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The magic of the number 40.

40 days to create habits

Mystical number 40. 40 is an important number for many reasons and is mentioned 146 times in scripture and symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation. Moses lived forty years in Egypt and forty years in the desert before God selected him to lead his people out of slavery. Elijah went 40 days without food or water at Mount Horeb. Jesus was tempted by the devil not just three times, but many times during the 40 days and nights he fasted before his ministry began.

The more I researched, the more convinced I’ve become that 40 is indeed a magical number for reaching our goals. A few more examples:

  • In Kundalini yoga you practice for 40 consecutive days to make or break habits.
  • In Judaism, there’s a mystical practice that says one who seeks an answer to their prayers should pray the same prayer request for 40 consecutive days.
  • Forty days also has significance for Christians who fast for 40 days during Lent.
  • In China a new mother is confined to her home for 40 days after she has given birth.
  • Our skin cells on average take 40 days to renew and red blood cells start dying from 40 days onwards.

When it comes to reaching our goals, many believe the number 40 is important for two reasons. It takes 20 days to break old habits then an additional 20 days to create new habits. I find this interesting because many times I’ve been told it takes 21 days to create new habits but have often found the changes didn’t stick. But based on the theory of 40 days, we may be short changing ourselves and not giving ourselves enough time. (Read this next: Ready to get healthy? Set a deadline and create goals.)

As the number 40 is strongly related to transformation, it makes sense then that we allow ourselves 40 days to do so. As we move into the new year and new decade, many of us are focusing on change in our health and wellness. This year, commit to 40 days before giving up on your health and wellness resolutions. Possibly the magic of the number 40 will help you reach your goals once and for all. Let me know how you do. And remember. Yes you CAN do it!

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To your health,


Learn more: Smoothie Diet

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About Denise

Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH.  Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise

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