So that title only makes sense if you have read my other posts about Alien invasions.
Here we are, we have met our little inner alien and now we need some strategies to live in harmony and avoid being abducted by the little irrational, emotional space cadet. What we need here is a battle plan. :
- As Sun Tzu wrote, “Know your alien and know yourself, you need not fear the result of being invaded.” Ok, I might have paraphrased a little. But basically it comes down to being aware when and where your little A(lien)-hole acts up. Does it get hangry everyday at 3 pm and talk you into scarfing donuts in the breakroom? Does it convince you to skip exercise each day (“You can do it later, you are sooo busy right now – Netflix won’t watch itself”)? Start noticing the ways your Great Gazoo invades your good intentions.
- John Tierney wrote in the New York Times, “The more decisions you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain…” and I say, the more tired your brain comes from making decisions the more likely it is that your alien will make your decisions for you. Nope! That’s just trouble! The solution? New habits! Making decisions before your brain is all decided-out. Prep your meals and snacks ahead, plan your exercise in advance – this overlaps a little bit with step 3 below, but if you have things planned and prepped that means less decisions you have to make on the fly and the less power your alien has to invade.
- Alexander Graham Bell. had his steps slightly out of order but the advice is good, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”, If your alien is prodding you towards the breakroom donuts every day at 3 pm, keep a stash of healthy snacks nearby. Talking you into skipping exercise? Put a reminder in your phone, schedule a time early in the day! Also, keep triggers out of sight (keep the kid’s cookies in an out of the way cupboard) and something healthy where you will see it – a bowl of fruit on the counter, a mantra on a Post-it note stuck on the cupboard door. But… don’t forget to surprise your alien with a treat now and then – half a donut once every couple of weeks or something – just to keep it happy.
- Who better to take alien invasion advice from then Scientologist and Fresh Prince of Belaire? Will Smith says, “The road to success is through commitment”. Make a plan to exercise with a friend, or write your menu for the week on a board for everyone to see. Not only does involving others in your plan make you more accountable but there is consequence if you don’t follow through. At the risk of disappointing someone else, suddenly you are much more likely to show up! Eventually, we will be able to make a commitment to ourselves and keep it, without the little green invader thwarting our plan.
- There are a lot of really great Sylvester Stallone quotes (no kidding! I Googled it). But for our final step in preventing an alien invasion and stalling us on our way to our big goals, I think he said it best when he said, “Plan B. You’ve always got to have a Plan B”. Things don’t always go as planned. The other night I had planned to have a sit down dinner with my family and make a new recipe. I had my Covid booster shot earlier that day and wasn’t feeling the best when dinner time approached, but I was prepared to follow through on my plan… until my husband got a fire call and had to head out, then my daughter’s music lesson time got moved to an hour earlier and suddenly no one was there for me to cook for! So, I prepped the recipe a little and put it in the fridge for the next night. Luckily I had healthy stuff in the fridge to throw together a healthy salad and sandwich for dinner. My alien would have had a field day convincing me to eat stale tortilla chips over the sink, if I had not had a Plan B on standby. Thanks, Rocky!
Well that’s the end of this blog post. I think I will close off with one more quote: