Your 40 Day Guide to Lent (+50 Thing to Give Up for Lent That Aren’t Chocolate)
Lent is full of mystery and confusion. We wonder how and we wonder why and often, spend days fumbling through wondering if we’re doing it right. But Lent doesn’t have to be complicated.
I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by your faith. That’s why I designed a workbook to simplify your Lent by helping you determine how to practically live out your faith and by providing daily accountability.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. See my sidebar for my full disclosure.
40 Days to the Cross is a Lenten workbook designed to provide guidance and accountability on your journey to the foot of the Cross through the 40 days of Lent. If you’re ready to dig deeper into your faith this Lent, join me this season by utilizing this workbook to embrace the practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as the Church has for generations.
If you’re ready to take your faith to the next level, 40 Days to the Cross is for you.
Looking for the physical copy of 40 Days to the Cross? You can find it here on Amazon!
One of the common practices of Lent is fasting. Fasting is seen in a variety of forms but is an important part of the Christian life that is often neglected. It can be overwhelming to think of what to fast from, or give up, for Lent.
Here are 50 things (besides chocolate) to give up for Lent and 10 focus on seeing this Lenten season:
Note: Please talk with your doctor before beginning any fasting program.
- Animal Products (Meat, Dairy, Honey, etc.)
- Food You Didn’t Cook (i.e. Fast Food)
- Throwing Away Leftovers
- Leaving Things Untidy
- Thinking of Your Needs First
- Unwholesome Speech
- Eating More Than You Need
- Shopping for Wants, Not Needs
- Embracing the Path of Least Resistance
- Seeking Instant Gratification
- Constantly Turning on Background Noise
- Snacking Between Meals
Things (To Give Up or Donate)
- Clothes You No Longer Wear (Someone Else Can Use Them)
- Single-Use Plastic
- Everything in Your “Someday I Might Need It” Closet
- Online Shopping
- Excessive Amounts of Shoes, T-Shirts, etc.
- Accessories You Haven’t Worn Recently
- Old Electronics
- Promotional Items Someone Gave You for Free but You Never Use
- One Item for Each of the 40 Days of Lent
41. Going Out to Eat
42. Using Wireless Products Wherever You Want
43. Watching Television Shows Back to Back
44. Disposable Products
46. Cable TV
47. Spring Break Trip
48. Flavored Beverages
49. Fancy Shampoo
50. Delivery (Skip the fee and pick it up yourself!)
Focus on Seeing
- Christ in Your Neighbor (in the child squirming in the pew or grocery cart, in the oppressed, in the refugee)
- Small Ways to Show Love to Strangers
- Opportunities to Extend Mercy
- Opportunities to Defer to Someone Else’s Preference
- Ways to Use Your Spiritual Gifts
- Areas You Can Give Up Wants to Help Meet Someone Else’s Need
- Your Need to Practice Self-Control
- Your Role in the Local Church
- Ways Your Purchases, Habits, or Mentalities Inadvertently Help Perpetuate Injustice
- Opportunities to Serve Without Opportunity for Repayment
Have a blossed Lent and don’t forget to grab your copy of 40 Days to the Cross here!
You Might Also Enjoy:
My Challenge to Myself: Read The Bible in Lent
3 Lenten Practices for a Season of Self-Abandonment
Walking into Lent Carrying My Cross
What a comprehensive list. This gave me tons of ideas! Sharing with my family. 🙂
Thanks, Kelly! Have a blessed Lent!
Liz Boles | Purpose & Love
This is a great list. You have a ton of ideas in here that I have never even thought of. I’ll be saving this. <3
BaileyLiz Boles | Purpose & Love
I’m so glad, Liz!
I am on your email list and visit your site almost every day. I have seen your prayer beads in several posts. I am interested in how you use them. I am a Christian/Catholic and pray the rosary everyday.
Barbara, Thank you so much for taking the time to ask! I am a Protestant so I don’t use them to pray the Rosary but there are a few other ways I use them. I use them primarily to focus on praying for different things (namely, prayers of adoration, confession, petition, and thanksgiving) but have also used it when praying traditional prayers (The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus Prayer, Gloria Patri, etc.). I hope this helps!
I wrote more in-depth about it here: https://thethinplace.net/2017/06/26/use-prayer-beads-despite-protestant/
Oooh, I LOVE this list! I can never think of what to fast from, and yep it’s usually chocolate or sweets. LOL! This is definitely going to help me out this year. And I love the list of things to see as well…it’s a good positive to think about, instead of thinking about what you’re taking away.
I’m so glad, Lisa! Have a blessed Lent!
Bailey, I think this great help that you are assembling here! I know so many that are turning toward this idea and wanting to know more what it’s about but also How to go about fasting with a right attitude. I’m currently off sugar for diet and want to think of it as for spiritual and physical benefit. Great list to get us thinking of other things to offer to God.
Thanks, Jennifer. It seems like people tend to go from one extreme to another – either totally ignoring the way physical things can impact us spiritually or putting all of their hope in the physical. It’s so important to embrace it with the right attitude.
This is a great list of ideas! I think I’m going to do desserts this year because I’ve had quite the sweet tooth recently.
It’s definitely a good idea to choose something that will be a stretch for you as a fast!
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
This is such a well thought out list – I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into this. Thank you, I will definitely be sharing this post 🙂
BaileyAlexandra @ It’s Not Complicated Recipes
This was so helpful! I’ve never actually given up anything for Lent, but I would love to do it this year.
I hope this inspired you!
I was born and raised Catholic, and always struggled with what to give up. Thnaks for some great suggestions!
My copy of 40 Days to the Cross arrived just in time, yesterday. (Thank you SO much, it’s EXACTLY what I needed!!!)
My first day of Lent however?
I started by dropping both men at work, and headed to Hobby Lobby for their sale on yarn & fleece to crochet blankets for Project Linus for almsgiving. Then I headed to my doctor’s appointment to be irradiated, and got in & out of the clinic in record time.
THEN someone rear-ended me in the parking lot. Mind you I wasn’t driving my own car, it was a loaner… because someone ran into my husband and destroyed OUR car JUST LAST WEEK! I don’t own a cellphone, and the man who hit me refused to call the police despite my asking him to, TWICE, and was thoroughly patronizing informing me that HE saw no damage, HE saw no reason to call the police, HE couldn’t do anything, and I should just let it go. So I spent the next four hours calling a million kajillion people to straighten this out, because the damage he “didn’t see”? He broke the taillight, and scratched the paint. Which wouldn’t be a big deal except… it wasn’t my car!
Then I got the results back from radiology to find out that while the test I was being seen for came back negative, it revealed two new lifelong health issues that I now need to learn how to deal with.
I got home, had a bit of a cry while my fabric was in the wash, then started trimming the edges to have a therapeutic evening of crochet & Netflix… and sliced right through my finger with the rotary beastie.
Just at the moment, I am having a hard time contemplating the cross.
Tomorrow will be better. Or I will eat an entire pint of cashew ice cream. Maybe both.
Oh, Marcy! This sounds horribly frustrating and upsetting. I’m so glad this world is not our home. Lent is a wonderful time to remember that the temporal is just that, temporary, because of the cross. Longing for the day when we realize that fully. Praying your week gets better!
This is a GREAT list, thanks so much for sharing it!!!