From the Coalface {SQT} SMART goals for LENT 2016

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.


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

Following the interest in my SMART goals for Lent  last year, and their useful role to me during Lent, I have decided to set some new ones for this year.

Just to recap:   SMART goals  are an acronym and usually mean that goals are:

S – Specific, M– Measurable, A– Achievable, R– Realistic and/or Relevant & T – Time based goals.

Lent is an easy way into the concept of SMART goals (which are often applied to personal or business development, but are very suited to spiritual development as well).  The Church gives us a good framework to start with.

For example, the SMART goals of fast and abstinence in Lent:

Specific:  Fast* and abstain** on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday,

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** on Fridays during Lent

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.

Measurable – For the days specified

Achievable – for the majority of us

Realistic – Although not easy, it is a realistic goal

Time based – 40 days during Lent


Last year I turned to Wiki for help in decipheringhow these goals work.

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 2016.


The first one is the same as last year as it was so successful for me, namely: to read the books that are on my bedside table…


S – Specific : There are 5 books and 40 days for Lent.  This gives me about 8 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 8 days I will check to see how I am going through my reading pile to keep on track.


Another good one from last year that we will do again:

S – Specific – Set up the Lenten sacrifice cards and take one new one out each day

M– Measurable – Each time one of us makes a sacrifice, we take down one of the cards under our name to help have a measurable outcome for our efforts

A – Achievable –  We will use the Lenten sacrifice cards to help prompt us in what we decide to sacrifice each day.

R – Realistic – Make sure the sacrifice cards have ideas that can be done, and skip the ones like : “volunteer in Syria to preach the Gospel”  .. while a great thought, it is beyond the scope of our suburban family life.

T– Time based – one card for each day so that we have a time frame to guide us



As a family, we will continue to help with organising a local First Saturday mass.

S – Help organise a mass

M– For one morning a month

A– Everyone helps to make this possible

R– Definitely realistic

T– On each First Saturday


Another goodie that is getting revamped:

Go vego for the whole 40 days, not just Fridays…  last year the kids actually discovered there were vegetarian meals they enjoyed despite their loathing for any form of legume, especially in the frozen, pre-packaged (fake) meat-type product, like pretend beef pies, or chicken schnitzels, so we may end up eating more processed food than usual, which isn’t really the point but we’re a work in progress on this one.


S – Abstain from meat on all days during Lent

M – We will be able to measure this on a day-to-day basis

A– If we keep our goal in mind especially when going out or entertaining at our home

R– Mostly, although we do allow for flexibility if we are invited somewhere where the host would take offence if we did not eat the food put in front of us

T– For all the 40 days of Lent


Include the daily mass readings each day in my prayer time.


S– I will read the daily mass readings and a reflection from the Blessed is She site.

M– Each day I will check I have done this

A– they will come into my email inbox so I will not forget one

R– I can manage this

T– I will ensure I do this faithfully each day for 40 days



Sign up for the Lent kick-start with the online Catholic Conference for Mums entitled “Faces of Mercy” and meet with a friend each week to discuss at least one of the talks from this.

Here’s the video:

S– I will watch one of these each week and meet once a week with a friend

M– Once a week commitment

A– I will have some accountability with my friend to make sure I achieve this, as I am really bad at sitting still and watching talks online

R – I can fit this in, despite a busy schedule

T– Each week during Lent

As a bonus to readers of “From the Coalface”, if you register for this conference and use the discount coupon code “coal”, you will receive a $4 discount off the usual $14.99 registration fee.   Go here to register.


Lastly, a penitential task that I have been putting off for ages:  I am going to sand and paint our family dining table which has massive marks on it and has been overdue for at least 2 years.

S– Complete this task

M– I will be successful when it is finished

A– It will require planning and inconvenience (hence the procrastination), but I know I can do it

R– It is realistic despite my abhorrence for dust and paint fumes.. more jewels in Heaven for me I guess!

T– I will complete this before Easter

I would love to hear your own SMART goals.

And one more reminder, if you register for the “Faces of Mercy” conference and use the discount coupon code “coal”, you will receive a $4 discount off the usual $14.99 registration fee.   Go here to register.


Have a great week everyone!



  1. Hello! Just stopping by from the 7QT linkup… The SMART technique sounds like a great way to manage goals, I’d never come across it before. We’re going vegetarian for Lent, too – it’s our first time, so any hints and tips would be greatly appreciated! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by! Don’t have too many words of wisdom as I seem to do a terrible job of making the vego experience enjoyable. I think this is the third year we have done this now, and we are just starting to get a bit of a rhythm with it. I am getting better at using up the meat in the freezer and planning our first week of Lent’s meals to include a few of the kids favourites so that mutiny does not ensue too early in the process. I get tired of the downcast looks and occasional (fake) dry reaching noises when I serve up some sort of chickpea or lentil meal. One thing it has done for me personally is make me more intentional about Lent in general, rather than suddenly find it’s Ash Wednesday. I would love to hear how you go with it.


    • Thanks! Yes I have been doing an online nutrition/exercise/mindset program for a few years now and it uses a lot of these kinds of ideas, and I got to thinking how the secular world has wisdom in spadefuls that can easily be applied to the spiritual life. I know this is not a new idea, but I guess for me it was a bit of a lightbulb moment to start to take what I’ve learnt and apply it to living the Faith in our family.

      Liked by 1 person

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