Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

12 Months to a Healthier You: July Challenge


One of my goals for 2014 is to focus on my health. It’s easy to let our health take a back burner to everything else on our to-do list. But as I share in my new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, I’ve experienced what happens when you put your health last… and it’s not pretty!

With this in mind, I’m committed to making my health even more of a priority this year. And I’d love to have you join me for the 12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge.

We’re be focusing on one challenge area each month — all with the goal of being in a healthier place as a person by the end of next year. My hope is that as we work on instilling one new healthy habit each month, they won’t just be month-long challenges, but lifelong changes.

12 Months to a Healthier You Focus Areas for 2014

Here are the focus areas I’ve planned out for 2014:

January: Exercise Regularly
February: Eat More Fresh Fruits & Veggies
March: Drink More Water
April: Cut Back on Sugar
May: Get More Rest
June: Create a Morning Routine
July: Read More
August: Go to Bed Earlier
September: Declutter Your Home
October: Cut Back on Caffeine
November: Keep a Gratitude Journal
December: Simplify & Say No

How This Challenge Works:

At the beginning of the month, I’ll introduce the focus area and encourage you to set a small goal for that specific area and I’ll share my goals.

Then, every Friday, I’ll have a check-in post where I’ll encourage you to share your progress & struggles and I’ll share mine, as well. If you want to blog about your progress, I’ll include a link-up at the end of the post so you can share your blog posts on this challenge.

In addition to the Friday check-ins, I’ll also probably share a few posts and guest posts on the monthly topics each month, along with sharing about related books, resources, or websites that I’ve found helpful.

Are you on social media? You can also share your progress on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter by using hashtag #12MonthstoaHealthierYou.

My Goals for Reading More in July

I grow and learn so much through the books I read — which is why I included this as part of the 12 Months to a Healthier You challenge. I think filling our mind with good things can transform our whole life — from the inside out.

My goal in July is to read at least 20 books. I really want to hit my goal of 150 books read this year — and I’m only at 50 books read so far, so I really need to step up my game if I’m going to hit that goal. I looked at my schedule and decided in July I was going to try an experiment: I’m going to try keeping my computer completely off from 2 p.m. until at least after dinner time and use that afternoon time for doing fun things with my kids, reading to my kids, catching up on laundry/housework, and getting in some reading. We’ll see how this goes. 🙂

I’m also hoping to keep up with January’s habit of exercising at least 4-5 times every week, February’s goal of eating a big salad at least six times a week, March’s goal of drinking 8 glasses of water a day, April’s goal of cutting back on sugar, and May’s goal of getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night, and June’s goal of having a more consistent morning routine.

Will you be joining me for this July Challenge? If so, leave a comment letting us know you’re planning to join and what your Reading More goal will be for this month.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • I never realized how reading uplifting books can change you. I just read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. It was wonderful. I really helped me see that attention to small details is the real secret to success. I have a goal to read two motivational books per month! I love these challenges!!!! Thanks Crystal!

  • Tami says:

    I’ve been in a fog, it seems, so far this year. I have many ideas, hopes, goals, but no motivation. I saw this post today and decided I’ll start with July. I want to be a healthier me, physically, mentally and spiritually. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Delena Allen says:

    I just found your blog. I would love to join your challenge this month! I want to start with 2 books for pleasure and 2 for professional growth. I would also like to read a daily devotional/inspiration too.
    Learn with ME in Grade Three

  • Those are great goals! So far this year, I’ve read 56 books. Sometimes I listen to them while I run or ride rather than actually read them, though. I hope you reach your goal of reading 20 books in July!

  • Joye says:

    I love the July goal for reading more. I’ve definitely gotten behind on my reading and since my husband and I have challenged ourselves to a “no spend” month, I’ve got a bit more time on my hands now that I’m not shopping around for hot deals. I’m doing fairly well with my other goals and getting a jump start on going to bed earlier as my work schedule is a little hectic and I’m tired of being tired. :/ I’m going to finish an ebook this week, start a new paperback and read a comic book (yeah, I’m sort of a nerd lol). My reading goal for the year was to read 15 books for entertainment + 3 books for enriching my marriage, which is a giant step up from the like three books I read last year. haha. I kind of stopped keeping track, but I think I’ve got nine left to go. Seems doable.

  • This is my first year of setting a goal with reading non-fiction. My goal is at least 1 non-fiction book a month. I actually have read 9 so far (you can read about them here if anyone wants:

    I think I might try for 2 non-fiction books this month (including one that is a bit of a longer read). I am hoping to read Saving Leonardo, and I’m not sure of my second pick yet.

  • Shelly says:

    This month I want to work on reading two chapters each week. I’m such a slow reader and I usually read books that I tend to take notes to help me remember things I want to do or change, so it takes me a while to get through them. But at least I’m doubling my usual goal for reading each week.

  • Twenty books in one month is an incredible goal! Wow! I would love to know the nitty-gritty details on how you accomplish that- what times of day are you reading? Do you read in the evening after the children go to bed? If so, does your husband get jealous that you are reading instead of interacting with him? Or does he pick up his own book and read next to you?

  • Abbey says:

    I’m a little late in the game, but I’m planning on joining the July Challenge. I love to read and don’t make enough time for it. Hopefully that will change this month! Instead of an amount of books I’m planning to read, I’m aiming for a time goal of one hour per day. Happy Reading!

  • Maria says:

    I am so glad to see this post has only been up for a day. I thought I missed it! This past week has been a whirlwind of things to do with my family!

    I love to read, though I’ve lost the time to over the years. I’m realizing now that I still do a lot of reading, I just do it online. I miss my books.

    I’m struggling and way behind in my Bible reading. I’m trying to focus on getting caught up with it this month and try to read to the girls every night (this has also straggled over the years, especially since my 8 year old would rather hear a chapter from a longer book while the preschooler still needs to experience picture books).

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *