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!

Budget your time with this simple how to

Budget your time with this simple how to

 In our modern day, fast-paced lives it seems like rest has become a bit of a bad word…synonymous with lazy. If we aren’t filling every last moment with something to do, then are we even doing anything? Even with the best intentions, we often find our schedules bursting at the seams. This is where learning how to budget your time is a must if you want to live your life on purpose…your purpose.

In case you needed some permission to take a breather, here it is: it’s ok to rest.

In fact, it is absolutely critical that you do. You have lots of important things you’re doing in your everyday life, and it requires you to be the best version of yourself for that day. Whatever assignments you’ve been given in this season of life, they need you to be on your A-game.

I used to be so guilty of filling every last moment with something to do. My Google calendar looked like a paint by numbers gone wrong. If I got done with work or a project early, I’d immediately start in on something else even if it wasn’t on my calendar for that day.

 My brain never got a break. I felt exhausted, short fused, and like I wasn’t getting where I wanted to go any faster. You will never feel like you have enough time or got enough done. That is just a fact I’ve come to recognize and continue to wrestle with daily. 

 As women today we face so much external pressure  to be good at all the things we see others doing well, and when we can’t we often find ourselves feeling shame around not being good enough.

So what is your metric? How do you know when you’ve done enough? 

When you’re working on the things that matter most to you, that’s when. Whenever when we fill our agendas with things that don’t really matter to us, we are too exhausted to do the things we’d rather be doing. 

The “AHA!”  moment came a couple years ago, when I had overextended myself with projects and committees that were important..to someone else, but they were things I thought I should be doing if I wanted to be a good mom. It occurred to me I was trying to be someone else’s version of me. 

Instead of leaving my calendar to chance, I had to start telling my time where to go. I to start putting MY priorities on the calendar. Rather than trying to fill every last minute with something to do, I started leaving white space in my calendar. Which meant I also had to get good at saying “no, thank you” to the things that weren’t a heck yes for me. 

One thing to remember is: YOU own your time.

Which means YOU must tell it where to go just like you do your money (if you’ve got a budget set up, you know what I’m talking about).

If you’re not planning ahead of time *how* and *what* you want to spend your time doing, you’ll be answering to everyone else’s requests all day long.

So, set yourself up to win with this scheduling strategy—
1. Carve out some time this week to plan ahead (for me, Sundays work best)
2. Pencil in your appointments and fixed commitments
3. Pencil in YOUR free time. This is time you don’t have to do anything. Side note, even though I enjoy moving my body, it still feels like a must so that I can be healthy. So for me, that would not go into the free time category.

4. Pencil in the other things.

When you take charge of your schedule like this, you fill your calendar with YOUR priorities, instead of letting other people fill it with theirs. It’s amazing what that sense of ownership over your time will do for you in so many different areas.

If you’re working around others and their schedules, it’s good to know that perhaps not everyone will be on board at first. That is ok. Work together to find a solution that works for everyone. And be prepared for some difficult conversations if your family has a hard time with you setting boundaries around your time. 

When you set boundaries around your time and honor those boundaries, you find you have more time to have fun, to do something nice for yourself, be more present, and ultimately more engaged in your most prized relationships. 

 You go from feeling wiped out and resentful to feeling a sense of calm you may have never known before. When you create peace around your time,  naturally it will  lead to peace in other areas of your life too. In fact, you may find some of those pesky behaviors around food might start dwindling. Now that’s what I call a win 😉

xo,

Alisha

P.S. To get your hands on other strategies and insight, sign up for the wait list to join the Mindful Eating Project. Spoiler alert, it’s not just about the food…

 

How to be more intentional first thing in the morning

How to be more intentional first thing in the morning

Maybe this sounds like your mornings too…

I’d  roll out of bed 15-20 min before I had to be up. My kids have always been into early mornings. It was always mad dash to get everyone out the door on time. No wonder I was crabby, exhausted, and spent the rest of the day trying to catch my breath.

What if your day didn’t have to start like that? Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a little time to get your head in the game before everyone else was up, and the world was knocking at your door?

You can start your day fresh,  with more peace, and a lot more calm. The trick is to carve out time for yourself before the busy of the day sets in. But this, like any other habit takes some practice. 

Let me guess, at this point you might be thinking to yourself, this is great for the early birds. Perhaps you already feel like you don’t have enough time, let alone add one more thing to your list.

Here’s the magic: Once you develop the habit, you won’t have to think about it. In fact, you’ll be so stoked on how you’re feeling after spending some time filling your cup, you’ll be too excited to get up and get the day going.

I think one of the reasons, people aren’t more excited to get up and at ’em is because the day is too chaotic. If my days felt like that, I wouldn’t be too happy to get out of bed either. In fact, I wasn’t.

When I’d roll out of bed, I was immediately reacting to life, instead of calling the shots. And if you’re not setting some intention behind your morning routine, then you’re likely in the same boat I was.

Another thing that may be tripping you up are some of the other habits you’ve got, that you’re not ready to get rid of just yet…like late night Netflix binges or hours of mindless scrolling. 

I had some habits that definitely had to go, if I was going to be able to get my butt out of bed earlier.  While I thought watching hours of TV or scrolling my social media was recharging my battery, I noticed I didn’t always feel better or more refreshed. 

Often, I’d wake up the next day feeling drained and exhausted.

On the rare occasion I would get out of bed earlier than usual, I found I had so much more time to get ready.

The days I had actually taken the time to read my bible, journal, spend time praying or meditating I had a different head space.

You might be on board to give this whole  morning thing a try, but not sure where to start. It’s ok, I didn’t either. 

I read the book Miracle Morning  by Hal Elrod as a recommendation from a friend of mine at the time.

The book helped give my mornings structure. I used it as inspiration, and just kept tweaking until I found what worked for me and the time I had. 

My mornings these days consist of going through my daily devotional, read a personal development book for about 10-15 min, journal some thoughts that came up or things I’m wrestling with, meditation/ prayer, and then I visualize my ideal day.

Here’s the thing to realize though, having a great morning starts the night before. Not only is it important to look at how you’re starting your day, but also how you’re winding down the night before.

If you’re finding it hard to get up a bit earlier, you may wanna take a look at your bedtime routine, and make some tweaks there.

Remember, it’s not about massive overhaul here. Instead, look at what small change you’re willing to make. And then intentionally practice it…daily. You also don’t have to wake up hours earlier. Try waking up 10-15 minutes earlier at first, then you can bump it back as needed.

As we know perfect doesn’t exist–this goes for our sleep as well. There are days when you may do everything ‘right’, and still don’t sleep well. This can make getting up early much more challenging than it might already be. Just do what you can. Maybe you cut a few things out, or shorten the routine up a bit. That’s ok! Just do what you can. 

Any time I travel, or have a change in routine it can be hard to stay with my morning routine. Again, decide what you can do even when you’re short on time or out of your element and do that. Think about it like this, what would the minimum be that you could do to still feel energized and excited about your day be? Do that. Then when you get back into your groove, you can adjust again.

I never thought changing one little thing, like how I start my mornings would have had such a profound impact, but it has. I don’t feel like I’m running the whole day trying to find my groove because I create my groove first thing in the am.

You will feel like you’ve found extra time in your day, and it’s because you have.

If you constantly feel like you don’t have enough time, it can be tempting to avoid adding one more thing in, but I just want you to try it. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to sleeping in 😉 

Starting day with intention makes it easier to be intentional throughout the day. Keep in mind freedom comes from having structure without being harsh or rigid. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do it perfectly or you miss a day here or there. However, to create new habits, you have to commit to consistency.

Make it easy on yourself to win the day, by winning your mornings. 

 

How to boost your confidence and reach your fitness goals

How to boost your confidence and reach your fitness goals

The big wins come from small daily actions. Fact–it’s the small and often insignificant actions that create our lives.

I remember thinking my weight loss journey would be one where something massive would happen and the weight would just fall off. In fact, I believe that is why I had such a hard time getting in shape when I first started.

My expectations and reality did not align at all. I don’t blame myself, and I don’t blame you if you think you’ll arrive in your fit n’ healthy body overnight or 6 weeks from now. That is after all what the health and fitness industry sells.

Hard work isn’t sexy, and it doesn’t sell. But the reality is, it’s the only thing that will ever work long term.

Why then do we keep going back to those silly quick fixes and false promises? Because it’s what we know. Because we want to believe that the next diet or workout program will be just the ticket.

However, in order to actually make your fit n’ healthy lifestyle a true lifestyle it’s got to be something you can do forever, and it’s got to be built on habits and routines. Not rules and restriction, guilt or shame.

And one of the best ways to create healthy habits is by tracking your consistency. I know, that sucks. And it’s the least cool thing you can probably think of when it comes to crushing your health goals this year or any year.

If you can track it, you can smash it.

One of the best ways to see how consistent you are is by tracking your daily habits + actions. Not only does it help you crush your fitness goals, but in my experience it has boosted my confidence. When I am showing up, that is.

For some tracking (much like accountability) can feel negative though. Like it’s restrictive and they want to rebel. For others it makes them feel empowered and strong.

Keeping track of your actions can boost or steal your confidence, but it all depends on how you look at it. Do you see being held accountable to your actions as being a punishment or a way to see just how much of a failure you are? OR do you see keeping track as a way to keep yourself honest?

The reality is, we think we do more than we actually do. Tracking is one way to help you close the gap between what you think and what you do.

You can only control two things: your effort and your attitude. Implementing a simple goal tracking system will help you see the effort you’re putting towards your fitness goals.

I want you to hear this: you can STILL make great strides if you hit even just 65%.

Yes, you read that right. In school, 65% is failing. We are taught from early on that you start with 100% and for every mistake you make, you lose points, percentages, and slip towards failure.

What if, we looked at it from the other way? What if you actually start at 0? This would mean that EVERYTHING you do moves you closer to your goals. When you look at it this way, then 65% is almost to 100. Pretty cool eh?

Create a tracking system, and do it.

You’ve got to figure out what works for you..just like everything else in life. Whether you go with paper and pen, a digital tracking tool–you decide, then do it.

This isn’t about doing it perfectly. It never is. Keeping track of your actions like days you moved or servings of veggies you ate for the day are just one tool to help you create new habits. It takes practice to get into the habit of tracking even. So when you’re first starting out, set an alarm or alert on your phone to remind you to check in with yourself. In fact, setting reminders can help you in so many ways in creating new, healthy habits.

Don’t look at tracking as a bad thing. Remember YOU are not bad if your score isn’t quite what you want. It’s just information. You get to assign the meaning to your score, and YOU get to be the one that does something if you aren’t happy with your effort.

Set up your tracking system with success


Showing up for yourself consistently will build self- confidence. Still not sure about keeping score? Watch this.

Confidence boosting with one simple strategy

Confidence at times can seem like a mystical unicorn. Sometimes we see little glimmers and specks of it here or there, like when we are having a good hair day or our jeans slid over our hips without any resistance. Other days however, not so much. No matter what you put on or how you try to fix your hair, you still can’t muster up even the slightest bit of confidence. I’ve been there and have had those days.

While it might feel good in the moment when everything goes as planned, it feels just as awful when it all goes south. That is why it is so important to build an unshakeable foundation of confidence. We aren’t going to do this through more exercise, makeup, or hair product, but rather by using strategies to help us build our confidence from the inside out. On solid rock rather than sinking sand.

Today I wanted to share one super simple and super effective strategy that has really shifted focus from all that I am not doing, to what I am actually doing pretty well. You may already be in the habit of journaling, and that is great! One quick question though, do you regularly journal and record your daily wins?

I wasn’t. At least not until a few months ago. I got so tired of looking at my to-do list that never seemed to be satisfied or all of the projects I wanted to start (and someday finish) for my business. There was this constant feeling of defeat each day as I lay my head down at night. I felt as if summiting the mountaintop was an impossible feat.  And while we should always be striving (in a healthy way of course) for that next level, we ought also take the time to enjoy the journey.

One easy way to do that is by recording what you are already doing. In some ways this is just an extension of practicing gratitude, and it helps you see that you are winning each and every day. Some days the wins might feel small or foolish and other days they might feel like you just slayed a giant. Either way, it is worth celebrating!

So tonight, grab a journal and jot down the first three things that come to mind as something that you accomplished or just got done. Be proud and be appreciative. This will boost your confidence immediately and will give you some inspiration to get at it again in the morning.

 

I’d love to hear how this works for you, leave a comment below with some of you wins!

Until next time 🙂

xo

Alisha