At 26, I conquered my first 40 during Lent 2010. We all have weaknesses with some big, some small, but nonetheless challenges to each. My weakness was with soda and I knew I needed to let it go for personal reasons. Every day in the first week was a struggle, but as the days went by I grew stronger and realized that knowledge, personal power, and confidence is gained with sacrifice. February 15, 2010 is implanted forever in my mind as the day I made a small change that eventually changed a part of me. Giving up soda may seem silly to some, but this was really a challenge for me. After surviving the 40 days I vowed to keep the 40 day sacrifice going with a day break between each cycle.
March 28, 2010, the 40 day- cycle 2 began with a release of all food from Moe's. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love to eat there all the time. This is my true year of change and experience and I figured I would try to let go of things that I want but don't need. You may ask yourself what I gain from this, but it's very simple. I gain strength and money. Money because my savings are increased with the weekly contribution of money that was usually spent on Moes. $8.18 to be exact each week at minimum, which is $49.08 over a 6-week period. Still doesn't seem like much, well that's $425.36 in a year, IF I were too only get my usually order only ONCE a week, every week. Not much to you, but a lot to me when this amount is gaining interest and going towards a future goal/purchase. Cycle 2 is much easier that Cycle 1 I will admit. I attribute this to increased self-confidence that I can let go of anything I decide to.
I plan to keep the 40 day cycles going until Lent 2011 begins. Whew!! What a challenge this will be. I'm very eager to see what I let go of and gain within a year's time. So many thoughts and questions. Who will I be February 15, 2011? What habits will I no longer partake in? Will I be more spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially healthy? Only time will tell and answer those questions. I've decided to add a few twists to 40 day cycles, which you probably have figured out by now are all a part of "The Book of 40". With everything there must be a set criteria and guidelines as I have so eagerly listed below:
- There will only be a one day break between 40 day cycles.
- More than one 40 day cycle can take place at the same time.
- If any day is missed in the consecutive 40 day cycle, the cycle must restart after a day break, which would technically be day 42 for that cycle.
- 40 day cycles may be week based, allowing weekends to be skipped.
- Before February 15, 2011, at least two cycles must be completed from Segment 1 and at least 1 from Segment 2 as listed below:Segment 1
- Economic Development
- Educational Development
- International Awareness and Development
- Physical and Mental Health
- Political Awareness and Involvement
- All 40 day Cycle information must be documented and dated and the overall outcome must be listed.
I can only grow as person and learn more about myself and outside factors as a result of The Book of 40. I look forward to the hard days and nights of struggle if they happen to appear in any cycle and I anticipate waking on the 40th day of each cycle to applaud myself for another accomplishment within myself.
"To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God."-Acts 1:3
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