Why does being well Matter?
For most of us, getting the most out of life is important, and is probably something we all aspire to. Being healthy means different things to different people, but on some level all of us want to be physically able to carry out our daily activities without too much difficulty. Why is it important to be generally fit in both mind and body? Because, in addition to having to carry out our daily activities, including work, family responsibilities, and social obligations, most of us want to live long and productive lives. In order to accomplish this, we need to strive towards a healthy combination of physical, mental, emotional and social well-being.
How is Wellness Coaching different from personal training, therapy, seeing a nutritionist or even going to my primary care doctor?
While many Wellness Coaches are nutritionists, personal trainers, or therapists, not all trainers, therapists and nutritionists are Wellness Coaches. The biggest difference between a Wellness Coach and other allied health practitioners is in the approach that they take towards helping you to achieve your goals. A Wellness Coach won’t tell you what to do, but will rather ask you where you want to go with your wellness, why it matters to you and how you want to get there. Unlike therapy, your Wellness Coach will not focus on your past, but will rather look towards your future. Unlike a personal trainer or nutritionist, a Wellness Coach does not lead you through exercises or give you a specific diet to follow, but rather will help you establish fitness and nutrition goals and see that you accomplish them, little by little. Unlike a primary care physician, a Wellness Coach has the time to spend with you on your health and wellness vision and objectives. Your Wellness Coach will support you and guide you to create your definition of well-being and what that means to you. The main focus of Wellness Coaching is to concentrate on your strengths and build on them to help you realize your goals. Together, you and the coach will identify your motivators and obstacles as you create your wellness vision for the future.
Why would I work with a Wellness Coach?
Most of us know that we need to be fitter, lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, etc. but we find that it is extremely difficult to make these important and critical changes on our own. We might begin a fitness program or go on a diet, but we don’t seem to be able to follow through with what we started. The knowledge and information about being healthy is all around us, yet achieving good health is much easier said than done. Your Wellness Coach can work with you to set goals, prioritize what matters most and help you to follow through! A good coach will help you build confidence in your ability to make changes and create new (healthy habits) on your own, so eventually, the coach is no longer needed. In Wellness Coaching, a close relationship and partnership with a coach provides structure, accountability, expertise, and inspiration. This enables the client to learn, grow, and develop beyond what he or she can do alone.
What is Wellness Coaching really like?
In the first session with your Wellness Coach, the client and coach go through a detailed medical questionnaire to establish a baseline of where the client is on his or her “wellness journey.” This is followed by the coach asking the client to come up with a very detailed “wellness vision”… a picture of exactly what he or she imagines their best self to be in one year, 3 months, one month and one week from the day they start working together. After that, motivators and obstacles are identified, and long-term behavioral goals are set that align with this vision. After the client and coach establish the “why”, then the “how” is addressed in great detail. Potential obstacles to each desired behavior are discussed, and strategies to overcome them are developed. The client is encouraged to remember and discuss how he or she used their particular strengths to overcome obstacles in the past, and to formulate ideas of how to use them successfully again.
Finally, at the end of this and each subsequent session, weekly, realistic and well-defined goals are set by the client. The coach’s job is to encourage the client to stretch him or herself just enough to feel challenged by these weekly goals, but not so overwhelmed by them. Incremental, weekly successes, small as they might be, are why this process works as well as it does. Clients begin to feel accountable to themselves and their coaches. Their self-confidence and self-esteem grows with each success. Before long, they are accomplishing more than they believed possible when they first started.
Who could benefit from Wellness Coaching?
Do you have significant changes you want to make in one or more areas of your life? Do you need to overhaul your eating patterns, or begin to make exercise a routine part of your day, rather than have it be an afterthought? Do you know that your stress coping mechanisms are not working, but you don’t have any idea what to do about it? If so, a Wellness Coach might be exactly what you are looking for to help you establish and realize your health and wellness goals.