My January Rest: The 2023 List

What is My January Rest? It is a terrific time for reflection, and not the kind where I wonder who is that person in the mirror. I mean the kind of reflection that acts as a catalyst for beautiful things to grow on the inside so much that they show on the outside.


For anyone new, read the next couple of introductory paragraphs. If you know what My January Rest is, then skip to this year’s list.

For over ten years I have had a New Year’s tradition to share with anyone who wants a fresh way of refocusing their values at the beginning of a new year. Years ago, I became disgusted with the decadence of December. While I wanted to focus on the most important things, Love and Relationships, it seemed to revolve around indulging–overeating, overspending, and overdoing! Sadly, all-the-while waistlines, debt, and stress increased, satisfaction dissipated.

That is why I created My January Rest, to refocus my appetite, replenish my budget, and re-establish my margins.

While December’s focus was often on getting (consuming), January’s focus is on giving—giving up for the purpose of refocusing my “appetites” by refraining or resting from some things for the month of January.

To see some things I have done in the past (with explanations), you can read my post.

My January Rest: The 2023 List

Here’s the list, also called “Rest Points”. In essence rest from: sugar, junk-food snacking (nutritional food when needed), most drinks, unnecessary shopping, eating out, looking at junk mail-physical or electronic, excessive activities, TV, and rest more! See below for an expanded version of my Rest Points.

Old candles come to life at dinnertime

This year I will rest from satisfying my appetite by using up food in the pantry and freezer. I’ll rest from choosing processed foods over whole/fresh foods. I will rest from satisfying my appetite by not snacking unless I truly need food. One of my big surprises last year was that I didn’t snack last January. I still can’t believe I actually managed that—it is possible! Since last February, I still snack, but my snacks are much more planned and deliberate. Usually it is fruit, veggies, or a protein bar. And I’ll rest from choosing what I prefer over what needs to be consumed. Last year I lit a candle while eating and I loved it! It reminded me to stay in the moment, and finish what I was doing—eating, before doing other things, or trying to multitask. It was great, so I am doing it again, but for dinners only. It really slowed me down! I’ll rest from consuming refined sugar. That also means I’ll be drinking black coffee. 

I will rest from spending money by not shopping for non-essentials. I’ll fix food with what I have, but buy what is needed to complete a meal while substituting or omitting ingredients unless deemed vital. I plan on going through the pantry and freezer to use what I can: it will either be devoured, donated, or ditched! I’ll use the gift card to a grocery store I have that I normally don’t shop at. We are going to try to make 4 trips to the grocery store, or less, in January. We are setting a day to go, so if anything is truly needed, then we will get in on that day, which will make me plan ahead. Since I am creative, I can usually get away with pulling things together with what I have for the two of us. As our supply of options dwindles, it gets harder.

Freezer bounty made a delicious chicken noodle soup with homemade stock, fresh ginger, and lemon verbena.

I’ll rest from going out to eat (unless it seems necessary for example when meeting someone that I cannot easily invite to the studio or my home and I’ll try to use a gift card). Years I have gone out to eat, I’ve gone through less food in the house. One meal can feed me/us multiple meals, which means I don’t get through the food at home. Also, I will have my once-per-month date night with my guy at home this month to help.

Score! I was sure I was going to run out of coffee, but I found this at my studio. I purchased it and it never made it home…it is now!

Phone: I am on it too much. By putting it down earlier five nights per week and trying to both put it down and not pick it up will help. When someone comes into the room, like my husband, I will set my phone down if I am not in the middle of something important (like work). Or, I will announce what I am doing and try to communicate when I will be available. Also, I simply will try not to pick up my phone so often and even leave it in a close location, but not on me. When I am working, I often have it on Do Not Disturb Plus Favorites. I can work uninterrupted without worrying that I’ll miss my husband’s or daughter’s call. 

Last year my girl was living out of our home, but…she’s back! No worries, she is independent and completely vegetarian now. She will do her thing and I will do mine. We are both focusing on some same goal with nutrition, so that makes for good support and interesting conversation. My husband is more on board with clearing out the freezer thank I am! He started last month. He identified a couple lonely packages of brats and he’s been working on them.

As usual, I will save time and money by using up certain lotions, shampoo, makeup samples, or other items that are close to gone, or aren’t my favored items. Or, those travel sized items that never get used up. 

Unlike last year, when I stopped painting my nails—which I haven’t painted them once in 2022—I plan on painting them. I started biting them (boo) and that will stop me. 

I’ll again rest my eyes from looking at sales flyers and emails, advertisements, and magazines. This rest saves time and money and keeps the discontentment away! 

What will I read instead? The Psalms and books by Ray Goble. Also, I hope to finish a podcast study series that I have completed 123 out of 144. I stalled out last year and I want to actually finish this. This will take time, since I generally take about 45 minutes listening and taking notes on a twelve minute podcast!

For the month of January, I try to rest from excessive activities then use the recovered time to connect with people in person. This year I’m planning a handful of special outings that will feed my soul. 

Again this MJR, I am going to allow two movies a week (no TV), one for family night and one over the weekend. I did this last year too. I’m going to allow episodes of The Chosen to not count as a movie. They are great and help my spiritual reflection. I’ll avoid videos on the phone and computer, unless there is a valid reason beyond curiosity or mindless consumption. I’ll use social media and mind my own business: I do have a business, so I need to be involved with that and I will be posting about MJR and interacting with that, but I’m minimizing browsing other’s posts. Hopefully resting from so much movie and screen time will open time to read, think, write (posts like these) and sleep. 

Sleep: last year I was given a tracking device and it did result in knowing the facts about my sleep—which was that I don’t get enough and am awake for about an hour every night. The good news is that I did get a little more sleep because I knew the numbers. The bad news is there is a lot of room for improvement. I have weeks after weeks of less than six hours of sleep. My average most of the time is about six and a half. I am hoping to get to seven or over. How? I am going to try to stop working, including being online after 9:30 five days a week. That leaves two for posting late at night (as that is generally when I can manage to get my blog posts done). This will also help me rest from my phone, and social media more. Note how one good boundary can automatically bring additional wins. The opposite is also true. Ask most addicts and they will tell you that they have more than one addiction. 

These “Rest Points” make me think more. My January Rest helps me reclaim some of my time to use in a restful way, versus mindless consumption of whatever comes my way. 

Are you interested in trying a January Rest of your own? It is never too late to decide what options you will try and for what duration. Feel free to share your experience. What you most likely will find out is that by telling yourself “no” for a season is like picking a fight with yourself. We can not only save money but we can retrain ourselves to be good managers of the resources we already have. We can find freedom and experience peace and contentment that comes through the process.

Happy New Year! I hope you “rest”.

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