Episode Nine: Guiding Principles

You are most influenced by the people you surround yourself with. Are you surrounding yourself with people who operate with high integrity and want to be influenced by?  Want the opportunity to be a brand ambassador for Click on over to the contact page and let’s connect! 


Top of the List

I don’t know about you but many of the expectations I have placed on myself are unrealistic.  They did not take into account an injured knee, an emotional job, or the fact that cleaning ANY dishes will be the straw that breaks this camel’s back.  Also, my judgments have lacked perspective.  I’ve come to conclusions about myself without seeing the big picture.

Specifically, I have always had an eye for what was “wrong” and seemed to skim over the multitude of good deeds and characteristics that I shared with the world every day.  These unrealistic expectations and harsh judgments lead me to feel helpless and “not good enough.”  I might as well have been dodging hammer fist punches while walking a tight rope!

My solution?  Grind a little harder.  Make a better plan.  Be more organized.  Say it in a new way.  Really commit.  Sound familiar?  Now, this extreme way of living required relief.  Yet, a nice cup of tea and yoga session did not do the trick.  No, only a Netflix binge, bottle of wine and package of Oreos relieved the worrisome pressure in my chest.  Yikes, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, but unfortunately it was a train.

After numerous consequences to my mind, body, spirit, relationships, and career, I reluctantly surrendered to the fact that my way was just not working.  To me, this was the toughest blow of all…especially for a person whose main goals had always been to “do well” and “fix it.”  I felt deflated, yet strangely grounded…humbled.  I woke up each day and took a good, honest look at myself.  I wrote in my journal and read my own words.  I cried…a lot…and considered what I actually wanted out of life.   How did I want to exist in this world?  Why did I even want to exist?

Hmmm, I had never asked myself these questions.  How interesting that my whole life I had frantically and ferociously tried to meet and live up to expectations and judgments that weren’t even mine.  If you are nodding along to my words, then we can take comfort in the fact that we are not alone.

Okay, let’s take a collective breath.  We have proved time and time again that we possess creativity, compassion, problem solving skills, and a killer work ethic.  We are not lacking in any way.  Our efforts have simply been divided, interrupted, and unfocused.  We need to take time to consider our values…what is most important to us above anything else…Maybe we step out and put our own well-being at the top of that list.


Bio picAlicja Carter, MHR, LADC, BHWC, has been working in the behavioral health and addiction treatment field for over ten years.  She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Wellness Coordinator/Coach for Gateway to Prevention and Recovery in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  Alicja is passionate about pursuing a well life and collaborating with others for the purpose of stimulating positive change in her community.




Episode Six: Creatively Negotiate

After listening to the podcast please leave me your comments here.  I would love to hear any of your stories about how you or one of your rockstar girlfriends negotiated creatively.   At every turn of my career I have negotiated a day job that allowed me to take my personal days to officiate basketball.  Your needs may be different – tell me about how you make it happen.

#b2bnetwork #MediaLife #Negotiate4Life #CreativelyNegotiate

I Have Changed

I want to eat healthier.  I want to exercise more regularly.  I want to make wiser choices.  I want to have better willpower.  Do you ever have these same thoughts and wonder how in the world is it that everyone I know seems to be able to make life changes but I am stuck in my same ways as that of a country girl?

You know the cowboy way of life where you rose before the sun, ate a nice hearty egg, bacon and biscuit breakfast.  Then left the house with a cantina to work til the beating noon day sun.  You dropped in the house for a processed meat sandwich and back to work until dark.  After some hand washing and a little prep time, we sat down to a full meal of something like chicken fried steak with gravy, garden grown mashed potatoes, fried okra and some green beans.  This was the regular day and typical meals.

Then I go to college and try to adjust to the $5.00 / meal way of life which ups my preservatives intake, lowers my vegetable intake, and I began stocking up on as many calories as possible when the parents come to town to feed me.  It is this awful routine.

Then I grow up, get a real job and can’t figure out how to break this meat heavy, yet convenience-driven, unhealthy cycle of food consumption. For years I try food boxes, meal plans, 30 day commitments and anything I could find to kickstart new eating habits.  And then it happened – my entire environment changed so I started changing too.

You know research suggests that you are the “average” of your three closest friends which means you will have friends who earn a little more and some who earn a little less; you will have friends who weigh a little more, exercise a little more, or a just a bit happier.  You will also have those friends who weigh a little less, exercise less, and are less optimistic, and you will be somewhere right in the middle of all of them.  You will be the average of your friends. Is this true for your life?  Think about your friends, co-workers, and spouse — are you the average of the people you hang out with in any of these ways?

I have always been the average in the sense that around my most conservative of friends, I was the most liberal and around my most liberal of friends I am seen as very conservative (true story and probably a reflection of my time being split b/w New York and Oklahoma).  In the weight, workout and food category, I have not always been the average.  Most of my friends don’t workout as rigorously as I do and they generally eat like I did as a ranchers daughter, very meat heavy while sporatically trying to lower the carb intake or the processed food consumption.  But I have not had any vegetarian or veggie-heavy close friends.

Until recently and I now work with predominatly fruit and veggie eating girls who all have their own workout routines.  I still fight so many of the same guilt-ridden questions about my personal will power and commitment to health, but I have noticed I am making some changes.  For example over the last month I have traveled with family a few places. On one trip I chose the restaurant when we went out for dinner and the restaurant I chose was completely different than anything my Mom or guests would have chosen.  It was clean, whole 30 type food and I was excited and the food was great.  I even knew most of the items on the menu.  (progress I tell you) I did not chose the restaurant to be different or to make it difficult for my guests to chose an entrée, but I wanted this food for my “nite out” of fancy food.   Then again a couple weeks later I was traveling and while the family ordered a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, I chose a cheese and fruit tray and a berry blast.  What?  Who am I?  Where did the country girl go?

What I noticed – really for the first time – is that I have changed.  I have made some healthy choices in my life and they have become my habit.  I almost cant believe it.  I was on the plane and I was reading vegan recipes.  I was smiling about dishes that didn’t have any meat in them.  I see this as a win.  I have not been on a systematic program.  I have not been ordering boxes, but I started spending 6-8 hours a day with people who eat more plants, more vegetables and fruits and I started eating them too. I am becoming the average of my new friends with my old friends.  And as my circle of daily influence changes, so do my habits.  Now, I am the one in the group who wants to find some place to eat with a vegan burger.  I can’t believe it.  I have changed.  If only two or four meals a week, it is something.  I have changed.  #SuccessWithoutApology #SucccessInSmallbites