Making Healthy Choices & Changes
Written by: Marvin Nixon, Personal Trainer & Health Coach, Toronto Athletic Club
We’ve all tried to make health-based changes but struggle with consistency and sustaining them. We recognize the need to shift our habits and behaviours; however, making healthful change an integrated part of your lifestyle can feel impossible. Being consistent with change is difficult when the normal demands of life, work, and family feel like a drain on your energy and time. We may feel that we have tried every diet system or fitness program available and have not found what works for us as an individual. Any diet and fitness program can work when you’re consistent and accountable to your own vision of your wellbeing.
If the reasons for making a change are driven by someone else, you may struggle with sustaining your efforts. A doctor can advise you to make some changes to your lifestyle to ensure a healthy future. Friends and loved ones will provide you with examples of their success in making and sustaining change. Usually, we know what to do in order to improve our health and wellness, yet we struggle with how and our reasons why are not always clear.
Your family, your friends, your doctor, and others all have what they see as your best interest in mind behind reasons for change. Truth is none of these reasons will work unless they resonate with you. They need to fit your individual, specific values. When it comes to making a change to healthful behaviours, success is most likely when you have your own values as a rudder. Why is it important to you to make a change? What is your own vision for your ultimate health, fitness, and wellbeing? The coaching process will help you narrow the focus of your vision for your health. Health Coaching provides you with a clearer picture of where your wellbeing will be once you’ve made a sustained behaviour change.
Coaching connects the dots between your vision of success and your values behind that vision. It’s a system for honing in on your personalized map to reach your desired health and wellness outcome. It’s the anchor that connects us to our plan.
Once your health vision is aligned with your values, Coaching shifts to developing attainable goals. These goals become the actions that lead to consistent healthy habits. There’s a positive feedback loop that’s created by success where more successes build momentum. Too often we focus on where we’re falling short and downplay where we are successful. Creating positive momentum allows us to overcome areas where we might fall short. We can conquer those barriers by creating self-sustaining successes.
As you see more and more success, count wins, and create momentum, your goals become sustained habits. When done gradually and progressively, this process is less painful than the white-knuckled way we often try to make a change. When we align our vision with our values and create goals that mean something to us, we move away from a place of effort towards a goal to sustained habits that maintain all of the things we wanted to achieve.
How do you develop your own clear health vision? This is where a Health Coach can play a pivotal role in your healthy lifestyle. Coaching is a system for working with you to first find your own vision of your future health and making sure that vision aligns with your own values. Then you work with the coach to build an action that will move you towards your goal and ultimately fulfill your health vision. New actions are more likely to stick and become lifelong healthy habits when they are fueled by your health vision that is aligned with your personal values.
Interested in exploring Health Coaching? Our Health Coach at the Toronto Athletic Club, Marvin Nixon, can answer more of your questions and work with you to get on course to your ultimate health and wellbeing. Email Marv here.