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The July Reset: Setting Intentions - Part 1

Okay my friends - it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty.
I wrote about why I'm hitting the reset button on my life this month, but didn't get into HOW in too much detail.  We are at the beginning of the month, so here we go!

A fortnight ago I sat down with my very cute, very smart partner Alex and we talked about setting some goals for the month ahead. Over a glass of port and a piece of cheesecake at our local spot Loretta, we took a pen to napkin and wrote out the six following areas we wanted to set intentions around and work on for the next month.

They are: 
- Health and Wellness 
- Digital Detox
- Financial Fitness
- Work and Career
- Life De-clutter
- Creative Renewal

I'm sure you can decide to hit reset on your life at any point, but can I just say that having a buddy who's keen to support you and do it with you is really really cool. The support for this project has already been so wonderful with lovely friends offering advice and encouragement. Turns out feeling burnt out and craving a mid-year reset is a pretty common feeling.

Here's what I'm doing and NOT doing for the month of July.

Health & Wellness
This is one that I've been easing myself into over the last week or so. Health and wellness sounds so broad but for me the changes I made in this area had to be mindful, achievable and sustainable. In the past I've fallen prey to fad diets and cleanses - all of them short-lived and unsuccessful, perhaps because they started with a mindset that was rooted in self-loathing and unrealistic body ideals.

I've spent the better half of my twenties trying to learn that it's important to make peace with your own body,  to understand that it is your ally and not your enemy, and that if you look after it, it will look after you.

This month my health goals are not about hitting a target weight or some magic number, but about being mindful about what I put into my body, giving it a bit of a break from the foods I know don't agree with me, and making sure my mental health is taken care of by giving my body lots of sleep and exercise. In a nutshell my health and wellness goals are: 

- To eat well
- To go to the gym three times a week
- To get at least 8 hours of sleep a night 

June is birthday month (and thus cake-and-alcohol month where treating ones' self is the order of the day), so I will be cutting out a couple of things for the first few weeks to give my body a break and time to recover.

For me this looks like...
- Trying to avoid dairy, sugar, carb-heavy foods and super processed foods
- No alcohol for the month (hi dry July!)
- Limiting my caffeine intake to one coffee a day. (I'd never give that up completely, not for anyone)
- Eating fresh, whole foods that make me feel good

What I won't be doing as part of my health and wellness reset
-Weighing myself for the month. Or measuring anything for that matter. Maybe I'll do this at the end, but I feel like it's so easy to get obsessed with a number and to let that number dictate how I feel about myself, despite the changes and efforts I make. Maybe we should all take the batteries out of our scales for a while and see how much better we feel about ourselves?

- Being that annoying person at the dinner table refusing food prepared for me by loved ones. My health is my responsibility and it doesn't need to be theirs. [Small rant: It's a pet peeve of mine when people do things like this. Don't be a jerk. If you're worried about it, say no if you want to and eat a smaller portion if you feel like it. Just don't be rude about it. So so important.]

- Depriving myself of food or over-doing it with physical exercise. It's my belief that having a healthy relationship with food and with your body involves lots of listening. I'm going to eat when I feel hungry, and take it easy my body says that it needs a rest.

At our house we get Nadia Lim's Fresh Start food boxes and they are great. They take the effort out of grocery shopping and meal planning, so I'll be sticking with those to keep my life simple. They have meals under 450 calories per serve and are fresh and filling with lean proteins and lots of veges. We usually get enough out of them for two meals plus leftovers which I'll be eating for lunches. For breakfast I'll be making smoothies with fruit and almond milk plus other things like lsa and protein etc. And I have organised my supplements (not unlike an elderly person), so I remember to take them consistently. I might do a post on what I'm making for breakfast and lunches and the supplements I take if that is something people want to know about? Let me know!

Digital Detox
This one feels like the hardest one and also perhaps the most necessary. It's definitely the one that Alex and I felt the most nervous to undertake. It took a moment of radical honesty to admit that I might have a social media problem. Using social media is part of my job and I really like that part of it, but in an effort to grow my work social media I began to look into ways to do this, testing methods on my personal Instagram first to see if they worked before using them for the business.

I sort of fell down the rabbit hole.  I started to count my followers and likes and check it and refresh it constantly. My phone was never far from me, and I was always being drawn back into those apps by little icons and notifications. In short, I'd begun caring way too much about it.

Social media is a great way to grow and engage an audience, especially if you have a project or a business or a passion, and you want a platform for sharing that with the world. I just know that it's good in moderation, and that recently I've lost my ability to moderate it in a healthy way.

I found myself lamenting to a friend  recently that I used to ponder things more; that I would research things that piqued my curiosity,  form my own theories and expand my world view. I miss it. I miss the version of myself I was before I scrolled endlessly through Facebook and Instagram. If you hooked up CCTV to my bedroom to see what I did in an evening you might have yourself hours of footage of blank-faced Han with eyes glued to her phone scrolling into the night. Sounds pretty dramatic but it's true.

I waste so much time on my phone.
So this month my digital detox goals are:

- Stop the scroll
- Take a social media sabbatical
- Stay present
- Clean up my digital life

This means that I'm logging out or uninstalling my social media apps from my phone for the month. No Facebook and no Snapchat. I'm logging out of my personal Instagram (and blocking this account on my work account so I'm not tempted to stalk myself). I'm also uninstalling apps that I haven't used in a while, unsubscribing from company mailing lists and deleting online shopping apps off my phone. I'm a little sick of being sold to all day every day.

Alex and I have a no-screens after 10pm rule that we are trying to stick to, so we have time to wind-down before bed, which will hopefully result in better quality un-interrupted sleep. If I have time, I'm also going to try go through my hard drives to clear old files and make sure important ones are backed up properly.

What I'm not doing as part of my digital detox:
- Getting rid of messaging services. I am keeping Facebook messenger and Whatsapp on my phone so I can keep in touch with my friends and family, who live in many different time zones. I figure this form of communication is intentional, direct and keeps us feeling connected to real people.

- Giving up Netflix or movies for the month.... but I am giving up scrolling on my phone while I do this. If I'm going to watch something, it's going to have my full attention which will be a change (and a challenge).

- I'm not giving up blogging. In fact I'm doing the opposite; writing about my experiences and sharing them. I think scrolling has something to do with why I stopped writing as much and I'm hoping this month will re-ignite my creative writing spark.

And last one for this post is.....

Financial Fitness
This is something we rarely talk about in life - money is such a taboo topic! But I think we should talk about it more. I think our relationship with money is heavily influenced by the way we were raised, and the role money played in setting or maintaining family values. I make good money for my industry, but I'm really good at spending money and somehow never seem to accumulate very much. I sat down with myself and realised if something happened to my family, to my parents in Perth for example, and I had to suddenly fly there, I don't comfortably have the means to drop everything and go without having to use a credit card or go in to debt for it, even if only for a little while.
I really really want to be better with my money.

So this month I am getting educated about money management and personal finance. (If you're yawning at this I feel you, but stay with me).

My parents gifted my siblings and I a book called 'The Barefoot Investor' by Scott Pape  and it's brilliant. For someone who is not at all interested in reading dry personal finance books, this one has a great straight-talking no nonsense approach and I'm using it as a guide to sort out my finances.

In summary, this month I am going to...

- Finish reading the Barefoot Investor
- Clear my credit card debt (only a small niggly amount thankfully!)
- Spend money more consciously by asking myself, 'Do I really need this?'
- Make some headway in my savings and make myself more financially secure than the last week

Sounds boring and sensible and grown up because it kind of is. But it's also kind of badass too right?

What I won't be doing for financial fitness:
- Becoming a stingy person who is not fun to go out with because they are obsessing about the cost of everything.

- Becoming less generous. Saving money is smart, but spending money on little things to surprise the people I love is not what I consider a waste of my money.

- Setting a super serious tight budget or putting my expenses into spreadsheets. This might work for you but it has never worked for me, and frankly I can't see it being sustainable (or enjoyable) for how I am wired. Maybe that will change in the future, but it's not for me at this time.

And that's it for part 1. Will talk about work and career, life de-clutter and creative in the next post, as well as maybe some resources and how I'm going one week in. Let's do this!


  1. Awesome han... love your honesty

  2. Great stuff honey! Enjoy the process and the inevitable gains (and losses) that you garner on the journey xo

    1. Thanks Dad xx So much learning already.