The Summer for Self Challenge received such wonderful feedback that I wanted to make it available year-round.

Commit to 40 Days of Giving Yourself Time

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why participate

If you read my book, I Gave Up Men for Lent, you’ll see it isn’t about giving up men at all. Yes, it is about relationships – romantic, family, friends, even career – but it really all comes down to one relationship…

the relationship we have with ourselves.

When I committed to my Lenten sacrifices two years ago (social media, sweets, hard liquor, and men), I had no idea what to expect. I certainly wasn’t expecting those 40ish days to change my life. But they did. Because what really happened was so much bigger than giving up a random list of things.

What really happened was much-needed time and space to work on my relationship with myself - to better understand myself, to make peace with my past, to take control of my future, and to reconnect with my life.

It does not take long to reconnect with yourself. If I can do it in 40 days, so can you.

Commit to 40 days of giving yourself time –

time to think,

time to reflect,

time to take a deep breath,

time to slow down,

time to just be,

and time to reconnect.

how to participate

Commit to the following six activities for 40 days:

1. give up (or significantly decrease) 2-3 distractions from your life.

By distractions, I mean whatever you use to fill up the space in your life – the little chunks of time where you have nothing to do… or where it’s just too hard to do nothing.

For example - social media, Netflix, alcohol, dating apps, TV, internet/app games.

Remember, it is only 40 days.

2. listen to something inspirational or thought-provoking first thing in the morning.

NOT the news. You can still get your daily news in, just don’t start your day with it. Find a way to listen to at least 30 minutes of something positive before switching to the news.

For example - podcasts (there are SO many good ones out there!), TED Talks, YouTube (just search ‘motivation’ or ‘inspiration’), or if your schedule permits, read something motivational in the morning… ahem, ahem like my book! (wink)

3. Journal every day.

This is the toughest one. There is no minimum of how much you must write – just write something. Do it on your computer or in a notebook – whatever you prefer. The only requirement is that you write something every day and that it be deeper than the who, what, where and when of your day. You can journal about those things but make sure you include the HOW and WHYs – how did you feel? Why did you feel that way? Don’t judge yourself – just write.

4. Take a walk outside at least once a week.

Walk barefoot if you can. You can take your phone on this walk if you want to listen to music or a podcast, but put it on airplane mode or do not disturb. No texting, phone calls, social media, or emails during this walk. The point is that you have some undistracted time to think or just be.

5. Watch a sunrise or sunset at least once a week.

Do this outside, not from a window. Again, you can bring your phone to take pictures but put it on airplane mode or do not disturb. No texting, phone calls, social media, or emails during this walk. The point is that you have some undistracted time to enjoy the beauty of nature.

6. Start a goals list.

Don’t hold back – it does not matter how realistic you think these goals are. Just start writing down things you would like to do, places you would like to go, and things you would like to learn. Don’t question yourself – just write.

That’s it!

You can do this.

you deserve this.

Thought Catalog article

This Summer, Commit to Reconnecting With Yourself

listen to me discuss the challenge on the Your BFF podcast