When clients are ready to start making lifestyle changes, it is crucial we help them explore their sources of support and connection.

Modern lifestyles can be very isolating. People are busy, overwhelmed, tired and stressed. This can lead to spending a lot of time alone and a loss of connection with friends, family, communities, nature, spirituality and ones self.

In fact, isolation has become a known health risk. Research shows people who are better connected to their community, to nature, to their work, have a connection to something greater, and who have good self connection, appear healthier than those who are isolated.

If you are helping a client embark on a heath, wellness, or lifestyle change -such as new way of eating, a new movement program, quitting smoking, sugar or gluten, or just generally looking to be healthier – it is important to ensure they have the support necessary to reach their goals.

Taking on any of these changes will be a lot easier and more enjoyable for your client when the people they love and surround themselves with, support their journey.

Consider these scenarios. Your client decides to:

• Start a new fitness program but their partner sits home every night watching TV

• Give up sugar but their mom keeps baking them cookies and sweets

• Adopt a healthier lifestyle and their friends party and drink every weekend

• Bring healthy home-cooked lunches to work and their co-workers get take-out everyday

In any one of these scenarios, your client’s chances of success are low. They’re discouraged, unsure, frustrated and unsupported. All of their connections are reinforcing an unhealthy life while the client is trying to make positive, lasting change.

Even though though your client has free will to make choices, the bottom line is that these external influences have an impact. And sometimes it is the people closet to your client that has the hardest time with lifestyle changes. When your client changes, it impacts other peoples’ lives and makes them uncomfortable.

Clearly your client can’t leave their partner, disown their mom, dump their friends or quit their job. What they can do is ask themselves a few question before they jump into any big lifestyle change to ensure some sources of support are in place.

5 powerful questions to help your client identify their sources of support: 

  1. Who in my life would be willing to go on this healthy journey with me?
  2. Who inspires me that I can reach out to for advice, inspiration or support?
  3. Is there someone in my life I know will not be supportive of my changes and could be an accountability partner?
  4. Do I need to get professional support – like a fitness trainer, a personal chef, or a health and wellness coach?
  5. What conversations do I need to have with the people close to me that could help increase my chances of success?

By exploring these questions with your client and co-creating an action plan from the answers, they’ll be more equipped and supported as they make their diet and lifestyle changes.

P.S. Want to learn more tips and strategies for coaching your client to successful and lasting habits and changes? Join me over in my free facebook community for health coaches.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/coachingskillsforhealthcoaches/

2 Comments

  1. Judy on December 4, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Well Michelle honestly reading this article hit the nail on the head for me. It is so true. We have great intentions and are gung ho then all the sudden can’t understand why we still are not as motivated after a week or so. But you listed a lot of reasons how that happens. An eye opener for sure. Just listing realizing friends who are not on same track and allowing yourself to get more involved with you community and connecting with people in same place you are in is huge for success. I remember when doing the blood sugar shift program the psychological part at the beginning of your program was extremely important when I look back. We all need support in changing habits and I realize it even more so being retired and home more often after losing my mom who I was a caregiver for. She played a huge part in my life. So life is totally different for me now. Thanks for your reminders in this article. Love your newsletters. They are always so inspiring!!!! ❤️

    • Michelle on December 4, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Judy. Thanks for reading and your comments. It has been a tough year for you. So much change and loss. When you look ahead to the New Year what are some things you think you can do to get reconnected to yourself, community and friends (old and new)?

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