What Are Coaches and How Can They Help Me?

"If you could have done it by yourself, you probably would have done it by now." - Pat Williams, founder of the Institute for Life Coach Training.  

I was reading an article recently about how the titles "wellness coach," "health coach," and "life coach" are confusing and unclear to most people.  Frankly, I agree. The coaching field is exploding, and there are a lot of names being tossed around, and every coach has something different to offer.  It can definitely be really confusing, and you don't want to spend your hard earned money on a service that is unclear!  

So let me explain to you what some of the various coaching fields entail...

LIFE COACHES can help you both personally and professionally to set and accomplish goals.  They can help you develop your passions, discover your purpose, and create a realistic plan of action.  They can help you figure out what you want in life, support you unconditionally, and hold you accountable.

HEALTH COACHES educate and support people to build healthy habits and behaviors.  They tend to focus more on nutrition, but many also include healthy lifestyle habits as well because they understand that food is only one type of nutrition. 

WELLNESS COACHES focus on helping people to improve their lifestyle behavior, and creating positive and lasting lifestyle behavioral changes.  Wellness coaches change complex human behaviors so that a person can experience life with purpose, passion, unconditional self-acceptance, love, and good health.  It encompasses both physical and emotional wellbeing.  Wellness coaches are holistic in their way of thinking, and integrate the mind, body, and spirit for optimal living.  The most common misconception about wellness is that it is about physical fitness alone.  Wellness is a whole person approach, and physical fitness is just one aspect of a person's life.

Coaches in general are supportive allies who can help you prosper, grow, and develop.  They will hold you accountable, and help you create positive change in your life.  One type is not better than the other.  It really depends on your needs!

Now a word of caution, the terms "life coach," "health coach," and "wellness coach" (and all coaches that I'm aware of) are not regulated terms.  For example, I am also a licensed psychologist.  For me to call myself this I had to go through an approved graduate school, complete a doctoral dissertation, receive 3,000+ hours of supervision, and pass one of the hardest and craziest exams ever called the EPPP (I've never been more stressed out in my life than the few days before I took it!)  Then I had to be approved by state boards to be able to have the title of psychologist, and I have strict ethical guidelines that I must follow! It took about 7 years all together.  Anyone can call themselves a coach.  The same goes for yoga teachers.  You do not need to be certified to say you teach yoga or are a life coach.  There are no educational requirements or licenses.  This will probably all change at some point, but in the mean time, it means you need to be careful.  I could have called myself a coach when I was 18 years old with zero training and experience.  I'm glad I didn't though!  I've learned a whole lot over the last 15 years!  So please do your research.  Look at a coach's education, training, experience, and background.  A solid understanding of human behavior is important as changing human behavior is complicated!

Now I'd like to take a moment to explain WELLNESS & YOGA LIFESTYLE COACHING.  My personal approach to wellness is a holistic, whole person approach, that focuses on lasting lifestyle change.  The way in which you live your life has a huge impact on your level of health and how you experience life.  I can help you implement healthy habits such as exercise, yoga, stress reduction, time in nature, better sleep, and optimal nutrition.  I can help you love yourself unconditionally, smash fears and beliefs that are keeping you stuck, unleash your inner passions and purpose, experience greater joy and inner peace, find balance, improve relationships, and live authentically and mindfully.  Every aspect of you as a person equals your total wellness; therefore, wellness is highly individualized.  I incorporate yoga lifestyle (the other aspects of yoga besides the physical postures), mindfulness, and meditation.

I love what I do!  I am passionate about supporting people on their wellness journeys, and I get excited when I see progress and goals being met.  Your life matters, and you need to make yourself a priority.  Don't just go through the motions.  Find joy, peace, and radiant health so that you can fully experience your life.  Invest in yourself, and work with a good coach that can support you and help you make positive and long lasting changes.

If you want to know more, please get in touch!  I love hearing from you.  Email me at: Lindsay@happywholelife.com

Here's to living a balanced life you love,