Lent: Giving Up to Gain

I'm not a religious person, but I try to participate in Lent every year. I do believe in the idea of giving something up to better yourself and refocus your efforts. What is Lent?

From the Catholic.org website:

Lent is about conversion....That always involves giving up sin in some form. The goal is not just to abstain from sin for the duration of Lent but to root sin out of our lives forever. Conversion means leaving behind an old way of living and acting in order to embrace new life in Christ. For catechumens, Lent is a period intended to bring their initial conversion to completion.

According to tweets, this is what most Christians are giving up (#15 made me laugh):

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The three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These observances help us turn away from whatever has distracted or derailed us and to turn back to faith.

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 1.24.12 PMHow I see it as a non-religious person: Giving up something for Lent is ultimately a form of fasting. We deprive ourselves of some small pleasure or indulgence and offer that sacrifice up. Or we give up a bad habit such as smoking as a way of positively turning our life back around.

Typically you do give something up, but I've decided to give up being lazy by adding exercise at least every other day. I would like to do at least 30 minutes of exercise and that's where I'm going to keep my goal.

It's so easy to be negative, especially in light of my recent changes. I really admire my Twitter friend Shana Douglas for giving up complaining and want to try this as well. I definitely need to focus on solutions and identifying strengths instead of identifying more problems.

The goals:

- 30 minutes of exercise every other day

- run 10 miles

- give up complaining

 

Time to get started!

What are you giving up or adding for Lent this year?