3 Habits to develop this year, and why you need to

3 Habits to develop this year, and why you need to

 

Happy New Year! I realize at the time I am writing this, we are actually already one FULL week into January. Some of you may be happily humming along with your plan working on your goals. Others may be wishing upon a star that this year will finally be different.

Yet others of you may be feeling more like me at the moment…a little behind where you’d like to be. Even as I write that, I realize how ridiculous it sounds to be feeling behind when we are only one week into a year that has 51 more to go.

In the spirit of keeping this short, sweet, and simple, I wanted to share three things you can start doing today to radically change the trajectory of your year. And bonus, because it’s only three things and they are pretty quick to execute, you will feel like a total rockstar.

3 Habits to develop this year

Go to bed earlier-

Yes. It really is that simple. Whatever your typical bedtime is, shave off a few minutes and get yourself into bed a bit earlier.

Some perks to this:

You won’t be quite as tempted to dive into the cupboards for some late night snacking.

The amount of time you spend scrolling social media looking at how awesome everyone else’s life is while comparing your own will go way down (as long as you put your phone up before bed). 

You will be primed and ready for the next one…

Wake up earlier and start your day with intention-

I’m sorry, but this is a no brainer if you have kids. I used to be notorious for sleeping in until my kids came running in to wake me up or until I heard the baby cry.

This totally put me in a funk, and I felt like I was already behind. It didn’t make for good mornings for any of us.

So even if it is just 15-20 minutes, set your alarm across the room. And get yourself up.

You can sip a cup of hot coffee, enjoy the quiet, get in some journaling time to declutter your mind, or just drink that hot coffee thinking about how you want to show up today in your world.

Doing what you can with what you’ve got-

This one is simple, but not always easy. In fact, that could be said for the above too. 

Take a quick inventory of your life in this season. Do you really have time, energy, or the capacity to hit the gym for over an hour a day, pick the kids up, make dinner, help with homework, and volunteer on all those boards?

If you can’t do what’s on your to-do list without feeling totally wiped out by the end of the day, I want to invite you to whittle your list a little.

Or modify. Maybe your workouts go from an hour a day to 20 minutes..still better than nothing. It might be time to let the kids ride the bus, or take yourself off the volunteer rotation.

The point is this, working with what you’ve got is so much better mentally, emotionally, and physically than trying to do too much with too little.

Whatever it is for you, do what you can with what you’ve got.

 

Your worth isn’t determined by how much you get done. And I promise you, the to-do list will still be there tomorrow 😉

xo,

Alisha

P.S. Ready to get serious about making changes this year? Schedule a free consult to see if coaching is the next step you need to be taking.

 

What to do when you feel stuck in your fitness journey

What to do when you feel stuck in your fitness journey

In January, I’ll be celebrating my 13th birthday–no, not my actual birthday, but the birth of my health journey. It’s so crazy to think I’ve been on this journey in some form for the last 13 years. I remember all the times I had tried to get into a healthy routine before it finally stuck.

Probably not unlike you, I would try to overhaul everything at once. Totally changing my diet, promising to go to the gym everyday, cutting out soda, all the treats…

 I remember feeling like no  matter what I tried or how hard I tried, I would never be able to make a healthy lifestyle stick. It always felt like short term progress. Two steps forward and three back.

I was exhausted from trying so many different things and always failing. 

I thought there was something wrong with me.

 It seemed like so many others had been able to figure out how to make their healthy lifestyle stick, so why couldn’t I?

 Besides feeling like a total failure because I wasn’t making progress on my health goals, I also was in the middle of  planning a wedding and working full time, so I didn’t really have that much time to devote to exercise. Plus, I didn’t even like going  to the gym because I had no clue what I was doing. 

At the time I was pretty lazy–meaning I wanted to do the very least to get the most bang for my buck. I tried all the quick fixes, three day detoxes, cookie diets {insert laughter}. I was desperate and didn’t want to change my life too much. Just wanted the weight loss, and the magic life it seemed to promise.

There was one year when things finally clicked. It was actually the year we were getting married. My hubby-to-be joined a New Year Fitness Challenge at work. While he was more interested in winning the prize at work for winning the challenge, I saw this as an opportunity to try one.more.time.

We started running.  If you would have told me 15 years ago that running would have been what got me started on my journey toward a healthier, more active lifestyle, I would have laughed in your face.

Turns out I needed a little challenge and a whole lot of accountability to get and  stay going.

I didn’t really have a goal at the time, other than lose weight and not to die.

We laced our shoes up, and set out to run one whole mile without stopping. 

But we didn’t start by trying to run the mile out on the first run. 

Instead it was run to the first light pole, walk to the next.

After that became easy, it was run to 2 light poles, then walk for one. And so on.

Slowly over time I was able to run more than I had to walk.

While I did eventually make it to my goal of running one whole mile straight, there were inevitably some bruises and bumps along the way. 

Not too far into this new running thing, I got a running injury. Turns out not just any shoe will do for running. Lesson learned 😉 

After getting some better gear, a little rest, and some insoles, I was ready to rock again.

Not only did I run my first mile without stopping (on purpose), I kept going. 

I started going further and further. 

I actually ended up enjoying running so much, that I entered some different local races to see if I could beat my previous time. This became something I did for myself. It felt good. I enjoyed working hard to beat my previous time. I was in competition with myself. And it felt really darn good.

After years of trying I finally make being active a part of my daily routine.

I went from never being able to stick with an exercise routine for longer than a few days to consistently getting some form of movement into most my days for the last 13 years.

I was no longer the girl who couldn’t keep her promises to herself, but I had become the woman who keeps her word to herself. 

Starting small (one light pole to the next) is what helped me develop the culture of winning and it is what will help you too. What is the one light pole you can get to today? Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

There is no need to try to change everything at once. Start small. Like stupid small. 

Think about the smallest improvement you could make today toward living the life you were created to live. Then do that over and over and over. 

Once that is habit, then you can start making some other small changes. You might even be surprised that other habits just start “clicking” along the way. 

They all stack up in the long run to either create massive wins. 

The beautiful thing about habits is once they have developed, you don’t have to really commit any more time or energy doing them as they have just become part of your normal routine.

I get it, time is limited in our fast paced lives these days. And for most of the women I talk to, it is one of the major reasons they have put themselves on the back burner in their lives. If that’s you, I have something for you…

Get access to my 3 Step guide that will help you get more of your time back without feeling like you’ve just added one more thing to your plate.

You deserve a little TLC too. Sign up below!

Embrace your lazy, use this technique to get in the best shape of your life

Embrace your lazy, use this technique to get in the best shape of your life

 

You’re probably going to die when you hear this, but there used to be a time in my life when I would work out 6 days a week for almost 2 hours a day. 

Sure, I was in the ‘best’ shape of my life, or at least I thought I was because I “looked” the part.

But working out was my life. I trained like it was my job. And I didn’t have much left in the tank for other things or people. I’m not sure what I was thinking back then. I was a full time student, with two kids under the age of 4, and my husband was in the military. 

I guess I’m someone who tends to operate on extremes.

I thought I had to workout like that in order to get the results I wanted.

 

I was afraid that if I let off the gas, I’d lose my results.

I was afraid I’d gain weight.

Most importantly, I was afraid I would go back to feeling bad about myself-because I thought looking a certain way gave me my confidence.

There’s a better way though..and it doesn’t involve the all or nothing approach that seems so popular in today’s culture.

I couldn’t keep going the way I was.

My body might have looked like it was doing great, but I was nursing injuries from over training.

Mentally I was always thinking about calories, food, exercise, my body. Between raising a family, being a full time student, and all the thinking about those things..

I was exhausted.

While my mindset around exercise, my body, food, and all of that has been changing slowly over the past year or two.

This minimum dosage concept has been something that has come on more recently. 

Between balancing family and building my business, I just knew I couldn’t make time for hours of exercise like I had in the past. And truthfully, I didn’t want to.

After I figured out in my schedule when I could work out and for how long, I figured out what I could do in the time I had. 

Since keeping muscle mass is important to me (for strength and aging reasons) I knew I wanted to keep a couple of days for lifting.

But I also wanted to be sure I was incorporating some sort of cardio or conditioning as well for heart health, and because I like it.

Instead of doing several longer workouts throughout the week, I started doing full body workouts 3 days a week. Then on the off days, I will either walk or go for a short jog. 

Well, as you know life doesn’t happen inside a vacuum. We can’t always predict what life will throw at us. But that doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands up and ditch out on our movement sessions.

For example, there are days when I don’t feel like doing my scheduled workout.

Maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before, so working out first thing in the am doesn’t sound all that appealing. I want to give myself (and you too) some grace for those days. It’ not all or nothing, and the ‘no excuses’ mentality around exercise is actually doing more harm than good. 

Sure, you have to show up consistently if you want to see changes and improvements. But sometimes showing up for yourself looks different than what you originally planned.

 The first few weeks of figuring out my new groove was a little rocky. Just like all new things tend to be..so give yourself some time to play around and practice.

The point is, be patient as you figure out what your minimum dosage looks like. Chances are it will look different from mine, and that is totally cool. In fact, it should. We live different lives. Have different abilities, and different goals. 

On any given day, especially when you’re not feeling it, take inspired action. For example, on the days I don’t sleep well, I may be more likely to opt for a walk and some yoga instead of something more intense. 

Learn how to read and listen to your body. I promise, it will make this whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Taking the minimum dosage approach to my training (and really every other area of life) has saved so much time and energy because I’m not forcing it.

I’m able to do the very minimum of what needs to be done to get the results I want. And you will too when you implement these strategies.

This frees up time to do other things that maybe you wouldn’t get done or would be rushed doing. Again helping you feel less stretched, and more energized.

On those days when life feels super crazy or time is crunched, instead of just not working out or eating in a way that honors your body, do what little you can with the time and energy you have. Again, it’s not an all or nothing thing. 

Using this Minimum Dosage Approach has given me so much time and energy back. And I know it will for you too.

Instead of being stressed out by trying to do too much in any one area, I’m able to get more of the right things done and have energy left over. How nice would that be?

Rather than just not working out because I don’t have time, I take what little time I do have and get it done. Whatever ‘it’ happens to look like that day. Pretty sweet, eh?

Most importantly, I’ve found my middle ground, which feels so much better than living in the extremes of all or nothing thinking. Imagine how much more peace you’ll experience in the middle ground 😉 

Do you always feel like you’re struggling to find your groove? Like there’s never enough time? I want to help.

If you’re having a hard time finding more time, I want to help you get your time back..

Seriously, what would you do with an extra 3 hours a week? Sign up below to get some of my best time getting strategies sent right to your inbox, plus be among the first to learn more about The Mindful Eating Project…doors opening soon!

 

This is the worst advice you could follow for healthy weight loss

This is the worst advice you could follow for healthy weight loss

It might be time for some tough lovin’. What if you found out most of the advice out there on healthy weight loss was bogus?

Here’s the deal, most people think you have to follow rules around food to lose weight, but that might be the worst advice, and could actually be the biggest myth in the industry. In fact, did you know that 95% of diets fail within 2 years? Meaning that any and all weight (usually plus some) comes back. 

What about the other 5%? Those people usually end up being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

But I get it. Everyone says that you have to follow rules in order to reach a healthy weight, so it’s easy to believe. 

  If it were true that food rules resulted in weight loss, then everyone who followed food rules would be at a healthy weight wouldn’t they? And we all know that’s not the case. Just look at the statistics on weight, chronic disease, and the health of our nation. 

We have tons of information, and new diets are out every year. But the current model of food restriction and food rules isn’t working.

In fact, if you keep holding this belief you could actually be causing yourself to gain more weight in the long run.

 If you want to know how you can actually get to, and maintain a healthy weight then click here to watch a video that outlines a simple strategy you can start implementing today.

I’ll let you know, it has nothing to do with cutting out food groups, monitoring your intake, or creating other rules around food ie when you should eat, what you should eat, etc.

I guess you have to ask yourself do you really want to keep  following food rules that aren’t even helping you find or maintain your body’s healthy weight and possibly even causing yourself to gain more weight?

Or do you want to finally be in control around food, and find your body’s natural and healthy weight? That is, might I add, much easier to maintain. 

The doors to The Mindful Eating Project are opening soon, if you would like to get some more information, click here to fill out a simple form, and just for doing so, I’ll send you a FREE gift.

Be sure to check back later this week, as we dive deeper into Mindful Eating and how to shift your mindset so that you can make 2020 your best year yet 😉

How to leave the most dysfunctional relationship you’ve ever been in

How to leave the most dysfunctional relationship you’ve ever been in

Diets are like relationships…toxic, dysfunctional ones. If you’ve ever been in a relationship like that or  seen someone else in one, you tend to notice a pattern. They leave one only to find  themselves in another one. Going through the same crap, just slightly different scenery.

This is because in relationships (much like diets) you can’t escape your own baggage, your own ‘stuff’. The only way that happens is when you work on it. If you go from one diet to another without doing the mindset work, the results will be just like the last one. 

Just like in bad relationships–unless you work on your own issues, you will be taking them into every new relationship.

Time to change your relationship status

For most of us moving from one diet to another, we are coming into each new next diet with a heap of guilt or shame around our bodies. A lack of trust in ourselves when it comes to food. Oftentimes we feel beat up and discouraged from previous diets or past comments about our bodies. In desperation we go from one bad diet to another hoping the next one will be the one that helps us find our happy ending. 

Here’s the fine print, most diets don’t advertise or tell you about: Without changing your relationship with food or yourself, every single new diet or attempt to lose weight will be a failure. It will leave you feeling empty and disappointed. And the results (if any) will be fleeting. Just like when you bounce from one toxic relationship to another.

Your body wants to be healthy, happy, and vibrant. It doesn’t want to be dominated by brutal workout programs or diets,  it also doesn’t want to be abused by food or lack of movement.

When you honor your body with movement and food, it will take care of you, I promise. It will find it’s natural , healthy weight not the arbitrary one on the chart at the doctor’s office.

One way you can begin to change your relationship with food, your body, and ultimately you, is by changing the emotion fueling you to eat better, move more, or any other lifestyle change you are making.

Here’s the catch though, you can’t change your relationship with food until you change your thoughts and beliefs.

Ready to ditch the dysfunctional relationship?

One exercise that can help you is called the 7 Why’s. Grab a sheet of paper, and at the top write what it is you want—to lose x weight, to have more energy, to lose fat, whatever it is.

Then ask yourself why you want that. Then ask yourself again…and again and again until you’ve asked yourself ‘why’ 7 times. If you’ve been totally up front and honest with yourself you will have the real reason you want that thing. Which will be pretty telling of the emotion fueling the goal. 

One thing I’ve noticed though in doing this exercise with myself (as well as my clients) is we aren’t always honest with ourselves about what is driving us toward our goals.

Another thing that can keep us stuck in our old ways is the amount of information we are bombarded with on a day to day basis around food, health, and weight loss we can get distracted. When we get distracted, we can’t give ourselves the gift of consistency. Which is what it takes to make any sort of change.  

What do you really want?

By getting to the real reason we want our goals, and the meaning we’ve assigned to having that thing, we can let go of having to have our goal before you can feel what we want to feel about ourselves. This frees you to pursue your goals with a different heart. Instead of chasing your goals feeling like a chore, it is fun. 

You’re no longer waiting on the goal to feel happy, fulfilled, or content because you get to experience those emotions here and now.

 Having a  healthy relationship with yourself changes all of the other relationships you have..including the one with food and your body. 

Suddenly you realize you don’t have to be so consumed with what you’re eating or if you’re doing it ‘right’. Which in turn gives you more energy and time to devote to the things that actually matter.. 

If you weren’t so preoccupied with your body or food, what would you invest that time and energy on instead?

xo,

Alisha

PS. Is it time to upgrade your relationship with yourself? Learn how to do that and so much more in The Mindful Eating Project (registration opening soon, click here to get on the waitlist)

How to get the most out of personal development books

How to get the most out of personal development books

Every few months the cleaning bug seems to hit me, and I start a massive purging of the stuff I’ve managed to accumulate over the days and months.

During one of these deep cleaning sessions, I found a box of journals I’d kept. I began  flipping through journals from several years ago, and realized even though time had passed I hadn’t really changed all that much. 

 I decided then and there I didn’t want to let more time to pass without growing. I didn’t want to just be going through the motions of pretending to do better. I had been reading all the best personal development books, but realized very little had really changed in my life. 

 There was a brief moment of failure that flashed through my mind as I realized I had spent months and even years reliving the same heartbreak or the same struggle. What a waste of precious time. I began to wonder if I could actually change?

I was doing the same things day after day, yet expecting different results (reminds me a little of my time as a chronic dieter too…), for the first time, I’d seen I was basically just pretending to ‘do the work’. You can’t read a book, go to a seminar, buy a course and expect to be different. You must dig in-deep, and do the work. This lesson applies to nearly every area of your life. It’s not enough to just show up. First you show up, then you do the work. 

At one point or another, you’ve probably heard the saying “You can’t do the same thing and expect things to be different”, yet time and time again we find ourselves trying that same strategy.

Here’s the thing though, you won’t solve your problems with the same thinking and behavior that created those problems.

For me, during this deep cleaning sesh, I was forced to confront myself in a way I don’t think I ever had. A new sense of self-awareness emerged. Ultimately, it was that self awareness that was the key to sparking actual change in my life. 

Look at the bigger picture

The first step I took was back. I had to get a bird’s eye view of what  I had been doing, and how I had been going about ‘it’ (in this case it was personal development, but for you the ‘it’ might be weight loss, might be creating boundaries around your time, etc). What was working about it, what wasn’t?

Instead of the outside in approach–simply utilizing strategies or reading more books, I needed to take an inside out approach. I had to take a hard look at my behaviors (despite what I might had been telling myself) and my values.

Subconsciously there was a disconnect between what I was truly believing and what I was doing. The way I was acting wasn’t supporting the things I said I wanted.

 It’s like telling yourself this time will be different, but taking the same approach.

You can’t just change the method, you have to also change yourself–the way you think, what you believe, and then what you do. 

Let’s be real though, behaviors and thoughts are hard to change. There are times we find ourselves slipping back into that old way of thinking or doing things. We have to be vigilant to guard our minds the old patterns.

Instead of looking at this as something with a finish line, take the posture of practice. Show up daily looking for ways you can practice following through, showing up, and growing.

Once I found the disconnect, I was able to create connection between what I said and what I did. Creating alignment  between what I said I wanted and what I was doing to actually create the change I wanted to see allowed me to live with integrity. Which ultimately led to more confidence and self-respect. 

I wish you could grasp what it’s felt like to go from being unaware and pretending  to self aware and actually doing. That alone was a huge boost to my confidence. I mean, you can experience it for yourself too. By becoming more self aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions you are able to decide whether or not you’re acting in line with the woman you want to be or not.

Action is what creates results. We don’t get results from pretending. We get results from actually digging in and doing the hard work, and calling your own bluff. 

xo,

Alisha

PS. Ready to do things differently, but not quite sure where to start? I got you. Start doing life The Strong[HER] Way by doing life a little differently. Get strategies, tools, and find community by signing up below.