What I learned from 30 days.

30 daysA few weeks ago, I read about doing bodyweight squats twice a day for a month. The writer started with a set of 25 squats, repeated twice each day (total of 50 per day), and increased the amount each week.

Because I’m teaching spiritual formation again, I decided to try it. We can learn something about growing healthy spiritually by practicing with our body.

Here’s what I’m learning.

  1. A daily practice of exercise is less about time than it is about intention. It takes about 3 minutes (I think) to do 40 squats. Maybe more, maybe less. That’s not much time. It’s about the same amount of time as commercial breaks, sitting in the drive through, or reading this post. But I find that this physical practice and other spiritual practices are less about the time and more about the intention work: starting the exercise, picking up a pen, setting down the phone, turning my heart to conversation with God or others.
  2. Doing squats every day makes you stronger in some ways, but for what? Without a bigger goal, without an understanding of what lower body strength helps me do, this is simply an exercise. I can sustain the practice for awhile, but at some point, I need to know why.  On the other hand,
  3. A month at a time is doable without knowing all of the why. 
  4. I need a chart to see what I’ve done. It’s hard to keep track of days in my head. So I’m keeping track on the bathroom mirror.
  5. It’s a choice for health, not the only choice for health. It’s part of getting stronger, but that’s only part of being healthy. I have to make a thousand other choices in a day that need to be connected and congruent. For all kinds of health.
  6. I now know I can do it.

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So, what should my next 30-day practice be? What’s yours?

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.