, then I’m really not who I think I am. So, basically, more POSITIVE thoughts the next 40 days!

  20. I’m giving up the same things for lent!

  21. I saw this posted on my facebook, some great, doable day-to-day activities for keeping Lent!

  22. Sharon T says:

    What a great idea using the savings account!

  23. I love your Lenten goals! My big focus over these 40 days is to not gossip or think negatively about others!

  24. Wow that is awesome to give that up! Way to go! I am right their with you on the reverse thing as well.

  25. Shopping!! What a great idea! I think that would actually be easier than the path I’ve chosen of giving up coffee creamer – haha! I like the idea of adding things in to do more of. I need to tackle that list, too!

  26. I love the 1$ idea! I may do this!

  27. Clothes! Toughie but a goodie!

    Also love your idea with the savings account and transferring a dollar.

    Good Luck!

    Katie @

  28. Ahhhh great goals! Great great goals!

  29. I really love this! I spent a lot of time last night thinking about what to give up for lent and I too decided to start making changes: stop making excuses, go after my dreams, and work hard. Also to be more positive and quit complaining. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the reminder today!

  30. I so love the idea of doing more rather than just giving up. I think that’s a great focus for lent! I need to find a way to worry less. I’ve been wired to worry about everything my whole life. So it’s going to be a process to let things go and just enjoy more!

  31. I’m the same way, I like to add things to my life, but I never know how to track them! Adding a dollar to the account is a great idea…and then when you can shop again you have money saved up πŸ˜‰ My lent promise is to Stop complaining as well. I find myself complaining when there’s nothing to complain about. I want to spend the next 40 days enjoying life as it is!

  32. I love these! Good luck with giving up shopping! You can do anything for 40 days right? πŸ™‚

    My resolution for the year has been to be more positive and express more gratitude. I went back to keeping a daily journal and I feel the act of writing things down really helps.

  33. Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens says:

    I gave up stores! All but the pharmacy, and the grocery store! πŸ™‚

  34. Check out my post today…. #smilemorecomplain less πŸ™‚

  35. More time with the ones I love, for sure. Although, I think I actually NEED to implement the clothes shopping part because I seriously have neglected myself in this area for far too long. I think I would feel more confident even if I had a few new outfits to go to!!

  36. Julie B says:

    Last year I gave up all spending. With the exception of groceries, gas and anything medical I didn’t spend a dime. It was such a great reminder to me about how much I waste (and then complain about cluttering our house). It’s my most favorite Lenten ‘discipline’ yet. Good luck with it!

  37. great idea, gina! i decided to do something similar to you during lent. i’ve been in a bit of a “funk” lately, so i’m strivng to think positive, smile more, and just be a more kind and patient person.

  38. Haha, I gave up shopping also (and desserts). I work at Athleta, so this is going to be very difficult.


    • Fitnessista says:

      we can support each other haha. at least i have chocolate and wine to help me through πŸ˜‰

  39. I’m not the best Catholic, but I do always do more or give up something for Lent. The first part of your post I really liked, but then i got to you giving up shopping. You do realize that most people go at least 40 days without clothes shopping. Obviously, it is something you’re doing for yourself, but it just makes you seem totally out of touch and entitled. Long time reader and lurker, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

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