Professional coaches have long been recognized for their skills in helping athletes and executives perform at their best. Now professional wellness coaches are helping people reach their best health and well-being. Wellness coaches are trained to help clients develop and implement personal wellness plans by:
- Accepting and meeting us where we are today
- Asking us to take charge
- Guiding us in doing the mindful thinking and doing work that builds confidence
- Helping us define a higher purpose for wellness and uncover our natural impulse to be well
- Helping us tap into our innate fighting spirit
- Addressing mental and physical health together
- Helping us draw a personal wellness blueprint
- Helping us set realistic goals; small victories lay the foundation for self-efficacy
- Harnessing the strengths we need to overcome our obstacles
- Helping us view obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow
- Helping us build a support team
- Inspiring and challenging us to go beyond what we would do alone
Wellness coaches are practitioners and life-long students of a vibrant new field: coaching psychology, which integrates more than fifteen other fields. Coaching psychology, in part, is the relational vehicle for implementing the tenets of positive psychology, a field focused on the scientific study of happiness and well-being.
Great coaches have several skills you will notice early. They are great listeners and enjoy your stories. They foster self-acceptance and self-respect. They arouse, engage, energize, and challenge you to reach higher at the right moment. They have a bird dog's ability to sniff out your strengths, values, and desires. They are playful when appropriate. They take risks and ask courageous questions. They don't rescue you from emotional muck - sometimes you need to sit in it for a bit to energize your desire to change. They know that your life is at stake if you don't take care of yourself. And they know how to celebrate your successes.
The process of wellness coaching progresses through several stages:
- You provide background information through a well-being assessment so that you and your coach are well-informed on the key issues, including medical considerations.
- During the first 60-90 minute coaching session, you identify your priorities and develop a personal wellness plan including a vision, three month goals and the first steps.
- In subsequent 30-40 minute coaching sessions, each week, month, or quarter, you and your coach review the progress toward your vision and goals, explore and resolve the most pressing issues, learn something new, and then agree on a set of goals for the following week. You will enjoy plenty of ah-ah insights along the way.
- By the end of three months, you can expect to reach more than 70% of your three-month goals and feel energized and confident to embark on new areas with or without your coach.