How health coaching can help you stay motivated and on track

Bec SchenkNews

health coaching

You probably know what it’s like, you have a goal you want to achieve and you may even know exactly what needs to be done, yet actually getting there just seems so overwhelming. It’s a common challenge for a lot of people, especially when it comes to your health and wellbeing.  Health coaching is now available at Kardinia Health and can assist you to reach your health goals.

Even with all the evidence that poor diet and lifestyle choices can cause havoc down the track it doesn’t always get us motivated to start or sustain those new lifestyle and behaviour habits. This is really common, but why are we like that? Why is knowing what you want not enough? We recognise this is a common frustration and often problematic for our patients and communities.

These days health coaching is an internationally recognised profession in medicine. We have always provided our customers with good quality health education but customised health coaching allows us to offer more time and assistance and to those who seek it.

How Health Coaching at Kardinia Health Geelong works

We take a team based approach to health coaching.  You will meet with our coach and work through the areas of your health and wellbeing you need help with. The coach and your care team will provide you with support and resources to assist with your transformation and provide you with the tools and skills to ensure your success.

We will tailor a plan that ensures the pace of this transformation is tailored to your readiness to change. You will have all the resources and support you need to help sustain lifestyle and behaviour changes in the long term.

Top 5 tips for overcoming a setback

1. Normalising setbacks

The core principles taught are that first and foremost setbacks are a normal part of life.  When we are making changes, it takes repetition, reminders, cues and tweaks to the embed the change process because our lives change on a weekly basis. Each time we try something new, it is viewed as an experiment. There is no right or wrong way, it is either a win or an opportunity to learn more when we try a new way of doing anything.

2. View a setback as an opportunity to learn more

We also need to value change; this is why we do what we do every single day. We prioritise our day to day living based on what we value. Once we know what we want to change or implement in our lives we need to have a valuable reason to do it, otherwise we won’t have that internal motivation to keep us on track to reach our targeted outcome

3. Increase self-awareness

We raise conscious awareness to the things you are doing every day to encourage curiosity about what is possible for you.

What is your daily routine? A lot of our set routines occur under our conscious awareness. This is the brain’s way of conserving itself for more important things it needs to learn/observe the course of the day. If we want to add something into our routines, it is helpful to know what we actually do routinely.   Is there something you already do at a set time that you can add a reminder to or use as a cue?  This can be very helpful when trying to establish a new routine or develop a new habit. For example at 9am you currently have a cup of tea and you need to remember to go for a walk at 9:15, you can put a post it note next to the kettle to remind you or  you can set out your walking shoes when you click on the kettle.

4. Plan to make incremental changes only in 1% chunks

Set achievable goals that allow you to build your confidence as you gradually change.  What is the easiest place to start? 1% more than you are currently doing, is my recommendation.  The more times our brain experiences success it will release the feel-good hormone dopamine. Your brain will begin to work to achieve your goal when it is feeling good about the goal.

“I will (activity) on (day of the week) at (time of day) for (duration) with (person/s) at (location).  Provide a score out of 10 how achievable that statement is going to be. We want you to score greater than 7/10 for best chance of success.

5. Tweaks, adjustments as life challenges present

Be kind to yourself. The more you can appreciate setbacks are a normal part of life and that to make long term changes, we all need to make tweaks and adjustments along the way. Our schedules are constantly changing and we need to be flexible in the approach to habit creation. Reviewing your goal on a weekly basis can be helpful.  Ask yourself if your goal is working for you or if anything needs to be adjusted.  Be curious, explore more and most importantly, enjoy the experience.