Break your bad habits in just 5 minutes a day

 

5 Minute

 

What’s the hardest part about change for you?

Change is such a scary place to be. It’s like we know we want it, but we are afraid of what’s on the other side. There are so many quick fixes out there or plans that encourage us to completely overhaul our lives and make radical changes. Sometimes those plans work and sometimes they back fire in the worse way. Ultimately it depends on who you are and what works for you. If radical change is the only way to go and you can make lasting change, then this blog post may not be for you. However, if you like to dip your toes in the pool of change before diving in, then read on my sweet friend.

I mentioned the other day that I am on a new leg of my own journey. And I’ll be completely honest I am usually the one that dives all the way in and figures it out as I go. That works for me…. some of the time, but there are lots of times I get myself in too deep too fast. I get overwhelmed, confused, and just stall out. Sometimes instead of doing the same thing and wanting different results you’ve gotta be wiling to shake it up a bit. So in the spirit of being a bit rebellious to my old ways, I’ve decided to take it slow. Enjoy the journey, and reflect a bit more along the way.

If you’re staring change straight in the eye and it’s got you intimidated, then I got you! Instead of trying to eat the whole elephant at once, ask yourself what you can do in just 5 minutes a day? What small, seemingly insignificant change can you make in five minutes a day?

Maybe it’s parking a little further and walking more. Maybe it’s eating one more serving of veggies for the day. Maybe it’s going for a walk instead of plopping down on the couch after work. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it is moving you in the direction you want to be going. Then just focus on that simple 5 minute action daily and slowly build from there. And most of all just have fun with this! Try making it a game to see how many days in a week you can get that 5 minute action in. If you are someone that likes having a prize at the end, you can even try setting up little rewards along the way. So let’s say you do your 5 minute habit consistently for 2 or 3 weeks, have something that you will do for yourself (just make sure it is not going to undo what you’ve been working on for the past few weeks).

I’m dying to know what 5 minute habit you will commit to this week…let me know in the comments below, so I can check in on you and see how you’re doing with that!

Don’t let the fear of changing keep you from being all you were created to be! If you’re ready for more than a 5 minute change, then let’s chat, email me: alisha@alishacarlson.com and if you’re up for a little challenge, I’ve got a special 5 day mini-program that I want to get into your hands for free. You can click here to claim your seat. See you there!

Cheers to choosing change over comfort,

 

xo

Alisha Carlson (8)

Goal setting strategies- SMART goals or Process goals, which one matches your personality?

How do you feel about pop quizzes? Don’t worry, you won’t be graded (and truthfully, I’ll never know your answer unless you’re feeling brave  and let me know with a comment below 😉 ) Without thinking too much about it, which one do you identify with more?

Are you a

> > Goal getter: sets goals and crushes them every single time no matter how long it takes

OR

> > Goal forget-er: sets goals, well more like sends wishes out into the universe hoping/wishing/ praying/ crossing your fingers that they will just somehow happen. Then are constantly feeling discouraged and defeated when you’re not anywhere closer to where you wanted to be…

If you’re already a goal getter, congrats! Keep doing what you’re doing. Hit reply and let me know your system 🙂

If however, you answered goal forget-er, read on.

I was the latter for most of my life. I don’t think I really remember hitting a goal that I had deliberately set for myself until I was in my early 20s. Before that it seemed like everything was either dumb luck or my stubbornness working in my favor for once..While that might seem cool and all, it isn’t a predictable way to go after your goals.

Sure, you need resilience and belief in order to achieve things you’ve never achieved before. But you also need a bit of a plan, a clear vision, and you may even need to learn a few skills along the way.

Before you Google goal setting strategies, here are two of the most common goal setting techniques I’ve seen. I tend to oscillate somewhere between. I like having goals bound by time, but I’ve also had to learn to not beat myself up if I miss a goal deadline. It’s ok to not reach your goals as long as you are taking action every single day towards them. In all reality is less about the success in hitting your goals and more about who you become in the process.

After all, we tend to set goals because we think they will bring us something…usually it’s joy, fulfillment, happiness, peace, contentment, worthiness, value, etc. Spoiler alert, you don’t actually need to wait until you hit your goals to feel those things right now.

Which goal setting style is best for you_SMART goalsvsProcess goals

So, do you set SMART goals or Process goals?

SMART goals:

There is a good chance you’ve heard or seen SMART goals at least once in your life even if you didn’t realize it at the time. A SMART goal by definition is- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and is bound by time. An example of a SMART goal would be:

I will walk 5x a week every week until August 31, 2018.

With this you see that it is specific, we know what you will be doing. It is also measurable. You can track whether or not you walked 5x a week. It is also quite achievable and realistic. And of course setting a ‘done by date’ or deadline, gives you a time parameter.

>Things I like about SMART goals<<

They are clear and defined. You know what you are doing, how often, and you have the sense of urgency a deadline can bring.

The downside?

You can become defeated or discouraged if you constantly set goals based on a hard deadline. Let’s say you have the goal of losing weight by a specific event. Let’s say your goal is to drop 10 pounds by summer. So you set your SMART goal and you execute daily on the the specific action or actions you decided on. You’re consistent, you’re diligent, you’re committed. You don’t miss your workouts and your diet is nearly perfect, except the occasional treat here or there. You’re doing everything right.

You hop on the scale after several weeks of this stellar behavior, and BAM! You’ve only lost 3 pounds. Does that mean you failed because you didn’t lose the entire 10 pounds? Does that mean that you didn’t work hard enough? Does that mean you should not celebrate what you did accomplish?

No way!

But depending on how your mind works, those are some of the thoughts that might be racing through your head. How do I know? Because that was me. I still catch myself at times going back to that old way of thinking. Habits are hard to break, and our self-talk is no different.

I’m also not a huge fan of only setting realistic goals..think about this for a moment. If you have a goal of losing 100 pounds, yet you’ve never done that before. Does the goal feel realistic in the moment? Likely not. Why? because you’ve probably never lost 100 pounds before, but have probably tried to 100 times before. I’d like to offer that we swap realistic for possible. Is the goal in the realm of possibilities? Has anyone else ever in the history of humanity achieved the goal? Could it be done within the natural realm of possibilities? If you can answer yes to either of those, then its a goal worth setting no matter how crazy it might seem.

Process goals:

Process goals vary from SMART goals in that it focuses more on, you guessed it, the process. These types of goals tend to be less focused on the outcome and more focussed on the consistency of a desired action. Process goals emphasize the importance of the journey and prioritize who you become along the way over what you achieve.

In my honest opinion I think this is perhaps a more biblical way of looking at setting goals. Why? Well, we can’t control an outcome no matter how hard we hustle, how diligent or driven we are, or how obsessed we become. We can simply control how well we showed up each day.

If the thought of setting a deadline overwhelms you and brings on anxiety, then I’d like to suggest that you may want to consider setting goals that focus on specific actions you can take. That instead of measuring whether or not you hit a specific goal ie weight loss that you also measure and focus on the in between–where you are now and where you’d like to be someday.

Remember, you will never truly ever reach the finish line. Goals are intended to inspire us to become slightly better today than we were yesterday. Not because you aren’t good enough as you are, but because you were created to be so much more. Who doesn’t want to reach their absolute fullest potential? Its not necessarily for this life that we strive for those things, but for the one we were created for.
Regardless of where you are in life and how you have or have not reached past goals, you can always make strides towards the vision you have for yourself. Just might take rolling up your sleeves and doing a little work…Your ability to imagine for yourself the life you want to be living will be the ultimate litmus test for whether or not your goals are either realistic or achievable.

Get out there and shine,

xo

PS. If you need a little help mapping out your goals, here is my gift to you

Renew your mind and think differently

“You must first master a knew way of thinking before you can master a new way to be.”

-Marianne Williamason

It all starts in our minds. Our thoughts inform our feelings and it is often how we feel about something that informs our actions. Which repeated over and over form our beliefs about ourselves, others, and our environments. I believe this is why the Bible talks over and over again about guarding and renewing your mind. We were not created with negativity in mind. However, that is sadly the soundtrack that most of us hear on repeat.

It is important to realize that if you are merely listening to your thoughts, the chances of those thoughts being negative are almost always 100%. I don’t believe this is how it’s always been. When you look at kids, up until a certain age they don’t seem to have that kind of vulnerability towards negative thinking about themselves. Sure, some kids seem to from early ages, but when I look at kids, I see courageous little beings with the belief that anything is possible and that they are capable of doing whatever they set their minds to. In fact, just the other day my 7 year old son  asked me to reach out to one of his gaming heroes to see if they could team up and play a game together.

I was taken back for a second by his unwavering hope and belief that he would actually get to do this if he simply asked for it. It breaks my heart to say that as of yet, his wish has not come true, but there is an equally powerful lesson in the let down as well. And I can only hope and pray that I help him navigate this in a way that encourages him to continue reaching for the things that seem impossible.

So, what’s this got to do with you and me?

francisco-moreno-67179-unsplashWe often start backwards. We try to implement new ways of being before we ever even think about what is going on between our ears. The catch is, if we don’t attend to our thoughts our new behaviors won’t last long. Even if you can create new habits. You will always run into self-sabotaging behaviors.

Sometimes the thoughts will feel foreign or phony at first. When that happens it is worth exploring why that is. I know it is hard to see what it isn’t there yet and have faith that it is in the waiting, but it is. That next level version of yourself is waiting for you to discover her and to reveal her to the world around. It is not about faking it until you make it, but more about slowly becoming that vision of yourself starting in your thoughts.

How would she carry herself?

What would she eat?

How does she dress, do her hair?

Does she have good relationships with others?

What does she read?

Craft up that vision, and put yourself in her shoes. You may not know exactly the answers to those things yet, but you can take a good guess, because she is you. She is the future you. Start thinking like her and you will cultivate the ability to behave like her too. Bit by bit. Thought by thought. If you’re ready for new outcomes, welcome new thoughts.

P.S. I’d love to hear from you, my inbox is always open. Drop me a line and let me know what thoughts you are committing to exile this week! alisha@alishacarlson.com

 

XO

Alisha

Power smoothies

Summer seems to be in full swing here with hot days and balmy nights. In the summer time my appetite seems to go way down and very few things actually sound good to me. Some of my staples include: coffee on ice (of course 😉 ) , big ol’ salads, chips, salsa & guacamole (another no brainer), and some cool beverages in the form of rosé or bourbon mule. Another favorite at our house just about year round are smoothies. I love smoothies because you can get a whole meals worth of nutrients packed into a single glass. Plus the ice cold consistency is a treat on a hot day…

Now because it is liquid it will fill you up pretty quick, but can also have a tendency to leave you hungry a short while after you sip the last sip. I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and I wanted to share some of them with you today.. brooke-lark-186926-unsplash.jpg

Get all your macros..

One of the best ways to ensure you stay full for a few hours is to balance it out. I’m not huge on counting macros, but I am a big fan of making sure at just about each meal I’ve got some protein, healthy fats, and carbs. My smoothies or power shakes are no different. For your protein you can either use your favorite protein powder or you can get your protein from things like yogurt, nuts/nut butters, milk, etc. For some of my favorite fats check out the section below. Your carbs can come from your fruit added in, any dairy you add in. You can also add a 1/4 c of dry oats per serving if you want to make it more of a meal or if you know it will be a while before you eat again.

Drink your veggies..

Another tip is to pack as many veggies in as you can handle. Some of my favorites are beets and greens. You can buy pre cooked beets or you can roast them up ahead of time. If you buy greens for your smoothies and notice they go bad before you can use them up, try storing them in your freezer. You can also play around and try adding in some different herbs or veggies to see what you like and what you don’t like. One of the advantages of smoothies over juicing is that you keep the fiber which helps stabilize your blood sugar and helps with the full feeling. So if you’ve juiced in the past or are thinking about it, try adding those same ingredients into your smoothie instead.

What should I mix it with?

Depending on your current goals and how many calories you’re aiming for each day you can play around with the bases a bit. Some of my favorites are cold coffee, water, and plain milk. You can try coconut water for extra hydration or milk substitutes.

Sweeten it up a bit..

Part of what makes the smoothie so good is the fruit you add to it. I usually keep it pretty simple with bananas or frozen berries. However, sometimes I like to go tropical and add in some mango or pineapple. The best part is you get to decide what you wanna add. Smoothies are also a great place to experiment because the flavors can be masked a bit. It’s great to add variety to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function at its best. And it just keeps things exciting, who doesn’t want that?

Don’t forget your fats..

Fat is no longer a bad word. In fact there has been so much research done lately that supports our need for healthy fats in our diets. Some of my go-to’s are avocados, nuts or nut butters, and seeds like chia or ground flax seeds.

A few last tips..

If time is of the essence on those crazy mornings, you can make up some smoothie bags ahead of time and store them in your freezer until you are ready to use them up. This will shave off a little time in the morning routine and will ensure you’re getting the right amount.

I know there are so many places that sell smoothies/shakes these days and sometimes they can be a good option if you’re on the go. I would however, just caution you to look at the sugar content and the ingredients. Sometimes “healthy” foods are simply a glorified junk food which is ok on occasion. Keep those goals in mind and ask yourself if it is a worthwhile trade or not. Ultimately you know what works for you and what doesn’t, remember you are the expert of your own body–just be informed.

What are some of your favorite smoothie/shake combos? Comment below and let me know! I’ll be sharing some of my favorites that are perfect for this time of year.

Until next time,

Alisha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Emotional Overeating through Mindset

 

I wanted to chat with you about kind of a sensitive and private topic emotional overeating and I would say honestly for myself, this was something that I really struggled with probably as early as middle school.  I grew up in kind of a crazy household. I watched my parents struggle with alcohol, drugs, infidelity, and abuse. My parents’ marriage seemed like it was always falling apart. And my brother and I were just along for the ride.

When my mom wasn’t numbing her pain with substances (illegal and legal) I remember seeing her numb her pain through food. Eating became what you did, whether you were having a good day or a bad day, you just kind of turned to food. It didn’t matter if it was a  celebration or a stressful event you went to food–or alcohol–or drugs. As I got older I knew more and more that  didn’t feel confident about who she was and I don’t know that she ever saw herself as beautiful. She may not have been the type of person that would have turned your head by her physical appearances alone, but her smile was warm when it was genuine and she had a heart of gold. Willing to give and to serve and to love to the best of her abilities. She carried a lot of wounds.   She would tell me stories of hurtful things said to her by her parents and others.  I see that she turned to substance abuse as a way to cope, and in this case food was used as one of those substances.naomi-august-138149-unsplash.jpg

When I really think about my own food story and how I’ve interacted with food over the years,  I see that it’s really been kind of this dysfunctional relationship. It’s taken years to overcome and honestly, I am still always editing my food story just as in any other area of life. As long as there is breath in our lungs, there is room to grow, and ways to be useful..a purpose to serve.

My use of food as a way to cope only seemed to get worse the older I got. We’ve all either heard  or have been the leading role in the painfully awkward stories of the teen years. No doubt, I started putting weight on and I started to become even more uncomfortable in my skin. I already sort of had this sense that there was something wrong with me. I felt  broken or like I was damaged goods. I didn’t know if there was a place for me to belong.

As my weight continued to climb I started to become desperate for a solution. I had no clue what to do, and I felt so out of control. I just wanted to feel like I could do something, anything… I tried starving myself. I tried gagging myself. I tried all the quick fixes that promised quick weight loss. Little did  I know at the time those quick fixes would only make things worse. Either because I would only fail again and again. I’d gain all the weight lost and more, or I wouldn’t actually be making any healthy and lasting changes. I wanted to do it in a healthy way, I just didn’t really know how to do that.

Like so many women I see, I just kept trying one thing after another hoping something would stick. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was always only trying to fix things on a surface level. Trying to use a bandage on wounds that needed to be healed from the inside out, not just covered up. It really wasn’t until I started doing some deeper work around my thoughts, feelings, and ultimately my beliefs around food that things started to change for the long term.

So, today if you find yourself in any part of my crazy story I want to ask you if you’re doing the thought work? Are you allowing yourself to be healed from past wounds that you’ve been trying to cover up with food? Have you ever questioned where your feelings/thoughts/beliefs around food have come from?evieanna-santiago-589692-unsplash

I know this is not necessarily fun work to do, but friend, it is SO necessary if we want to make lasting changes. Nothing will change unless our minds are changed. And unfortunately that starts by questioning our current way of doing things.

So today’s assignment, is to spend a few moments pondering your current relationship with food and with yourself. Ask yourself the tough questions and allow the answers to come forward. Then decide what you want your story to look like going forward. How do you want to feel around food? How do you want to feel about yourself? Who do you want to be? This is the fun part! This is the part where you decide what you’re going to do and who you are going to be from this moment on.

If you are struggling with over eating, emotional eating, or anything else mentioned in this post please don’t struggle alone! I’m here to throw a lifeline, just like I wished had been done for me.

I’ve got a 5 day free challenge coming up that will help you get the start that you may need. Email me and we can see if this is the best next step for you 😉 alisha@alishacarlson.com. I can’t wait to hear from you!

xo,

Alisha