Live Longer, Stronger and Have More Energy in 3 Easy Steps

Willpower. Motivation. Time. Three little words that cause a lot of stress. It doesn't matter the topic: food, exercise, weight loss, stress management or better sleep. We all know what we should be doing to be healthier, but it doesn't get done. Our lives are busy. We don't have time to learn a new way of eating, cooking, getting exercise into our day and reducing stress. The worst part is if we tell anyone about the change we want to make, we feel the public and personal shame of failing when we fall off the wagon and go back to our old ways.


Enter the psychology of behavior change. Routine is what makes our life easy. The fewer decisions we have to make, the more time we can spend on other activities such as binge watching Netflix. It feels overwhelming to make lifestyle changes, especially if we are the only one in the household or our tribe who is interested in making a change.

live longer, stronger and have more energy

KEY TOPICS

Step 1: The Wellness Vision

Why Work With A Health Coach?

Step 2: Create Goals

Step 3: Learn from the Goals

Summary


STEP 1: THE WELLNESS VISION


What is the cause of living longer? One key factor is having a wellness vision. A wellness vision is a motivating roadmap that identifies all of the changes you would like to make in your health. The vision is written in the present tense, as if you are already living your healthiest life.


The vision is not a statement that is written once and then abandoned. It is a flexible statement that changes as we change. For example, receiving a diagnosis from a medical doctor may significantly change how you define wellness.

it is well

How do you create a wellness vision? There are 6 key questions to ask yourself.

  • To begin, describe a time when you felt your healthiest.

  • How did being your healthiest feel?

  • How does being your healthiest benefit you?

  • When you needed to learn something new, what has worked for you?

  • When faced with an obstacle, how do you overcome it?

  • What support did you get at those times?

Creating a wellness vision is not an exercise that needs to take a lot of time. In about 30 minutes, you can create one. The key is tapping into past experiences you've had when you felt well, accomplished and on top-of-the-world. See, your past successes predict your future success. Once you answer these questions, put it all together in a statement that is written in the present tense.


Below is my wellness vision:


I am energetic, maintain my weight, free of illness and disease, optimistic, calm, and full of life! I feel optimistic about my health in the future and that nothing can stop me from making good decisions on my behalf. The skills and strengths I use to stay healthy are:

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Meal planning

  • Supplements

  • Acupuncture

  • Clinical research on new topics I may not be familiar with

When I face obstacles, I confront them immediately because nothing is as important to me as to stay off pharmaceuticals and avoid harsh treatments that can damage my body and mind.


My support system includes myself and my ability to gain new knowledge, my husband who allows me to be my own person, and my community who may not always know everything that is happening to me but can be supportive when needed.

wellness on a wooden sign under a palm tree

Writing the wellness vision as if it is already your reality helps you live the vision and guide daily choices, RIGHT NOW. Having a wellness vision doesn't mean you won't have moments where decisions are made that do not support the vision. Life happens! When life happens, self-compassion and knowing that we can get back on track the very next day, next week or next meal is important.


WHY WORK WITH A HEALTH COACH?


Health coaches, such as myself, work with clients to create their wellness vision, usually in the first or second session. Having a vision creates the motivating roadmap to move forward to achieve your wellness goals. You know the old saying: "if you don't know where you are going, you might wind up somewhere else", Yogi Berra. (Source: BrainyQuote.com)


Why would you want to work with a health coach? Our traditional medical system works on a top-down approach. You've had the experience where you are waiting for a doctor, only for them to ask questions that highlight what is wrong with you. If they ask many questions at all. It is an unmotivating experience that does not promote behavior change. This is where health coaching comes in.

coaching in the center of a circle with goals, options, reality and will do

Harvard Health reports that coaching is effective for people managing a variety of health conditions. According to a recent study, coaching:


“results in clinically relevant improvements in multiple biomarker risk factors (including systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and cardiorespiratory fitness) in diverse populations.”


No wonder some doctors’ offices are offering it, some insurance companies are paying for it, and private companies are even starting to offer coaching to their employees in order to lower healthcare costs. Beyond the benefits reported by Harvard Health, here are some of the benefits of working with me:


I educate and empower you to take control of your health. We work together to identify challenges and roadblocks that stop you from reaching your goals. I'll provide support and accountability so you succeed at your health goals. How does working with me change your life? You could:

✅Eliminate food fear

✅Have energy

✅Shed the extra weight and keep it off

✅Sleep through out the night and wake up feeling rested

✅Say goodbye to brain fog, mood swings and headaches

✅Stop worrying about your health

✅Reduce stress and anxiety

I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we can talk about your unique situation.


Book your call by clicking here.

  • It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.

  • If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.

  • If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to better health.


STEP 2: CREATE GOALS


The second step is to identify the small, actionable steps needed to achieve your wellness vision. Notice I said small! The key to making lasting change is to start slowly. In a world of instant gratification, it is easy to forget that working slowly and on small tasks to get something done is very rewarding.

monthly calendar with goals

In fact, part of creating a sustainable change in life is to identify a reward. A reward is anything that is meaningful to you and makes your heart sing. There are plenty of free rewards! A reward can be relaxing on a beach, taking a hike, asking your partner to watch the kids for an afternoon so you can read a book in peace. This is an example of how health coaching is personalized for you! Not a step by step program that may not match how you can best achieve your goal.


Why is it important to set goals? Goals give direction and the ability to measure our work. Goals are energizing, increasing our motivation to achieve the goal. Health goals examples include trying new foods such as vegetables, moving the body by walking and reducing stress with meditation. Goals are very personal. A goal speaks to the person creating it.


If you are working with a health coach who dictates a goal to you, RUN! A health coach will never tell you the goals to work on. Telling someone goals to work on is similar to a doctor who doesn't listen to your concerns and walks out of the room in 15 minutes. We all know how well that has worked!


STEP 3: LEARN FROM THE GOALS


The third step is to work on your goals and learn from them. Learning from your experience with the goal is arguably the most important part of having a goal. Writing a goal takes time and effort but actually practicing the goal gets to the heart of the matter.

learn from goals by writing them down

Once a goal is set, the first couple of days are usually great. We are excited to work on the goal, we are feeling motivated and we think this time, it will be different. Then life happens. Something we didn't plan for when creating the goal. An emergency business meeting that lasts four hours, which means taking a break to walk or eat the healthy lunch we packed is nearly impossible. A child's practice runs long and cooking dinner after being exhausted from the day is the last thing we want to do. So take-out it is! But these situations are learnings!


The interruption of our goals teach us how to manage obstacles that stop us from having the health we want. Asking ourselves, how can we manage the interruptions and still stay on track? What ideas do we have to be proactive when life throws a curve ball?

no sand no pearl scrabble letters

Meal prepping may be the answer for healthy, quick meals during the week. Meal prepping includes making large batches of food that can be frozen and easily reheated. Maybe going for a walk while the kids are at practice or dance class is how we can fit movement in for that day. When the surprise business meeting happens, maybe taking a poll to find out who wants to take a break to get the meals they prepared versus those who planned to eat lunch in the cafeteria anyway can keep yourself (and others) on track. Each solution to an obstacle is personal, without a right or wrong answer.


SUMMARY


Those are the three steps to living longer, stronger and having more energy. Creating a wellness vision, identifying small, actionable goals to support the wellness vision, then practicing and learning from the goals are all best practices in behavior change.


Working with a Master Health Coach, such as myself, results in discovering exactly what you want for your health and how to get there. Success is within you!


In Health and Happiness --------


About The Author


Heather L. Donahue is a Master Certified Health Coach and Certified Holistic Nutritionist. A self-proclaimed wellness geek, Heather has personally overcome hypothyroidism, a lifetime of struggles with her weight, constipation and the transition to menopause holistically. She is passionate about helping others achieve their wellness goals so they can live a life they love. When she is not helping others, Heather loves to read, cook, garden, go to the beach, practice mediation and yoga.


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