(Non-Profit) Health Month: It Begins

Health Month

It’s no secret I’m a fan of foursquare. My organization, Big Love Little Hearts, ran a campaign called #100X100 last April via foursquare that raised $25,000 in 24 hours and incited significant advocacy action. That idea came out of my personal obsession with the location-based application, and my fondness for all things foursquare is also what led me to Health Month.

Before I tell you what Health Month is let me give them props for being the smartest brand using foursquare. In order to earn a badge from Health Month you have to play the game every single day for a month. If you want all four badges you have to do that for four months. That’s the longest, most consistent usage by far that any brand requires to get the goods. Kudos to Buster Benson, the brains behind Health Month (and awesome app Locavore too)!

Health Month is a new game that helps you make small changes to your health habits. I checked it out because I wanted their badges and when I saw what it was I immediately fell in love. It’s fun and whimsical. It’s not about counting calories and figuring out percentages or about cataloging your workouts – it’s about setting small goals to improve your health. I started playing in earnest last month and chose rules that revolved around taking better care of myself: early bedtimes, eating whole grains, eating enough bright vegetables, saving more money, practicing gratitude, etc…

Not long into it I thought it would be pretty cool if there was a non-profit focused version of Health Month where the rules reflected small organizational goals. I asked Buster if he would create something like that for me and he gave me the best “no” ever: he was too focused on growing Health Month right now but he’d be happy to advise and share information with any other developer who wanted to take on the project for me. So, um – if you’re a developer reading this and you think this would be a super cool project, contact me!

Since I don’t have a developer working on this yet, I tweaked my rules for February to be my own personal (Non-Profit) Health Month. Leaders of nonprofits are notoriously bad at taking time to recharge and tend to themselves. Over at 501 Mission Place I’ve talked a lot about putting on your own oxygen mask first as a leader – Health Month has been a truly effective tool to help me do so! I used my custom rule to get organization-specific with my goals and the rest ensure that I’m in top shape to lead my team and execute Big Love Little Hearts’ vision.

So what are my rules?


Health Month


  • Write a personal thank you to a past donor or sponsor 5 days a week.
  • Read a professional capacity building book for 30 minutes 5 days a week.
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep every day.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Take a multivitamin every day.
  • Walk one mile a day.
  • Meditate for 15 minutes a day.
  • Drink 3 glasses of water a day.
  • Drink no more than one diet coke a day.
  • Study Rosetta Stone French  for 20 minutes every day.
  • Relax for 30 minutes every day.
  • Eat whole grains every day.
  • Eat only organic meat, and only eat meat 5 days a week.
  • Only have processed foods one day a week.


I committed to share this particular journey as an official Health Month blogger to inspire my readers – that means YOU – to think about doing your own (Non-Profit) Health Month.

What would that look like for you and your organization? How could you take better care of yourself so that you can be a more refreshed, energized and effective leader? What small behavior change can you strive for in your organization?

Are you up for the challenge?

I’ll be blogging my progress every couple of days, but you can check out how I’m doing daily here.


4 thoughts on “(Non-Profit) Health Month: It Begins

  1. Pingback: World Spinner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s