From the Coalface {SQT} SMART goals for LENT

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Head over to her blog to check out all the other Quick takes!

When people want to be successful in business, they set themselves SMART goals.  This is an acronym and usually means:

S – Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Realistic and/or Relevant

T – Time based

The Church was so ahead of its time in giving us the season of Lent as it ticks all the boxes for goal setting for success in the spiritual life.

Specific – For 40 days, Fast* and abstain** on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Abstain** on Fridays

Measurable – See above

Achievable – depends on which hair shirt I choose to don so that one can vary

Realistic – See above

Time based – See the abovest (?new word)

*Fast: The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity.

**Abstain: Abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honour of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl.

I am looking at this Lent a little differently this year.  I am going to set myself some SMART goals.  I don’t have time to do the full in-service on how to set these, turning instead to Wiki for help, but I am going to fake it til I make it, so here goes…

Each of the resolutions I am going to rate according to how they match up with the SMART goal criteria to actually make them achievable.

So, here are my takes on Lent 2015.  Bring it on.


Read the books that have had been on my bedside table for the past 12 months… This is probably not the best approach to choosing Lenten reading but necessary for me.



S – Specific : There are 7 books and 40 days for Lent.  This gives me about 5 days per book.  Each book has already had a part of it read (this is what I do, I start a good book then find another book that’s great and never actually finish the first one.)

M- Measurable : I will post a blog on each book on the day I finish it to mark it off (this will help me keep track of how I am going and also if I have actually processed it).

A- Achievable: If I replace online reading with actual book reading I will fit it in.

R- Relevant : All these books are relevant to the spiritual life & growth in some way.

T- Time based: Every 5 days I will check to see how I am going through my reading pile to keep on track.

Anyway, you get the idea.  So the next ones I will just list but they are also SMART goals for Lent.


Set up a Lenten altar for our family with a Crown of Thorns.   Each time one of us makes a sacrifice, we take out a toothpick to help have a measurable outcome for our efforts, and use the Lenten sacrifice cards to help prompt us in what we decide to sacrifice each day.


Fasting from being miserable and general self-pity also make the list.  I am going to make sure I try and put into practice the Muppets rule for a happy life and most importantly, to make the people I love most less miserable by me being a generally happier camper.  I am going to listen to this song every time my husband or children tell me I am being miserable and I am going to ask them at least once a day to tell me how I have been going so I am accountable to them.

This is my penitential practice for lent and better than a hair shirt.  Have you ever had an annoying kids song in your head when you wake up through the night?  It rates just above hair shirts and just below Chinese water torture.

Here is the Muppets theology for Lent:  “Life’s a happy song when there’s someone there to help you.”  “I’ve got everything that I need right in front of me.” and,  “Life’s a fillet o fish…  yes it is.”  (especially when that’s the only option at Maccas – aka MacDonald’s for the next 40 days)



Go vego for the whole 40 days, not just Fridays…  we will have the odd bit of pescatorial degustation to ward off ADHD during our school day through lack of Omega 3’s (and that’s for my brain function in case you’re wondering).  The kids hate fish almost as much as tofu and chickpeas, so it’s going to be FUN to practice not complaining about the food that’s put in front of you.



Attend at least one extra mass during the week and tell a friend who goes to the same mass so we are kept accountable to turning up.


Host a Soup and Stations night here each Friday during Lent.

This includes making Stations of the Cross grottos and printing off the Stations of the Cross booklets.



Lastly I am going to embrace the yukkiest jobs around the house.  Those jobs I have been putting off for ages, like sorting out the top of our wardrobe.  I am going to write one job up for each Saturday in Lent.

I am going to do this with joy and think happy princess thoughts like this :  “You can do a lot when you’ve got such a happy working tune to hum…While you’re sponging up the soapy scum…We adore each filthy chore that we determine.”

I am going to pick one cleaning or sorting job I have been avoiding each week and tackle it with a gusto while I think about all the extra help I could be getting from pigeons, flies, rats and cockroaches if they only behaved like this all the time.

I would love to hear your own SMART goals below!


Have a great week everyone!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s