20 Ideas for Lent

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Lent is right around the corner again. I know I don’t go into religion much on my page, but a big part of my life is being Catholic. Figuring out what to give up for Lent can be difficult, my list is here to help break you out of your safe zone and challenge you.

update 2/2019

 If you aren’t Catholic or religious you could take this as ways to challenge yourself  for 40 days, or any amount of days.

This list of ideas is filled with ideas for the person who is looking to give up or do something more than just sacrificing a favorite snack for 40 days. I hope this list inspires you to do something more this year. Maybe making a family sacrifice or challenge yourself to do more.

Moving beyond the easy

I am a cradle Catholic, and after years of barely doing anything, not challenging myself, I felt as if I was cheating (probably was), which lead me to write this list filled with ideas as much for myself as for you. It’s too easy to get in a habit of giving up the same things year after year and picking it back up after Easter.

My usual last-minute go-to thing to give up is either pop or Reese’s Candy. Notice I said Reese’s, because 1 they’re the best, and 2 I’d allow myself to expore all the other candy available for the rest of Lent. Not the best way to go.

The past few years I have been trying to do something more than just that.  It isn’t a challenge to give up something you like, but don’t do or enjoy often. Lent is a time of sacrifice & reflection. We need to be doing something or giving something up that is a sacrifice.

This could be giving up coffee or snacking. Or if you’re looking for something more, definitely use this list for inspiration. Don’t make it too easy on yourself. Get outside of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself.

I recently saw a Facebook post suggesting to fill one bag each day with items to donate. I loved this idea, especially in the context of Lent. Giving to others, helping the less fortunate, all while bettering your home environment. That post gave me the inspiration for this list.

If you’re looking to give up something more than your favorite candy bar or pop, I hope you can find something more challenging in this list

So what should you give up or do for Lent?

  • Start (or get serious about) a new diet or workout plan.
  • Volunteer regularly at a women’s or homeless shelter
  • Create goody bags for the needy- include toiletries, gift cards for area stores or restaurants, snacks, or whatever you can think of that others might need.
  • Start a random acts of kindness chain. Each day do something above and beyond for a stranger.
  • Find someone in need and donate any items you don’t need or no longer use. I see a lot of people who are going through tough times asking for help on local resale groups. See how you can help.
  • Collect items and donate to a charity close to your heart.
  • Commit to spending at least 5 minutes a day on prayerful self care.
  • Find a daily devotional that speaks to you and your spiritual needs. Actually follow through with it daily.
  • Read a book each day. Challenge yourself to read as much as you can.
  • Read from scripture each day. Keep a journal about your readings to reflect back on.
  • Refrain from gossip or negativity towards others in your life.
  • Find something each day to be thankful for. Focusing on positivity can change your overall outlook.
  • Go out of your way to help someone struggling in your family. This could be done anonymously if needed.
  • Change the way in which you speak to others. Speaking with love and compassion, rather than talking down or with negativity.
  • Use your social media to help others. Do you have a big following on social media? Imagine all the good you could spread by highlighting ways to help others.
  • Learn a new skill that will help others.  Learning to knit scarves or hats for the homeless, or learning sign language to better speak to someone from your community.
  • Stop spending money on yourself (for non-essential items) donate to an organization that you care about.
  • Collect and donate toys or Easter gifts to a local children’s hospital.
  • Make a gift basket for someone in your life or community going through cancer. Wrap each item individually so they can open one a day during their treatments.
  • Start something that you’ve been wanting to do but are afraid to begin. Take the leap of faith and give it your all.

Bonus: Giving up or cutting back on something you buy every day, and putting that money to use elsewhere. Maybe you brew coffee at home, and skip Starbucks. You could pack a lunch instead of getting takeout.  Just reallocating that money to another cause.

There are are so many other things you can do or refrain from during Lent. I hope this list is a jumping off point for your Lenten journey.

I usually will try to do more than one thing during Lent to challenge myself, and make me mindful of the season.

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  1. Denice

    March 8, 2017 at 12:35 am

    What I usually give up during lent is soda and during Holy Week itself I try to lessen usage of my phone. I also give up using my phone during Black Friday.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

      I like the idea of putting down the phone more during Holy Week. I think I might have to add that to what i’m already doing. Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. Carol Cassara

    March 6, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Beautiful ideas for Lent. I love that there are a mix of things to do to help improve yourself and help out the community. These are all perfect for Lent.

  3. Elizabeth O.

    March 6, 2017 at 11:12 am

    These are awesome ideas for Lent. It’s always nice to do something extra for the community as well. Spreading a little kindness is always nice.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 6, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Thanks. It definitely is a great feeling to help out those around you.

  4. Enricoh Alfonzo

    March 6, 2017 at 9:12 am

    hahah wow this brings back memories in high school. I’ve always participated certain religious activities as a way of bonding with my friends. Last year it was ramadan and back in highschool it was lent with my friend rushil. It was an elightening experience. Great creative list

  5. Krysten

    March 5, 2017 at 12:15 am

    I used to volunteer every weekend for lent when I was younger. I haven’t done it in the last couple of years because I’ve been busy with a new child. I think I might do that again this year since my son can be without me for a few hours.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 5, 2017 at 8:12 am

      It’s a very fulfilling way to make a difference. Thanks 🙂

  6. stacey

    March 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t practice Lent. But I like these ideas so much more than giving up something personal that only affects you.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the list. Most are definitely things you could do at any point of the year to challenge yourself.

  7. David Elliott

    March 4, 2017 at 12:03 am

    I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for Lent this year. Thank you for all the great ideas.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 4, 2017 at 10:10 am

      So glad you enjoyed the list.

  8. Nellwyn

    March 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Even though I don’t observe Lent, I like the idea of clearing clutter in the spring and finding items or clothing to donate to those in need.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Absolutely! There’s something that is very freeing about clearing out the old in the spring and donating those items. It’s something I will definitely be doing.

  9. Jen

    March 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    These are wonderful Lent ideas. I am encouraged to do most of these particularly the volunteering at the homeless shelter.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      I’m so glad you got inspiration from this list. It’s always great to donate time and help others.

  10. Jessi Joachim

    March 3, 2017 at 11:33 am

    WE aren’t Catholic, but i still like the idea of giving something up or doing a challenge to better myself. This is a really great list of ideas.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the list. That’s why I added that you could just make this a personal challenge to do in a month, or to make habit. It’s never the wrong time to work on yourself or help another in need.

  11. LaDonna Maxwell Dennis

    March 3, 2017 at 11:11 am

    This is a great list. I believe that if we give up something meaningful, it makes the experience much better. So many give up things that don’t even matter to them. Like, what’s the point?

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Yes, it should be meaningful and be a sacrifice. Giving up something you don’t care if you never have again isn’t a challenge.

  12. Author Brandi Kennedy

    March 3, 2017 at 8:35 am

    This was a great post! Too many people wait until the last minute and then waste the Lenten experience by “giving up” something they don’t really care about missing out on anyway – much better to make a little extra effort.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Thank you! I agree. It’s easy for me to say I will give up candy or pop when it’s something I might get once a week tops. There’s no sacrifice in that. I’d rather do something to better my life or give to someone who has less than I do. There’s much more blessing in doing that.

  13. Kim

    March 3, 2017 at 8:24 am

    These are great suggestions for any time of the year. Lent is a good motivator to be the good in the world.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 9:13 am

      I agree. These definitely aren’t exclusive to the Lenten season. It’s always the right time to do something for someone else.

  14. Shorikka

    March 3, 2017 at 12:49 am

    I am so grateful to be reading your post. This list really motivated me and its really encouraging.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  15. Amber Myers

    March 2, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I might do some of these things. I like this list. I love the random acts of kindness idea. I probably won’t give anything up though. My family would not like my attitude. I have a friend giving up caffeine and if I tried that, my family would be begging me to have some by day 3.

    1. Becky Miller

      March 3, 2017 at 9:11 am

      LOL. Some things are definitely hard to give up. I find myself craving something more when I give it up. For me, it’s better to do something to better myself or community. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  16. Jay Colby

    March 2, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    These are all great ideas for lent. If I was participating in lent I would definitely go with #9.

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