“I need to work on my fitness and a coach who can help me shape up,” says Gary, your client whom you are coaching for the first time. As a fitness coach, how do you define wellness and incorporate it into your client’s life? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines wellness as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal”.
Wellness is a choice and unique to each person; it encompasses every aspect of a person’s life and requires work, determination and commitment to bring about change. It means being in command of all aspects of your life: physical, career, relationships, finances, spiritual, environment and emotional wellbeing.
Your Client’s “My Fitness Goals” – How to Coach them to Shape
Here are some suggestions to help your client create a life that honors their wellness:
1. Realistically look at the areas of your client’s life
The important areas that you need to look at as a fitness coach are your client’s physical, career, relationships, finances, spiritual, environment and emotional wellbeing. Identify the area(s) that need improvement. Then work with your client and help him set goals to achieve desired results one step at a time. Encourage your client to use a journal to track his activity.
2. Assess your client’s readiness for change and willingness to embrace it
Help your client identify and write down the benefits of wellness to his life and his willingness to make the necessary changes. Then let him know that every move, forward or back, is part of the normal process of change.
3. Identify and eliminate barriers and challenges that could impede your client’s success
There are always barriers to overcome as your client moves toward his or her goals. Select one barrier to work on at time. For every negative message your client encounter, turn it into a positive one. For example, “My fitness coaches in the past did not seem to understand my work stress…I need your technique to work and help me shape up” can be turned into “My fitness is a priority. Everything that needs to be done will get done.” Learning to replace negative expressions with positive ones is a matter of establishing new habits. It takes time and practice.
4. Set clearly defined and measurable wellness goals
Help your client create fun and interesting ways to fulfill his goals. For example, to help your client shape up and be more physically active at work, he may want to take a three-minute walk every hour around his work environment. Break his goals down into small, incremental steps.
5. Create meaningful wellness priorities
Take a closer look at how your client spends his time on an average day. Review his daily activity. Find opportunities for wellness activities that your client might not have known existed and incorporate them into his daily life.
6. Challenge your client wellness changes and strive to achieve even more
Encourage him to make simple changes first and then take a look at the things that are harder and that will require the most change to achieve his desired results. Help your client see it is okay to tackle them one at a time.
7. Help your client design and refine his goals so he’ll get the most out of them every day
If your client doesn’t get the results he wants in a reasonable amount of time, go back to the “drawing board.” Work with him to re-design and refine his goals to fit what works for him.
8. Once your client makes lasting changes to his lifestyle, identify and celebrate his accomplishments
Encourage him to reward yourself! Also ask him to review his favorite activities and try new activities to renew his motivation.
The pace of today’s world is so fast that if results are not immediate clients are quick to quit. However, the long-term results that extend their lives are well worth the time, work and effort that they put into taking care of themselves. Wellness is a way of life. Help your clients achieve their “My Fitness Goals” and coach them to shape!
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Writer, Coaches Training Blog community