If you’re still looking for a Lenten sacrifice, here are 50 Things to Give Up for Lent. We have pulled together suggestions from readers and ideas we have seen around the internet and in books over the years.

At Lent, it is suggested that we make some sacrifices. The idea isn’t to punish ourselves. Instead, we are attempting to draw closer to God – so it’s suggested that we give up things that might be getting in the way of that. In many ways, it’s a form of fasting.

What is Lent All About Anyway?

50 Things to Give Up for Lent

Lent is a time of conversion. As we give things up, we can offer up those sacrifices to God. In many cases, by giving up some of these things, we can make more room in our lives, our schedules, and our hearts for God.

1 – Television, social media, or electronics in general. You can give it up entirely or cut back on it. Think about giving it up as of 8 pm every night to help you get a better night’s sleep. Or trade one hour of it for an hour of Bible study.

2 – Caffeine. In 1 Corinthians, it states that our bodies are temples. So, any step we make towards healthier living is a step in the right direction.

3 – Processed sugar. See above.

4 – Alcohol. Same as above. New studies have shown that drinking alcohol increases your risk for cancer.

5 – All beverages other than water. Use the money you save to donate to charity.

6 – Trying to be first. Let others go ahead of you in line. When playing games, try to help the other competitors.

7 – Arguing with strangers online. When you feel tempted to jump into an argument, spend that time praying for them instead.

8 – Gossip. That includes avoiding gossip sites online.

9 – Taking elevators or parking close to the store. Whenever you can choose to walk further, do it. You’ll get more exercise and can use the extra time to offer up a few prayers.

10 – Some of your time. Do volunteer work instead.

11 – Your money. Put aside some money each day and donate to your parish.

12 – Ignoring the Sabbath. Devote one day a week to relaxation and spending time with God.

13 – Clutter. Donate what you can to worthy organizations like St. Vincent de Paul.

14 – Looking at your phone while others are talking to you. Give them your full undivided attention.

15 – Skipping confession. Participate in the sacrament of reconciliation at least once during Lent.

16 – Distractions during Mass. Each time you feel your mind wandering, bring your attention back to the Mass and focus on its significance.

17 – Forgetting to pray. If you need to, set timers to remind you to say a quick prayer several times a day. Use the Hallow app to make it even easier.

18 – Neglecting your children’s spirituality. Pray with them before bed. Read a Bible story every day (or once a week). Make sacred art with them. There are many ways you can share your faith with your kids.

19 – Cussing. Set up a swear jar and drop in a dollar every time you cuss. Donate the money to a needy cause.

20 – Wasting food. Try to buy only what you can use and remember to check perishables and use them up before they go bad. Instead of buying too many groceries for your own home, add some to your cart to take to your local community fridge and pantry (or food bank).

21 – A lack of knowledge about the Catholic faith. Take some courses at VLCFF (part of University of Dayton), Catholic Distance University, or Franciscan University. Many of them are subsidized by your local archdiocese and are quite inexpensive.

22 – A lack of forgiveness. Who do you need to offer forgiveness to? Do it this Lent.

23 – A bad habit or addiction. This has become an idol in your life. Work to break that habit and turn to God instead.

24 – Books that have been sitting on your shelf unread for more than 2 years. Donate them to a hospital, nursing home, hospice center, or other place in need.

25 – Using words that are unkind. We don’t have to actually cuss at people to be unkind. Sometimes, we have our own “catch phrases” or words that we use often but aren’t really glorifying God – in fact, they may be doing the opposite. Remove those words from your vocabulary and replace them with words of kindness and mercy.

26 – Meat. Yes, you can choose simply to give up meat on Fridays in Lent, but what about extending that all year long? Or maybe you want to give up meat every day of Lent, not just Fridays. As an alternative, you could give up red meat for Lent.

27 – Music that isn’t worship music. At the end of Lent, take note of how you feel having only listened to spiritual music. Maybe you want to keep that going all the time, or at least, cut back on the music that may be having a negative effect on you.

28 – Single-use plastic. Or some other items that are harmful to the earth. We are called to be Stewards of Creation, the gift God gave us.

29 – Living a disposable lifestyle. Again, as Stewards of the Earth, we need to take more care of our possessions, repairing them, reusing them, and making do with them. Look for community organizations that might be helpful in this.

Here in London, Ontario, we have a place called Reimagine. It’s a package-free grocery store and refillery. In addition, they offer a “thing library” where you can check out items such as gardening tools, kitchen equipment, and more. Several times a year, they offer a Repair Cafe where you can bring in your broken items and have them repaired.

Our local libraries offer things other than books for checkout as well – craft supplies, board games, movies, and more. More libraries are moving in this direction so be sure to check yours as well.

30 – A lack of gratitude. Start thanking God for 3 things every single day. You might also want to consider if there are others you owe some gratitude. Maybe your 5th-grade teacher? Your next-door neighbor? The co-worker in the cubicle next to yours? Look for someone to thank each and every day.

31 – Instagram filters. Be proud of the you that God made and show it to the world.

32 – Excessive pride. For example, you might want to give up the pride that gets in the way for many of us and prevents us from truly submitting to the Lord. Try praying the Litany of Humility every day during Lent.

33 – Being selfish. Give away something every day of Lent. It could be time, money, or possessions that you choose to share – but do something selfless daily.

34 – A lack of trust in God. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day during Lent. If you can pray it at 3 pm, even better.

35 – Praying only for yourself. Join your parish’s prayer group (if they have one) and say prayers of intercession every day. No prayer group? Look for people online or in the news or in your own life/community in need of prayer and pray for them.

36 – Skipping Mass. Attend Sunday Mass faithfully at the very least. Want to take it to the next step? Add in another Mass during the week as well.

37 – Ignoring church events. Choose something – a Lenten mission, for example – to attend during Lent and start getting to know your parish community.

38 – Hiding your faith. Wear a crucifix or medal or other item symbolic of your faith. Or get some t-shirts with faith-based quotes on them. Use these as conversation starters to talk about your faith with others.

39 – Not exercising. Refer back to the “our bodies are temples” idea. Start taking a 10-15 minute walk each day and use that time to talk to God.

40 – Neglecting your loved ones. When was the last time you had some one-on-one time with your kids? How long has it been since you called your grandparents? Or how about the last time you had a date night with your significant other? Spend some time cultivating the important relationships in your life.

41 – Taking Jesus for granted. Spend at least half an hour each week during Lent in Eucharistic Adoration.

42 – Starting and ending your day in a rush. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. If you don’t have time for all of it, at least do the morning prayers and Compline. You can buy books on Amazon or Catholic bookstores for this or use an app like iBreviary, Universalis, or Magnificat.

43 – Feeling like you never have time for yourself or God. Take one full day and use it as a retreat day. Move slowly through the day. Allow yourself time outside in nature, spend some time in the Scriptures (perhaps using Lectio Divina as a tool for praying with them), and journal about your faith and your relationship with the Lord. There are many other ways you could spend such a day too. Ask your priest for ideas or look for a scheduled retreat in your area.

44 – Ignoring God’s great sacrifice for us through Jesus’ passion. Attend Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent. If you can’t attend in person, find a Stations of the Cross video online or purchase a book and pray them on your own or with your family.

45 – Neglecting your relationship with our Holy Mother. Pray the Rosary on your own, with a group, or with your family at least once a week. Lent is a good time to focus on the Sorrowful Mysteries. A Scriptural Rosary is a great way to pray while immersing yourself in Scripture at the same time.

46 – Let go of old grudges. Pray for your enemies every day during Lent.

47 – Forgetting about our Church leaders and all they do for us. Pray for the Pope and his intentions and good health, as well as for your bishops and priests each day.

48 – Complaining. Sure, it can feel freeing to vent now and then, but too many times, it can get in the way of looking for a real solution. Take the situation to prayer and look for a way to solve the problem or acceptance for it if it can’t be changed.

49 – Judging and criticism. It is not our place to judge others. That is for God. If someone is truly in trouble, we need to find a way to act with mercy and kindness. Think of a sacrifice you can make each time you find yourself sitting in judgment – some ideas are to take time to pray for them, donate $5 to charity, go to confession and seek your priest’s help with this, or reread the parts of the Bible where it speaks of judgment, for example.

50 – Being unkind to yourself. You are a creature of God, His beloved child. When you are unkind to yourself, you are showing ingratitude and dishonor to Him. Each time you find that you are not giving yourself grace and kindness, pause to look in the mirror and recite positive affirmations to yourself. God loves you. He loves just as you are, despite your sins.

Want more ideas? 99+ Creative Ideas of What to Give Up or Take Up for Lent.

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