I find that people generally don’t like to be told what to do. I also find that many people have their own answers. We as fitness professionals must be skillful enough to ask the right questions so that our clients can ask the right questions of themselves.
Too, people don’t change unless they have compelling reason to change. In addition, if they are not ready, willing and committed change is not likely to happen.
You might want to revisit Prochaska and DiClemente’s Transtheoretical Model Stages of Change. This will give you some direction as to how to go about determining the level of your client’s readiness as far a adopting a new behavior like working out.
Hope this is helpful to you.
Best to you.
Quite simply that it’s all up to them! I tell them that I should be considered their “guide,” but that it is them who has to make the trip. Their motivation to start, or to continue has to come from within themselves and can’t be extrinsically motivated if it’s to succeed or last. Usually, this is enough to jolt them into reality and either continue to move forward or to stop until they find that “inner” strength and motivation.
I hope that this helps.
You cannot motivate somebody against their will. But you can listen to their answers when you ask them about it.
You are not very specific about the way in which this problem manifest itself. Does your client cancel a lot? Not schedule future sessions? Or not willing to do their ‘homework’? Do they feel pressured by expectations of training?
There are many possible reasons. At some point that client approached you for training and stated the reasons why. You can try to find out what has changed.
If a client is having difficulty finding motivation to workout, I first ask if it has to do with their schedule, energy level, or mental state. Training is not always about knowing how to train, but rather knowing how to connect with someone on an emotional level and understanding human psychology to an extent. As a trainer, we are already self-motivated. We were either born with the gift of discipline or found it later in life. Some people, for example, with ADHD have difficulty completing any task and therefore, may never be able to stick with a strict program of any sort. I think if, as a trainer, we get to know our clients, their habits, strengths and weaknesses, we can truly provide each and every client with their appropriate plan to achieve their goals.
Some ideas might be…
1. Get some silicone wristbands that say “Make time for Fitness” as a reminder.
2. Provide the client with a chart that includes a checklist of things he/she completed that day (can be for things like getting sufficient cardio each day, drinking enough water, staying away from simple carbs, etc.). A psychiatrist friend of mine said charts can do amazing things for helping people stay on task.
3. Reward your clients. Staying on track is HARD! Your clients need that extra motivation every now and then.
I find that it is helpful to have them make a list of barriers-what makes them NOT want to exercise or prioritize their health, with obvious/common answers being time, expense, energy, etc. Then, make a few suggestions on how to combat those, and ask them to try one or two at a time. Helping them to see HOW they can make it work in THEIR life is the most important part of what we do-just telling them what they need to do is not enough. Helping them to see the hurdles they have to jump over, and the EASIEST way to get over them makes them that much more likely to stick it out.
Sometimes, we have to recognize when we as fitness professionals may not be the best fit for our clients, and suggest others. My personal style is not that of a boot camp instructor-I am not aggressive, and therefore if a client I had wanted that, I may not be motivating enough for them, and they may never see their personal best. We have to know when it’s time to refer to someone else if we aren’t what our clients need.