Why I Use Habit Change with Clients
We talk about goal setting as if most people don't already have goals.
But what if it wasn't the lack of goals, but the lack of systems to get us there? Maybe we do have a destination, but no paved path.
For example, when people come to work with me, they usually have a goal in mind. More energy, better sleep, feeling comfortable in their bodies, improved digestion, better periods, etc. The problem is not the lack of a destination, but an unclear process to get them there, sustainably.
In today's society, the "quick fix" is so readily available:
-"2 week juice cleanse and detox"
-"30 day meal plan"
-"6 week 'fix'"
While there is nothing inherently wrong with any time frame, it comes down to how you make use of that time. Are the "rules" so strict that you are counting down the minutes until it is over? Are you getting so sick of the same meals and snacks (or lack-thereof), that you won't be able to eat them again for another year? Are the workouts so tough that you are just feeling more depleted than anything?
Does this sound sustainable to you?
As the author of Atomic Habits, James Clear says, "You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the levels of your systems."
It doesn't matter what your goals are, it matters how you get there.
Let's use an analogy:
In every sport's game, the winning and losing teams have the same goal - to win the game. However, only 1 team wins. It is not due to the goal, but the hard work that went into that game. The drills practiced, the consistency of training, team bonding, sleep, nutrition, etc. Game day is just the result of the process.
If I were to throw you into playing a random rugby game with the goal to win, would you?
Ok, maybe my friends who played for Team Canada and their university would, but (you don't count)...
Without drills, learning about the game, and practice with your teammates, it's going to be very hard to be successful.
The same goes for nutrition and lifestyle. Without the tools necessary, learning about the way YOUR body operates, and having some accountability to practice these things, it's very easy to "lose."
YOU are your main teammate, SYSTEMS are your drills, and I am your coach (ok, that one's the same).
So, could I write a strict meal plan, with exercise requirements, and "yes" and "no" foods?
Yes, but that:
A. Doesn't teach my clients anything about their own bodies
B. Is not sustainable long-term
C. Does not sit right with me, with a past of orthorexia (obsession with healthy eating and exercise)
So, what do I do with my clients?
We look at your bigger goals together, and then decide on how to meet you where you are at.
We consider smaller, baby goals/habits/routines, or what Clear calls "systems," to get you there. Let's call them "small goals" to keep things simple.
Personally, I help my clients create their own small goals. They have a say in their care, and what they want to work on, and can actually achieve. We pick 3 small things to work on at a time - 1 dietary, 1 lifestyle, and 1 other.
As we go through the weeks of my program, we either habit stack by adding something onto an existing goal, or rotate in a new goal. This can happen once another one feels like it is becoming a habit, or is no longer relevant.
It has been a very successful technique to have my clients learn more about themselves and build small habits into full-blown routines. There's nothing I love more than helping people with long-term results!
Here's a testimonial that demonstrates what I am talking about:
"A couple months before working with Deanna, I knew things I SHOULD be doing to reach my goals and feel better, but I had zero motivation to actually do these things. Working with Deanna was the best decision I’ve made! Deanna motivated me and helped me make maintainable and realistic goals and helped me to stay on track and motivated to achieve them" - Nicole.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in trying, please send me an email today firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free Dea-scovery call.