40 days and 40 tasks

Every year, for the period of Lent, a group of us at work usually follow the tradition and give something up – providing support to each other as we struggle on without biscuits/cake/chocolate etc.  I’ve seen criticism of people who observe Lent without having religious faith and so I want to start by saying that we all took inspiration from my wonderful friend Kate, who partakes in Lent as part of her Christian faith, and allows us all to jump on the bandwagon!

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

In previous years I’ve tried giving up things for Lent (including the one where I gave up sugar – never again) but this year I wanted to do something different.  And so – with a little help from some friends, I came up with a list of 40 things I wanted to do during the 40 days of lent.  Knowing my tendency to feel guilt/shame when I set myself challenges and don’t achieve them, I’ve decided that there are no ‘rules’ (e.g. I don’t have to do one a day) as it’s just a bit of fun to keep me busy and (in some cases) push me out of my comfort zone a little.

Obviously we are already 23 days into Lent and – concerningly, I have absolutely not completed half of my tasks! I definitely need to pick up the pace a little.  Here is the list I made a few weeks ago:

For self

  1. Write the chapter outline of the book I’ve been planning
  2. Write the first 500 words of the book.
  3. Read The Artist’s Way. (In Progress)
  4. Come up with ten blog post ideas.
  5. Try five new foods.
  6. Complete two modules of my Master Herbalism course.
  7. Find three new podcasts I love. (In progress)
  8. Go for a swim, sauna and steam room.
  9. Get some of my Australia photos printed for the new house.
  10. Design some typography prints for the new house. (Completed)
  11. Make a reed diffuser.
  12. Create a happy, uplifting Spring Spotify playlist. (In Progress)
  13. Learn a new song on my guitar.
  14. Go and watch a sports event.
  15. Go to the theatre. (Completed).
  16. See a friend I haven’t met up with yet this year. (Completed)
  17. Read The Four Agreements. (In Progress)
  18. Go to a new restaurant. (Completed)
  19. Finish a Netflix series. (Completed)
  20. Try a recipe from a cookbook.

For health

  1. Go to a Body Pump class.
  2. Go to a Spin Class. (Completed)
  3. Go to a Yoga class.
  4. Go for a three mile walk (Completed)
  5. Create a new bedtime routine that reduces screen time before bed.
  6. Create a new morning routine involving essential oils.
  7. Paddleboard or swim in the sea
  8. Develop a 15-min at home fitness routine for non-gym days.
  9. Find a great healthy lunchbox recipe.
  10. Develop a regular stretching routine for my plantar fasciitis.

For others

  1. Volunteer at a Park Run.
  2. Do something for charity.
  3. Help someone with something they’re stuck on or can’t do. (Completed).
  4. Write a card/letter to someone.
  5. Go for a cup of tea with someone who needs a chat. (Completed)
  6. Buy a book for someone.
  7. Cook my parents a nice meal from scratch.
  8. Do something kind for someone I don’t know.
  9. Bake a cake or some other treats for work.
  10. Give an unexpected compliment.

Where I’m back at home with my parents until May – and quite far out of town – sometimes I get a little bored in the evenings, so this has been a useful list to give me some inspiration for quick tasks that can be ticked off.  (Plus I love that sense of achievement you get when you tick anything off a list!) But now I need to spend the next 17 days knuckling down and cracking on with them (there’s an Easter pun in there somewhere), as I really have a lot to do.  I’m already regretting some of the ones that were ‘suggested’ to me – but I’m sure I can dream up some new foods to try whilst I’m ticking off the steam room and sauna…