We do not ‘practice’ Lent in our house nor did we growing up. However, I have always viewed it as a great way to correct bad behaviors. It was very intriguing to me, the practice of Lent, rather giving up something for 40 days. I decided to take it a step further, utilizing Lent to correct bad behaviors or habits.
This year, my goal is to give up yelling. I’m a ‘yeller’ by nature. Much like word vomit, it comes out of me as my brain is saying DON’T DO THAT! It has been something that I have been working on since becoming a mother. I admire the way my Aunt Gina NEVER yells. It just so happens that the local radio station is holding a ‘Mix Lent Event’. The DJs are giving up swearing. The first swear word of the day equals one canned good. Every swear word after that equals a quarter. Each day starts over. If they curse five times that day, it totals one canned good and one dollar.
I joined the ‘Mix Lent Event’ and made my pledge of ‘one canned good every time I yell.’ I made my ‘punishment’ higher because I really want to correct the behavior, not just give it up for 40 days. Yesterday I racked up 8 canned goods. I have to admit, the pressure to not yell is already on, mostly because I’m so cheap! It has made me very aware of just how often I raise my voice.
Behavior experts say that it takes 21-days to break a bad habit. Which is precisely why Lent is such a wonderful tool. Having almost double the time, 40 days, should serve as a wonderful opportunity for self-improvement. Naturally, you have to want to make the change. It became very apparent yesterday that preteen hormones serve as a POWERFUL test of will over words. Here’s hoping that I do not single-handedly fill the food bank! Pray for me.
Do you have a bad habit that you would like to correct?