A wellness coach can make all the difference in meeting your wellness goals. But with the tons of wellness coaches out there, how do you know which one is right for you?
Asking a potential wellness coach the right questions can help you discover if they’re someone you can work with to support your physical health and overall self-care. Keep reading this guide from Sunwink to find out which questions to bring up with a potential wellness coach.
Who Is a Wellness Coach?
Wellness can be defined as the journey towards optimal health. It is the act of practicing good habits on a daily basis — so instead of surviving, you’re thriving.
Of course, it’s not just someone’s healthy habits that matter. Identifying self-sabotaging behaviors and making gradual improvements is key to living a healthy, connected, and satisfying life.
So, where does a wellness coach fit in here?
A wellness coach helps their clients to make sustainable changes. This can include identifying negative thoughts and behaviors, setting wellness goals, encouraging work-life balance, and monitoring progress. This is done in a safe, understanding, and non-judgmental environment.
Instead of just telling you what to do, a wellness coach can empower you to take charge of your wellness journey and make lasting behavior changes, like doing more workouts at the gym. These changes can affect nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management, mindset, and much more.
What Does a Wellness Coach Do?
Wellness coaches typically meet with their clients one-on-one — although coaching can also happen in small groups.
During the first session, a wellness coach will spend most of the time trying to get to know you. They will also ask about your expectations for wellness coaching, help you create your wellness vision, and set actionable goals for your wellness journey.
During the following life coaching sessions, you can update your wellness coach on your progress, discuss obstacles to your success, and work to change your thoughts and behaviors so they better serve you. Your wellness coach can provide you with tools to achieve your health goals.
Coaches are not therapists, so they can’t diagnose and treat mental disorders. However, mental health issues are likely to come up. This can include lack of motivation, low self-esteem, fear, self-doubt, and anything else that interferes with you living your healthiest life.
To deal with these issues, a wellness coach can provide the space to talk about them while countering them with problem-solving skills that you can use in the future. These skills can include reframing negative thoughts, adopting more positive self-talk, breaking down goals into smaller steps, and understanding your emotions and behaviors.
The above are all skills that you can carry with you for life.
What’s the Difference Between a Wellness Coach and a Health Coach?
The terms “wellness coach” and “health coach” may be used interchangeably, but there are some differences between them.
The main difference lies in their clients and what their goals are.
A wellness coach focuses on overall wellness, which is (we know) a super broad category. Wellness not only includes diet and exercise but also sleep habits, stress levels, emotional health, social skills, and anything else that can affect someone’s general wellbeing.
Wellness coaches work with the general population, meaning they use a more holistic approach — they’re sort of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to wellness. It’s up to their clients to decide which specific facet of wellness to focus on.
On the other hand, a health coach works with a specific population. These are usually people with a health condition who need help managing it. A health coach can work with clients as diverse as diabetes patients, heart attack survivors, and long-term smokers.
Usually, the clients of health coaches have a plan prescribed to them by a health care provider. But following a health plan isn’t as easy as it looks, which is where a health coach comes in. They provide practical support to their clients while helping them to identify obstacles to making change.
Can a Wellness Coach Really Help?
If you think that change is hard, you’re not alone.
About 45 million adults go on a diet every year, spending millions of dollars on various diet products. Yet the majority of them fail. Studies show that 80% of those who lose weight on a diet regain it within the year(!)
Similarly, more than half of smokers say they want to quit. But out of those who tried to quit, only 7% were successful.
The thing is: People often know what to do. We know how to lose weight, exercise, and quit smoking, but when it comes to actually doing it, trouble sets in.
Over the last few years, researchers have zeroed in on what creates sustainable change. One important factor in driving change is social support — which a wellness coach can provide.
Wellness coaches drive change by providing evidence-based information, making clients aware of their behaviors, and collaborating on possible solutions. They do so with continuous positive reinforcement — basically, a way of saying “you go, girl!” — which is one of the most effective ways to motivate clients to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Wellness coaches are not only well-versed in creating change, but they’re a wealth of information. They’re up-to-date on the latest research on nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and anything else their client might want to know.
These unique skills and wealth of knowledge can make wellness coaches better able to help clients change their lives. A wellness coach can help get you there if you're struggling with making change.
Convinced about the benefits of a wellness coach?
Keep reading to find ways to choose the best coach for you.
What Questions Should I Ask When Searching for a Wellness Coach?
What’s important to look for in a wellness coach?
Well, there are many potential attributes you might care about. Whatever their personality, area of focus, or communication style, what works for you is unique.
So, to help you figure out what you want in a wellness coach, consider asking some of the following questions in your consultations.
1. What’s Their Story?
Every wellness coach has a reason for pursuing this field. Some may have a history of an autoimmune disorder that they had to find ways to heal, others may have struggled with a problem, and some may have even battled low self-esteem.
A wellness coach’s backstory will give you a clue about what they focus on in their coaching. Plus, it’ll make it easier for you to relate to them. If there’s something specific that you want to focus on — like working through a sugar addiction — then you might want to consider someone who struggled with similar issues.
2. Are They Effective Communicators?
You can receive the most perfect advice in the world, but it can be useless if not communicated properly.
Of course, what good communication means partially depends on you. For instance, do you want someone who’s straight and direct, or do you prefer someone a little more gentle? And how important is it to find someone who speaks sort of like you do?
Aside from your personal preferences, good communication means being able to state something so you get it — hopefully, the first time. Your wellness coach will be teaching you a lot, so you need to be able to absorb it. Otherwise, their communication style may not work for you.
3. Are They Good Listeners?
Just as speaking is important for wellness coaching, so is listening.
You want a wellness coach who takes the time to really understand you and your obstacles to success. Otherwise, any advice they give you will be hit-or-miss.
In general, good listeners let you speak without interrupting, ask insightful questions, and refrain from offering their opinion until they have all the info.
4. Are They Knowledgeable?
Part of the reason for getting a wellness coach is so they can teach you all the amazing things they know about health and wellness. It’s totally appropriate to ask a wellness coach about their education, experience, and any other training programs that can make them a wealth of knowledge for you.
5. Are They Willing To Push You?
All the health and wellness knowledge in the world won’t be helpful if it’s not applied. But oftentimes, making lifestyle changes is incredibly hard — which is why you have a wellness coach to help you.
You want someone who feels responsible for your success. That means they will monitor your personal health progress and push you if it’s not being made. A good wellness coach will never shame or berate you, but they will gently nudge you in the right direction so you can become the best version of yourself.
6. Are They Strategic Thinkers?
You’re a unique person with unique needs. As tempting as it might be, a wellness coach can’t apply a generic formula and expect you to succeed.
Your wellness coach must adapt to your situation and create a personalized solution that works. That’s what makes strategic thinkers some of the best wellness coaches.
Look for a wellness coach that asks you lots of questions, sets actionable goals, and asks for your input in creating your wellness plan.
7. Do You Connect?
Even though it’s the last question, it’s probably the most important one. Why? Well, because if you don’t like your wellness coach, you can hinder your success.
You don’t have to be head-over-heels in love with them, but you have to feel some kind of chemistry or flow.
When you meet with a potential wellness coach, reflect on how you feel talking to them. Are they providing you with a safe listening environment? Are they helping you see things in a new light? Are they making you feel good about yourself?
If the answer to the above questions is “no,” don’t feel bad: Move on to someone new. There are plenty of wellness coaches, so you should have no problem finding someone you truly connect with — for a transformative wellness coaching experience.
Getting health and wellness coaching can make all the difference in your wellness journey. But before this happens, you need to find the right wellness coach for you.
Asking the right questions can help with finding the right wellness coach. Some points to touch on include their communication style, their area of expertise, and their personal connection with you.
In addition to working with a wellness coach, you can support your health with the right nutrition. Sunwink has tons of yummy superfood powders and tonics to ramp your wellness.