Is health coaching right for you?

Before you answer that important question, it may be helpful to gain a basic understanding of what coaching is and the process in general. There are many coaches out there, working with clients in many different areas. There are life coaches, relationship coaches, retirement coaches and even financial coaches. Each has his own individual style or approach, but it all boils down to one thing: Helping clients discover their true potential. If we’re being honest with ourselves, I think we’d agree that we all could all do with improving an area or two of our lives. But unfortunately most people don’t do anything about it.

According to the International Coach Federation:

“Coaching is an on-going partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life. Using reporting, exploring, and a consistent commitment to help clients move forward, coaching accelerates the clients’ progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be tomorrow.” –

Coaching is all about helping people get from where they are in their lives to where they want to be.

Why hire a health coach?

Most people know what they need to do to become healthier but they simply don’t do what they know. Human beings, being the thinkers that we are, tend to get in our own way. We sell ourselves short and convince ourselves that we’re not capable of eating better, exercising and creating a healthier lifestyle. We come to believe that there must be some other way, a magical shortcut that will allow us to avoid the unpleasant effort we associate with losing weight or improving our health. We end up going after the quick fix by popping pills, restricting calories, going on fad diets and in general wreaking havoc on our own bodies. Ultimately, most of these approaches fail and we end up in a cycle of yo-yo dieting before throwing up our hands in exasperation.

As a health coach, it’s my job job to help people improve their health by breaking down the barriers that they impose on themselves.

Why Not Just Hire A Personal Fitness Trainer?

That’s a great question; after all, there are some similarities. When you go to a gym they’ll first ask you what your goals are: Do you want to lose weight? Lose fat? Build muscle? Build endurance? Increase stamina?
They will then measure where you are at currently with regard to your health goals.
If you want to lose body fat they may ask you to take a body fat composition test that will measure your current levels of body fat; you may be asked to take a fitness test, asked what your current eating habits are etc. After establishing how much you want to lose and over what period of time you want to lose it, the trainer will devise a plan of action for you to follow to help you achieve your goals. During your training sessions, your personal fitness trainer will encourage and motivate you, show you the correct form for the exercises that you are doing and may even help develop a nutritional plan for you to follow. The end goal of a trainer is to help you achieve your goals more quickly and effectively than if you did it yourself. So yes, hiring a personal trainer probably would help.

Unfortunately, there are some shortcomings to hiring a personal trainer. First you have to pay for your health club membership, and then pay $30-$60 per session, and then drive to the gym to have your session. Between sessions, unless it’s included in you training package, you’re on your own, with little or no support or encouragement. Finally, and this is a big one, most personal trainers aren’t equipped to address the biggest obstacle which their client’s face, which are the mental and emotional blocks which get in the way.

A Health Coach does EXACTLY the same as a Personal Trainer but also focuses on the emotional aspects of the process which typically undermine long term success.

These include:

• Confidence and self esteem
– Feeling better about yourself
– Removing the self doubt
– Feeling more confident

• Stress Management
– Understanding the stress response
– Managing day to day stress more effectively
– Learning to relax

• Goal setting and achievements
– Setting compelling goals
– Managing your time more effectively
– Removing the clutter that bogs you down
– Staying focused
– Providing direction and purpose

• Positive thinking
– Getting rid of barriers and negative thinking
– Discovering your values in life

The role of a health coach

Rather than simply providing information and TELLING clients what to do, a Health Coach is a catalyst for getting a client to find the answers themselves. By asking challenging and thought provoking questions, a Health Coach can unlock the potential in a client.
Coaching is forward looking and focused on the actions you are willing to take to get more of what you want out of life.

Coaching enables you to see different alternatives, take a step back and thoroughly examine your life and its component parts.

This in turn leads to greater:

• Self-awareness
• Focus
• Accountability

A Coach Is . . .

• Your own personal trainer to enable you to achieve your goals
• Your champion during a turnaround.
• Your trainer in communication and life skills.
• Your sounding board when making choices.
• Your motivation when strong actions are called for.
• Your unconditional support when you take a hit.
• Your mentor in personal development.
• Your co-designer when creating an extraordinary project.
• Your beacon during stormy times.
• Your wake-up call if you don’t hear your own.
• And most importantly, the professional coach is your partner in helping you have all of what matters most to you.

How does coaching work?

So now you know what coaching is, but how does it work?

Coaching can be conducted through a number of mediums – here are the most popular:
– Face to face
– Phone chats
– E-mail
– Group coaching sessions in person
– Group coaching through the telephone (teleseminar)

During each coaching session the coach and the client discuss and explore the clients’ journey including their goals, wins, challenges, and opportunities, as well as develop fieldwork for the coming week. Fieldwork isn’t like the homework you were assigned in school. It consists of action steps to move you closer toward your goals and dreams. You bring the agenda and your coach brings the coaching skills to create a partnership that moves you forward toward your goals.
Your coach will call you at your scheduled time each week.

One-on-One Coaching:

The structure of coaching is flexible.

You can design a coaching arrangement that best meets your individual needs and schedule. The basic design consists of:

• A 30 minute complimentary “is this for you” session?
• An initial one-hour session to create a coaching strategy (in-person or by phone)
• Initial assessment to evaluate your current health level and establish goals.
• Regular on-going coaching sessions (typically by phone/email)
• Exercises to increase self-awareness, encourage creative thinking, and develop practical skills.
• Full confidentiality
• Quarterly evaluation and review, along with strategies for ongoing support.

Coaching sessions are usually scheduled weekly, lasting from a half-hour to an hour. E-mail between sessions is encouraged as questions or concerns arise.

Together, we will define the length and frequency that best supports your goals. Sessions may be focused on one specific goal or challenge that you are facing, or on a broader set of health goals.

Group Coaching / Team Coaching:

Any one-on-one coaching program can be tailored to a group or team coaching program. This is the most cost-effective model for providing coaching throughout an organization as multiple clients can be served at each session. The cost for team coaching is about half that for individual coaching. Another benefit of team coaching, is the opportunity for members of an organization to support one another in reaching health goals between sessions.

For more information on individual or group coaching plans, contact Dennis Hart LPCC

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