Screen time and digital devices

Our phones were designed to be highly addictive, and it's tough to break the habit. But that's what makes this such a great sacrifice. Lent is the perfect time to fast from screens, whether you forgo TV before bed, random web surfing during the day, or social media until Easter. You might consider going screen-free one day a week or only using your phone for calling and texting (no endless scrolling of Facebook!).

Complaining

Life is often hard, frustrating, and stressful. It's tempting to focus only on the negative parts of each day, and approach every little setback with woe and self-pity. But endless complaining most likely makes you feel bummed out, and it's not fun for your friends and family to listen to either. This Lent, see if you can hold back your complaints and find something to be grateful for instead.

Hot showers

This is a simple sacrifice, but a really tough one, especially in February and March. But it's a powerful little way to practice asceticism and self-denial in daily life.

Shopping

It feels like so much fun to buy new things, so a great Lenten sacrifice would be giving up spending money on anything but the essentials. Once you've paid for rent, groceries, gas or train fare, and other non-negotiables, don't buy anything else for the rest of Lent. Perhaps you can even take the money you've saved and give it as alms.

Snacking between meals

This can be such a tough habit to break, especially when snacks are a comfort food, as they are for so many people. But it's a great way to enter into the Lenten spirit of fasting.

Listening to music and the radio

In today's world, most of us are uncomfortable with silence. It's easy to fill every minute of the day with podcasts and playlists. But how can we make room to hear the "still, small voice" of God deep in our hearts when we're always listening to something? This Lent, consider giving up listening to your favorite music and radio shows, and spend that time in prayer instead.

Lazy shortcuts

Pick something for which you often take the "easy way out" and give it up for Lent. This could include making your bed every morning, getting up right away when your alarm goes off in the morning, parking far away from the door, or doing the dishes right after dinner every night. Eliminate some little "shortcut" you take and offer it up this Lent.

Eating out

Few things can beat the convenience of grabbing a bite to eat, and giving this up for Lent requires plenty of planning ahead and cooking at home. So it's a great way to grow in patience (and save some money, too!).

Art

Many churches follow the old tradition of veiling religious images and statues with purple cloth during the latter part of Lent, and you might want to follow the same practice at home. Giving up these lovely images reminds us how barren the world is without the beauty and light of Christ.

Elevators

Taking only the stairs for all of Lent is not only physically harder but also takes up more time, so it's a good sacrifice to offer up. Just don't pick to give this one up if you live or work on the 45th floor!