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When training for a marathon I have heard (as I have never done this or am likely to), that you always have something in reserve for a STRONG FINISH…
As Lent is modelled on the 40 days that Jesus was tempted in the desert, just like a marathon it was in this final part of this fast that he had to pull out all stops as Satan himself came to tempt him most strongly.
Lent can seem like a long haul but as they say, “it ain’t over til the fat lady sings” (or, in the case of some who have been very penitential in their fasting… the skinny lady sings).
So, I thought I would have a go at reviewing my goals so far… asking myself how is it working for me? Have I completed some goals and not others? Do I need to set new ones? What do I want to get out of the rest of this time?
Firstly, the books… I have actually had an easy time completing these ones due to an injury which has left me plenty of time to read so have completed these ahead of time through no real effort on my part. This means I am able to set some new reading goals for this final blast, and what I want to do is…
So, going back to my SMART goals,
S – Specific – I will read these two books
M – Measurable – I will post a book review on this blog after completing each book.
A – Achievable – Definitely achievable as I currently have plenty of time for reading
Realistic / Relevant – Definitely relevant as Lent covers the time from the Baptism in the Jordan to the Resurrection
Time based – I have 17 days until Easter, which leaves me roughly 8 days per book.
Our other goal was to set up a Crown of Thorns and pull out a toothpick. This is how we are going so far…
We have been us the Lenten sacrifice cards to help prompt us in what we decide to sacrifice each day. If we don’t get to one of them we still draw out each day, so it can start to pile up like this:
Another SMART goal was fasting from being miserable, and due to the copious amounts of enforced rest this has been another easy one to accomplish. I have discovered that I am much less cranky when I am neither tired nor task-focused… surprise! surprise!
It may also have something to do with having had to listen to the Muppets quite a few times in the first couple of weeks of Lent has had such an effect on me that I would rather be cheerful than subjected to “Life’s a Happy Song” one more time.
Going vego has presented its own unique challenges, such as family members suggesting my husband’s tired appearance at a recent family gathering was due to lack of meat. My creative suggestion to appease the concern without thwarting Lent was an iron tonic, which was subsequently obstructed when the conscientious girl at the chemist refused to give me one without a proven iron deficiency. Not wanting to leave empty handed, I came home with some Olive Leaf Extract which she claimed was miraculous. It does not, however, seem to have made any difference at all… he still hasn’t picked up the dog poos.
Our goal of an extra mass a week has been frustrated by circumstances, so I am going to revise this by reading the Scriptures each day for the Mass of the day.
S – Specific – Read the Scriptures for each daily Mass
M- Measurable – I will tick off on my calendar each day I do this. If not, I will add them to the next days prayer time.
A- Achievable – Definitely
R- Relevant – The Church deliberately chooses readings that are relevant to this season
T- Time based – I will read them in the morning after I have said Morning Prayer from the Divine Office
Our Soup and Stations night here each Friday has been a real blessing.
a) I have discovered how limited my soup repertoire really is… alternating between curried pumpkin one week and vego minestrone the next is not exactly an inspiring and varied menu.
b) We have have actually prayed the Stations each Friday which something we have not done regularly in the past.
c) We have had a chance to catch up with some great families that we normally have little chance to see during the hectic pace of normal life.
My last goal of choosing the yukkiest jobs and completing them only got done for the first two weeks. I am claiming physical incapacitation as my excuse, but have filed away the idea to come back to over the year. So this one has morphed into an ongoing goal for the year.
S – Specific – I will put one job on the calendar that I have been putting off, and complete it
M- Measurable – I will tell my husband which job and give him permission to badger me until I do it
A – Achievable – If I am physically able (or alternatively I can delegate to poor unsuspecting family members)
R – Realistic – I will set myself tasks that are able to be completed in the time frame
T – Time Based – I will allocate one job per month
So, that is my plan to finish strong in Lent.
If you have any SMART goals I would love to hear them in the comments.
If you have any other ideas for a strong finish, I would love to hear those too.
Have a great week everyone!