1. Intentionally look beyond yourself

Though Lent is a time for prayer and fasting, it does not mean you are called to be a narcissist.  Strive to build up the kingdom of God through your prayers and fasting.  Do someone else’s chores. Invite someone to join you for a Holy Hour. Offer up your suffering for someone else’s intentions.

2. Connect every sacrifice with prayer

You’re not called to fast to simply lose 10 pounds this Lent.  Lent is not a weight loss system.  If you’re fasting, connect every temptation to break your fast with a brief prayer.

3. If you fail, don’t quit

The old adage is true; if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.  If you’ve fallen with one of your commitments, pick yourself up and begin anew today!

4. Further your relationship with Christ

Is part of your Lenten commitment to grow in your relationship with Christ?  Sometimes people miss the part of Lent and that’s journeying closer to your Savior. If one of your Lenten commitments does not involve progressing in your faith life, then take some time to reevaluate and invite the Holy Spirit to guide you.

5. Don’t try to run a marathon if you’re learning how to walk

Too often people make a Lenten commitment for where they want to be at the finish line, but this just isn’t realistic.  If you want to start a prayer life, instead of committing to pray a Holy Hour every day maybe you should begin by committing to pray a holy 5 minutes or a holy 10 minutes each day. Commit to start walking each day instead of running a daily marathon.

6. Don’t let your transformation end with Easter

An amazing mentor I had in college, Fr. Dave, once shared that he was excited about his birthday coming up because he would get to eat some chocolate (it may have been a different food).  I inquired if he was having a special birthday treat. He explained that every year he fasted from something and intentionally lifted up someone specific in prayer for the duration of the year.  That year he was fasting from chocolate for someone he’d been praying for. This is a great idea because it not only helps remind him to intercede that person, but it also continues to help him grow in the virtue of self-control which allows him to be the master of His passions.

7. Invite in the Holy Spirit on a daily basis

God has great things in store for you this Lent and beyond.  Be sure to spend some time exploring what the good Lord has for you this Lent and beyond.  Are you in need of a personal retreat?  Then watch a 14 parts series called The Wild Goose is Loose.  Each episode is only 20-30 minutes long and will give you practical ways to grow and transform your relationship with the Holy Spirit and your spiritual life.