Columnist reccomends new Lent resolutions ideas

By Emma Klebe, ’13

Imagine all of your favorite TV shows, treats, social networks, iPhone apps and activities. Now imagine going an entire 40 days without one of these addicting fads. How do you even decide which to give up, which daily ritual to sacrifice? Whether it is defined as a season of spiritual discipline or a way for one to prove they can give up a favorite necessity, Lent is well underway.

You may know Lent as the 40-day fasting season between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but it seems to me that many followers of this holiday don’t actually know what it entails beyond the generic resolutions. To my surprise, the act of giving up a favorite food or activity has become a popular activity not only for Christians, but for those of all religions.

You may have heard of the typical resolutions involving sweet treats or addicting social web sites. Other popular resolutions include improvement such as doing more charity work or achieving better grades. No matter the follower’s motive, when asked the question, “What are you giving up for Lent?” many answer confidently with one of these generic resolutions. But the obvious reality needs to be faced: we all know the majority of resolutions will most likely end up lasting a total of one week maximum.

Considering I have a slight addiction to Facebook myself, I highly doubt anyone can resist checking notifications, accepting random friend requests or laughing at that photo everyone’s talking about. A popular tactic I’ve heard that makes online socializing less tempting is deleting Facebook and Twitter apps from your phone altogether. While this does seem like a smart idea to all you iPhone owners out there, I’d unfortunately like to remind you that computers still serve as an easily-accessible form of temptation.

And those insane resolutions that involve giving up sweet necessities such as chocolate and ice cream? There’s no way any normal person can last over a month without those! The reality is, the majority of resolutions will not be completed. The absence of online social stalking and stuffing your face with fatty foods is just too difficult. In fact, I can’t even blame those who give into the temptation. But good for all you out there staying strong and holding true to your resolutions, I truly admire your motivation.

As you might be able to tell by now, I am not the biggest fan of making Lent resolutions (probably because of the fact it is impossible for me to follow through with them.) Because I don’t stay true to resolutions myself, I probably shouldn’t critique others’ resolution ideas and how generic they are. But every year when Lent comes around it seems like the resolutions are always the same old same old. I can’t help but critique all of the generic resolutions made every year. But I mean think about it, when’s the last time you heard of a truly interesting or unique resolution idea? Having thought about it myself, I came up with some unique resolutions ideas of my own: smile more, drink more water, walk your dog more, give change to the tip jar. Okay, maybe I’m not the most creative person, but as boring as my ideas are, at least they aren’t the typical Lent resolutions you hear everyday.

When trying to come up with new resolution ideas for next year, simple and easy is the way to go. Make your resolutions personal to your lifestyle, something that will affect your everyday activities. Rather than going along with others’ ideas or popular topics, pay attention to personal quirks you do daily. Example: if you are a person who is constantly watching Gossip Girl on your Netflix (an activity of which I am very guilty), make a resolution to switch to National Geographic shows instead. Now maybe this isn’t as unique as one might think considering the majority of girls I know are hooked on Gossip Girl —seriously, who can resist the dreamy Chace Crawford? But you get the idea; make your sacrifice something personal to your life. In future years be sure to remember this important note to self: be creative and personal when deciding your Lent resolutions.

To all of you Lent followers out there continuing to stay strong, congratulations (no hint of sarcasm). I truly admire your dedication to the holiday and its sacrifice; I cannot say in the least that I would have the same motivation to give up any of my favorite fads. While I do look up to all of you who decided to make the 40-day sacrifice, next year I challenge you to come up with something outside of the box. Think of something creative and new to give up or improve upon!