What if We START with the Basics?

“Let’s get back to the basics.”  It’s a phrase utilized by Executives, Athletes, Pastors, Parents and yes… Wellness Coaches.  The precursor to it’s appearance on the scene is a tendency for most of us to, well – get away from the basics, those key components that provided the opportunities we have today.  The leaders noted above understand this – they “get” the fact that without the basics, we never progress. And if we get off track, then it’s only by getting back to those basics that allows us to eventually return to moving forward.

But what about with your wellness coaching clients? In this situation, they are often coming to you fresh – at the very beginning of their journey in a certain area such as stress or weight management, exercise, nutrition or a multitude of other areas. You have the opportunity to insure they START with the basics, but it won’t be easy. More often than not, they’ll come to you with some (frankly, crazy) ideas they read or heard somewhere as their desired launching point.  Here are a few examples you’ve likely experienced:

  • The sleep-deprived client who comes to you with various “sleep hack” tools to help him feel energized in the morning. Unfortunately, he’s on the computer late into the night, has an afternoon coffee habit, and varies his sleep schedule almost daily.
  • The higher BMI client who is excited about the handful of daily supplements and the latest crazy combo of food that is sure to shed the pounds quickly. However, her food choices are filled with empty calories, she’s drinking 800 kcal/day between soda, juice, coffee additives, etc. And her idea of exercise is reaching for her phone.
  • The brand new runner who has the marathon training schedule, racing flats, auto-cooling jacket and the latest gels but hasn’t actually run more than a mile to date.

You get the idea.  And if you’ve been a wellness coach for very long, you’ve seen these – and many other examples of futility. The problem in these cases isn’t getting the individual to go “back” to the basics. The goal is to help them START with the basics!  An easy baseline with which to start is the phrase “Move…Fuel…Rest…Repeat!”  There are very few situations in the wellness arena where these steps will not enhance the outcome.

  • Our sleep-deprived client? Forget all the gadgets.  Implement a little extra daily movement (regardless of current starting point)… treat everything that goes into the mouth as fuel (how will this choice influence the next 3-24 hours?) rather than just food…and schedule in rest regularly.  Boom!  Not easy – but simple (and extremely effective!).
  • Higher BMI? Let’s put aside the supplements, etc for a moment.  Are we moving consistently throughout the day? Fueling (vs. eating, as noted above)? Resting (the impact of sleep is immense in this area, as you well know)?  Master these 3 basic steps and THEN we can address the interesting but far less impactful aspects.
  • The new runner? Forget the gels, training schedules, racing flats, etc and start with a 3 minute run in comfortable shoes, 4 days/week. Add a minute or two each week and we’ll get there.   Move (gradually)… Fuel (regular food/water)…Rest (let the body adapt over time) and Repeat!

The basics.  It’s a powerful concept. As a wellness coach, you have the power to change lives, starting with the basics.

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