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What is health coaching?

The idea of health coaching is quite new to most people and, admittedly, sounds kind of made up. You might think the only people who need it are those who are extremely unwell or who know nothing about health. But I think you will find that it is something that would greatly benefit most of us, regardless of how healthy or knowledgeable we are.

The coach is your guide

If we think about sport, the coach will guide an athlete towards her goal(s). They can’t run the race for the athlete or make on-court decisions, but they provide guidance and support off the court to enable the athlete to perform at their best.

Health coaches do the same thing for people wanting to make improvements in their health. A coach will help clarify health goals, determine what values and skills a client has, and help develop a plan of action and support accountability to achieve these goals. To be clear, the client is in the driver’s seat of this relationship – not the coach. The client decides what to work on and how, and the coach facilitates this journey supporting behaviour change.

Different coaches for different folks

Most health coaches offer a free consultation to explain how health coaching can help the client reach their goals. This is a good opportunity for both parties to get a feel for how they would work together in a coaching relationship, as not all personalities will work well together. This chat will help clarify the client’s expectations of the roles to ensure both parties are on the same page about who is responsible for what.

If you have tried health coaching and weren’t successful, I suggest trying a different coach. Perhaps their style or personality wasn’t the right fit for you, or maybe their areas of expertise didn’t align with your goals.

You’ve got to want it!

Changing your behaviour to improve your health often can’t happen until you are ready to commit, so consider where you’re at – be honest. The most dominant model of health behaviour change is the transtheoretical model. It is comprised of 5 stages and basically says that a person won’t change their behaviour until they are ready to do so (see graphic).

Which step are you on?

If you’re still on the fence about making changes, perhaps do some more research or talk to a few more people. Remember, a coach can’t carry you across the finish line of a race – you must want to cross it and put in the effort to get there. But your coach will be your loudest supporter reminding you that you can do it.

So that’s health coaching in a nutshell! If you are struggling with a lack of motivation, have trouble making your healthy habits stick, or want to live a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start, then contact me today. You can email me with questions or request a free consult and I’ll get back to you to see if we would be a good fit.

Be bold, be brave, be mighty!

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