I love accompanying people on their journey to making lifestyle changes. I love seeing the potential in my clients when they don’t always see it themselves. I love that coaching others helps me in my own life, to be better, to change perspective and to value the preciousness of life. We all have the right to live a fulfilling life and sometimes we forget that. My role as a Wellness Coach is to partner with my clients and guide them in their pursuit of transformation (if you have never heard of a wellness coach check out this article). Sometimes a client wants to lose weight, other times its a mama who is trying to re-invent herself as a stay at home parent, and most times its people wanting to feel purpose in their life. In all cases though, clients want to be doing or feeling differently than they do when they begin working with me. I’ve noticed that there are a few assumptions that people may have when deciding to work with a coach and these assumptions can set people up for unnecessary failure.
The false expectation that only drastic changes mean progress.
Real change occurs over a period of time with consistent effort. Changing your thoughts or eating habits is a daily practice. Envision yourself at your happiest and most confident state… Hold that vision in your minds eye and know that every day the choices you make will bring you closer to that vision… The choices you make could also take you farther away, so choose carefully. I tell clients (and myself) to celebrate the small, tiny, daily choices we make because it’s in the small choices and decisions that change occurs. Its deciding to not take another bite of your food when you know you are full. Its deciding to drink a glass of water instead of another cup of coffee. It’s choosing a home-prepared meal instead of eating out. It’s deciding to be mindful when you are playing with your kids. It’s choosing to stand up and do a breathing exercise instead of checking Facebook. It’s taking a moment to notice the sunshine on your face while you are outside. It’s being aware of each bite you are feeding your body. All of these small choices matter! : ) So remember that every choice matters. Celebrate small changes. Its daily process not progress.
Do you want to practice making small changes? Try the free Tiny Habits program developed by leading behavior change researchers
“Success comes from making a series of good decisions over time while failure comes from making a series of poor decisions over time.” -Jim Rohn
The expectation for immediate results.
Behavior change is a tough nut to crack. We are creatures of habit. Have you heard that it takes 21 days to break a habit? It’s true and in the field of behavior change, it usually takes 12 weeks to implement a lifestyle change. This is a long time for people- we are so accustomed to immediate access to everything. But anything worth doing or having takes hard work and a long term outlook. The decision to adopt a lifestyle that allows you to thrive is the bigger picture rather than focusing on short term change motivated by guilt, fear or regret. Experts agree that long-lasting change is most likely when it’s self-motivated and rooted in positive thinking. In the public health field we use the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change to explain that behavior change is a process, not an event. Most people go through the stages of change and then relapse and go back though the process again. We need to be gentle with ourselves and anticipate long term commitment to our health and happiness.
“It’s going to be hard to change my lifestyle habits. Being a mom has proven to be the hardest challenge in my life and I know this is not going to just come in a couple weeks. It’s over time and it’s little by little and it will take baby steps to get there. I am giving myself more credit for realizing that this is an extremely tough challenge will TAKE TIME”
-Jessica W., New Mama Wellness client
The expectation that change will occur without actually doing the work.
Reading about the ideal foods to support your body through pregnancy is not the same as actually eating those foods. Collecting various workout routines on your Pinterest board is not the same as actually scheduling your workouts and sweating through them. Talking to others about your long term goals while ignoring the day to day choices that will bring you closer to those goals won’t work either. The point is you have to do the work. Period. You can have the best intentions, but if you do not execute your plan then you are not going to change anything. The only person that can change your habits, change your mind and change your behavior is YOU. Making the hard choice in the present will bring about ease in the future. Developing a trusting relationship with your coach is essential because your coach is there to hold you accountable for the commitments you make to yourself. Doing the work is tough but if you have an accountability partner there to support you it becomes more manageable.
What was your experience working with a wellness coach?