Whether you’re working with clients at the start of a fresh year or you’re supporting them during their own goal-oriented processes, it’s important to understand how to help them achieve their goals. Your clients will come to you at different points in their journeys, needing help with breaking through barriers and finally overcoming challenges. By thoroughly understanding goal achieving, you’ll be able to coach your clients no matter what they bring to the table.
Here are a few actionable tips to help you get your clients on track and busting through barriers as they’ve never done before.
1. Coach your clients to set realistic goals.
When someone is really excited about getting their health and wellness on track, they sometimes get a little overly ambitious. Your clients might bring really big plans and goals that are little unrealistic.
Take the time to talk them through what they want to achieve and help them to understand what’s realistic. Work with them to build out the steps that will be needed to achieve their goal. Walking them through the process will help them get a more realistic view of what will be required. You’ll also be able to coach your clients to feel clearer on their intention and empowered about what they want to do.
2. Focus on lasting changes.
It can be easy to jump right to discuss the things in their life that they’ll need to restrict, which can quickly lead to them feeling deprived. Instead, flip this kind of conversation on its head and focus instead on planning out long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes.
We all know what it’s like to lose 10 pounds quickly with some fad diet, only to have it reappear later accompanied by an extra few pounds. By working with you, your clients can create a plan to shed those 10 pounds that is slower but will last a lifetime.
You can help them understand that quick, deprivation-based changes aren’t sustainable and don’t allow them to build a healthy lifestyle. Instead, they can learn the skills that will make them healthy in all areas of their life and that will carry them through years of wellness.
3. Find out what’s holding them back.
You can do a little digging to discover where they’re really struggling. Use a little motivational interviewing to find the root causes of their challenges. Uncover what has held them back in the past from reaching these goals. They’ve probably tried lots of things already and have experienced a lot of frustration and setbacks.
By finding out what their ‘why’ is for wanting to achieve this goal and understanding more about their personality, strengths, weaknesses, dreams, and challenges, you’ll be able to coach your clients through hurdles they might not have been able to on their own. By working with you, they’ll get to dig deeper than ever before. (At IAWP we cover this method in our CORE Coaching Method.)
4. Support them in becoming empowered.
When you have a lot of wellness knowledge and experience, it’s common to want to jump to advice-giving. You might immediately know what will help them achieve their goals. But hold back from becoming a fountain of advice and instead work with them to identify what they’re willing to do to create change in their life.
When you coach your clients through to find their own best advice, they’ll be more successful. They’ll feel like they are invested in the process which will lead to empowerment and motivation. Empowering clients will always lead to more success than just telling them what to do.
By working with clients this way, they might come up with creative solutions you wouldn’t have considered. They know their lives and circumstances better than you do, so with your support, they’ll come up with ideas that are a better fit for their needs.
5. Provide supportive check-ins.
A core piece of goal achievement is accountability. To help your clients stay on track, it’s great to offer ways they can check in with you in between coaching sessions. You don’t need to be constantly available to coach your clients (which could lead to overgiving and burnout), but you can build this into your program design.
If you meet with clients weekly, maybe you could offer a mid-week 15-minute phone call to find out how things are going. This could help you plan out what you want to work on with them in the next session, as well.
Focus on maintaining a forward-driving momentum so that clients feel that things are happening and changing.
6. Celebrate small successes.
Part of being able to successfully coach your clients is to teach them to create sustainable, life-long changes. A key component of this process is to encourage them to celebrate each win along the way. Our society tends to hyperfocus on the big goal at the end of the path and to minimize the benchmarks throughout the journey.
Support your clients’ mindset shifts by teaching them new ways to approach goals and change. Since a huge piece of wellness coaching is helping people change their mental approach, you can inspire and walk them through this by celebrating with them.
Show them that the process matters just as much as the outcome and that creating lasting changes and achieving goals can be fun. They’ll remember that as much as they’ll remember what you helped them change in their lives.