UNITED STATES─Well week 1 of Lent has been a success for me America. As I’ve already discussed, I have given up soda for the next 40 days. It is not a difficult thing for me to do as I’ve done it countless times before in the past. However, that first week is always the toughest and I don’t know why. It’s like when you go cold turkey on something it is an immediate shock to the body, and it takes time to adjust to it.

The first week is over and that craving for a soda, after having a stressful work day, or just juggling too many things at once has subsided. I will admit just this week I had a strong urge for a soda because I wanted something to calm the nerves, but I resisted. I just mentally told myself, “Nope. You made a commitment and you’re going to stick to it.”

With that said, it’s best to find a substitute, and in my case milk, water and tea have become an option. When you eliminate the possibility of being tempted by something that you know isn’t good for you, it makes it easier to resist it. It is that treat that you look forward to. It is the thing that allows your mind to escape, it provides you with an escape from the universe and all those worries that have been circling in your brain for hours, days, weeks or months.

The thing about temptation is that it teaches a person a ton about their willpower. How hard can you resist? Are you willing to resist? Will you cave in? If you cave in, how will you respond to that slip up? When you resist temptation it forces you to realize your strengths and weaknesses. I’ve learned sometimes when I get pushed into a wall I sometimes want to cave in instead of pushing back. Over time, I’ve resisted that notion of being pushed against a wall and not fighting back.

Temptation is not just about food, many of us gave up or decided for Lent we would do things that we perhaps have not been doing. For example, focusing our energy on working out more, quitting smoking, no more curse words, less driving more biking, cutting back your shopping habits, budgeting, saving, cooking more at home, do you see where I’m going with this? There is always something you can do to better yourself America, even when you think it’s not possible.

If you’re not able to resist something that you think you must have you’re not testing your mental strength. Give it a shot; see what you can give up for a month or what you can do for a month that you have not done in a while. You might surprise yourself with the revelation that you are much stronger than you think, but at the same time you might discover some things about yourself that you never expected to learn.

Written By Zoe Mitchell