This post is for believers and non-believers. Read through the whole thing and you’ll see why. Today marks the start of Lent. I grew up Catholic and raised on traditional beliefs. Many Christians partake in Lenten sacrifices where they give something up for the 40 days of Lent. I learned over time Lenten sacrifices were much deeper than just giving something up. The whole point of the Lenten sacrifice is to change behavior to deepen your relationship with God and not just to give up soda or sweets or whatever it is you are doing. So your sacrifice should be something much deeper than that. Of course, abstaining from something like soda or sweets with intention is okay if that’s what you choose and it has a deeper rooted meaning and outcome but the real point is much more than just giving something you love up because it’s tradition and then 40 days later go right back to it with no change in behavior and not finding yourself any closer to God. Which leads me to my sacrifice this year that I am sharing with all of you I’m connected with and reading this.
For 40 days I am committing myself to 4 daily practices that will make me a better person (and in turn a better servant on earth showing love and growing closer in my faith). All four of these things are things I once have done, intend to do, or know I should do. Committing to these things here and now and putting out there will hopefully hold me accountable and give me yet another reason for some deeper purpose and passion for it.
Exercise daily. I know, if you’re reading this or have been connected with me for a while you either find this shocking that I’m writing this here because I have such a passion for fitness and share it often so it’s a given and not much a sacrifice to do this OR you’re finding it shocking for what I’m about to tell you. Despite how much I love fitness and bodybuilding I haven’t had the same dedication, discipline and passion for it in recent months. Being on the road full time has made it a challenge. Depression sometimes overtakes me. I don’t have a workout partner like I once did so sometimes I use that as an excuse to not go very hard in the gym or skip altogether. But, I know I need to treat my body as the temple I believe it is and take care of it. I know how much I love the feeling of being in the gym and the transformation that comes from it when I do put in the work. I know how much love I can find in the environment from other driven people and the friends I have made in the gym and even the virtual community (like the #FitLeaders I’m connected with on social media). So, no more skipping or skimping. And I need to check in with and encourage others to take care of themselves too in this sense. How are you taking care of your physical well being? How are you encouraging others in their physical well being?
Meditate/Pray daily. I was raised in church. I used to be really involved in the church, serving in ministries and I prioritized prayer. These days I have a very bad habit of not reading my bible or praying much other than a surface level or when I’m struggling or asking for something. I need to spend more time intentionally practicing gratitude for the blessings in my life. I need to be better in this entire area of my life. Whatever/whoever that greater power is for you, are you practicing gratitude and love?
Increase my knowledge daily. I spend entirely too much time on my phone, especially on social media. Mindlessly scrolling TikTok, reading junk or listening to Podcasts like Back to the Beach (reliving high school and Laguna Beach). I once used all of these things to grow myself. I’m not saying the entertainment factor of it all is bad or I shouldn’t do it at all. But it’s become the primary purpose and that’s no bueno. I have always been one to seek balance. So, I need to get back/get into Podcasts that grow me and not just entertain me. Take a deeper look at who I follow and what/who I spend my time interacting with. I am not going to commit to picking up books and reading them because that’s honestly just not me. Not saying I won’t do it but I need to do either that or get back into listening to reading on Audible. I know that knowledge is power and I’ve got to get back into taking in knowledge so I have more to give.
Share my thoughts daily. I used to intentionally share my thoughts, knowledge and found resources on social media. I have had great intent to journal consistently. I used to blog and I have shared I don’t know how many times I’m going to be more consistent about doing that. So, here I go again… intentionally sharing greatness and #RealConnections on social media, blogging, getting my #RealConnections Newsletter out and launching my email list (DETAILS COMING LATER THIS WEEK IF YOU WANT TO JOIN). And, of course, journaling. There’s just something about getting my thoughts out on paper that grounds me and feels good.
Connect daily. This goes hand in hand with all of the four above and then some. Connecting with myself through exercise, meditation, prayer, learning and sharing. Connecting with others through all of those as well. The big thing I need to highlight with connecting though is intentionally connecting with the people in my life daily. When people are on my mind, I need to reach out. Make time to spend with people. Repair relationships that are broken or distant that deserve or should be repaired. Get back to my true belief in #RealConnections to people and content/learning.
Here’s my commitment. My 5 ways to 40 days to a better version of Eli. Now it’s your turn. What can you commit to over the next 40 days to make a better you? Feel free to deepen the #RealConnections between me and you or someone else you’ve wanted to or establish them if none currently and share your ways to 40 days to that better version of you.