The Special Sauce to Meeting Goals and Creating Lasting Change
Written By: Sarah Kolman RN, MA, CHPN, INHC
Doesn’t it seem that by a certain point in our lives, we should know how to change the things that aren’t working for us and actually get the results we want?
We’re certainly culturally conditioned to believe that we should. Why else would “self help” even be a section in the bookstore? And yet research shows that 92% of people who set New Year’s goals never actually achieve them. This doesn’t mean that the vast majority of people are inadequate, lazy, incapable or unworthy. It means that our approach is flawed.
After years of setting and failing to meet goals to improve my health, I realized what had been missing for me: accountability and support. My righteous idea that my independence and knowledge were enough to force change was the very thing holding me back. I’ve come to experience (on my own, and observing it in my clients) that doing something new, different, uncomfortable, and unfamiliar is far less about information and knowledge and much more about beliefs, assumptions, behaviors, and emotions—the stuff that doesn’t easily translate from the pages of a book. In other words: change is complicated and is a lot more entangled with our subconscious than we’d like to admit.
When I learned that in seeking change, I needed to ask for help and recruit the right support, suddenly I could accomplish anything. When I decided to write a book, I joined a small coaching group with goals aligned with mine. When I felt stuck in life and insecure as a mom and professional, I hired a life coach to help get clear on what I wanted to change. When I wanted to feel strong and fit, I hired a personal trainer. Suddenly, when I checked the scoreboard, real, lasting changes were stacking up: I published a book in six months. I began to show up in my family and career in ways I felt proud of. I integrated exercise into my life for the long haul.
I now believe that support, accountability, and guidance are the special sauce to actually achieving the changes I want most in life. I see it every day in my role as a health coach as I witness my clients finally meet, and often surpass, the goals they have literally longed to reach for years. So how does working with a coach actually shift what you do in a way that gets you REAL results?
Building awareness. Coaches hold up a mirror to help us see what’s holding us back. They help us build self awareness as a means to understand coping mechanisms, identify motivations, and catch habitual patterns.
Changing beliefs and assumptions. An effective coach will help you recognize the stories you’re telling yourself that are holding you back. These can be as simple as “I’ll never do a pull-up,” or as complicated as “I’m a bad mom”. As part of sustainable change, a coach will help you identify, challenge, and revise your limiting beliefs and assumptions.
Learning new concepts. As an expert in their field, a coach will share new information to broaden your understanding and motivate you to make the changes you desire.
Practicing unfamiliar behaviors. Just like working out helps us build muscles, we also need to repeatedly do things that support our goals—and if we’re seeking change, that means repeatedly doing things differently. Practice is critical when learning new ways of being, thinking, and taking action over time, and it is 100% individual. Accountability and support increase the odds of following through and actually creating sustainable habits.
How can you tell if working with a coach is right for you? It’s simple. Ask yourself if you believe that what you’re doing now will get you the results you desire. If yes, great—you already know what to do! If not, then you are ready to commit to new and unfamiliar actions. Support in the form of individual or group coaching could be the perfect solution.
Remember, you’re always the expert in your life. The job of a coach is to collaborate with you to help you live life on your terms and produce the results that matter most to you.
Sarah Kolman RN, MA, CHPN, INHC is an AIP Certified Coach, Registered Nurse, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and Contemplative Psychotherapist. Sarah’s unique one-on-one health coaching practice blends her nursing and psychotherapy experience with holistic and nutrition-based health concepts. A passionate student in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, she helps her clients heal by focusing on the brain-body connection and its profound impact on wellness. With Sarah’s support and guidance, clients learn to manage stubborn symptoms that have persisted through countless traditional treatments. Learn more about Sarah’s coaching services by visiting her website, www.this-one-life.com. Her book Full Plate: Nourishing Your Family’s Whole Health in a Busy World is available on Amazon. You can follow Sarah on Facebook.