The Beauty of 40-Day Habits

Wow, what a journey it was to try 40 new things! If you are feeling stuck, have a couple of new adventures in your own backyard, and maybe a few in someone else’s backyard. I had a wonderful time

The Impact of the 40-Day Habits

But the 40-day habits I took on impacted me more than the adventures, I think. I received several suggestions such as 40 days of green smoothies and reading a Bible passage every day for 40 days. I added some of my own due to weaknesses I needed to work on such as flossing my teeth. (Yes I know I have mentioned this before but somehow I have yet to flipped the magic switch to inspire myself to continually floss. The occasional scolding from the dentist isn’t enough).

Here are a few more habits I had on my list:

  • Editing a short piece every day for 40 days. Therapeutic and instructive.
  • Adding a song to a playlist for 40 days. Helped remove my irritation with learning to use music platforms. (I’m quite certain there is no other playlist in the world like mine, with the Australian national anthem side-by-side with Amy Carmichael‘s poetry set to hymns, and Arabic Christian songs mixed between Mennonite choral productions.)
  • Posting on Instagram. Surprisingly, I did not hate this. I realized it helped me organize my thoughts. I still don’t know if I’ll keep my account, but it wasn’t the awful experience I was expecting.

40-Day Habits, Round 2

I’ve been so inspired that I decided to do another 40 day challenge. Not 40 new things, but a new list of 40-day habits.

Why?

  • There seems to be something magical about habits for 40 days. When a person makes New Year’s resolutions to implement for the whole year, it’s hard to visualize how long a year even is relative to habits. On the other hand, 40 days has a finite quality. A person can do anything for 40 days right?
  • I love the symbolism in the Bible of the number 40. This number generally correlates to a period of testing and trial. And 40 days of a good habit is certainly a test.
  • I didn’t beat myself up over failure. It was my birthday after all. So if I missed a day I just took it in stride and went on. Of course this could get out of hand, but I enjoy checking my boxes enough that I stayed motivated.

I have several categories of habits this time, similar to the last time. A verse to read every day for 40 days and a prayer to pray every day for 40 days. Another book to read and implement each day.

My house always needs me to make a habit for it. 🙂 I’m planning to do one non-urgent household task every day like cleaning a piece of furniture that no one ever sees or taking something to Goodwill or putting a picture in Anina’s book. So far I’ve vacuumed the dust out of a shoe tray and filled a hand soap dispenser I had been neglecting because there was another dispenser at the next sink. (There are so many things that get neglected in my house because they lack urgency. Please tell me someone out there can relate.)

Of course I have a writing habit again along with a get-to-bed-by-10 PM habit. And a do-your-back-stretches-so-you-don’t-have-to-go-to-the-chiropractor-all-the-time habit. Most of my tasks are so small they can be done in a few minutes. But don’t be mistaken. Doing something for 40 days does take focus. I would not survive without having a chart. Which brings me to Marnell’s cool spreadsheet.

Habits for 40 Days Chart

Hurray for having a husband who loves messing around in Excel! I now have a template numbered from 1 to 40 with dates across the top that automatically sync with whatever date is entered at the beginning. It’s even striped gray and white so the columns are easily distinguished.

Anyone want to join me? If you are subscribed to my email list, I have attached this marvelous form in your email. I’ve also attached it for new subscribers. If you open it in Microsoft Excel, you can change the date you want to start and, of course, the habits you wish to work on. You can have as many or as few as you like in my opinion, and since I’m making the rules you can have as many or as few as you like!

The point is to encourage yourself and grow in whatever area you might need at the moment. Happy habiting and let me know how it goes!

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and this one is headed to the printer

Due to paper shortages, however, book 4 will be delayed. I will keep you updated!

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Book 4, Tricked on the Tracks, coming this fall or winter!

3 thoughts on “The Beauty of 40-Day Habits”

  1. Yes, I definitely relate to neglecting things that don’t seem important in housekeeping. Anything behind a closed door-microwave, fridge, closets etc is usually suffering neglect at my house.
    Also with you on the flossing. 😬 I’m sporadic at best.
    Your habit posts are inspiring. I’m looking forward to a reset when school starts and I theoretically have more time to be intentional with some things. 😋

  2. Is there anyone who flosses everyday????!!!!! You are my kind of hero if you do. Seems like at 49 i should be grown up and all that and floss often enough that I don’t cringe when the hygienist ask me “how often do you floss?” . I guess i should get started on my list of 50 new things to try.

  3. I can relate to neglectful flossing….until about 5 years ago. I purchased a water flosser. I love it and it’s just part of my nightly teeth brushing. Less cavities between the teeth!

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