Wellbeing Coaching: how to make your health goal happen

Wellbeing Coaching is a tool I use to help people to change something about their health and wellbeing.  In just the same way as you can use an executive coach to develop your career, or life coach to help you achieve your life goals, you can use Wellbeing Coaching to tackle areas of your health that aren’t happy with and make your health goals happen.

I work mainly with people who have fatigue or a chronic fatigue conditions such as M.E, Fibromyalgia or CFS to help them get their lives back.  Using a combination of Wellbeing Coaching and Health Kinesiology we address the issues that are keeping you stuck or holding you back from living the life you want to live.

This is not about “thinking yourself better”

I am not suggesting, in any way shape or form, that serious conditions like M.E, Fibromyalgia or CFS can be “magic’ed“ away with a few coaching techniques.  Far from it.  Recovery from a chronic fatigue condition requires a lot more information.  This article, The Dominoe Effect, has more.  What I do know is that using a Wellbeing Coaching approach is an incredibly powerful way to enable people to make significant changes in their lives to support their health and wellbeing.  Cumulatively, these changes can have a big impact.

Breaking down complex situations

When working, it’s really important for me to understand the biggest priority that my client has.  Many of the people who come to see me have a complex list of symptoms, medication and health concerns.  There are usually lots of different issues going on within their day to day life.  Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint just one area to focus on because everything seems too overwhelming.

So, we start with the 8 Elements of Freedom Wheel.  This provides a snapshot of what is happening at that particular time.  By rating your satisfaction with 8 different areas of life, we get a quick, instinctive overview of which of these areas we need to look at first.  It’s quite common to see 2 or 3 areas where the score is lower than the other areas.  This gives the first clue about where to start work in the Wellbeing Coaching session.  We narrow it down further by asking questions about each area and then working with the area you feel is most important.

Look a little deeper to discover more

Gentle questioning helps us to delve a little deeper and understand what is going on with a particular area.  We spend some time working out what you would prefer to have happening in that area and then do a bit of brainstorming to think of as many ways a possible to get you to that outcome.

The final step in a Wellbeing Coaching session is to agree some kind of action that starts you moving towards the outcome – this step is really vital because it is the first step to making change happen.  All of the work up until this point is pretty much pie-in-the-sky, a bit of a daydream.  By committing to take some action, you are taking back control over your life.  It can be scary and exciting all at the same time!

Wellbeing Coaching in action

The easiest way to understand the power of a coaching conversation is by example.  I have changed my client’s name to Sylvia but that’s the only thing I have changed – does this ring any bells for you?

Sylvia was concerned about her nutritional health as so many foods and products had an impact on her skin.  Skin breakouts/hives, psoriasis, asthma, blistering in her mouth and were causing a real problem in everyday life.  Sylvia was a vegetarian.  Up until 6 years ago she had been eating a vegan diet.  A very stressful period made it difficult to sustain the diet.  Sylvia wanted some help to get back to a vegan diet as she was aware that her health was much better when not eating many of the foods currently in her diet.

The session goal was a simple one – to make a plan to go vegan, starting today.  There were lots of challenges around achieving it, such as:

  • finding the time to sit down and refresh knowledge about food groups

  • being too tired after work to think about what to eat and then prep it,

  • financial concern as can be very expensive, but getting a bit more savvy about that,

  • being unable to have nuts/nut based products in the morning or at lunch time (work colleagues with severe nut allergies).  Protein replacement had to be carefully planned.

  • not wanting to cook multiple meals for family members who do not want to eat a vegan diet

  • eating more fruit and vegetables may increase the risk of coming into contact with pollens which may make life difficult with reactions

Exploring options opens the door

Our discussion also included looking at different ways to get around these challenges, and  Sylvia identified the following:

  • planning out the meals for the week ahead every Sunday

  • plan it out over a Fri/Sat/Sun so has some flexibility but it gets done before Mon

  • re-read information about the benefits of being vegan which would reinforce all of the positive impacts of making the change

  • wash fruit & veg multiple times. Cook as much as possible to de-activate pollens

  • give herself a weeks’ grace to research and plan menu (instead of starting today)

  • seek support from Mum

  • spend time prepping on Sun so things are just ready to use in the week.

  • considered buying pre-prepared food but ruled this out as too much packaging.

  • considered having stuff delivered – too many airmiles, plus likes to see where food has come from and choose local.

  • to just cook vegan and add in the non-vegan elements i.e. the base of every meal was vegan

Deciding on action is the key to success

After we had finished chewing over ways to get around the challenges, Sylvia decided on two things she was going to go away and do:

  1. TODAY, to plan the meals for the week using up what they have in house. Plan will be vegan + non-vegan add ons

  2. Heading in a vegan direction, family to help use up non-vegan store cupboard items. Longer term 100% vegan.

We also agreed that Sylvia would drop me a text later that day when she had completed the planning.  This was followed by another text at the end of the week.  The plan had worked out!

I am really pleased to report that Sylvia did do her plan, and did stick to it for that week.  What’s even more impressive is that having got back into the swing of things, she has been able to keep up her vegan diet.   There have been ups and downs – Sylvia is human after all  – however, the change was made! 

This is the power of a simple, focused Wellbeing Coaching session.

Get in touch to find out more about how I can help you to make changes within your life that improve your health and wellbeing.  I offer a complementary 30 minute Health Profile Review where we have the opportunity to explore what’s going on for you and how I may be able to help.   Contact Suzanne today.