We’ve all experienced the struggle of sticking to something new. Whether it’s reading more, eating healthier, walking daily, or getting to bed earlier, ensuring ongoing success requires changing our behavior. And let’s be honest, this is easier said than done.
As a certified health and wellness coach, you know that a commitment to consistency is one of the most important factors when it comes to achieving goals.
This is where your support and guidance as a personal trainer is essential. Firstly, you can help your clients to plan and form the healthy habits they need. Secondly, you will be the one cheering and correcting from the sidelines, providing the accountability your clients need to keep them on track.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HABITS
Sure, it takes work to form new habits, but breaking existing habits is the real challenge! Your clients may already have deep-rooted behaviors that slow or derail their health and fitness progress. The reason these are so tricky to change is that they are hard-wired into our brains because they are formed through repetition.
Often, we don’t even realize we have these habits and don’t think (or want) to analyze the reasons behind them. That’s where the insights of a health and wellness coach are vital as you can help your clients to identify the three elements that produce habits.
These related elements can cause ‘habit loops’, of which there are two types. Bad loops involve unhealthy behaviors such as eating junk food or smoking to release stress (the reward). The good kind involve behaviors like deep breathing or meditation to achieve the same reward.
MAKING HABITS STICK
As a certified health coach, you can nurture and strengthen your relationship with your clients by helping them form (and stick to) new habits. Here are just a couple of suggestions:
1. Find the best environment for growing a habit. It’s far easier to be consistent when we’re constantly reminded of our goals.
2. Embrace the reward system. When we present our brains with a shiny reward, we receive a hit of feel-good dopamine. That feeling is then linked to whatever behavior produced the reward and we try to replicate the feeling. Thus, a habit is formed! The key is ensuring that the reward helps the fitness journey and doesn’t hinder it.
3. Put it on repeat. Habits can take up to nine months to form, which means repetition is key. Repeating a behaviour builds importance and gives it space in our minds.
HABIT PROGRAMMING WITH THE HELP OF TRUECOACH
Encouraging your clients to form habits (while gaining crucial visibility for you) is made so much simpler with the NEW Habit Programming feature in the TrueCoach app.
This simple-to-use and effective addition to the program calendar allows you to assign more than just workouts for your clients, meaning you can track their progress outside of sessions (and everything they do counts!) By setting up habits such as nutrition, sleeping hours or water intake, you are better able to help your clients achieve their health and fitness goals, which should lead to happier customers and greater retention.
You can also link a metric to any set habits to make progress that much more trackable AND see the past history for any habit you’ve assigned.
To assign a habit simply open the workout calendar and hover over a date or select the + button in the top corner. Click on the apple icon to input your custom information and instructions and then program the habit.
YOUR ROLE AS A TRAINER
As a health and wellness coach you’re already a pro at helping clients to develop health and fitness plans with specific, measurable goals and realistic steps to achieve them. Not to mention holding them accountable to following through. The same goes for setting habits.
Be realistic: Your clients are more likely to be consistent and form habits if the goals are small and achievable. Once they get into a groove, they can build on it. They also need to know that forming habits and seeing results can take time – let them know that patience and persistence will lead to success.
Reach for your personal trainer toolkit: No matter where your client is on their health journey, you have all the resources you both need with TrueCoach (such as the Habit Programming feature mentioned above).
Track progress: Seeing the results of hard work is a powerful motivator. Track and share data and achievements together using TrueCoach. You’ll know where they need help and they’ll be encouraged to stick with you.
Adapt and explore: Offer creative solutions to fitness blockers. If a client has kids and can’t always leave the house, you could assign them workout videos to complete at home.
Remember: good habits = consistency = health and fitness success! With your expertise, guidance, and support, your clients can develop and maintain the behaviors that will set them up for a lifetime of health and wellbeing.
Find out more about the three elements of habits, including habit-forming strategies for personal trainers, by downloading the TrueCoach eBook: Habit-setting and Personal Training: Secrets, Strategies and Tools to Help Clients Achieve Their Goals
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Article by TrueCoach
First published: October 30th 2023
Last updated: November 17th 2023