Here's one explanation I found:
Several years ago I followed a fast through the forty days of Lent and found that it changed my view of Easter, and that it changed me. Fasting and meditating on my weaknesses helped me grasp the intense significance of the crucifixion, and gave me a deep and powerful longing for the resurrection, which then became joy on Easter Sunday. I was helped on this journey by materials from churches more Eastern and more traditional than my own.
I practiced Lent once. I gave up evening dinner. Everyone says that it's the most superfluous meal of the day, so I gave it up for Lent. And then I had a big BBQ bash on Easter Sunday evening where I invited friends over & we celebrated my freedom to eat evening dinner again. It felt like more of a dare to me, though. I was daring myself about whether or not I could go through with it. And I didn't meditate so much on my "weakness longing for resurrection liberation;" it was more about my ability to go without food at the time of day I most often ate my largest meal.
I think I've always kinda liked New Year's Resolutions better. You focus on your entire life, what's good & what's bad, and you make an attempt to improve yourself. And a year later you look back to see how far you've come. And you do it again & again, perpetually bearing fruit and becoming a better person.
Maybe there are some Lent practitioners who could enlighten me. It just doesn't resonate with me like making resolutions does. So perhaps someone could sell me on it...