Millions upon millions of Americans try to better themselves every year by giving up something for the New Year, or, if not, to better themselves.
Many fail. It's only natural.
Waiting until Jan. 1 to make a life change and hinging it all on a New Year's Resolution places too much unneeded pressure on it.
Maybe you should have waited to call it you Wednesday resolution.
Or you can have just decided a change was needed, not attached it to some arbitrary passage of time, and went on about making it happen.
Yeah, if it was that easy, the American diet industry wouldn't be as booming as it is.
Anyone, for those of you ok us who have yet again botched an attempt at resolve in keeping a New Year's Resolution, fear not.
A second chance is rapidly approaching.
That's right folks Lent is nearly upon us.
In the liturgical calendar, Lent is the period lasting nearly six weeks, 40 days generally, the commemorate the time Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and preparing for his life in ministry.
It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends, depending on your Christian denomination, anywhere from Maundy Thursday to Easter Eve.
The purpose of Lent is to help Christians prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is done through prayer, penance and repentance.
It is common practice to deny yourself, or give up, some luxury, however great or small, throughout the Lenten season.
Let's be honest, if Christ can fast for 40 days and the desert and endure temptations from Satan, you can certainly live without chocolate, tobacco or alcohol whatever your vice of choice for a few weeks.
While the season of Lent, leading up to Easter Sunday, are Christian holidays and traditions, the practice of giving up something for self betterment is not.
That's why you don't have to be a Christian to give up or try to improve yourself during Lent.
Just get into the spirit of the practice and, like with New Year's Day, use Ash Wednesday as your starting point.
Call it a do-over on your New Year's resolution. A mulligan if you will. A do-over.
Hughes may be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org