first_imgBY EMMET RUSHE: The season of Lent is upon us. Right now, there are millions of people from all over the world observing this religious tradition.Lent is a period of fasting, moderation, and self-denial traditionally observed by Catholics and some Protestant denominations.It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. The length of the Lenten fast was established in the 4th century as 46 days (40 days, not counting Sundays).During Lent, participants traditionally eat sparingly or give up a particular food or habit.It’s not uncommon for people to give up smoking during Lent, or to swear off watching television or eating sweet stuff, telling lies and drinking alcohol.Lent is basically six weeks of self-discipline.Why is it that people can seem to stick to Lent, when at other times of the year they might falter when they try and be strict with their diets? It can come down to a few things.When people decide to observe Lent, they generally manage to observe the entire 46 days, (with the exception of St Patrick’s Day for some).They don’t mess up at the weekends.They don’t make excuses on Friday evening that they had a ‘bad week’ and give into a bottle of wine.They don’t blame other people at work as the reason they ate sweets or biscuits, because someone else brought them into the office.They don’t even miss what they have given up too much.Now, compare this to someone who has decided to lose weight or start a diet.Usually there will be resistance.They will miss all of the things that they have had to ‘give up’.They will have huge cravings and will be very easily led astray if temptation is put in front of them. If you look at the 2 situations side by side, you wouldn’t really find that much of a difference between them with regards to the goals of the participants.Why is it then that people who observe Lent, can be so much more successful, than those who simply want to have some self-discipline?The main thing that lent offers over other goals is that it gives the person something bigger than what they want.In last week’s article I spoke about finding your ‘why’ https://www.donegaldaily.com/2016/02/08/emmet-rushes-fitness-column-what-is-your-why/Your ‘Why’ is the reason you will achieve your goals. For people who observe Lent, Lent is their ‘why’.It is the reason they are able to stick to the self-discipline that they set out for themselves.They might choose to go off alcohol, or to go off smoking, or junk food, but the one thing that differs during lent is that they are not focused on what they are giving up.Their main focus is observing Lent and seeing it through for the entire 6 weeks.So, how can you use this to your advantage?How can you harness this seemingly unfaltering power of self-discipline to help you whenever you decide to set a goal to improve your health or to lose some weight?The one reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.Think about it.Every time that you set about to make a change in your life, did you look at the benefits that you would gain from the change, or did you look at all the things that you would have to change in order to actually change, and then feel bad for yourself?I would hazard a guess that many of you have done the latter instead of the former.You look at all of the things that you think you will be missing out on, and it makes you want them even more.Lent overrides this for those who observe it.They don’t look at the things they are giving up and feel bad for not being able to have them.They look at those things and think that, ‘if I can do this for the whole of Lent, I will finally be able to give them up for good’.Lent is the catalyst for change.It gives the person something other than what they will be giving up, to focus on.This is how you should approach any goal.Don’t look at the sacrifice.Don’t focus on what you cannot have.Look at what you will gain.Look at every step of the process as a success.You have one week done.That is a success that you have never done before.You didn’t feel the need to go out at the weekend.Again, that is a huge success.Each successful part of the process is a step towards what you will gain at the end.For those of you who have started their Lenten journey, good luck and I wish you well with the process.For everyone else, the next time you want to achieve something in regards to your health or weight, take a look at what your colleagues or friends are doing right now and how they are approaching their Lenten journey.You might be able to learn a few things.#TrainSmartFor more information, contact me through the link below.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rushe-Fitness/120518884715118?ref=hl* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe FitnessEMMET RUSHE’S FITNESS COLUMN: WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM LENT was last modified: February 15th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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