“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” – You’ve Got Mail
August always makes me think of new school supplies and new beginnings. For most of my life, August represented a new school year, a chance to start over. It’s still hot, but it’s the last part of the heat before the air gets crisp and the leaves start changing colors. Most people think of New Years’ as a time of renewal (and silly resolutions that they don’t often keep), but for me it was always the first day of school that sparked such newness and curiosity.
There was also a sense of intentionality. This year I will get a 4.0. This year I will make new friends. This year will be the year that I finally ask my crush to the homecoming dance. August was a time of goal-setting and hopes.
It’s been a year of challenges like I’ve never dealt with before. A year of loss and grief, of frustrations and setbacks, of just dealing with life the best I knew how. It’s also been a year of happy changes, moving forward, becoming more myself. This August, I’m starting fresh. It’s a new school (life) year, and I’m going to get everything out of it that I can.
I read a book recently, called It Starts with Food. The authors not only expanded my outlook on food, but on other areas of life as well. They presented a “reset button” of sorts, called The Whole30. The premise is that for 30 days, you eat only the foods that make you healthier. Simple, right? What if we applied this concept to the rest of our day? Imagine, at every decision, thinking “what will make me the healthiest, most whole version of myself?”
Next month, I’m committing to a WholeAugust, and I’d love for you to join me.
For the month of August, let’s be intentional about our health and wholeness. Think about the areas of your life where you could use a little improvement: family, work, friends, personal time, fun, fitness and food, rest, or spirituality. Where do you need to choose the things that will make you healthier?
Over the next week, I want you to set 2 goals for your WholeAugust.
The first will be an area where you can get some easy wins. Maybe you’re right on edge of a personal record in a sport you love. Go for that! Or maybe it’s adding one book to your reading list for the month. Schedule some coffee dates with yourself and knock it out! We need easy wins to motivate us for the more challenging goals. Make sure this is something just out of your reach – with a little help, you’ll get it. Celebrate when you do!
Second, you’ll set a goal that is more challenging. For you, this might be starting something new, like going to crossfit or that photography class you’ve been eyeing for a while. It might be committing to getting appropriate sleep (this is hard!) or having a tough conversation you’ve been putting off. Perhaps it's just incorporating some new life-giving rhythms into your week or defending your non-negotiables. I want you to succeed, so please don’t pick something like losing 20lbs in August or becoming a prima ballerina when you’ve never taken classes before. This should be a goal that is do-able, but one that will take a little more effort.
Since I’m asking you to join me in WholeAugust, I’ll let you in on my goals.
For my easy win, I’m intentionally eliminating the word “just” from my vocabulary at work. Women, especially, tend to use language like this to unintentionally make themselves seem smaller or lower. When I need something from a co-worker, I will say “I need this from you” instead of “I just need a minute to ask you about that.” See the difference? I've been working on this a little, but I need to be intentional about it.
For my harder challenge, I am committing to a Whole30 nutritional reset. I’ve been going to Crossfit again since May, and have gotten stronger already, but I want to see what I can do while eating the foods that will make me healthiest. This will definitely be hard, because, well….cheese. I’ll miss you, my dairylicious friend.
I’d love to hear from you! What will you do with your WholeAugust?
I’m excited to become more healthy and whole with you!