I can do anything for 40 minutes.

That's what I tell myself when I'm teaching, when I'm doing CrossFit-esque workouts, when I'm paper-writing. And I'm usually successful.
Forty is my magic number.
This week, I'm starting a new workout plan: Slim & Strong in Six.... a six-week online Pilates program with four 40-minute workouts a week. I'm a person who needs the structure of an online class, who needs structure in general. This program is so perfectly timed: right before and through the holiday season/ busiest part of the semester when stress relief is so necessary.
Then tonight, I listened to a message by one of my favorite writers, Shauna Niequist. Her message on friendships, on trust and truth, on becoming more and more like Christ, was so dead on.  In the message, she mentions giving up negative words for lent. For forty days, she gave up gossiping, complaining. About anything or anyone. She talked about how hard it was. Negative words are sneaky. I've noticed in my life, how prone I am to negative words, how easily I complain about work, waiting in line, taxi drivers. How easily I can use sarcasm and assign blame. I think this is a good a time as any to begin to change that. So here's to forty days of no negative words, starting today.

I'm excited about these baby steps towards improvement. Physically. Spiritually.