I love the New Year! There is something as magical about a New Year as there is about a fresh, white, untouched canvas. There’s going to be work involved, and yes challenges. Joy too. Accomplishments and growth. That is why I participate in My January Rest (MJR). For those unfamiliar with My January Rest, it is my version of a New Year’s Resolution. But instead of setting goals for the year, most of which will not survive the month, my focus is resting from lessor things—for one month—for the purpose of focusing on greater things. In the process, my wants, desires, and sometimes troubling habits are reformed. Many of these rests have resulted in a permanent life change!
I’m late posting my list. I’ve been waylaid by family sickness and work. It is the 6th day of the month and I have been at the studio for the last five days straight—yay! Evenso, I have faithfully been abiding by My January Rest’s List. If you would like to see what last year’s list was, you can read about it at My January Rest 2017—The List.
Each new year requires careful consideration as to what my new My January Rest will look like. After I commit to my focuses, I often need to remind myself that it is only a month! My rest seems to break down into three major categories that I have identified to rest from: satisfying appetites, unnecessary spending, and mindless activities.
My previous January Rests have helped me reclaimed some of my time to use in a restful way, versus mindless consumption of whatever came my way. One big change for me as far as My Rest this year will change my hard-core focus on using up existing food at all cost. I’ve been working toward better health through healthier eating. Plus, I have been gluten free for nearly two years. This means I can’t eat many things in the house. My goal in every area: use what I can, then donate or pitch what I/we cannot. This has been the case every year, but this year, I give myself the option to purchase my go-to healthy foods as needed. That means I’m resting from, that is lay off, my yummy GF processed foods—even though they are in my pantry. Other years I might have tried to make it until February, by eating other things. This year, healthy wins over anything else. And, I don’t have to put rest from computer games on my list, because I haven’t been playing them since last year’s MJR!
Here is this year’s list based on the three major categories for My January Rest:
Rest from satisfying appetites
- Use what I have in the house vs buy what I prefer to eat. Target what needs used up most and start there.
- Use up the shampoos, conditioners, bottled lotions and other household products: use up existing instead of using purchasing new.
- Rest from sugar: no sugar, no sweets, nope!
- Coffee, but no sugar OR cream in it. I’m trying to decrease dairy in my diet.
- Need vs want. Use what I already have over what I think I prefer.
- Minimize processed food.
Rest from spending
- Purchase only what is needed to complete a meal, PLUS fresh. Health is a larger concern, so we will purchase fruits and veggies, but in moderation to ensure they are eaten.
- Avoid eating out unless I have a gift card. I will carefully consider outings. Last year I went out several times, which didn’t seem like a rest from our normal life and we used up less food at home because of it.
- Avoid non-essential shopping.
Rest from activities
- Resting my appetite from my preferred way of drinking coffee. I’ll have coffee out if I have a gift card.
- Rest from reading advertisements and magazines (email and snail mail) which will also help me to rest from spending.
- Rest from Bible study again. My Sisters’ group is slowing down, reading, and savoring the Psalms again in January.
- Rest from going out as in stay home more; invite people to meet at my home or studio. More than saving money, it provides a more intimate encounter with friends. Business meetings will require social settings.
- Rest from the unnecessary. This is hard to define, because what is truly necessary? The goal here is to be mindful of how I spend my time.
- Rest from phone and computer by setting boundaries.
- Attempt good rest at night or naps when possible.
My January Rest will replenish me by resting from these things. I will have needed space and time to create, read and write, develop ideas and material, and rest physically. Or so the theory goes. I hope you will keep reading to see how this year’s Rest turns out and encourage me along the way.
If you are participating, in big or small ways, as always, I look forward to hearing how your rest is going.