To start the year off, I took two weeks off of media – news, radio, and all types of social media.  The actual dates were January 5-18.

You may have seen me continue to post on Twitter or Facebook about a new blog post.  I posted those through a third-party site called Buffer, an excellent social media tool for posting only.

Nancy and I try to do some sort of fast at the start of each year that relates to our lifestyle – particularly food and media consumption.  We do it to start the year off strong and to dedicate it to God – a “tithe” of our year, in a sense.

We always reap benefits from this kind of fast.  Here are a few of them:

1) It redeems your time.  Timothy Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Workweek, talks about “cultivating selective ignorance” as an excellent way to maximize your work ability.  When you eliminate unnecessary voices discussing the things you can’t control, you’re able to work with incredible focused intensity on the things you can control.

2) It breaks off the “need.”  Over the two weeks, I found myself grabbing my phone and looking at it, just swiping back and forth on my home page as I remembered I couldn’t go on Instagram (or wherever).  We are tethered to our phones.  They live no further than an arm’s length away.  If we’re not using them, we’re on our iPads, or the computer, or we’ve got the TV on.  Taking a break from media helps break off the “need” to look at our phones that is unconsciously created in our psyche over time.

3) It allows us to listen and think.  I heard God’s voice better because I wasn’t constantly filling my mind with something else.  I spent more time reading the Bible.  I was able to think on a deeper level because my mind wasn’t constantly consumed with that day’s story lines or pictures of someone’s dog.

Try a fast – even just for a week.  Maybe do it around Lent, or to help you mark a new season of life.  There are some serious benefits you’ll realize in time.

Have you ever done a fast like this?  What other benefits did you realize from it?