Karin’s client perhaps has a powerful “why” and Karin’s expertise, professionalism and personality aligns well with what the client wants to accomplish. Most client need to create intrinic meaning for themselves or they will fail long term. You can keep them entertained, you can educate, and provide the resources, but the greatest motivator is self determination. While knowing the stages of change is nice, it does not move a clinet from contemplative to action. Ahhhs do that. Motivation is supported through management of energy- via one’s spiritual, emotional, mental and physical self. If you can help the client allign their exercise regime to these dimensions then you have provided a valuable key.
One of my clients pretty much tells me at the beginning of every session that he could think of a lot of things he’d much rather do – and he has been doing so for the last 12 years! He has enough challenges to deal with, and I am chagrined to say that he has gained a significant amount of weight over those 12 years.
But he keeps coming because his back is really hurting him when he does not. I take solace in the fact that he is exercising at all.
I bring it back to why they’re trying to get healthy in the first place. Showing them how the steps their taking are getting them their. I also believe in reassessing often enough. Show them how their hard work is paying off. Are they running faster? Are they not experiencing back pain any more? Are they sleeping better? Do they have more energy? I tend to ask a lot of questions to see how their doing and to also make sure that their program is on track. Things come up. Life changes. And their program needs to change with them. Most of the time, my clients start to see the little changes in their lives before I do. Making sure that they celebrate those little changes as a step on the path to their bigger changes, is all part of my job and why I love it!
I’ve recently taken a line from Joe Nichols; I tell my clients to never underestimate the impossible!
Usually you say that to someone who thinks nothing will go wrong, so when it’s applied to “impossible goals” like “I’ll never be skinny” “I’ll never have abs” “I’ll never run a 6 minute mile”… my clients are reminded that NOTHING is impossible.
I like to fix things a step at a time with my clients, and sometimes they may not even realize what’s happening until it all comes together. I might ask my client if he or she trusts me. They’ll say yes, then I’ll tell them to turn around, close their eyes, cross their arms over their chests, and then fall back. They’ll think I’m crazy.. But I’m batting one thousand for catching clients! Then I’ll apply that trust to fixing an issue, like running form. I get a client with bad form, and I’ll say “we’re going to go step by step, and all you have to do is trust me.” We add on pieces of proper form, then by the time proper form is established, it all makes perfect sense and comes naturally. That’s when it all comes together.
I apply that logic to something that can be accomplished in one session. We carry that experience through to the next accomplishment, then we take that accomplishment to the next, and so on. Each time it gets more complex. When I hear “I’ll never be able to do so and so…” I say to my client “Do you remember when you said you couldn’t do this, and this, and then it was this, and you proved to yourself that you COULD, in fact, do EVERYTHING that you said you couldn’t? I want two things from you. I want you to give 100% effort, and I want to hear you say “I CAN! I WILL!” Give me those two things, and I PROMISE you that you WILL.”
It’s different for every client, but once you can take something that’s meaningful to a client, like an important achievement and revert back to it when things get rough, that client starts to look back and see that all those small steps have lead up to a bigger goal, a bigger picture, or a better understanding of something.
Once a client sees how far he or she has come, it takes the pressure out of getting to that next step.
Knowledge of results, proof of results, and unwaivering faith in a client are the best motivators, period! That’s what I provide to my clients!