What’s your personal focus for July?

Remember your habit for June? How did it go?

Photo by Mareen Fischinger

I‘m genuinely excited about starting this new month, because except for a week-long family vacation, it should be the most “normal” month we’ve had since April. It’s not an excuse, but it is a reason for why it’s been challenging for me to give habit-changing the focus I want. Nonstop house guests have made it difficult at best to focus on improvement.

When I first wrote about the benefit of replacing negative habits with positive ones, I brought up the well-known idea that if you do something regularly for a consistent amount of time, it should morph into a habit. And since months are conveniently around 30 days, I thought it would be a good idea for Simple Mom readers to declare a habit focus for each month this year.

So what one area do you want to focus on in July? What do you want to change in your life?

Here are possible areas in your life that could possibly benefit from a habit change – maybe these will trigger some ideas:

  • parenting
  • your physical health
  • your relationship with God
  • your relationship with your spouse
  • money management
  • decluttering and/or organizing your home
  • how you spend your free time
  • a dormant hobby
  • your sleep patterns
  • cleaning your house
  • green living
  • your spending patterns

Remember, habit change works best when you don’t do too much at once – this is why it’s good to only have one habit focus per month. It’s great that you want to train for a marathon, balance your checkbook daily, spend 30 minutes every day reading a book, and go to bed at 10 p.m. But to begin all those things at once – well, it just smacks of failure. Give yourself a winning start by doing one thing at a time.

My Habit Focus for July

My youngest is six months old as of this weekend, and I’m ready to reclaim by body. I do really well physically when I log my food intake, so my habit focus for July is to find an ideal food log site that works well for me, and to log my food and drink intake daily. I already know about My Food Diary, Spark People, and The Daily Plate, but if you have anything to recommend from personal experience, I’m all ears!

Zen Habits has an excellent article on 13 things to avoid when changing habits, which might give you further inspiration.

It’s your turn – what’s your habit focus for July? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section, or if you want to declare your plans on your own blog, don’t forget to let us know the link! Let’s be an encouragement for each other. Putting your goals in writing always helps.

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I have been trying out http://www.gyminee.com. It has a Free and subscription service.

  2. Melissa North says:

    This month I am totally going to work on actually getting up at a reasonable time in the morning and not going back to bed. I always feel better (in the end) when I do, and get a lot more done!

    You mention that you’ve had a lot of guests in the past month, would you be able to do an article about keeping houseguests/family members? DH and I are in a house now where we can actually accomodate family, and with a little one on the way I am a bit worried about my lack of hospitality skills. I would love to be the mom who invites the whole family over for holidays, but I’ve never catered for more than 3 people at a time! Particularly worrying is when they stay for more than a few days, am I allowed to do cleaning, will we have to eat out every night? I don’t want family visits to send me into some sort of nervous breakdown 🙂

  3. I use Diet Power to keep track of what I eat. It’s really easy to use and not only keeps track of calories but also the nutrients in each food you eat and your water intake; and it will recommend foods that have the nutrients and vitamins you’re short on for the day. It only takes me five minutes to log what I’ve eaten – super easy and not a huge time sink. Gotta love it 🙂

  4. I’ve used Fitday.com sporadically for about 5 years. I’ve not tried the others, though.

    However, I finally took the plunge and joined Weight Watchers online. I’m finally seeing some progress in shedding the “baby-weight.” And my “baby” is two years old. Heh.

    Jezers last blog post..These are a few.

  5. I’ve just started using Sparkpeople this past week and like it a lot. It offers everything I need and doesn’t feel like a huge time suck like most programs. Then again, I’m not dieting — only trying to make exercise a big part of my life now. For once. I haven’t participated in this challenge but I think I would like to. Exercise for the fun of it in July.

    Shawns last blog post..Outside the box mothering

  6. I used Fitday.com. I really hated Weight Watchers tracker. Fitday’s is not as comprehensive as some, but it’s got a lot of features that I love, as well as a simple way to set up personalized goals.

    Mommas last blog post..Seven Questions – Changing Your Life a Week At A Time – Week 2

  7. I am going to focus on July as NO SPEND MONTH!

    J 🙂

    LobotoMEs last blog post..{ NO spend month }

  8. We track our food intake on our state’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield web site, not because it’s friendly (it’s not) but because we earn points every time we do! You can accrue 1000 points per week and redeem them for gift cards. Of course we’re hoarding our points so at the end of the year we can get a $200 card. You can log your exercise too. 🙂

    Julies last blog post..in which I eschew all things disposable

  9. Keeping a food and exercise journal is the only thing that ever got me to lose weight and keep it off.

    I bought a series of little spiral notebooks, and they did the trick. After spending my teens and 20s as “the heavyset girl,” people actually called me slender!

    Terrys last blog post..You Meet All Kinds

  10. Thanks for all the food logging ideas, everyone! I’ve heard about most of those, but I’ll look into them and see what works well for me.

    @Melissa – That’s a great post idea! I’ll definitely post that on the calendar sometime soon.

    @Shawn – Great goal! I like the whole “for the fun of it” part to exercising – I tend to do a lot better when I think of exercise as something fun to do, and not a chore.

    @LobotoME – Are you going to blog about your goal? If so, let me know! I’d love to read about your experience.

    @Julie – Wow, that’s interesting! Now, do you have to be with Blue Cross/Blue Shield to earn points? I’m assuming you do. Either way, that’s a cool incentive.

  11. Last month I did much better at washing my dishes instead of letting them pile up. This month we’re doing No Spend Month too. We’ve made it into a family tradition every July as a boot camp to make us more mindful about our spending and more aware of the needs of others. Here’s to practicing discipline!

    Rachels last blog post..July is No Spend Month — What’s it About?

  12. http://www.my-calorie-counter.com/calorie_counter.asp

    I found it very useful. You can join for $5/month and add your own foods to the diary. It tracks weight loss, nutrition, and excersise.

    I really liked it when I was using it.

  13. This month – I’m working on keeping my whole house presentable all the time – it is easy for me to let clutter get away from me and work take up too much of my time so housework is my theme for July

    Blesseds last blog post..How do I function on 3 hours of sleep a night?

  14. my goal for july is to work on following through. in all areas! i’ve become a little slacker this past month- it’s been nice not having to do the daily school routine. and now, i’m paying the price… ugh… but, i have hope and i know with a little discipline and follow through- i CAN be productive again!

    thanks for the reminder!!

    karis last blog post..the one another commands

  15. Wow, I can’t believe June has already flown by! My focus for June was to keep the dining table free of clutter so we could actually eat there every night – and it worked! Will be keeping this one up for sure 🙂

    For July – keeping on top of the folding. Washing and hanging out and bringing it in is all good. But once the clean stuff hits a washing basket (yes, we have several…) I try to not think about it – until I’m looking for a particular item!

    Meegans last blog post..This is a castle…

  16. I like the idea of a food log, and frankly, I could benefit from doing that myself! My goal for the month of July is to push forward with my idea of writing a book. For this first step I plan to create a book package complete with cover letter, outline and a sample chapter or two. To get this accomplished I’ll need to make writing a habit. It still feels a bit like a chore, and I want to get into more of a routine of carving out dedicated time to write with no distractions. Great idea!

    Frugal Dads last blog post..Who is Responsible for Your Misery Index?

  17. @Rachel & Meegan – So glad last month went well for you in your area!

    @Frugal Dad – What a great goal! I’d love to one day write a book. Maybe when my kids aren’t so young…

    Everyone has great goal ideas! I truly hope posting them here will be a good motivator and encouragement for you.

  18. With a vacation and a couple of other out of town trips within the last 3 weeks, I’d like to get back on a schedule/routine. We really need it right now.

    Kats last blog post..Daddy.

  19. My favorite is Weightbydate.com. It works for me and it has a mobile application for your PDA.

    Very useful.

  20. I use this site to log workouts and food intake: http://www.self.com/challenge

    June’s goal was focusing on completing tasks.
    July is cultivating intimacy and quality time/communication with my spouse.

    Julies last blog post..Poverty. What am I going to do about it?

  21. Hi there! This is my first time visiting your blog! I love it!
    I’ve been on Tracey Mallet’s challenge. She is writing a new book with video specially for us moms (she has a group of us testing it!). It’s been working on me so great!! I have to have a food log and do the workouts and until now I’ve lost 8 lbs and lots of inches. I started in April, I do the workouts at home and the diet or healthy eating plan is real easy. Take a look at her site here:
    http://www.teammallett.com/ and here:

    Good luck!

    Darielas last blog post..The Blue Project

  22. @Dariela – Thanks for the link! I did Tracy Mallett’s prenatal yoga and pilates when I was pregnant, and I really liked her. I’ll have to check this out.

  23. Well, it is July 16 and I finally know what my personal focus is for July…So I am going to make it my personal focus for August too and be ahead of the game instead of behind.
    I have a four year old and a 16 month old, both were born by c-section, both were around 8 pounds and 20 inches long. I am 4′ 11″ on a good day, so my belly was stretched beyond belief with both little rascals. I have been asked two times in the last month if I am expecting again….so my personal focus for July/August is to get my belly back in shape so that I don’t look pregnant and more importantly so that my lower back feels better and I feel better about myself!

    Darcys last blog post..I Scream for Ice Cream!!

  24. Every month is no spend month for me. I’m a single middle aged (if I live to 116) woman living in Australia and I have $AU1200 per month to live on (for everything) so I can give you a couple of tips on living on less.
    1. Shop once a month. Saves on impulse buying, time and petrol and includes adding frozen and canned as well as fresh fruit and vegetables to get you through the month and bulk savings in the staples like rice and flour.
    2. Have a look all your utilities and insurances and shop around for better deals.
    I cringe when I think of the money I wasted when I did have money to spend and believe your considered spending exercise will be a wonderful learning experience for your children as well as yourself. An Aussie would say ‘bonza job mate’.

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