Coaching Right Turns

Have you ever noticed the incredible time saver “right turns” can be when driving?  The GPS may not pick up on this, as it’s typically tuned into the smaller picture of distance traveled.  However, the difference between a route that involves a maximum number of right turns (unless driving miles out of the way to do so) saves a significant amount of time (not to mention providing additional safety) over one involving left turns. Left turns involve more stops for stoplights and longer turn lines while right turns allow you to move forward immediately. Add in the increased risk of making a left turn across traffic (yes, we have 3 recently new drivers in the family so I’m a little more tuned into these things) and the value is enhanced even further.

The thought occurred to me the other day that life is also made up of “right” and “left” turns.  Whether it’s fitness pursuits, stress or weight management, financial considerations or something entirely different, there is often a “right” way of doing things that will help us reach our destination more quickly.  Let’s use finances as an easy example.  If we live on 70% of our income, save 20% and donate 10% each year starting at a young age, then we are unlikely (barring a disaster of some sort) to have significant financial difficulties during our lifetime.  We’re adjusting our spending habits to be below our take-home pay, which eliminates any issues with debt.  We’re saving a considerable amount for the future as well as unexpected emergencies.  And, we’re recognizing that regardless of how much or little we bring home, it’s important and valuable to help those around us. This strategy (or one similar to it) isn’t “easy,” but it certainly involves the “right turns.”

As a wellness coach, guiding our clients toward more right turns will help them reach their destination much more consistently, quickly and safely.  A Certified Wellness Coach doesn’t simply focus in on nutrition and exercise.  Rather, we help draw out the desired destination from our client and then help them reach that destination as effectively as possible.  Since we get to know our clients personally, we understand what’s under the hood.  We get the bigger picture, the motivations, the hopes, dreams and goals that drive their choices.  Often, our clients can get stuck looking at the small picture – focusing on what is the shortest distance between two points. As the wellness coach, we are able to take a step back, broaden the perspective, and help them to see that the “right” turns may involve driving an extra block, but will result in arriving at the eventual destination earlier.

One last example, using the area of weight management to drive the point home.  There are a million (no exaggeration) crazy diets – or left turns – out there in the market that promise your clients can “lose 20 lbs in 20 days” or similar.  If followed as written, they often deliver on their promise – at least temporarily.  Over the long haul, however, no habits have been changed, potential damage to the body has been incurred, and the client is back to square one (at best).  As a Certified Wellness Coach, we know better.  By helping guide our clients toward the “right turns” of gradual, smart integration of healthy nutritional and activity changes, they will reach their truly desired destination much more quickly.

Wellness coaches, we have a tremendous opportunity to change lives for the better.  Let’s help make things RIGHT!


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