It’s time to start a new year and a fabulous new beginning. The start of each new year brings with it a refreshed outlook and optimism for great things ahead. Although no one can predict how the year will turn out, you can create traditions of your own to help start the year off in the right direction while putting some positive vibes on the year ahead.
Below are some of my favorite traditions for the month of January:
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1-New Year’s Day Meal:
Do you have a traditional meal that you eat on January 1st each year? In the south, we have always had black-eyed peas, greens (cabbage, turnip greens, collard greens, or spinach will do), pork, and cornbread. Black-eyed peas are for luck, greens are for money, pork is for prosperity, and cornbread symbolizes gold or wealth.
Eating this meal is surely to bring some good luck your way, according to this southern tradition. To learn more about the history of this meal, click here.
2-Create a Happy Memory Jar:
My husband and I starting creating a memory jar, every New Year’s Day, during our first year of marriage. You will need a large mason jar with a lid, a pen, and some colored strips of paper. Whenever you have a memorable or happy moment, you write it down, along with the date, and fold it up before you place it in the jar. You can also add event ticket stubs for memories too.
On New Year’s Eve of each year, you dump out the jar and read about all the fun times and happy memories you made for that year. When we empty out the jar, we put all the memories into a zip lock bag and write the year on there. Then, we place it in our wedding time capsule for each year of our marriage. If you prefer something more fancy than a do it yourself memory jar, here are a few options:
Setting goals is something most people do every January. What’s even more important is that you word your goals in a way that allows you to measure your successes. I will be writing more extensively about this throughout this month. Next, be sure to write your goals down. When you write things down you become more accountable. For a free printable to write down your goals click here for the Goals for 2018 Sheet. If you need an extra accountability partner, try the app Productive to track your goals, and get daily reminders of healthy habits. Also, Life Listr-Bucket List Maker is worth checking out too. This app helps you create action steps toward accomplishing your goals. With this app you can view your goals, action steps, and progress at any time.
4- The Daniel’s Fast:
A coworker, back in 2014, introduced me to this type of spiritual fast. It is a three week spiritual journey from January 7th-January 27th this year. While some worshippers commit to the entire spiritual fast and go without certain foods, you choose what is best for you to give up for the required length of time. I have typically chosen to give up social media and sweets; my two biggest addictions. You will also have scripture to read and focus on each day of the fast. The combination of the spiritual guidance and strength through prayer and fasting will bring you closer to God and strengthen your faith. The first year I completed this, I met my husband. The second year, his deployment was cancelled, which was music to my ears. The third year, we found on post housing at just the right time. The fourth time I participated in the Daniels Fast, my husband and I were blessed with a surprise pregnancy. While I didn’t complete the spiritual fast to gain anything like the things mentioned above, it seemed like God always blessed me with a miracle to show himself at the conclusion of this tradition each January. To learn more about the Daniels Fast, click here.
5-Organize your life with a planner:
Do you have a planner? I cannot live without one. With technology these days, there are so many different options to choose from that it can become quite overwhelming. If you’re a technology guru, you might like Cozi or Mom’s Daily Planner. If you like a hands on and tactical type of planner you might like some of the options below.
My favorite planner:
Whatever your tradition, I hope that this New Year brings you a huge helping of happiness, health, success, joy, and fulfillment.
© Wendi and Strength 4 Spouses, 2018.