’Tis the season for resolutions and goals; a certain focus tends to fall on the health that we may have let slip by in the past 12 months. We write out lists of well-meaning promises to ourselves that we will fulfill this year. THIS YEAR it will be different. This year something changes and we stick to the goals.
The promise of a new year ignites excitement and promise and we have belief in our potential to change. And that excitement is POWERFUL! Yet, there is a difference between simply writing a goal and creating a plan to achieve the goal of renewed health. Moving towards your version of a “new” healthy may require the support and guidance of friends, family, and a health coach to keep you accountable. In fact, there is power in numbers. You should tell as many people as you can about your goals so that you can support and encouragement! Research has shown that those who support and walk towards a goal with another person have increased the success of achieving goals.
If a Health Coach is on your radar (good for you!), here are five things you should be looking for when choosing a program or coach to help you on your journey of change.
1. Do they have empathy because they have traveled your road?
This is an important one because who wants a coach who has never known the challenges you have in health? If you are a working mom with a full-time job or you own a business and your new coach is a single man running his business, he may understand the challenge of being a business owner but he doesn’t relate to where you are in your life. If it is a female, will she understand the stress of trying to balance work and family? Does she understand the hormone shift you are currently experiencing? Has she struggled with health in any way?
Ask those questions. Get to know who you are working with and will it be a good fit?
2. Will they speak truth to you in love?
Sometimes, we need someone who cares for us to grab us (not literally) and give us a good shake because they see the things we don’t necessarily see in ourselves. Are we in a bad behavior pattern that keeps us from progressing forward? Are we lying to ourselves about something?
In health, it’s easy to deny or ignore behaviors and actions that are hindering our success. We are stuck in a certain place because we won’t change. And that is when a good coach calls us out. I’ve had some great coaches in health and business that have confronted me because I say I want something to change in my health, business, or life; however, my behavior indicates something entirely different. They shouldn’t tear you down and make you feel ashamed or guilty. They should be able to ask questions that require you to focus introspectively on what is holding you back from change. You must also be willing to hear those things.
3. Will they personalize your coaching?
I know there are plenty of coaches promising great results if you follow their specific program they have outlined. Most of those programs are focused on one single aspect of diet or exercise. So you join with great hope and excitement, you have just found THE thing that will change the game for you. Yet, going all in, you find that it is not a sustainable program that will fit your life. So you quit two weeks in and begin the search for the next thing. Or, maybe, you gave it your all and your body didn’t respond in the way the program or coach promised.
Frustrating, right? I know the feeling well. That is why you want a coach who will listen to YOUR goals and current struggles. If you can’t do high impact exercise because of an injury but this workout program is all high impact and there are no modifications or the modifications will still aggravate an injury, then it won’t fit where you are in fitness. Is chronic fatigue your problem? You need to address THAT. Not looking at lifestyle, diet, sleep, injuries, and schedule doesn’t fix a problem. If emotional triggers lead to over-eating, a very specific diet plan doesn’t work long-term. It puts a band-aid on a bullet wound. Find a coach that will help you with ALL of your needs.
4. Are they certified and trained to promote change in their clients?
Does your coach have training, education, and certifications behind their experience? Or did they simply decide that they wanted to be a coach because it seems fun? A good coach will have lots of experience and consistently be investing in further training and education to give their clients the best experience and results.
Everyone starts somewhere. I understand that completely. Yet, if you are dealing with struggles in your health, don’t you want someone with expertise in this area? Will they just tell you what to do or will they ask questions to find more about what you really need?
5. Do they have a well-rounded approach towards health?
Diet and exercise are important components of health but they aren’t the only things. Stress levels, mindset, schedule, lifestyle, technology, and sleep all play a part also! Leaving those pieces out will leave holes in your strategy towards whole health. If you don’t address the stress that is causing hormone imbalance and blood sugar imbalance, leading to weight gain, sleeplessness, and chronic fatigue then you basically continue the same cycle that is causing you to seek help from a program or health coach.
Complete health shouldn’t be focused on a number or a size you wear. Whole health is not a single direction approach. Think of a car. You need four wheels to move forward. You may have wheels but without an engine, nothing happens. You also need gas. So to think your health is the same would be primitive. Don’t settle for a single approach to your health.
When you are considering a program or a coach, use these five questions to determine whether or not it is a good fit. Be your own health advocate.
If you are looking for a program that embraces TOTAL health and offers an individualized, grace-based approach then join the waitlist for my Beta Intentional Wellness 6-week group program! Stop punishing your body.
It’s time for Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success.