5 Tips to Help You When Lent Gets Hard
We are now about halfway through Lent and you may be feeling a huge range of emotions. You may feel motivated and your faith blossoming as you unite yourselves to the suffering of Christ through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Or, you may be like me and find it difficult to stay motivated. Fasting is getting hard, some ham accidentally snuck into your garden salad at lunch on Friday, you are counting down the days to Easter when you can indulge.
But don’t be discouraged!
You are only human so it’s very natural to lose motivation. Our brains are used to instant gratification, and that self-denial is not the norm of our everyday lives. Once we get to this point of Lent, it’s great to re-check yourself and get motivated to finish Lent strong.
Find an Accountability Partner
Man is not meant to be alone. (GN 2:18) We have to surround ourselves with people can hold us accountable and help us reach our goals. If you are finding it difficult to stick to your Lenten resolutions, it may be helpful for you to reach out to someone you trust and ask them to be your accountability partner.
Check in with this person every couple of days and when you feel especially tempted to give up on your resolutions, seek them out for encouragement.
Write Down Your Resolution
You are 40% more likely to see your goals reach fulfillment if you write it down, whether it be a New Years Resolution, a career aspiration, or just a regular to-do list.
Writing down your Lenten resolutions gets them out of your head and makes them tangible. There is something that clicks in your head when you see your goals written out.
Focus on the Other
Sometimes, our fasts are for ourselves. We give up sweets as a Lenten fast but hey, if we lose weight that’s an awesome added perk. But those cookies in the break room might be the thing that breaks us if our own motivations are what is driving us.
Spending time servicing others when you can do something else will give you a new perspective and motivation.
Make blessing bags for the homeless people you drive past every day, go to the nearest abortion clinic and pray outside for an hour as a witness to the ProLife movement, help serve food at your parish’s fish fry.
Remember Your Why
Perspective is important. Doing a hard thing without a good reason is logically incorrect so you stop. If you are forced to push a boulder up a mountain but you don’t understand the why the boulder needs to be at the top of the hill, you won’t get it to the top. But if you understand that the boulder will be used to seal off a volcano at the top of the mountain, you will likely be successful in pushing it to the top.
The same goes for Lent. If you are doing a hard thing for Lent, but don’t understand the motivation for it, you are going to fail. But if you offer up your fastings for special intentions, you are more likely to succeed.
When You Fall, Get Back Up
The most important thing is that if you break your Lenten goals, don’t use it as an excuse. Brush yourself off, forgive yourself, and keep going.
Christ fell three times as he carried his cross to Calvary. But the important thing is that he got up and kept going out of love for you. You can get up and keep going too.