I have heard it takes 21 days to start a new habit. Lent is 40 days (excluding Sundays for some reason) and an ideal time to reflect on your life and make changes.
Traditional Lent decisions are to give up chocolate or alcohol. A penance.
Last year I decided to add something to my life and each day I was consciously thankful for three things. Small things like a midmorning real coffee, big things like a great friendship. I focused on all the wonderful things in my life.
What I noticed is that the habit made a difference to my mood. A feeling of slight gloom when I noticed the rain or the long bus queue could be shifted by remembering with gratitude time spent with my niece and nephews. Or the excellent glass of Rioja I drank the day before.
And I found evidence for this. An Oliver Burkeman article quoted that
‘people who keep regular ‘gratitude journals’ report fewer physical symptoms, more alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy, more sleep, more exercise and more progress towards personal goals.’
ACTION CHALLENGE: Give it a go. Try a gratitude journal for a week or two. Or for Lent. Or longer. And note any changes.