You’ve gotten some great responses. I also relate it to other areas of their lives. They work toward achieving a promotion, a degree, a certification, etc. Its a process. Small steps are taken for them to achieve their end result. The same goes with exercise and nutrition.
Small steps ensure that they have the foundation to progress to the next level. Small steps ensure lasting success (why do so many new year resolutions fall by the wayside come Valentine’s Day?).
They usually buy into this. It also makes it more managable for them. I also make sure that I celebrate their enthusiasm, but remind them that I want them to make lasting changes, not changes that they won’t be able to maintain for a lifetime. That means that we educate as well as demonstrate what and how they can change their lifestyle to meet their goals. And, as the others have stated, I try to lead them to making the decision as to what they’d like to focus on first. Then get them to come up with a SMART goal, which I write in my notes regarding the session, and then follow-up with them on at the next session.