Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tunes Thursday

Happy Birthday Claude Debussy – French composer who wrote Clair de Lune, one of my most favorite pieces of music.  His music is so incredibly beautiful and can take you far away.  Take a moment to key up sometime today and see their doodle in his honor.

Today I’d like you to exercise your heart, spirit and ears and explore some of the classical pieces.  Go to a local radio station that plays classical music and just listen.  As a child I was fascinated by the Peer Gynt suite by Edvard Grieg and Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev.  I can remember going on a grade school trip to see a full-blown professional orchestra and my little heart was just captured as I “saw” the music and imagined the colors and feelings and it flowed over me.  My years of ballet training exposed me to amazing classical compositions that literally had my body dancing to its strains and rhythms.  Blessedly, I have never lost the passion for this genre of music.  There is something that stirs you deep inside.  To this day I just can’t imagine Christmas without the score of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite in the background. 

In fact, if you are a baby boomer, you were probably introduced to many classical compositions in none other than the old cartoons and 60’s TV!  The William Tell Overture by Rossini as Bugs Bunny was being chased, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in a cereal commercial, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Spring as Elmer Fudd got up early to hunt Bugs Bunny… you were subtly introduced to an amazing array of classical music without even knowing it!  And of course, who could forget Bo Derrick introducing us to Ravel’s Bolero in the movie “10”?  One of my favorite chick flick movies, “Somewhere In Time” (get out your tissues) forever tattooed Rachmaninov’s “Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini” on my soul!

If you’re not familiar with the classics, here is a website that lists their “top 100” classics with artists.  I soooo encourage you to surf over and listen to their previews of the various pieces.  I think you’ll be surprised at how many may tickle your memory.  

Here in New Jersey this morning it’s raining, dark and gray – a perfect day to grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit quietly watching the rain from your window (or car windshield or screened/covered porch) and allow the soothing classics you melt over you and bathe you in their beauty.  Your spirit won’t be the same.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wild Woman Wednesday

Should I?  Shouldn't I?  Will it be obvious?  Sigh... I'm just not sure...
Okay, I did it.  I've been thinking about it for a long time, and today I finally did it.  I got a facelift!  Yes, I did and it feels wonderful, I feel like a new woman!

My website looks fresh and new!

Oh wait, what did you think I meant?  No, no, no.... I've seen too many of THOSE go bad, thank you (just check out -- it will scare you out of ANY kind of "refreshing" of any body part)!  I'll live with my well-earned laugh lines (for now at least) and stick will lifting only my website!!!

So, please go wild and surf on over.  Thanks!

Coach Linda

Monday, August 19, 2013

Movin' and Motivated Monday

Today is the third week of August… we’re quickly coming to the close of another summer and about to embark into the autumnal days of this year in exactly 35 days.  Thanksgiving is 101 days away, Christmas is 128 days away, and a new year will begin in exactly 134 days, give or take a few hours depending on where in the world you live.

So now that you have these dates in mind, you can begin to plan accordingly.  How much money do you want to have saved for holiday shopping?  You have approximately 120 days to save your pennies if you want until the last week of Christmas to get your gifts.  You have 94 days – giving yourself an extra week for purchasing/prepping – to plan your Thanksgiving menu.  How would you like to start off 2014?  You have 133 days to plan your healthful eating/exercise plan, so that you won’t have to worry about a crazy new health plan for 2014.  Imagine that?  No new year’s resolutions to lose weight/inches, etc.  You’ll have already tackled that goal!!!

It’s Monday – a fresh new week in front of you.  Start thinking about your goals/plans for the week, the month, the Fall, the Winter, the rest of the year.  It’s never too late to begin planning and taking baby steps towards your goals.  Begin today.  And if you need help/coaching, email/call me and allow me to partner with you to reach those goals.  Stop procrastinating and start building  – don’t put off your life. 

Live it N-O-W!

You have never been as old as you are this minute, nor will you ever be as young as you are right now.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fast Friday

There are a million fasts out there for dieters.  Juice, water, cabbage soup, etc.  Lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 10 days.  Yes, I have tried some, I admit, as a magic bullet to a flatter tummy and a lower number on the scale.  I’m not saying they did not work to some extent – but it was primarily water loss and now I realize muscle loss and nutritional disaster.  Please note -  I’m only addressing fasting here for dieting and/or cleansing purposes, not for other reasons such as prayer and fasting, etc. 

I am a big believer in eating intentionally, healthfully and not eliminating any food group out of your system unless it is for a specific medical purpose (like abolishing gluten if you have celiac disease, for example).  I question the validity and wisdom of eating only fruit and veggies for weeks.  Your muscles need of protein.  Your body needs certain fats.  There are reasons we are to eat a variety of foods in reasonable proportions.  Now, while I do think there are certain foods that are best left alone (white sugar, white bread, white potatoes, white rice, artificial sweeteners, soda), I believe in the plate that has half filled with veggies, one-quarter with a carb (like a sweet potato) and a quarter with protein (fish, chicken, etc.).  I’m all about balance across the board, be it food, exercise, time management… a balanced life is my goal.  On occasion if I am feeling sluggish and bloated I may eat lighter fare, more veggies and salads and always always water... but only for a day or two, monitoring how I feel and ensuring I get protein.

That being said, I wanted to share with you today an article from Prevention Magazine entitled “Do You Really Need a Cleanse?” by Holly C. Corbett.  Holly (in the name of journalism and, oh yeah, a week before an island vacation requiring a bathing suit), sets out to do a liquid fast.  I think you will find this article informative, realistic and funny.  I’ve copied it below, but you can also access it at this link:

So before you chain yourself to your bathroom in the name of “cleansing”, read this article.  Then think again.  It gives a whole ‘nuther meaning to “fast food”!!!

Blessings and a wonderful healthful, balanced weekend filled with good foods, love and laughter,

Coach Linda


Do You Really Need A Cleanse?
Peer inside the daily diary of woman on a liquid cleanse. Plus: Top nutritionists weigh in on whether these diets help—or harm—your health.

Nothing riles up health writers like the debate over the relative merits and perils of detox diets. In one camp, you have women convinced that cleanses are needed to flush harmful toxins from your body; in the other are people persuaded they’re dangerous fad diets that deprive you of essential nutrients (and then trigger binges).  I was in neither, so I decided to give one a whirl myself.

Now, I’d like to say my motivation was pure professional curiosity: A desire to use my body as a research tool so that I could better report on a trend that celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow to BeyoncĂ© have sworn by, inspiring legions of women in their wake. But that wouldn’t be completely true. When I volunteered to test a liquid cleanse, it just so happened I had a trip planned to a tropical island just one week later. If, in the name of journalism, I could also feel better in my two-piece, well, wouldn’t that be nice?

There are countless trendy detox diets out there, but I opted for the Master Cleanse. Sure, subsisting on spicy lemonade for 10 days sounded like cruel and unusual punishment. But unlike other cleanses that cost hundreds of dollars, this one was super easy to follow, and it was cheap. In fact, the only ingredients required were laxative tea, organic lemons, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.

Ten days sounded like a bit much, so I tasked myself with trying it for five. Here is my daily diary of what happened. Warning: You’d best stop here if toilet humor isn’t your cup of (laxative) tea. 

Photo courtesty of Prevention Magazine
Day 1: Salt-water guzzling and gag reflexes

When I first read about the “internal salt water bathing” that followers are advised to do first thing in the morning, I think it sounds pleasant and soothing—until I actually read the instructions. You’re supposed to chug an entire quart of lukewarm water mixed with two teaspoons of uniodized sea salt. “The salt and water will…quickly and thoroughly wash the entire digestive tract in about one hour. Several eliminations will likely occur,” says the Master Cleanse handbook. Trying to get it down feels like being smacked in the face with a wave while my mouth is open. The first time, I nearly vomit.  “Thank God I work from home,” I keep telling myself, as I sprint from my computer to my bathroom.

But was there some untold benefit to all of this? “There is absolutely no scientific evidence that our body needs to fast or detox in order to cleanse itself from toxins,” says Heather Mangieri, RD, CSSD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “These diets are so popular because they feed off the fear that our environment is full of chemicals, and therefore detoxes are necessary. But our bodies have their own built-in defense system—such as our lungs, liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract—to help eliminate toxins.” 

Day 2: Twilight wake-ups and killer cramps
Surprisingly, I'm not ravenous after drinking only spicy lemonade that first day, though my head is foggy and I'm ready to trade one whole day of my beach vacation for a small cup of coffee. Still, for some reason, ending my day with a cup of laxative tea is kind of pleasant—until about 4 AM, when killer abdominal cramps wrestle me awake and send me careening for the bathroom. I begin to wonder if this torture is worth it, and whether cleaning out my colon is really going to do anything to “purify” my body.
My research reveals that if you’re simply looking to optimize your body’s natural detoxification system or eliminate unhealthy habits, it’s going to take more than simply emptying out your colon with something like the Master Cleanse. “Stuff in your colon is not going to cause disease; it’s the stuff in your arteries and other internal organs that leads to heart attacks or pancreatic cancer,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, MPH, RD, author of the new book The Doctor’s Detox Diet. “To help speed the removal of plaques and cholesterol in your system and improve kidney and liver function, you actually need food, such as whole vegetables and fruits, as well as to drink plenty of fluids such as herbal tea and low-sugar vegetable juices.” So there’s that.

Day 3: Cat breath and locker room scales
My husband kisses me good morning and grimaces. “Your breath smells like a cat’s,” he tells me. I tell him I’d already brushed my teeth. He hums cheerfully as he scrambles a couple of eggs, the tantalizing aroma filling the house and making my stomach feel like it’s eating itself. I head to my computer, sucking my spicy lemonade furiously through a straw while willing him out the door.

Eventually, my stomach cramps and hunger waves pass. My tummy does look flatter, less bloated. I even feel energized enough to hit an evening Spin class! Off I go, and what a mistake! Halfway through class I think, “Oh God, not here!” I try to power on but it’s no use. I rush to the locker room for a bathroom break and on my way back, I spy a scale. I’ve lost six pounds in just three days! I do the math and calculate that I’m probably taking in about 700 calories—which probably explains it.

To make sure, though, I asked the pros. “You’re going to lose lots of water weight doing something like the Master Cleanse, but you’ll also lose muscle because you’re depriving your body of essential nutrients such as protein,” says Joy Dubost, PhD, RD, also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Even worse? That only sets you up for more weight gain later on because muscle burns extra calories and boosts metabolism. Whoops.

Day 4: Super-sadness and scrambled eggs
I wake up feeling far too weak for my morning run, but I’m not hungry, either. I actually feel kind of sad. And not “I’m having a bad day” sad; I’m talking about “something is wrong with my brain chemistry” sad.

At this point, I’m fed up with my lack of energy, aching muscles, and foggy brain. I may have told myself that the point of testing a liquid cleanse was to use my body as a research tool, but I decide to flush this journalistic experiment (along with the Master Cleanse) right down the toilet.  And it’s not because I’m hungry; it’s because I feel strongly that I’m doing a real number on my body—and not a good number.

I fling open my refrigerator and warm up the stove to make my typically healthy breakfast of two scrambled eggs with steamed spinach. I swap coffee for organic peppermint tea and instead of my usual gluten-free toast with peanut butter, I have a few slices of watermelon.

After eating, I feel like I’ve taken an upper. I almost immediately start to feel more positive and energized. The fogginess burns off from my brain. I don’t have stomach cramps like I worried I might after eating solid food. Throughout the day, I find myself craving protein rather than my typical yearnings for sweet, and I’m eating smaller servings—a cup of lentil soup here, some Greek yogurt there. Best of all, my bad breath went away with my first meal—and hasn’t come back. For this, my husband is truly, truly grateful. 

The Verdict:
Would I recommend the Master Cleanse? Definitely not, and here’s why: It deprives the body of healthy fats and other essential nutrients; it also deprives the body of, well, food. Further, my bad breath and frequent bathroom runs all but killed my social life; my aching muscles and low energy meant I couldn’t exercise at my normal intensity; and I felt cranky, lethargic, and unmotivated. Worst of all? While I saw rapid pounds, it didn’t last. Pounds lost in three days: 6. Pounds gained back within three days: 3.5. 
That said, I did learn a few things. I identified some of my unhealthy habits, like overdoing it on portion size and reaching for food simply out of boredom, or because my husband was eating. I also started feeling a little more mindful about my meals. I realized I don't need as much food as I’d grown accustomed to eating, and my cravings for processed food—my freezerful of low-fat ice cream sandwiches, for instance—waned. More than anything, though, I felt like my taste buds woke up, reacquainting me with the value and pleasure of eating whole, real foods. I think I’ll stick with those for now.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Toss the Telephone/Texting/Tasking Tendency Tuesday

Blah... blah... blah.... BOOM!!!!!
It’s fairly simple, and the bumper sticker I saw says it all:  STOP TALKING AND DRIVE!

Look, I’m as guilty as the next wild woman of multi-tasking while driving.  I admit that I have done the rushed morning commute while putting on make-up, talking on the speaker phone and drinking my tea, almost simultaneous, if truth be told.  And yes, I do say that with some pride, but let’s remember that pride goeth before a fall (or an accident).  It is stupid, and I am in recovery.  Hello, I’m Linda, and I’m a commuting eating-drinking-phoning-audiobook-reading multi-tasking fool.

While I like to think that I can do a gabillion things at once, all with magnificent dexterity and perfection, mind you... sigh... I can’t.  But I’m learning how not to hang my head in shame when I say that, as I realize that focusing on one thing whenever possible is always optimal to accomplishing that task.  Think about it.  Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to talk to someone and they’re looking around, texting or answering a cell phone, performing another task, watching TV, etc.?  It’s the society we are becoming – and it’s not good.  I’ve written before that giving someone your FULL ATTENTION when speaking with them is a gift, a very valuable gift that tells them they are special and you are completely interested in what they have to say to you right now, at that moment in time. 

Translate that into your everyday driving experience.  Do you have a passenger in the car?  Don’t you want to give them the gift of safety by focusing on the road?  Obviously I’m not saying you don’t speak with them, or turn and give them your full attention then and there, but you know what I’m saying here.  Don’t jeopardize your safety, their safety and the safety of the person you won’t clobber head on!  Seriously, ladies, is that phone call truly necessary?  Can it wait 10 minutes?  If not, pull your busy booty off the road and talk then.  This phenomenon of the compulsive obsession with car phones is only a few decades old at best.  There are actually those of us who remember when a phone in the car wasn’t even an option!  (Yup, I’m THAT old.)  Every wild woman should have a mandatory cell phone (and Triple AAA) for her travels.  But use it for emergencies only (just like Triple AAA), not for the random call about your day, your investments, dinner that night, plans for the weekend, how the boyfriend or hubs and/or kids are working your last nerve, etc.  Tell your family/friends that you won’t be picking up the phone while driving, but will get back to them as soon as you pull into wherever it is you’re going. Don’t talk, don’t text, just drive.  You can ALWAYS pull over and talk. 

I want you to check out this article – the stats are a real eye-opener for those of us who are addicted to multi-tasking in the car.  It’s called “Distracted Driving… Why the Devices That Are Supposed to Make Us Safer Do Just the Opposite” by David Ropeik on the website.  Look at this table to see how distracted driving hampers your safety! Here is the link:

I just love his astute pickup that Jim Morrison sang about safe driving:  “Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.”  Could NOT resist taking that line!  Too funny!  I know, it will be an ear worm all day and you know you’re gonna be singing it at some point today when you get behind the wheel!

Seriously, though, as part of your physical fitness routine, please consider eliminating cell phone usage while you’re spinning your wheels… at least your auto wheels.  Exercise restraint while you focus on safe driving.  It could save your life, and the lives of others.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Miss Muffett Monday

I hate uninvited dinner guests!
While this isn't one of my favorite topics, I think it's noteworthy to bring to the table today.  I recently got my re-certification in first aid, AED/CPR and blood borne pathogens, and during the information in the first aid portion one thing we talked about were insect bites.  I'm not totally creeped out by most bugs, and while spiders are on my top ten list of things I don't like, unless they are bigger than a quarter, I'm willing to walk away if they're outside.  If they are inside my turf, fahgettabodit, then they are smoosh-fodder.  Sorry, PETA fans, but spiders are spiders and if they invade my territory, they pay the price.

That being said, I recently learned about the brown recluse spider and the unbelievable damage (up to and including death) they can cause.  I am not going to show a lot of gross pictures, but please trust me when I say they can cause flesh-eating damage down to your bones.  We're talking craters in your body damage.
Brown Recluse Spider Main Stompin' Grounds

While this map shows the basic area of the brown recluse, I have friends in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have seen them... just saying!

I do have a picture of one of these nasty little critters below, but I put it there in case you get completely crazy afraid of even a picture of a spider, so here's the spoiler report... don't scroll down!!!!  I've also provided several links for your info.  These bad boys hide but will crawl into shoes/slippers (even beds, yuck), and all those nasty dark places like basements, attic corners, etc.  Good news - they can't bite through heavy clothing, so be sure when you're cleaning out garages, basements and the like, that you wear longs sleeves, long pants and heavy work gloves.

I know this won't be my most popular post ever, but like I said, I didn't know much about these spiders, and since they are so harmful, I wanted to be sure to pass the info along as forewarned is forearmed and I want all my wild woman readers to be protected!  Consider this a very serious health and fitness tip today!

Blessings (and no bug bites),

Coach Linda Bush



Control of indoor infestations of the brown recluse spider can take a long time (6 months or more) and can be difficult because humans have a very low tolerance for this pest, it tends to be widely dispersed within infested buildings, and it seeks secluded sites. Control of spiders, including the brown recluse, is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. IPM involves using multiple approaches such as preventive measures, exclusion, sanitation, trapping, and chemical treatment when necessary.

Preventing spider bites

  • Shake out clothing and shoes before getting dressed.
  • Inspect bedding and towels before use.
  • Wear gloves when handling firewood, lumber, and rocks (be sure to inspect the gloves for spiders before putting them on).
  • Remove bedskirts and storage boxes from underneath beds. Move the bed away from the wall.
  • Exercise care when handling cardboard boxes (recluse spiders often are found in the space under folded cardboard flaps).


  • Install tight-fitting screens on windows and doors; also install door sweeps.
  • Seal or caulk cracks and crevices where spiders can enter the house.
  • Install yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs outdoors since these attract fewer insects for spiders to feed upon.
  • Tape the edges of cardboard boxes to prevent spider entry.
  • Use plastic bags (sealed) to store loose items in the garage, basement, and attic.


  • Remove trash, old boxes, old clothing, wood piles, rock piles, and other unwanted items.
  • Eliminate clutter in closets, basements, attics, garages, and outbuildings.
  • Do not stack wood against the house.
  • Clean up dead insects that the brown recluse spider can feed on.

Non-chemical control

  • Use sticky traps or glueboards to capture spiders.
  • Dust and vacuum thoroughly to remove spiders, webs, and egg sacs (dispose of the vacuum bag in a container outdoors).
  • Use a rolled up newspaper or fly swatter to kill individual spiders.


There are many labeled pesticides for spider control. Some are labeled for homeowner use, while others are labeled only for the licensed, certified pesticide applicator. It would be prudent to enlist the services of a professional pest management company when dealing with an indoor infestation of the brown recluse spider.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Fun, Frisky Friday

Hey honey... can you help me with something, pleeassseee??????
Okay, I’ll just come out and say it – you want to add something to your beauty regime that can make you look younger?  SEX! That’s right, I said it!  In Prevention magazine recently, in an article on habits that can age you, NOT making love to your husband can make you older.  They write, “Research shows that people with active sex lives have stronger immune systems, less pain, a lower cancer risk, healthier hearts, and less stress.  The best news:  it can even make you look younger – up to 12 years, one study shows.

Be an active participant in your sex lives, wild women.  Pat Covant, PhD and author of What Smart Couples Know, says that a lot of men would like to be touched more, seduced more.  When was the last time you initiated a time of intimacy with the hubs, gals?  It’s Friday night – what better time than tonight?  Tomorrow afternoon?  This weekend?  Wake him up at 3am!!!!  Friday, Saturday AND Sunday!  C’mon girls, get in touch with that inner wild woman and put a gigantic smile on your bridegroom’s face and a glimmer in his eye that nobody but you and he will understand.  It’s ain’t a wife’s “d-u-t-y”, girlfriend, it’s her joy and privilege to make love to/with her husband.  Talk about a gift from God – read the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament lately?  Check it out – it’s waaayyy more steamier than any shade of gray!

Can't you just imagine, "Oh honey, I need your help with something... can you do something for me that will be really good for my heart, strengthen my immune system, lower my risk for cancer and make me look younger?"  "Sure, dear,what?"  "Ummm.... welll... (whisper)" WHAT?  SURE!!!!!  He'll never think of that "honey-do" list the same way!!!

So be a hot tamale, chichita, and make sure your hubby goes to work on Monday morning tired as can be… but very, very happy!!!!!  Do it for your relationship, do it for your health, do it for fun, but DO IT!!!!!  Regularly and well.  And if you need some creative ideas, check out these wonderful resources:

1.  The Gift of Sex by Cliff and Joyce Penner

2.  Intended for Pleasure by Ed & Gayle Wheat

3.  A Celebration of Sex by Douglas Rosenau

4.  Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus

5.  Sheet Music by Kevin Leman

Blessings and a wonderful (and active, if you get my drift...wink, wink... nod, nod) weekend,

Coach Linda

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thought Provoking Time Targets Thursday

The timing was wonderful – in today’s email inbox was an article from Laura Vanderkam on “How to slow down and savor the rest of summer.”  Perfect – August 1st, a new start for the remaining summer of 2013.  One line I loved from one of her blog readers saying that June was the Friday night of the summer, so August must be the Sunday equivalent.  Being one who, even though I love my job(s), still tends to get a healthy dose of the Sunday night blue meanies every now and then, this analogy resonated deep within me.  Remember when summer days lasted forever? Sigh…

Well, Laura Vanderkam’s article instilled a fresh breath of encouragement and hope as I look at the next 792 hours (including Labor Day weekend).  Yep, yep, yep… 792 hours.  As I can’t seem to locate a link on her blog to this particular article, I am pasting an excerpt from it below.  I also encourage you to read her blog (click HERE) and books – she’s a favorite author of mine!!

"That’s plenty of time, and there are plenty of ways to savor every last hour of this season, whether you’ll be spending 168 hours or more on vacation, or even if you’ll be working at least 160 of those hours.

Any breezy evening can become a different kind of happy hour as you linger outside, strolling on the streets, or having a beer on the porch.

Exercising in the morning -- running on a trail as the early sun streams through the trees -- can make any of those 33 days seem full of possibility.

If you brown bag your lunch at work, a 30 minute spot of free time can become a picnic, ideally with colleagues you like or a friend who works nearby.

Weekends bring options for beach trips or excursions to county fairs with their kiddie rides and comically large milkshakes.

Even work hours don’t have to be dreary. Take a conference call outside. Commute with the windows open. Walk to a coffee shop on your breaks.

And to make sure it doesn’t all slip through your fingers, write these moments of August down. I’ve been keeping a “Summer 2013” list with a few wonderful, quirky, or just fun things that happened each day. Without the list, I might have remembered that I awoke the morning of June 27 in Paradise Inn on Mt. Rainier and saw snow out my window. But I’m not sure I would have remembered that I baked muffins on the morning of June 7 and then returned to bed to eat my breakfast there, that I drank port and ate oysters in a restaurant on Rittenhouse Square on June 14, that July 15 was a “tri” day featuring running, biking, and swimming, or that I went swimming twice (!) on July 23.

Time in retrospect often seems to have gone fast, but our perception of time is partly influenced by how many new experiences and memories our brains are processing. By choosing to focus on varied experiences -- and choosing to create them, and choosing to remember them -- time seems to slow down. You can linger in those 792 hours, focusing on the now instead of the fall to come."

Based on the last several days of my blog here, have you determined what stumbling block entanglements you will be eliminating for the month of August?  What are your August goals?  You have 792 hours in which to accomplish them or at least make a major dent in them.  I want you to feel encouragement and excitement and anticipation as you think of this new month.  Endless possibilities for achievement, love, laughter and rest.  It’s up to you – it’s your choice how you will begin, but whatever you do, be in a giant step or one small itsy-bitsy toehold to your future, begin it today. 

I’ve chosen to eliminate random television viewing from my schedule this month.  Sometimes I’ll just flip the TV on and the next thing I know, I’m up too late watching some chef get chopped, or the 10th viewing of some old classic beloved movie which at this point I can quote verbatim.  Not that these aren’t fun, but it’s a major timewaster and sleep-stealer.  Therefore, I will only watch specific pre-scheduled or pre-taped television or DVD movie.  I will eliminate the casual habit of the “plug-in drug” and exchange that time with reading.  My goal is to read the following books (most in Kindle) in August (aside from my textbooks for my college class): 

(1) Daily reading of my Bible as I pursue the goal of reading it through in one year; (spiritual)

My goal is to read one book a week, and I’ve tried to have a good cross-section of topics to help balance out my brain, body, spirit and time!  Now maybe I won’t get it all done, but I’m not stressing over it – this is my goal, not a plan to beat myself up and sabotage my calm into a stressful “Gotta read this! Gotta read this!” page-flipping frenzy.

I am also taking the suggestion from Vanderkam to journal in August… every day.  I’ve been improving in my journal-writing consistency and wish to continue that flow/trend in my life, and this is just the little pop of “stick-to-it” that I needed.  I would cheer you on to do the same.

Happy first day of August, wild women, and as the old phrase says, first day of the rest of your life.  May the next 792 hours be amazing, meaningful and the best yet – choose each day to make it so!