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How Much Should I Exercise?

Personal Development, Professional Development Comments Off

A client has approached you with the following query: “How much should I exercise to maintain a healthy life style?” As the coach, how would you assist this client? LCI’s Master Coach Terry Neal answers…

Overview

Most clients who come to a coach with this question do so, generally, as the result of two situations.
 
One situation may result from them being diagnosed with a medical condition that needs ongoing attention in a number of areas; of which exercise is one area that’s been included by health professionals to assist with their treatment.

The other situation arises usually because the client has decided that they need to do some form of exercise on a regular basis and are unsure what it means for them to maintain what they see as a healthy lifestyle.

They may have tried to maintain a healthy life style in the past and they weren’t successful but now are willing to try again.

The first action you – as their coach – need to take when presented with this question is to determine the reason for them presenting this issue in a coaching setting.

Therefore it’s vital for you to find out if there is any diagnosed medical condition that is behind the need to exercise, so that they can create and maintain their desire of a healthy lifestyle.

If this is the case, you would need to find out more information about the condition and any potential exercise that your client could or could not undertake. From this research, you may decide that a referral to a specialist exercise centre is needed e.g. a cardio-vascular gymnasium attached to a hospital in the case of heart problems or another appropriate specialist practitioner or centre.

In the case where you and/or your client aren’t sure about any unusual symptoms that they may have experienced or are experiencing when doing general physical activity, you need to be ethically responsible as the coach with your client and tell them that they need to visit a medical practitioner before any exercise planning can take place with you as their coach.

Once you and they are clear as to their physical condition and they are ready to undertake a level of activity that will help them achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you can begin to work with them to determine what a healthy lifestyle means for them.

Techniques

You could begin by asking the client questions around what they would like to achieve for themselves as a healthy lifestyle.

  • What would a healthy lifestyle look like for you?
  • What kind of person would you be if you had the perfect healthy lifestyle?
  • What do you think others would notice about you as a result of this healthy lifestyle?
  • How close do you think you are to this vision now?

The answers to these questions are important for you to know, as your client may already have a healthy lifestyle that incorporates exercise but they are unsure if the level of activity is sufficient to maintain how they want to see themselves.

The next step would be to find out if your client is already doing any exercise “Are you already doing any form of exercise?” If yes: “What type of exercise do you do?” “How much did you exercise over the past week?” “How did you feel as a result of this exercise?” “Do you think this exercise helped or hindered in your desire for a healthy lifestyle?”

If the client hasn’t done any exercise in the past week and or for a longer time ask “When did you last do any form of continuous exercise?” “What was this exercise?”

Having ascertained how much exercise they may or may not already be doing, it is also important to ask them about what other areas contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example: “What is your diet like?” “Do you think it supports you achieving a healthy lifestyle? “Are you a smoker?” “How much alcohol do you drink each week?”

Answers to questions like these will assist your client to see that it isn’t just exercise that will determine the achievement of a healthy lifestyle and also to help you to determine if your client is not relying just on exercise to achieve their goal.

At this point you could review their current reality around exercise by summarising what they have said about how they currently maintain this healthy lifestyle, and to ask them what they feel they would like or need to change.

Remember that your client will determine for themselves what their “healthy lifestyle” will look like and that you as coach will need to support them to achieve these goals. 

Therefore it’s important to assist your client to create a plan to allow them to achieve their vision of a healthy lifestyle and check with them whether the level of activity that they choose for themselves is realistic and achievable (e.g. using the SMART system).

To assist them, you could suggest that they research information from health and exercise professionals, and types and lengths of activities: “What types of exercises are you realistically willing to do on a regular basis?” “What are you willing to do today to start maintaining a healthy lifestyle?” “What other areas of your life do you think you’d need to look at to maintain your vision of a healthy life style?”

Finally, these goals and plans need to be written down and a great tool for this is an Action Plan which is a step by step written plan to outline and activate their goals. It can be used over time as a checklist to determine whether they are carrying out their commitment to themselves

In conclusion, your client also needs to be assisted to see that the achieving and maintaining of a healthy lifestyle is not just about exercise but also about diet, work/life balance and healthy relationships.

This activity could help your client to begin to look at future direction of their life and what they’d like to put their energy into in the future. They may also start to see that if they can allow themselves to focus on something that is of importance to them, that they will be able to “stick at it” for a long time!!

9 Winning Marketing Tips for Coaches

Business Development Comments Off

Looking for ways to develop a successful marketing mindset that will help you grow your coaching business? Below are nine winning fundamentals to get your marketing approach right:

Focus on the right thing. Too many coaches become passionately in love with the wrong thing. They fall in love with the technical aspect of delivering coaching. The service. Obviously enjoying the delivery of your service is important, but as a coach your primary focus and love (metaphorically) should be your clients. Only by having a strong client focus will you be able to develop a winning marketing mindset.

Overcome your fears. We recognise that a significant proportion of coaches feel uncomfortable with elements of the marketing process – endorsing their abilities; closing a sale; committing a client to a contract etc. But it’s critical to recognise that these are all essential elements of marketing and of business in general. You must overcome these personal barriers. And the best way to do that is to recognise your resistance to them and actively seek ways to improve in those areas.

Remember, these barriers exist solely within your own perception. They don’t exist within your prospect’s reality, only in your mind. What is the absolute worst outcome of you asking a prospect if they’d like your professional assistance to attain their goals and better their life? That they don’t take up your service. Well, if you don’t close they’re not going to take up your services anyway, so you’re vastly improving your chances of converting them if you ask.

Be determined to succeed. You need to be absolutely determined that you are going to succeed. If you just want to succeed, but you are not willing to go the extra mile, you will get swept aside by those that are more determined. If you are truly determined, you will be confident and this confidence will automatically show in your business and be transparent to prospective clients, peers and the general public. Prospective clients will want to be associated with you, and clients will want to continue their involvement.

Persevere. Coaches with a marketing mindset embrace challenges as part of life and part of business. If you perceive challenges as impassable barriers you will never develop a marketing mindset. It’s crucial you accept you’re going to confront hurdles as part of business. How you perceive these hurdles, as opportunities or barriers, will drastically influence your level of success. Perseverance is a key ingredient in developing a winning mindset.

Remain positive. Literally nothing destroys a marketing mindset more than a negative attitude. A marketing mindset is a ‘can do’ attitude. Faced with the same challenge, the coach with a positive ‘can do’ marketing mindset will find a way; the coach with a defeatist attitude will submit and fail.

Set Goals. As a coach this is something you should know a lot about. Set yourself specific, achievable, stretch goals.

Plan a strategy. Establish a specific plan of action to attain your goals. Identify what resources you’ll need and the possible challenges you may confront.

Implement your plan. This is the most difficult part – implementation of your plan. Modify it where required, change your goals as others are attained, modify your plan if flaws are perceived, but always continue implementing. Non-action is the precursor of business failure. If you continue to implement, your business will always sustain forward momentum. If you have momentum, your direction (goals and plans) can always be adjusted.

Keep marketing. Your success or failure hinges on your marketing. Always maintain your marketing mindset. Always be focussed on marketing. People get caught up in the day to day ‘operation’ of their businesses and put marketing aside. This is a recipe for disaster.

How effectively you market will be the most influential determinant on the success (or otherwise) of your business. Marketing is not difficult or confusing, but it does require significant ongoing diligence and attention. The moment you lose focus on marketing your business is the moment your business performance will suffer.