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:

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:

$38.00 plus free shipping

blessings jar$24.99 plus free shipping

3-Set Goals:

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. If you need an extra accountability partner, try the app Productive to track your goals, and get daily reminders of healthy habits. Also, BucketListly 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 Organized ChaosCozi, 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:                                                                  

Other Options:

slay your goals guide

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, 2018-2019.

Comments (38)

  1. Reply

    I love this! Especially the ideas about the Daniel fast as well as the memory jar. We don’t have any new years traditions as a family and these two sound like just what we need.

    • Reply

      Hi Joleisa! I think those two traditions would be a perfect fit for your family. Thank you for stopping be and may God bring blessings and joy your way for 2018!

  2. Reply

    Thank you so much for the reminder I have always wanted to do a jar compile of all the things I would achieve during the year. I should do this soon.

    • Reply

      Hi Juli. Creating a memory jar really does capture the happy times and helps you to be more intentional about remembering them and your accomplishments! Best wishes for a fabulous 2018!

  3. Reply

    Writing down my golas is the one thing I’m doing this year never done before! Cause I wanna keep organized and focused 🙂

  4. MindCocktail


    I cannot thank you enough for this article. This morning, I remembered about the jar project but couldn’t recall how it was done and here I am, “bumping” into your article. As I plan to organise myself better and more productively this year, I am also trying out Cozi. Beautiful article, will definitely read it again. Have an awesome 2018!

    • Reply

      Thank you so much for the sweet compliments. I’m so glad you are going to create a happy memory jar. It’s a fun project that makes you very intentionally focus on the good of each day. Best wishes to you for a successful, fulfilled, & blessed 2018!

  5. Reply

    I’ve been randomly thinking about doing the Daniel Fast…maybe this is a sign. 😉 Pinning this for the future too, thanks!

    • Reply

      Hi Ashley! You should definitely give it a try. It’s truly life changing. Best wishes for an amazing 2018!

  6. Audrey R Cobb


    Wendi, I am so proud of you and what you are doing. Sharing ideas can help everyone, those children who say there is nothing to do can start their own jar and tradition. Singles can do the jar also. Thank you for sharing the Daniel Fast. May all that read it and try it be blessed and draw closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  7. Jaimie I


    Wendi, what a great post! I love the memory jar idea too and am going to run with it! Thank you for sharing. I hope things are good with you!

    • Reply

      Thank you for stopping by. I wish you all the best for 2018!You will definitely enjoy reading the contents of the memory jar on 12/31 and love seeing all the good times had throughout the year.

    • Reply

      Thank you for stopping by! I hope you will try the happy memory jar idea. It’s a fun activity and make you intentional focus on the good and happy memories throughout the year. Blessings to you and yours for a wonderful 2018!

  8. Rea


    I used to do the new year’s resolution or setting up goals but for this year, I have a very clear goal which is getting married. So I am not doing it since wedding planning is already taking a lot on my table.
    However, I really like the mason jar idea! I think I should do it this year or I should have done it last year if I had even thought about it.

    • Reply

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. That definitely takes precedence over everything else this year. Enjoy your moment. Hope you can start the memory jar with your sweetheart. It’s fun to see all the wonderful things and happy memories made throughout the year together. Best wishes for a fabulous and joyful 2018!

  9. Reply

    I love the Daniel fast. That is so neat to see how God moved in your life each year. I also like the memories jar. Very great idea.

  10. Reply

    I loved the Happy Memory Jar idea, definitely going to try that this year. I always bring home ticket stubs and flyers from things I experience and then never find a good place to put them. This will be cool to look back at when the year ends.

    • Reply

      Thank you for stopping by. I’m so thrilled you are going to give the happy memory jar a try this year. Best wishes for a wonderful 2018!

  11. N Bonneau


    What a great list of starter traditions! I like the jar. It has great potential to become a simple tradition in a military household. At the end of the year you could even turn it into scrapbook!

    – NeShama @

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