This article is a guest post by IIN
We hope you enjoyed reading part I of our blog series, showcasing some commonly overlooked benefits of our Integrative Nutrition Health Coach certificate (check it out if you haven’t)!
Taking that a step further, say you do take the first step towards your dream of becoming a Health Coach.
Now what? How do you make the most of your year at IIN and beyond, and set yourself up for success at each step of the way?
Seeing countless IIN students establish lucrative careers, and drawing from some professional achievements, here are five habits that truly allow our Health Coaches to be successful.
1. Have a beginner’s mind
It might sound a little ironic, but this is a crucial piece to ensure you’re always growing as both a Health Coach and as an individual.
Just picture a child picking up a new object…exploring it works and what it does with the utmost curiosity.
Well that’s the kind of mindset we encourage just before you start your training at IIN. There’s a good chance you’re already familiar-maybe even very well-versed-with the power of food and lifestyle on one’s health. If so, that’s fantastic. But to make the most of what you learn, you have to be open and receptive to what you’re learning, as if you’re hearing about it for the first time. That helps to foster a creative thought pattern, encouraging you to incorporate what you know in a slightly different way or sparking ideas for your future business.
Once you’re already practicing, continuing to adopt a learner’s mindset will keep you on the lookout for knowledge, skills, and strategies to expand on what you do as a Health Coach. Because the moment you dismiss things as stuff you already know, you stagnate and block out the potential for advancement.
Asking yourself, what else can I extract from this concept or what is a new way to work this concept into my own health journey or practice can help deepen your understanding and insight as a Health Coach.
2. Treat your energy like it’s your bank account.
Even if you have close to an endless supply sitting in there, then act as though you can only “withdraw” a certain amount of your energy at a time so that you have a reserve to keep you from burnout. That also means that you have to carefully choose which goals, responsibilities, and to-do’s you allocate the remaining balance to.
In other words: you need to prioritize.
We’ve heard this piece of advice countless times, but so many of us continue to struggle in applying it, as responsibilities only increase.
Take a closer look at what you currently do and compare that with what you want to be doing. Make a list of what are non-negotiable tasks that you must get done, and another one outlining what you would ideally be doing with your day…and then see where you can cut down on those superfluous tasks, activities and social engagements- it can be challenging, but checking-in with your goals and progress will make this evaluation process an easier one.
Once you become a Health Coach, prioritizing all that goes into your career also becomes key. It’s easy to feel like you need to do everything that other entrepreneurs are doing and offer as many wellness services and products as possible…but that too can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. More than that, your unique message and way of creating impact becomes diluted when you try to do everything.
So start small and start with your strengths. If you’re a great writer, consider focusing your efforts on blogging about wellness tips or healthy recipes. If you don’t want to work in a client-facing capacity, you create a health food or a lifestyle product. Checking in with your goals and vision regularly will help you align what you do in efficiently achieving them!
3. Take yourself seriously.
As we emphasized in our previous post, health coaching is a booming industry. Individuals, companies, and healthcare providers are turning towards Health Coaches as a sustainable and cost-effective means of improving health.
Your goal of becoming a Health Coach therefore extends beyond being a career choice that you’re passionate about: it’s an integral piece of the healthcare system, which is moving towards prevention and wellness.
With that said, embracing your potential to positively transform lives is a necessary ingredient for your success. Having a strong conviction in your individual capability and work as a Health Coach will not only help you adopt a mindset geared for success, but also will build your credibility as a wellness authority.
Anytime we embark on something new, it’s in our nature to seek validation or approval from others to ensure we’re on the right track. But if you question yourself and don’t take yourself seriously, that will show in how you communicate with clients and other practitioners.
For this reason, our program includes guidance on how to confidently speak about what you do as a Health Coach and lessons on knowing your worth. Taking on the role of a client yourself and making step-by-step adjustments to your own health goals will also bolster self-trust, and in turn, your experience and results.
4. Plan less, do more.
It’s impossible to feel 100% ready to execute. There will be loopholes and there will be processes to improve, but you won’t have all the foresight before you’re ready to implement.
When you feel yourself finding little details to perfect, you’re more than likely procrastinating the part where you actually start taking on clients (or launching your website, or product). No doubt, it’s nerve-wracking to take the plunge, but most of the “knowing” that you’re waiting on will happen only after you start “doing.”
To support this, our Health Coach Training Program issues a Mid-Certificate badge, representing the knowledge and coaching skills you would amassed at this point in order to start working with clients. This way, you can start to cultivate practical experience while you’re still in the program and transition into health coaching once you graduate. As you start marketing your practice and taking on clients, you’ll be able to see for yourself how to fine-tune certain processes and what to tweak on your website.
It’s also important to know that you don’t need to know every little aspect of nutrition and wellness practices there is to help someone make sustainable changes to their health and life- your clients can access books, online publications, and information very easily. Your expertise comes into play as someone who helps others take that knowledge and put it into action and bring about long-term behavior change.
And should you ever need to refresh your knowledge on a certain topic, you’ll have lifelong access to a reference library and dietary theory library!
5. Talk about what you’re doing!
This one’s a big one that we see our students and graduates do, and a personal favorite that has worked for us in our own health coaching endeavors!
Once you start your education at IIN, take the opportunity to share with your friends, family, loved ones, those in your community, etc. what it is that you’re doing! Talking about your intentions in pursuing health coaching and what you’re learning not only helps you shape your dialogue on what you do or plan to do as a Health Coach, but also holds you accountable in following through with your goals. It’s like registering for a standardized test- you automatically buckle down and study with a singular focus. Likewise, whether you share health tidbits on social media or offer to do a free consultation within your network, you’re essentially practicing your pitch and getting a head start in building your audience.
When it comes time to find clients, host workshops, and land speaking engagements, the communication required to make that happen would come easily. Drawing from my own experience, because I was so used to talking to relatives and classmates about what I was learning at IIN and implementing in my own life, I landed a consulting opportunity with a healthcare startup and a program development role with a health education nonprofit, neither of whom had been exposed to health coaching.
Thinking about what you want to do as a Health Coach and gauging what those around you are looking for to better their own health can be an effective way to determine what you want to share and the ideal way to spread you message!
Are you a Health Coach or a wellness practitioner? Comment here with your top tips!