I only get one life.
Newsflash! You also only get one life!
I believe that each day God gives me is a gift, and I am responsible for stewarding it well. For thirty years, however, all evidence pointed out that the opposite was true. I was a slave to bad habits, which put me on a slippery slope toward serious health issues in my future. Og Mandino wrote in The Ten Scrolls, “Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.” Because I believe that in this one life I’m given, only what’s done for Christ will last, I knew I had to make some changes. The choices I was making were hindering my ability to have a Kingdom impact. I certainly didn’t want to stand before Jesus one day and say that I’d intentionally trashed the vessel He created because of my choices.
Nine years ago, I decided to stop playing small and step into the abundant and purpose-fueled life to which God called me. That meant leveling up my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. That decision resulted in me shedding 90 pounds, dialing in my nutrition, intentionally leaning into the science behind habit change, creating a lifestyle that feeds my body, mind, spirit, and soul, and ultimately helping nearly 5000 others do the same. First, I had to start my health journey, but the real blessing has been assisting others to begin their health journeys and walking with them on a simple path toward health and well-being.
As a health and wellness coach, I have the privilege of stepping into someone’s world, developing a connection so that I may learn what’s important to them, and creating a safe space where they feel understood.
Health is a decidedly personal issue, so I expect that the person I’m talking with may be guarded initially. That’s why my first questions are meant for us to get acquainted. I love hearing about people’s families, work, hobbies, or whatever brings them joy. If I can find a point of connection such that we can share a laugh or a “me too” moment, I usually see their shoulders drop, signaling that their wall of resistance is beginning to come down.
QUESTIONS BEFORE COACHING
When the person exploring health goals with me feels safe, and we’ve covered some pretty neutral questions about their health, I ask permission to pose more challenging questions. If permission is granted, I’ll ask:
This question, of course, leads to many filler questions and statements that gently encourage clarification and elaboration.
Tell me more about that.
How would that feel?
What would that look like?
When was the last time that happened … you could do that … you remember … ?
If you took the time to consider how YOU might answer these questions, I’m sure you realize the weight of this conversation. It is a blessing to have the privilege of holding space for someone willing to share the answers to these questions with me. If it’s appropriate, with their permission, I will then share some potential solutions to the concerns they’ve presented.
QUESTIONS DURING COACHING
When I have the opportunity to coach someone ready to go to the next level in their health and wellness, questions continue to drive our relationship. Weekly, I ask clients:
This question is vital because our focus is not on temporary dietary changes but lifelong transformation. That starts with changing the way we think! Mindset coaching is important.
Health journeys are all about imperfect progress! I often steer a client off the struggle bus and back on the road that leads to their health goals with questions. My favorite questions come from Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen in Habits of Health:
I only get one life and one today, and I will steward it well by asking myself the same questions I ask my clients. If I have the blessing of asking them of another, then we’re both healthier for it.
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