A Brief History of 12 Months of Lent

Since I’ve recently had an influx of visitors to my blog (yay!), I thought I’d take a minute to give a more in depth description of what 12 Months of Lent is so that new readers (especially those of you who don’t know me personally), have a better understanding of what exactly it is you’ve just stumbled upon. So, here you have it:

A Brief History of 12 Months of Lent, by Danne Dzenawagis

In December of 2008, I sat down to brainstorm some ideas for my 2009 New Year’s Resolution. Being my typical Type A self, I started by making a list of things that I wanted to work towards in the coming year, and as expected, the list was about 23,000 pages long. Great, how could I actually expect to make any real progress with such an intimidating/impossible list? Well, I thought, at least Lent’s in a few months, maybe I could work one of my goals into Lent…and that’s when the light bulb went off. Maybe I could work all of my goals into a series of “mini-lents”, one for each month of the year, which would break down my original list of resolutions into a clearly defined and manageable plan. Perfect. Type A sigh of relief…

Disclaimer: For anyone out there who may be reading this and thinking “Um, cool idea, but this sounds nothing like the Lent that I practice each year”, yes, I know, I use the term Lent very loosely. Having grown up in a Catholic household myself, I’m well aware that I’m pushing Lent to it’s limits, but really, I’m just borrowing the underlying concept: Personal sacrifice and dedication in order for personal growth and fulfillment. It’s as simple as that.

So what types of thing do I do? It’s honestly all over the map. I’ve spent a month picking up every piece of litter that I came across, another month not making any trash (it’s much more possible than you think), a month limiting my wardrobe to only 6 items (which I highly recommend that everyone try), a month cooking 3 new recipes a week, a month getting rid of 100 things a week, and other months committing to much more simple tasks, like writing in my journal each day, taking more photographs, and doing more yoga.

After almost 3 years of 12 Months of Lent, I can honestly say that this quirky little project has changed my life in such an incredible way. It’s affected (and continues to affect) me in the most positive way possible and at this point, I honestly can’t imagine my life without it. Thank you all for your encouragement and inspiration, and of course, for reading in the first place.

Love, Danne

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2 thoughts on “A Brief History of 12 Months of Lent

  1. i'm a new reader (yay!) and love this concept! i've enjoyed reading your recent past 'lent' challenges and am looking forward to reading more. what a cool way to always challenge yourself and learn more about yourself and your environment.

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