My January Rest

Fresh snowfall on beautiful evergreen trees in Wisconsin.
Fresh snow is a beautiful reminder of the newness of each year. New year, new opportunities for fresh starts.

For years I have had a New Year’s tradition I wish 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 it to be about the most important things, Love and Relationships, it seemed to rotate 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 on getting, January’s focus is on giving up; giving up for the purpose of refocusing my “appetites” by “refraining or resting from” some things for the month of January. By giving up, that is resting from certain things, I get more of what I truly desire in my life.

Here are some things I have done in the past:

  1. Rest from satisfying appetite.
    • Use up food in the pantry and freezer (yes, even freezer surprise–those pesky foods that went in, but weren’t labeled so you haven’t taken them out because you don’t remember what they are, even though you were SURE you would remember when you put them in.
    • Rest from drinking coffee, tea, alcohol or other comfort items.
  2. Rest from spending–Not only will this save you money–remember all the money you spent for Christmas–you will also save time by not shopping, putting away what you purchased, entering more receipts, or whatever your scenario might be.
    • Fix food with only what you have, instead of buying more. Or, only buy what you need to complete a meal with what you already have–be creative!
    • Rest from going out to eat or drink. If you are not resting from drinking coffee, tea, or alcohol, you can rest from purchasing them (ie, only use what you have at home already–you probably have something that you don’t like as well, which is why you haven’t used it and purchased something else).
    • Use up lotions, shampoo, makeup samples, or other items that are close to gone, or simply aren’t your favored items, instead of purchasing new.
    • Rest your eyes from looking at sales flyers, advertisements, and magazines that feed the urge to upgrade your current life.
  3. Rest from activities–Instead, use the time to connect in person to someone you have meant to connect with but have been too busy.  Read that awesome book you bought but haven’t had time to get around to.
    • Avoid social media or set specific boundaries and don’t get sucked into rabbit trails and other time-wasting black holes.
    • Don’t watch the News, TV,  or  movies; don’t read your magazines.
    • Plan downtime including rest, naps, full nights of sleep and other things that are quiet that fill you versus doing things that drain you.

Sound intriguing? Refreshing? Join me?

Begin to consider, what you would like to rest from. Although there are things you will need to do or not do, this experience is designed to provide more margin in your life, so keep it simple and have fun. I would love to hear about what you attempt and your experiences. Those of us that have done it the last few years, realize that the practices changed the rest of our year in an enriching way.


  1. Love this idea! I definitely tend to feel this way in January, like I just need a rest. I have never specifically focused on giving up things, but I generally reset myself without much meaning to. Great post!

      1. Happy new year to you! I actually just finished updating my sadly abandoned blog about life changes and I definitely will be resting as much as possible this January…considering I’m expecting my first little baby within the week or two!

        I hope you’ve had a wonderful year and enjoy your rest this January!

    1. Unfortunately, I do know that feeling all too well. That is why I did allow myself coffee this year, but resting from the cream and sugar (yummy) and not purchasing coffee out. It is hard! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Great idea we are resting from alcohol. We had a great rest from the commercial aspect of Christmas. This year we had a valid excuse to have the Christmas we had always wanted: dementia does have its positives!

  3. January launches a whole new round of events in our family, but come February, I’m ready for a break, so I’m going to take your suggestions to heart, as many as life permits anyway. I especially like your idea of using up foods in the pantry, freezer and fridge before shopping for more. Time to make that rhubarb pie! (I put extra rhubarb in the freezer last spring.) Sharing.

    1. Rhubarb pie sounds so great this time of year. A bit (and a bite) of summer in the middle of winter. I hope to see pictures, since I cannot taste it. I’d love to hear how the process of using up works for you. I still realize I have a surplus of some times, so I am going to extend some of my practices into February.

      1. A lot of my recipes come about because I looked in the fridge and saw odds and ends that needed to be used, especially soups. As I add posts, you’ll see lots of ways. Even that coconut lemon cake (you’ll see it on my home page, since it’s new) I made the other day came about because of an unplanned surfeit of lemons and eggs!

      2. That is creative cooking. Best dishes sometimes come out of a surplus or a lack of. I admire people who bake because I prefer to cook. I feel I can get away with improvising more. Maybe it is because I don’t follow directions well. 🙂

      3. Was a time I hated to bake because it was so precise and I preferred “cooking by the seat of my taste buds.” Now I know differently, and it’s just as fun.

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