It’s the beginning of a brand new year, time to reflect on the years past and to set new goals for the year ahead. Life is ever moving faster so there has never been a better time to start to slow things down.
Living Simpler in January
At the end of every year, my husband and I make goals for the upcoming year. We might decide which big projects we are going to tackle, what we want to add to our homestead, goals for work or parenting, or anything else that seems like something we should be working on. I don’t like to call them “resolutions” because to us it’s more than that. It’s setting achievable, actionable goals and deadlines for the year.
This year we have several goals for our homestead…we are planning to finish the garden, fence the front yard, and add in a large number of berry bushes. But our biggest goal for the year might seem a little odd to you if you regularly read this blog.
Our goal for 2018 is to slow down.
Through the blog, it might seem as though we take things slowly, and overall, we do live a simple life compared to most. But adding in another child, beginning homeschooling, growing our family business, plus multiple health issues for several members of our family has thrown us for a loop.
My schedule is full, my days are busy, we aren’t at home as much as I would hope we would be. There is too much chaos and little space to take a breather.
So we’ve declared 2018 our year of slowing down. Each month we plan on evaluating how the previous month has gone and then we will put into place new ideas for slowing things down throughout the year.
I’ve been asked so many times if I plan on writing another book and the answer is yes. And the topic is this, slower living in a modern world. You can follow our family’s journey and I hope to share plenty of actionable tips on how you might be able to do the same. While I’m writing the book this year, each month I will share a post like this one to give an update on how we are doing and to give you tips and ideas on how you can make each month simpler as well. Quite frankly, life is too short for us to keep spinning faster and faster towards the end. I want to enjoy my life while I’m here, I want to enjoy my children, I want to make an impact on my family and my community. I can’t do that if my world is moving 100 miles per hour.
So let’s get started, right here, right now!
Eat from the Pantry Stockpile. January is a great time to eat up and clean out. Get more ideas and basic menu plans here and here. If you don’t already have a good stockpile, this might be a good month to begin building it. Learn how to do that with just $5 per week here. I have another new post coming next week on this topic and be sure and follow me on Instagram to see examples of our “pantry meals”!
Redefine your budget. New year, new budget. Take time to look over your budget this month and see if there are any areas you can cut back or save. If you are already living on next to nothing, read my tips here on how you can still live simply even when life isn’t treating you fairly.
Get a penpal. Maybe this just seems like one extra thing to do, but writing a letter and receiving a letter in the mail can bring such joy! Feel free to ask for a penpal in our LHL Facebook group or if you don’t have anyone to write to, drop me a line. My address is here. If you need some stationary be sure and check out my hubby’s beautifully designed notecards. Don’t forget to send out your thank you cards for Christmas as well. Maybe take the time to write an extra special note to the recipient before you send them out.
Make 2 freezer meals. That’s at least 2 meals you can make in advance and pull out when you need them. I think I will probably make some Freezer Meatloaf and some BBQ Meatballs, but with some of my ground chicken instead of beef.
Unsubscribe from junk emails that come in. You have way more important things to do than clean out your inbox. This month, when each email comes in that you no longer want to read, go in and click the unsubscribe button. I’m going to work hard on this one, especially advertising emails from stores.
Clean out the kids’ toys. Chances are, they got plenty of new things for Christmas. Time to sit down with them and have them pick out only the things they really want or are really playing with. Less toy clutter always = happier mom! Read more about Reducing Gift Clutter.
Set up a meal planning “cheat sheet”. You can see mine at the bottom of this post. Basically, each day of the week has a theme, so when I’m planning out the meals for the month, it makes life SO much easier. By the way, if you need some meal plan inspiration, here is a whole month of meals for January.
Begin the year’s Gardening Journal and order seeds. If you order your garden seeds online, you might find that many of the best seeds sell out by February. I like to put my order in during January to ensure that I get what I’m wanting. January is also the perfect month to start on my Gardening and Preserving Journal.
Do you think that you can accomplish these tasks this month? I think that each of them will be a great way to start the year out fresh! I’m so looking forward to this year of slower living for our family and I hope that you will be following along.
Also, if you don’t already have a copy of my ebook, 31 Days to Simpler Living or if you bought a copy but haven’t taken the time to work on it yet, I highly recommend doing it during the month of January. It will make you feel so accomplished and ready to start the year off right.
What are your goals and plans for the month of January?