Gareth from the Office: Give up giving up for Lent

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The good news is that you now have another excuse to revisit them with the start of Lent.

For 40 days and 40 nights people are invited to give up something, it may be a vice, it may be a bad habit but it is very similar to a New Year’s promise. It is a chance to show people that you are capable of keeping up with something for five weeks and five days, even if you gave up your resolution after five minutes.

And it doesn’t just have to be a religious thing. OK Lent is a Christian celebration as people prepare for Easter, but why should that stop you from improving yourself?

People are always looking for reasons to improve themselves but say they never have the motivation to start it. Lent can give you that excuse and give you a time frame to work with.

And by the time you’re finished you probably won’t want to go back to your old habits anyway.

Research has shown that, after six months, less than 50 per cent of those who make resolutions at new year or promises at Lent have stuck with them, and after a year, that number declines to around 10 per cent.

But why? Are people making less than achievable targets at the turn of the year or are they making too many?

I made three simple ones, control my temper, be more spontaneous and be more organised. And look what’s happened. I have met some amazing people, done some amazing things, been a lot calmer and improved at work through being more organised.

These were not huge tasks I gave myself, they were well within my means but they meant me making positive changes to my life.

Now because of a new, positive attitude when it comes to Lent I am finding it hard to think about what I should give up. I’m sure there are people reading this who think they are in a similar position so here is my suggestion.

If you have already given up on your new year’s resolution then have another go. Demonstrate that not only can you make a promise to give up something negative but you can stick to it for the rest of the year.

If you have managed to go the first 10 weeks of the year without giving up on your resolutions then bravo, you are one of just half of the population to do so. But, can you keep it up until the end of the year?

Research suggests you won’t but don’t let that stop you. Work hard and believe in yourself and you can achieve anything.

I think I may have to give up giving up things.