Why Do I Need a Wellness Coach?

18224010_mIf you are a wellness coach, then you understand what I’m about to say. Most people have a hard time wrapping their minds around WHAT we do. To a casual observer, it may appear we are simply listening, asking questions, or reflecting back what we have heard. Yes, we do those things, but it’s so much more. A wellness coach increases motivation, lifts energy and builds confidence.

I’m writing this post for the prospective client. I want you to understand that a skilled wellness coach will transform your life–if you want transformation. To demystify the process, I first want to explain the wellness vision. We develop your wellness vision during our first coaching session. The words chosen will reflect a vivid picture of YOU living YOUR best life. Because it is highly customized to you, it will not look like anyone else’s.

Here is an example of someone’s wellness vision:

I am living near the beach, living modestly, but comfortably. I work part-time and am spending 2 hours a day writing my book. I am riding my bicycle and eating clean. My BMI is in the normal range. I entertain friends and family often. I have lots of energy and can keep up with my grandchildren. I volunteer for a nonprofit ministry that assists the homeless. I am learning to play the guitar and honing my jewelry making skills.

The wellness vision provides the foundation to goal setting. What steps need to be taken to get to that ideal life, the life that makes your heart leap for joy? The next task will be for us to set some 3-month goals. It is not expected that you will be living your best life in 3 months. As your wellness coach, I expect that you will reach more than 70% of your 3-month behavioral goals and that you will feel energized and confident to proceed, alone or with my help.

Staying with the wellness vision above, here is an example of what that same person’s 3-month goals might look like:

1.  I will walk briskly for 30 minutes 4 times a week.

2.  I will eat at least 3 vegetables and 2 fruits each day.

3.  I will spend 15 minutes a day meditating.

4.  I will write for 30 minutes, 3 days a week.

5.  I will implement a plan with a financial planner.

What I hope you are noticing here is that the 3-month goals are not only sensible and achievable, but they are clearly moving the ball forward to that best self that the client envisions. The meditation may help them to clear their head for writing, be more mindful of what they are eating, and manage stress. They are also going to need that financial planner–it costs money to live near the beach and only work part-time! The client may not address every aspect of their wellness vision in the first 3-months because it is better to focus on mastering a few behaviors at a time, rather than being scattered or overwhelmed. The client sets the priorities.

I hope this has been helpful. Everyone is different. Some people are clearly ready for action when they begin working with a wellness coach and will make rapid progress with some ambitious goals. Others have more cognitive/thinking/headwork to do before making behavioral changes and that is fine. That can be measured too! Next week I will give you examples of what weekly goals look like and explain this in more detail.