Wellness Coaching Tips for Making and Sustaining Change
What gets in the way of all those weight-loss, fitness, and living-healthier goals we set in moments of motivation? Rigid expectations, negative emotions, and nonstop distraction to name a few. Here are five tips to take a step back, explore a vision of your best self, and clear space to make positive change.
1. Don’t overcommit. Often people set the wrong goals; goals that are too lofty, unrealistic and overwhelming. Make a ‘vision statement’ with no deadline, such as: I’m going to be thinner and stronger. Then set a realistic, shorter-term goal, such as I’m going to have a regular exercise regimen by a certain date.
2. Dig deep to get to the “why.’’ When you tap into the source of your drive to be healthier, you create energy to change. What is it that you really, really yearn for, that you’ll have when you are healthier and fitter? This is what drives your vision statement.
3. Sit down with a coach, trainer or friend and brainstorm what your top strengths are and how you can use them to handle challenges. Because negative feelings are so good at taking over the brain’s resources, we tend to focus on our weaknesses and ignore strengths. Identifying the strengths gives us power to draw on them and use these qualities to change.
4. Experiment like a scientist. The same thing does not work for everyone. Try a new strategy, and see if it makes a difference. If you are trying to break a habit, like snacking, say, work on things that could replace it. Experiment with five-minute options that could distract you from mindless eating like five minutes of walking, stretching, or meditating. Use mindfulness to really listen to what your body is telling you it needs, not wants.
5. Get a handle on distractions. Schedule an hour on a specific day of the week to go to the gym, for example. Put away your cellphone and don’t check e-mails first. Focus on managing everyday distractions by having a plan and sticking to it.