A Lie of the Self Help Industry

Samantha Attard asks about giving free consultations:

Have any of you read "The Prosperous Coach" by Steve Chandler? He has an interesting business development strategy of inviting prospective clients for a free, 2-hour initial consult and "blows people's mind" by providing all this value and life-changing info in that initial consultation. He's specifically a life coach, and I'm wondering how/if this applies to us in the nutrition/health space. How do you run your initial consultations, and what do you tell people that is life changing for them?
  • Sean Flanagan: Here's How to Get Started:

    Regardless of the program you're interested in - and especially if you're not sure which one is right for you - we should hop on the phone for a few minutes to see if we're right for each other.

    I want to make sure I'm signing up people who are truly interested in the level of service that I provide and are not just looking for another ""diet fix"". And of course you want to make sure that if you are dropping $200 or more, that you are not going to end up blocking an hour out of your day to talk to a jackass.

    So let's get on the phone or Skype for a 15-20 minute casual conversation where I can ask you a little bit more about your goals, background, and what you feel you need help with - and you can ask me anything you want about the hypothetical future coaching relationship to make sure I'm the right fit for you too. If either of us doesn't want to go forward, I can make an alternative recommendation if I am able. And if both of us agree to go forward, we can go ahead and get you all set up.

  • Matt Talley: I've given 2 one hour sessions for free to all new clients for many years now. 

    First is a sit down and talk, gather information, goals, fill out pain chart, flag for needing a doctors note, etc. 

    Second session is a workout based on info gathered in first session. 

    100% closing rate for 3 years now. 

    When I ask people months or even years later how they think I ""sold"" them the answer is almost always ""You didn't. That's why I bought. You just seemed like you wanted to help.""

    If they're willing to meet, they're already considering buying. Most people are considerate enough not to PLAN to take your free time and run. So I always see it as my sale to LOSE, not to gain.

    Overcoming the perception that you'll be using that time to hard sell people is a legitimate hurdle though. That's why I try to focus on referrals - my clients will make it clear to their friends and coworkers that I didn't hard sell them or come across as cheesy and pressuring.

  • Emily Segal: But you can't speak to a medical specialist or psychological professional in his/her office for an hour and not pay. My time is worth a lot and I give plenty of free access to myself and my materials in my free groups, webinars, blog, videos etc. Those are my "free samples". But one-on-one, they pay for that. I have offered free ones as specials from time to time and they never convert as well as paid consults. My ideal clients are people who value things they pay well for. Free makes them cringe. As it does me. If you offer me a free session I will think your business isn't doing well and you lack experience. I want to hire people with a high price and a waiting list. So you need to know your audience and try different strategies and figure out what works best for your own business.

  • Brandon Scott Chien: I have 5 paying weekly clients whom I'm initially offered free consultations to and tell them the truth about their fitness situation, show them skills to learn, and tell them I will not work with them forever, or I'm not doing my job

  • Samantha Attard: Wow - thank you everyone for your fabulous input!! My takeaways: 1. For some people: free sessions work! For others...not so much. 2. No matter what, make sure your potential clients KNOW the cost of doing business with you beforehand. (Actually Matt - do you have your price listed before they call you up?) 3. If free consults AREN'T working...take a look at what the heck you're doing in that consult. 4. If NO free consult isn't working....take a look at what the heck you're doing in your marketing. 5. If your'e offering a free consult - be clear and honest with your potential client WHY you're offering the consult and WHAT they can expect from it.

Robin Mungall wants to know if there's a way to help a client get her family motivated

  • Thom Lamb: ask dad "who around you is doing something you would like to do" and then help him to make that connection. Maybe there is someone in his social circle that is just a bit further down the process and that he can relate to. Perhaps that would help him to feel less intimidated about it all. But if we help THEM change the lens they are looking through, then THEY will see an example they could emulate. It's a question of contextualizing the content so it can be digested by the audience, instead of just presenting it from the aspect you (or your clients in this case) are most familiar with.

  • Ashley Palmer: My question: do these family members want to change? Without some desire it's completely impossible to get anywhere, and it may lead to more resistance and family tension. If that's the case, the best thing is to remind your client they are leading by example. Let the family members observe her dedication and the rewards that come from it, and at some point they may get inspired by it. If she tries to change them when they don't want to change it will not work.

Yusuf Clack asks, "Who here gets hit up for family discounts and would like some help getting full price?"

  • Yusuf Clack: For fun, here is my script.

  • Steph Haddad: If someone wants to double up and go below my prices when it's a significant other, i hear them out, then tell them either in person or (if they are intense) through email offer them options that work with their price point.... and not with me. Usually a Rec Center with a good rep that has classes included, and I have a contact there to send them to for a personal touch. I have yet to have people ask that already train with me. Only people who are prospects. I feel icky when it happens.

  • Yusuf Clack: But it's the people that want a recurring discount that backfires in my model -- vs a "Test the waters" sort of fast action bonus

  • Steph Haddad: Yeah... i don't do that. that's asinine. my mechanic doesn't give me a referral bonus for the people i've referred him. i want quality, i pay for quality.

Gillian Thomas asks for some advice about the best next step I can take to develop her online nutritional habits coaching program.

  • Sean Flanagan: My suggestion would be getting a subscription to Digital Marketer's membership site - DM Lab.
  • Roland Fisher: Nutrition and exercise science are the things that get you to the table, they have to be there, but they are the smallest part of running an online business. The coaching skills and marketing skills are the things that matter the most. Since you have great coaching skills, I agree with Sean, I'd get the DM's membership and start learning there.The first thing to focus on while you are learning, is building an audience. If you have 1000 fans you have a business and can grow from there really well. In fact in our mentorship program the second last assignment was in that direction.
  • Ashley Palmer: I agree with above... Learning to market is the next step. Start by asking yourself who your ideal client is, where do they hang out (online, in person etc), and how to position yourself as an expert and provide value in those places.
  • Ashley Palmer: Hmmm... well, I spent wayyyy too much time and money learning how to market... lol. I don't know that there is one course, or one resource that answers everything, I've just kinda pieced it all together. However, if I were to go back and do it again, I would spend money on only one thing: Ramit Sethi's Zero to Launch program, which coincidentally I haven't done, but I have friends who have, and what they learned from it is pretty much the same conclusion I came to after years of trying it out and experimenting (plus taking wayyy too many courses)

Ashley Palmer shared some awesome advice on running Facebook ads.

  • Ashley Palmer: Just got off the phone with a guy from the facebook business team… and came back with some super valuable information about running ads. I asked plenty of questions related to our industry.

1. Fitness and nutrition Facebook ads will likely not get approved if they focus on physical appearance, weight loss or their current physical condition (so don’t say “feeling fat?” but you already knew that) The best advice of the FB guys who are in contact with major agencies is to focus on the positive experience they will have with your brand. What will that experience be like? Show them.

2. Ads are most expensive right now. Between Halloween and January 1st, so if you’re starting ads, continuing ads, and feel like WTF… that’s pretty normal.

3. Ads are cheapest between Jan 1st and July 31st due to the smaller number of advertisers, so if you want to get started with facebook ads and grow your list, that is prime time.

4. The biggest advantage us “little guys” have over larger companies is that we “get” how to be social. Sharing value and starting conversations is what we do well, and big brands suck at it (his words… ish) so there’s no need to copy what the big brands are doing, and yes, we can compete against them.

5. Behavior targeting is more successful than interest targeting.

Roland Fisher reminded us of the perils of "false" motivation.

One of our struggles can be motivation. We've all felt that. This got me thinking about a lie of the self help industry. A big lie. I used to strive to be motivated. I read Tony Robbins, and several authors about the mindset of success, the mindset to be confident, rich, happy. I'd get fired right up. Hellz yeah! I'd take over the world! I began to think that this would make me successful. I even joined an MLM cult. It never worked. I'd lose my motivation after a few weeks, sometimes it took longer, I could make it last for months if I had a habit of reading that material, listening to those tapes (yes I'm that old), going to those meetings. I never succeeded though...


Shift Their Awareness


Shift Their Awareness

Vanessa Naylon shared a promotion idea for getting clients during the holidays. 

“I've been talking to a lot of coaches who are planning new programs for January 2016. So far hardly anyone has told me they're launching something in November or December. I think you could capture a unique audience with a message of “Build a Healthy Strategy for the Holidays” or “Get Ready for the Holidays”. This works well for habit-based coaching and more traditional training programs alike...”

  • Brian Tabor: I'm hosting my second foam rolling and eating habits workshop. We allow people to chat about what's easy and what's hard and discuss takeaway strategies. I'm gonna wrap this one up by discussing reasons for just focusing on one habit at a time and how they can make a good habit. Then they will be encouraged to craft a habit of their own to work on for the next couple of weeks. Finish that up with the option to a.) follow up with me via email in a couple weeks or b.) lets get together for a more thorough nutrition assessment and begin working on habits together via paid coaching
  • Chris Forrest: Running a Lean Eating Course that lasts for 6 weeks (as a prelude to the Habitry Coaching Group). Kind of like essentials is for habitry. Basic habits to nail.
  • Gillian Thomas: Chas Cook and I are launching a four week Holiday Habits nutritional coaching program like this! We're focusing on habits specific to the holidays such as navigating parties, dealing with food-pushers, enjoying your treats in moderation, how to stay on track while travelling, etc. We're hoping that some of those people will then be ready to jump on board for a Level 1 program in January!
  • Seth Munsey: Next Friday evening we are having a "Healthy Holiday Habits Workshop and Potluck!"

Jessica Owens Mauk asked for advice on dealing with a client who wants to change but can't make herself take action

  • Coach Stevo: Regardless of Benjamin Tormey's intended level of snark, I actually think this might be helpful for her, Jessica Owens Mauk. Have her check in every day that she's READING other people's check ins. She doesn't have to do anything except read other people's check ins so she can see everyone is fine. No one is being "traumatized" and people are learning and doing things well.I used to do this all the time with exercise classes. It's essentially the habit of "showing up and seeing that no one is being hurt and everything is OK." And she can answer the 2Qs on this, too. With everyone else, or not.
  • Omar Ganai: Remind her everything is optional, Jessica Owens Mauk. She can take part in the checking-in as much as or as little as she wants. And help her personalize the habit to her level of confidence.
  • Siriji Lamenzo: something I've done with a similar situation is to encourage the habit changes, but with no end date. I'm having my client simply keep track of how well they do with the things I've given them and over time it's gotten closer to 80-90% compliance. This way it's given them the power to change in a positive and non-threatening way. With your gentle nudging and support to keep them on track. Something like that might work better for her. Try to get her out of the short-term, quick fix mindset and more into tangible realistic habit changes.
  • Georgie Fear: I would recognize her feelings as a helpful, healthy response to being burned in the past. She learned an important lesson, and that's totally high-fiveable. I could see saying something like "I really respect that you don't want to make the same mistakes you have before, it shows wisdom and intelligence! Let's talk about what specifically is unsettling. It sounds like you want to *not* blindly do a one-size fits all thing, and also don't want to do anything at an intensity that isn't 100% maintainable. You're ready to change for good, on your own timeline and on your own terms. Do I have that right?" And if its fitting, then, "I can reassure you that we will want to scale each behavior to your readiness level, and keep them small. You really are the boss here, so if something feels like it's too hard to keep up for long, that's an important job you have to speak up. You see, unlike those prefab challenges that tell YOU how much and when and what you'll do, this is a partnership. You make the decisions about much and how often and what specifically you WANT to do, and the coaches and other participants are here for social support, tips, and company on the journey."

Chuck Osswald asks,  "Should we ever really be asking our clients Why?"

  • Sean Flanagan: I personally would ask something like "What obstacle did you encounter?". That would be more likely to inform us of potential changes in plans with new habits, and would be less likely to create defensiveness. What are your thoughts on something like that?
  • Jean Blomo: I echo what Sean says here and want to add that like you said, they don't really know why, but you can ask them what they *think* are the possible reasons for any given action (or any given thought). My goal is actually just shifting their awareness from "I just do it" to "I see myself doing it" to "I wonder why I do this" to "I wonder if there's a different way of doing this," and finally, "let's try a different way of doing it." But I've found a really critical element of that is non-judgemental awareness. So, when asking why, it needs to be in the most non-confrontational, non-judgemental way.
  • Josh Hillis: "Also, don't be afraid to break out of normal workout box. I have some clients that workout for an hour 9x per month... ...and I have other clients who workout for 5-10 minutes 4-5x per week (which works well both for schedule and soreness). I've had clients that just worked out with me, once per week, for months. And it was a big step forward for them. And they got stronger."
  • Coach Stevo: This is a nit-picky thing, but literally using the word "why" can put clients on the defensive. At Habitry, Co and in the Essentials Class, we teach coaches to use different words to ask "why" and practice doing it for a week straight. Here's some examples of ways to ask "why" without asking "why:" “Would you mind walking us through your thinking on that?” "How did you arrive at that conclusion?" "What do you think lead to that?" "How do you think you ended up here?"
  • Ryan Bergren: Was just going to say what Steven said. Why elicits a defensive reaction so be careful using it otherwise they will end defending their poor behaviors and habits. But if you can get them to defend reasoning for changing by asking why at the right time they will defend themselves right into the perfect change.

Ashley Palmer wanted to know,  "How would you help a client who is worried about confrontation of this sort over the holidays?"

  • Rob Morris: Pointing out the faults in their theories or methods won't help and it will likely make things worse. I have this issue not with fitness, but other areas of life. Maybe encourage her to listen to them and let them know that she is really happy and feels good about her direction and encourage her to allow them their opinions. I like where you are going with the "Thanks but no thanks.". If she lets them know that she appreciates that they care and want to help, but right now in her life she has something that feels right to her perhaps they will ease up. Just a thought. Usually no amount of facts about why they are "wrong" will help the situation. They will have to come to that conclusion in their own.
  • Gillian Thomas: If it works for her values, she may need to straight up tell them "I really appreciate that you want to help me. However, I don't feel that Advocare is the solution for *me.* I feel most comfortable doing "x" and it would really mean a lot to me if I had your support because you are important to me."
  • Coach Stevo: Maybe applicable is what I do with politics at extended family functions:"I would love to listen more to what you have to say about this at another time when the spirit of our conversation doesn't make the people we came here to be with uncomfortable. How about a phone call next week?" P.S. No one ever follows up with the phone call. At some point though, she's gonna have to use her words and tell them, "no. Stop asking." Telling them she'll talk about it later could take the pressure off during family stuff and give her the space she needs to drop the hammer at a more appropriate time.
  • Vanessa Naylon: Ultimately, I might suggest leading with motivational interviewing and eliciting ideas from her, because her ideas will be most appropriate to her family politics.

Vanessa Naylon started a discussion on recording video

"Gettin’ the hang of this video thing! By which I mean I am good at pressing the “record” button. Yesterday Steven Michael Ledbetter and I shot a dozen videos of different lengths on different topics. Anyone else working on video content for their programs this week? Or thinking about it?"

  • Coach Stevo: We shoot on exclusively on iPhones (5s, 6, 6s) and Vanessa Naylon edits on iMovie (we used to use Final Cut X, but it wasn't necessary). We don't ever use scripts. Vanessa Naylon or Omar Ganai usually just ask me a question, then I rant. I never do more than one take for Coach Stevo Daily. When we have an all-day shoot, we make an outline, but I'm usually entirely off script 5min in.

Charles Gross started a discussion on how we can help clients develop self love.

"Hey all, I was wondering if you could point me toward some resources or ideas to help someone develop self love. I've been working with them closely, and something I said lead them to say that they believe their self-hated and negative perspective is obstructing their lifestyle change efforts."

  • Susan Ogilvie: Maybe a habit that helps practice a little self love chuck? Like there were a couple of good ones that start to foster that in the Habitry ebook I just picked up a couple of weeks ago. Susan Ogilvie Also, I wrote this last winter...dunno if it could help.
  • Ashley Palmer: As a coach a great place to start is reframing when you hear negative self talk. Find the awesome in the thing their discouraged about and point that out to them. Celebrate every single awesome thing big or small.
  • Claudio Espinoza: Men, Women, and Worthiness by Brene Brown. It's in audio format (only, I believe) on Amazon for $10.
  • Matt TalleyL I've found that lack of meaningful life change fuels this lack of self love and self esteem in many people. While it's not currently a culturally popular view, there's a lot to be said about the idea of earning greater self esteem and self regard through accomplishment and meaningful effort toward what's important. I think they might have it backwards. "If I love myself, I can do things!" is what a lot of people believe and there is no shortage of reinforcement on that point. "If I do things, I'll love that about myself!" is what a lot of people never even seriously consider. Thinking more and more highly of yourself JUST by thinking more highly of yourself... that's arguably not a great thing in many cases. Believing you have basic dignity and are worthy of respect; that's great. But most people think they 'need' way more 'self love' and 'self esteem' and 'self acceptance' than that when too often they just want to eat and enjoy a loaf of bread without helping to bake any (metaphorically speaking in reference to Little Red Hen story).
  • Georgie Fear: I have recently been using the Headspace app and adore it (guided meditations) I see they have some meditation series focused on self love.


Tell Her The Story of Her Impending Success


Tell Her The Story of Her Impending Success

One of Jessica Owens Mauk’s clients expressed resistance and frustration to a walking habit:

“I'm trying to be as honest as I can. I just didn't do it.I sat in my car and listened to the radio for an hour while my daughter was in dance and I didn't walk. I could have, but to be honest, my jeans are too little and my legs rub together and I just didn't want it to get worse. Maybe I need a different goal. I don't have a good excuse, just didn't do it. It's my whole problem. Zero motivation.”

  • Stevan Freeborn: First thing I would do is normalize the experience. I'd then tell her the story of her impending success. And bring her back to reflecting on the habit, brainstorming solutions, and discussing how she will succeed next time. Then, based on her response, continue to ask her questions that reflect on her situation and hunt for ways to make the habit more convenient. Hopefully this will lead her to maybe the decision that next time she will wear clothes she is comfortable to walk in next time.  Then you can support that decision.”
  • Coach Stevo: “This person might need 1-1 help before they go into a group because she NEEDS a smaller win to get started. I would start by working on making her environment more amenable to this so that the bar is so low and in her way, all she has to do is step over it.”
  • Vanessa Naylon: “The tone of her comment is frustrated. But the fact that she wrote it signals a request for help. She expects to fail, and it hurts.”
  • Rebecca Schubert: “As we all know, when people can tie their goals to their values, their intrinsic motivation increases. Sometimes people are lacking direction and a clear sense of their values, purpose, etc. Having them spend some time doing the ‘Best Possible Future Self’ exercise can help provide clarity and may just what they need to light their fire. On the other hand, sometimes people are suffering with depression which obviously will impact their ability to make change and they'll have to deal with this first.”

Coach Stevo shared a list of books recommended by Mark Fisher: “Mark Fisher is the only person I know who reads more than me and has better hair than me. Which makes my pants feel funny.” Read the post for the full list of books or read select comments for reading tips:

  • Coach Stevo: “I learned a trick in college to keep up with the volume of reading i needed to do, but couldn't because ADHD. And this only works with non-fiction: 
  1. read the introduction chapter
  2. read the first & last paragraph of every chapter
  3. read the first & last sentence of every paragraph
  4. skip everything else.

I can read a few books a week like that”

  • Mark Fisher: “I'm pretty compulsive, so I'll share my strategies, but I don't necessarily recommend them. For one thing, I do lots of audiobooks. I've also trained myself to listen to them at 3x (which, for the record, is only actually 2x if you time it, which I of course have). Most days I spend 30 minutes cooking my midday meal, which allows me to get in about 2.5-3 hours a week. So that's about 6 hours of an audiobook right there. Additionally, whenever I commute anywhere, I'm always listening to an audiobook. In an average week this is anywhere from 1-3 hours (I work from home, so I don't actually have a traditional commute). This adds another 2-6 hours of actual book length, which puts me at 8-12 hours of audiobooking. I also try to physically read at least 30 minutes a day (which I always do during my midday meal/ mind break). On the weekends, I'll read several more hours (usually only 30 minutes a time on one thing or I get antsy). Additionally, I start most mornings with 10-20 minutes of something "inspirationy" to get my mind right while my coffee brews and I prepare my morning greens formula. Lastly, I walk the stairs in my apt. building or go for walks about 2-4 times per week for extra activity/ energy systems/ recovery/ heart health, during which I listen to podcasts and/or YouTubes (I HIGHLY recommend Google Author Talks; this is a great resource to preview new potential books and authors, as well as review older great material). Lastly, whenever I travel (at least once or twice a month), I get LOTS of reading done. This past weekend I got through 3 audiobooks and two magazines. Lastly lastly, there are definitely periods where I chillax more and much of the "sitting down and reading" is taken over by other work pursuits. But as you see, on average I can get in 40 hours of audiobooking in a month purely during time I would spend anyway cooking and/ or commuting. Again, I do not necessarily recommend this, but I have a great time!!”
  • Lou Lione: “Set aside 20 minutes a day to read, The time will flex naturally more or less based on your schedule.”
  • Omar Ganai: “Man's Search for Meaning is what convinced me to study psychology. Holy shit, what a book. It's a psychologist's study of his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps. He examines the psychological differences between people who survived the camps and those who didn't.”

Andrea Impastato Williams asked for advice on the balance between setting personal boundaries and helping clients move forward.

  • Coach Stevo: “Just a starting point for discussion, but instead of thinking, "what should I say," try making your heuristic, "what should I ASK?" What do you want to know about this person? What do you need to learn to understand her point of view? What questions can you ask to learn those things? How can you get her to open up to you (and herself) about what she's going through?”
  • Amanda Leigh Grace: "I would also let her know you are grateful for the feedback about her level of soreness, that it helps you dial in what an appropriate workout should look like for her, and that your goal is to find the appropriate balance being being challenged but also being able to feel good and recover well afterward. Remember that what seems like it should be easy to us is not necessarily what is easy for a beginner, especially one with complex health issues. I always try to err on the side of *too* easy in the beginning, then ramp up based on client feedback over the first few weeks."
  • Josh Hillis: "Also, don't be afraid to break out of normal workout box. I have some clients that workout for an hour 9x per month... ...and I have other clients who workout for 5-10 minutes 4-5x per week (which works well both for schedule and soreness). I've had clients that just worked out with me, once per week, for months. And it was a big step forward for them. And they got stronger."
  • Amanda Leigh Grace: "I think it's important to remember your client's underlying needs, which might be a sense of bodily integrity/safety since she was so sore the first time, though there may be other needs which will be revealed by the questions that you ask. Naming her needs and reflecting them back to her will help her feel safer. Also, it's okay to let your clients know that you need at least 24 hour cancellation notice, or that you have to charge for the session. I let the first missed session go as a courtesy, but remind them that I will have to charge the next time (I tell them this policy during our intake/consultation session)."
  • Josh Hillis: "Re: The cancellation policy — ***Totally*** charge for missed sessions. And, working in a facility, blame it on them. (run it by them first). When I worked in a big box gym my fitness manager told me I could blame the cancellation policy charge on him. I did that for years. He loved it. I loved it. The clients stopped trying to make me feel bad about it, and they actually totally owned up to missing sessions. It was cool to get to be the coach and have someone else be the bad cop. But I've also done it on my own as well. You can totally be kind, curious, and have empathy, and still have boundaries."

Chris Forrest asked for advice on helping clients buy into the process.

  • Omar Ganai: "This sounds like you're trying to covince them. To use the Motivational Interviewing phrase, coaching should feel like dancing, not wrestling. I'd have a conversation about how faster results require more effort. Then give them harder habits until they are ready to dial back the effort again."
  • Galen Lundin: "What is a small thing they can reduce their biggest threat (stress)? Managing this is most important, cortisol and stress response will be huge."
  • Shiggi Pakter: "Have you spoken to them individually as well? Like on their own. Sometimes I find that helps when they know they don't need to save face in front of others something might just come out to being the real problem?"

Samanta Attard asked for advice on negotiating a habit with a client.

  • Omar Ganai: "How about "I will cook my meals"? That's something she can do everyday. And trying the 2 or 3 new recipes can be a part of it. And you can help her personalize it based on number of meals to cook per day."
  • Samantha Attard: "Thanks Omar Ganai! To play devil's advocate (b/c I think this will be her answer)..."I already cook and eat at home most days". a response?"
  • Omar Ganai: "Then you say "That's awesome! You've already got a solid cooking habit. I think you have an opportunity to take it to the next level by trying to cook all of your meals this week. What do you think?" Another route would be to have discussion about a eat more protein/veggies habit (but pick only one). It's another way to get her thinking about cooking meals that are in line with fat loss (assuming that's her goal). Also, frame everything you guys do as one big experiment."
  • Robert Clarkson: "We just completed this habit which was tough for some of our members... Drinking more water or drinking less calories really helps for them to scale appropriately... 1 client went from 12 cans of pop a day to 2, others went from 1 to 0 but we helped them agree on something they felt was manageable and the feedback a been great as they have continued the habit x"

Vanessa Naylon shared a video from Coach Stevo, titled "What does autonomy supportive look like?

  • Omar Ganai: " Autonomy is the feeling of being volitional, acting out your values, and living like the best version of yourself. I think its worth saying autonomy is not the same as independence/individualism (being separate from or not relying on others). :nerd-glasses-emoji:"
  • Emily Segal: "Thank you Steven. I think I could still use a little help with this though. What can you do when the client is NOT acting according to her own values. I mean, that is what 99% of my clients say when they hire me: "It is important to me to be X way with food/exercise and I am so mad at myself that my actual behavior doesn't reflect that."
  • Omar Ganai: "It sounds like the tough ones have a long history of failing, so they try to protect themselves from further failure. Some questions for you to troubleshoot: Are you working on habit at a time with them? Are you helping them figure out a trigger to do the habit, so they remember to do it? Are you helping them personalize the habit so it's a level they are 90-100% confident they can do it? Are you helping them reflect on what they did well, daily? Are you giving them specific, positive feedback when they take any kind of action toward doing the habit? When they reject your feedback and fight you on it, are you reflecting back what they said to you, so they can process it without getting defensive?"


    It Wasn't That She Lost Sight of Our First Steps. I Did.


    It Wasn't That She Lost Sight of Our First Steps. I Did.





    • Jessica Owen Mauk asked for advice on helping a client discover her Point B.

      • Stevo: This sounds like Georgie Fear's wheelhouse as far as 1-1, but I'll say I wouldn't make a group for her. She wasn't drawn to a group so the "marketing as a filter" doesn't apply. And since we have no idea what her perception of her problem is (and neither does she, it sounds like), it'd be hard to "form a group around her."

        And personally, I'd spend most of my question-time with her around determining her readiness to change.

      • Stevo: I'd suggest just going in with the idea of learning as much about her as possible. try not to have an agenda or even worry about homework or giving her actionable steps. Just say, "my goal today is to learn as much as I can about where you're at so we can work together to get you where you want to go" and ask her lots of open-ended questions.

      • Georgie Fear: In my opinion, she needs your help most with figuring out what she wants.

      • Josh Hillis: What I learned working with this genius PT - we'd get a patient who'd have been in a car accident and have whiplash, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, multiple impact injuries, and he'd always fix them the same way -

        Not trying to figure any of it out yet - just *start* with the simplest treatment.

        Figure the rest out along the way. But most of the most complex cases would get handled in the doing of the simplest steps that we did with almost everyone.


      • Jessica Owens Mauk: My go-to first simple habit is always to stop trying to lose weight (temporarily) and to toss the scale. We agreed to this in the very beginning, but she's lost sight of that.

        But now that I've typed this all out I see my problem - I let her suck me into her crazy and indecision. Instead of me bringing her into my plan. The entire time I've been reactively trying to put out her fires.
        It wasn't that SHE lost sight of our first steps. *I* did.


    • Brian Tabor started a discussion on how to educate people on scams without making them defensive.

      • Stevo: The definition of advice is "an opinion that is asked for." She didn't ask for it. So be careful. Instead, try just empathetically asking her how that has worked for her in the past.

      • Amanda Thebe: She is only doing it for 4 days, why not reach out to her after the 4 days and ask how she feels and then send her the infographic, and just say, hey I thought you might enjoy looking at this. Then leave her alone.


    • Michele Burmaster asked for advice on starting a webinar.

      • Yusuf Clack: Roland Fisher would pay for "The Money Matrix Reloaded: How to take a red pill to swim in a blue ocean of money...working only with clients you love and are stoked to work with you"

      • Roland Fisher: If you do a free webinar that solves one of your prospects problems, and you totally rock it, you can use that as the warm up that gets them excited enough to purchase a webinar that solves more, related problems. But selling a webinar first is damn hard marketing.

      • Leanne Pedante: I attended a great free Webinar recently that Georgie Fear gave - not sure what service it used, but the information was fantastic. As someone who wasn't all that familiar going into the webinar with Georgia's work, I left ready to buy her book / follow her work because the information she presented was real, thorough, and useful. I think if people don't yet know you or your motives that well, a free webinar can be a good opportunity to build trust and generally do some good content marketing.

    • Coach Stevo asked: “What percentage of your clients were that 93.5% of Americans who aren’t active gym members before they found you?”

      • Michele Burmaster: 99% of my members:) word of mouth and realistic and empowering images are what bring people to me.

      • Jessi Kneeland: Probably 50% of mine in person, 95% of my online. Online it's all about the non-threatening and do-able image and content I create, in person I'm not sure.

      • Robin Mungall: My CMS actually tracks this when I add a new client. My current client roster consists of (rounding to whole numbers) 40%direct referrals, 17% networking and word of mouth, 21% Google search, 14% Facebook posts, 8% other or unknown (long time newsletter reader, saw my T-shirt, walked into spa saw my studio etc.) what generally draws client in is that I'm genuinely honest, caring and make them feel they can do it. They love my "Results one habit at a time" slogan.

      • Josh Hillis: I don't have exact numbers, but I'd say that I do a really poor job of reaching that other 93%.

        The times I have gotten them have mostly been word of mouth. The only ones that weren't word of mouth were - believe it or not - groupon.


    • Meredith Rhodes Carson asked, “Does anyone offer a program that gives clients a monetary reward (like a % of their investment back) for meeting their health goals?

      • Stevo: External motivation kills intrinsic motivation in the long term. Instead, use rewards that show their status or desired outcome identity like t-shirts, hoodies, or hats.

        "say it with schwag!"

      • Sean Flanagan: And - something I've stolen from Stevo (sometimes he's just shy and doesn't want to talk) - I'd reward the process rather than the outcomes. So rather than "You lost 20 lbs - here's a T-shirt", I'd go "You've eaten vegetables 30 days in a row - here's a T-shirt".

      • Georgie Fear: When I worked in corporate wellness we had a great arrangement where people who did certain activities got money back from their health insurance, up to $700 dollars a year. The activities included a quarterly phone call with a Health Coach, getting their blood draw done, and attending the gym at least x times in a 6 month period (company owned the gym so we could track the data). It was based on not on outcomes, but behaviors :)

    • Coach Stevo shared the podcast, “The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind

      • Roland Fisher: The secret wasn't even listening, it was connecting, and making the issue relevant and personal. Listening is only the first step.

      • Nishanth Appari: Steven and Roland, I do understand that listening is very important for helping people change, but I can't help shake the feeling that I am not providing anything of value if I am not talking. I believe most people are stuck there, so I was wondering how you were able to overcome that feeling?

      • Georgie Fear: I'd interrupt someone to tell them what I think is best for them if the building was burning down, and I knew the exit route. Other than that, I'd probably let them talk as long as possible. They'll come up for air eventually, and either ask you a question or be silent long enough to hope you'll have something to say. Sometimes they'll apologize too for "talking too much" (which adds to the evidence that they really DO need someone to talk to this about).

      • Georgie Fear: You have a lot to offer even without having a solution or suggestion, if inviting the person to reflect on their concern or drawing their attention to a new area of it. Example: "I wonder if (current problem) is related to (current situation). Do you recall having the problem before (situation) started?"

      • Josh Hillis: Honestly, until I came here, I totally thought I was out of my mind. I mean, I was afraid I wasn't providing enough value FOR YEARS. I never really told my clients anything LOL. Really, I thought I was "cheating", my clients told me everything.

        Nishanth, 90% of what I do is ask "How'd last week go?" followed with "So what do you think we should do next week?"

        I finally realized that me talking usually provides NO VALUE, because it doesn't put them at cause for changing their behavior.

        In the rare event that they ask me something technical, I provide a twitter length response, and then ask them how they want to apply it.

      • Josh Hillis: If they keep repeating the same thing, they don't feel heard — you can summarize it for them and then ask if you understood how they feel correctly.

        ...and then ask them an action-oriented question, like what they think a good first step might be.


    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Fitness


    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Fitness



    • Robbie Farlow shared his podcast with Stevo!

    • Jessica Owens Mauk started a discussion on the use of “we” vs. “you” when discussing habit change with clients

      • Stevo: Habitry, Co. rules of pronouns: "we struggle together. You will succeed."

      • Mark Zarate: I always mix and match both of them within the conversation...i aim to make all possibly perceived negative commentary as a WE statement, and all positive or encouraging commentary as a YOU statement. ..... as in "WE all have those moments where getting to the gym is difficult and WE miss a workout, its ok WE'll get back on track now, missing one workout doesnt make or break results, YOU have been crushing it lately and YOUR progress is unbelievable so far and I cant wait to see what YOU are gonna do to those workouts this week"

    • Michele Meinville Decerio asked for advice on helping a wife and husband with their fitness goals

      • Georgie Fear: Im glad you want to help give your clients more Michele Meinville Decerio, thats what we are all about here. Do you think youd be able to start a conversation with her about how she feels about her husband and his success? The first skill I would practice is just hearing her out and giving her a loving accepting ear.

      • Isa Bel: A lot of people have already commented on the empathy and listening aspect. I would build on that to find out from her, firstly, if getting in shape is something she wants to do. You said prior to you she didn't really exercise. What has changed? Why is she interested in exercising now? If her motivation is completely coming from her husband's insistence that she do, she will never be successful. Pitting them in competition with each other will only increase the tension between them, which already seems high. I would work on what her motivation is, and help her look at exercise and a healthy diet as something she wants to do for herself. She doesn't seem to be internally motivated to lose weight, and there could be many reasons for that. She could definitely benefit with working with a mental health professional that can help her get to the bottom of her motivation issues.

      • Josh Hillis: I would try listening, with only two intentions —

        1.) To completely understand what she is saying and how she feels

        2.) Listen for the commitments she is speaking to, behind what she is saying.

        Like, even if she doesn't clearly articulate what really matters to her, everything she says (even how she feels about her husband's new obsession) is pointing towards stuff. Listen for that stuff, and then ask her about it to see if you are clearly understanding it.

        I'd just do that.

        Essentially, just keep having conversations where a.) She gets heard and understood, and b.) she clarifies for herself what matters to her.

    • Roland Fisher started a discussion on marketing and finding your niche

      • Josh Hillis: It's funny because it really is an amazingly powerful concept.

        But, like I said, I think the Cirque du Soleil vs. Barnum and Bailey example explains the whole concept in like 10 seconds: Cirque du Soleil doesn't compete with the circus market. Done.

      • Stevo: I'd also like to point out that for a "no shit, Sherlock" revelation, very few people in our industry seem to be doing it. #helpingthesamepeople

    • Sarah Campbell asked for advice on getting a personal trainer certification

      • Josh Hillis:For a national certification, I really like NASM. I think it's a really useful framework to learn periodization, an overview of corrective exercise, and three different models of progression.

        I think it's a really effective system to learn verbatim, and then loosen up (a lot) over time.

        So, if you do want to do some learning while you get a cert, that's what I'd recommend.

        I also recommend everyone get a practical cert, like DVRT or RKC to learn how to teach movement, and a more practical method of progression, if you haven't been taught that yet. But this might not help as much with insurance, and would be purely for your own development.

      • Stevo: The other thing I'll add that has been mentioned in this forum a lot: We often fall victim to thinking that getting certs will earn us legitimacy. They don't. If you need a generic personal training cert, just get the one that's cheapest and fastest. Put the rest of your money into books and quality time with awesome peers.

      • Seth Munsey: Steven, when it comes to online certs, I would definitely agree. There is something to be said though for taking a live cert that focuses on good body mechanics, tension, breathing, etc... That's why I think the HKC would be great for a lot of people. I would say SFG as well, but they list theirs as a User Course, which is awesome unless you work for a place that wants you to be "Certified."

    • Coach Stevo asked: What’s your biggest fear as a coach? (Too many great comments in this thread, check it out!)

    • Michele Meinville Decerio asked whether getting Precision Nutrition certified is worth it.

      • Sean Flanagan: I think if I met Steven and joined this group 3 months sooner, I wouldn't have done PN. I enjoyed it at the time - but hindsight, ya know? What I would have done instead: read the books recommended BY PN (and in this group) on coaching, and done a program by the ISSN for the nutrition cert. Honestly one of the biggest benefits I got from PN and the science was increased confidence. The fact that I was able to catch all of the bad science was a great ego boost for me.

      • Sarah Campbell: Having gone through LE, mentored, and gotten a PN cert, in all honesty Georgie's book has the guidance to give clients part covered better. There are forms and general guidelines taught, but not the gritty trouble shooting you actually need.

        As far as the science, the text is very well written (G wrote quite a bit of it when she worked for them a few years ago, and they have not updated after the 2nd addition). If you haven't had a lot of A & P, that part may be worth it.

        In no way shape or form do I agree with their pitch that it's like a four year degree in coaching without having to go back to school. Also, I don't know how much they are currently charging for it. If you have a personal training cert, I wonder if they have an add-on for nutrition that may be less expensive?

      • Amanda Thebe: Hey Roomie BFF! I say do it. I benefited from the knowledge bombs they give you, and for sure it is not equivalent to a 4 year degree (I wish) so just acknowledge that it will broaden your scope of nutritional knowledge but you aren't a RD when it's over.

        Tagging onto that though. I am working with Georgie now and I am finding it a great combo. So glad I didn't invest in PN 2 - the practical advice I have received from her individual mentoring is way more than I could have expected from any course.

        Invest wisely young padawan.

      • Joy Victoria: I am on Chapter 7 at the moment, so haven't gotten to the practical side yet. The science is very helpful, also I feel clearer and more practical than your average textbook (cause they care that you understand). The price for the ISSN, when you include membership, is less, but I also did PN partly for the textbook to refer to and add to my library. I don't think I will do PN2 though, and I do have *some* issues with certain recommendations, but that's neither here nor there. I do agree that you are probably going to get better help with adherence, problem-solving for specific issues, motivation and getting habit-based changes in here.

    • Leanne Pedante wanted to know what order to read the Motivate Collective book list books.

      • Omar Atlas 1. why we do what we do
        2. motivational interviewing
        3. we build communities

        In that order :)

    • Josh Hillis shared a great example of providing autonomy support to a client.

    • Hal Kriesel took the plunge and started his first intentional group!

      • Vanessa Naylon: That's fantastic!

        Some things I have learned from building my IRL communities are: have a shared online space (I use a Facebook group, not a page), lead by example at the beginning by showing up on time every time (until the group is clearly running on its own), show enthusiasm, and do not be afraid of sending extra reminders if the group needs to chime in on a topic or agree on a meeting time (use for scheduling).

    • Coach Stevo started a discussion on how online coaching cannot be passive

    • Josh Hillis polled the Motivate Collective on their fitness goals and how they’ve evolved over time

    • Nishanth Appari asked for advice on designing an online coaching program

      • Jessi Kneeland: I've never tried the other way so I can't compare. When I meet each person we chat and I ask what they first want to to work on. Sometimes I guide or suggest things, and I always make sure it's totally achievable and useful, but honestly people usually have an idea already and I like being able to feel like we immediately honor their intuition. Honestly 90% of their first change is either in the "get more sleep" or "get more protein" category.

      • Amanda Thebe: I'm about to launch my online program with that is based around 10 habits - but I am prioritising the habits not them. I love the idea of educating the group, so I am going to do that but based around that habit of the week (or fortnight). I understand where you are coming from but I wonder how hard it will be to give them the education then let them pick, might you end up with a group with 5+ habits to manage? Still I think it is worth a try - why not!! report back as I would be interested too to know how it goes.

      • Robin Mungall: Hey Nishanth Appari I like your idea. Education and following up with supporting them on applying that knowledge is the right track to success IMO. This is kind of how I run my coaching online or in person. 1. I've created a 6 month course called "Results Mastery" and the point of this course is that at the end of 6 months clients will know exactly what they need to do to continue to get results or move towards what they want to achieve fitness wise. The course includes Cognitive Mastery, Emotional Mastery and Physical Mastery. Educating them on all these aspects in my own unique style of coaching. 2. Along with the course I get clients started with my "Fitscore"assessment of their current nutrition, movement and sleep habits. This gives the client a really good idea of what habit changes they work on will give them the biggest impact towards their goals. 3. From the assessment I ask them what habit they want to work on first. I then ask why, and we work on strategies to master that habit and continue to move forward from there. Each time we work on a strategy I always find the actions that they are 90-100% confident they can execute that action(s). Clients then have the chance to win it every single week. That's it in a nutshell. I hope that helps?

      • Josh Hillis: Nishanth Appari I think it sounds awesome.

        My last group (and my next group) I'm giving them a choice of 4 habits to pick from, basically. I thought it worked awesome, but I don't have anything really to compare it to.

        I've considered groups in the future that only do one habit for the whole group. Not sure. I actually really like giving them a choice, and getting to have conversations about what they are choosing and why.

        Would love to know how your group goes.

      • Georgie Fear: We start everyone in our group on the same habits for the first 3. Then we give them a choice at habit 4-5. They pick between the veggie habit and the protein habit, doing one first and then switching. Then when they get to the treats habit they choose one of four methods for altering their treat intake. And later on they pick from one of three behaviors to 'recalibrate their appetite'. And our last habit is Choose Your Own Adventure. So theres a lot of choice with certain 2 weeks blocks, more everyone doing the same thing at others. In general we give more specific direction and specific habits at the start and as the habits go they get more broad and the client needs to make choices.

    • Roland Fisher started a discussion on improving feedback to clients

      • Roland Fisher: Well research backs this up, and it matches my experience, but very few people believe it. It is said too often. In fact the more you say it, the less it is believed.

        So yeah, specific feedback, followed up with almost anything else that means the same thing works better.

      • Georgie Fear: I think "Great Job" on it's own is a bit vacuous. But "You did a great job at (specific) this last week!" I think still has value.

      • Isa Bel: Jessica Owens Mauk -- have you read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck? It delves into the recent research that shows praising effort, not accomplishment, delivers better results long term by focusing attention on behavior instead of outcome. It is a fascinating read.

      • Stevo: Generic feedback over time is no different than no feedback at all.

      • Brad Kelly: I definitely agree a lot of people over praise which leads to desensitization. But when I do give a compliment I found a way I feel works fantastic.

        One of my mentors really put me on this way to positively reinforce a client that has worked wonders since I started implementing it.

        When I first meet them I ask them what they consider a successful training session(can be used in any workplace). Their answer will either be something such as "When I feel I did my best and feel good afterwards " or it will be when they achieve something externally such as a new poundage on a movement, losing weight or ect. This gives a large indicator to whether they are an introvert or extrovert. Extroverts tend to associate success with external factors while introverts associate it with how it makes them feel or how they feel they performed even if they didn't achieve a external success.

        If they are more of an extrovert you would then compliment them on things like " You are getting so much better at x y z" or " your shoulders, arms ect are really looking awesome."

        While if they are primarily introverted you positively reinforce them with things such as "I really appreciate how much work you are putting in" or " Your doing such a wonderful job, you must feel phenomenal".

        This really clicked with me because we all associate success with different things and when I ask that question and later act on that they immediately light up.

      • James Mills: To add to all our book lists. I haven't read this one yet, but have read Stone's other books and am looking forward to getting to this one. This book looks at the flip side of the conversation - learning how to receive feedback. This perspective will also help us to give feedback more effectively.



    It Won't Be Easy But It Will Be Worth It


    It Won't Be Easy But It Will Be Worth It

    Sup sup Motivators! Thank you for another week fantastic coaching conversations. As usual, you can catch up on all the action in just 15 minutes right here!

    • Joy Victoria asked for advice on gathering video testimonials from clients.

      • Omar Atlas: General points to consider in before you ask:
        - Only ask people who you want to hear from (i.e. clients that are kicking ass). Make them feel that are part of an exclusive and special club!
        - Frame asking for a testimonial as an invitation for them to “show off”, get validation from, and inspire their community
        - The sooner you ask people for testimonials, the better (when they are still excited but before they start struggling)
        - Give them specific, step by step instructions on how to give you a video testimonial

        Hey, (name) we love your enthusiasm and the energy you've brought to (name of the community)! [Make them feel special]
        We want to invite you to share your experience so far. You would be featured on our sign-up page to show future (group identity label) what the experience is like. [Make them feel special by giving them an exclusive invitation. Framing your ask as an invitation also gives them the opportunity to say no. Finally, we give them a reason as to WHY we are asking them for a testimonial]
        This would be in the form of a 1 to 2 minute video that you could record on your phone or webcam. [Tell them exactly what you want]
        All you’d need to do is give a super brief introduction (name and where you’re from) and answer 3 questions… [Then tell them how to do what you want]
        #1: “How has this been different than other things you've done?”
        #2: “What have you done well?”
        #3: “What have you learned?”
        If you want to participate but are unsure about how to actually make a video, just let me know and I'll walk you through it step by step! [Offer for more support in making a testimonial]
        Thanks again for the amazing work you've put into this project and helping us create an amazing community dedicated to helping people finally change their health habits. We couldn't do this without you! [Priming them to say what you want them to say to your leads, make them feel special again]

      • Michele Burmaster:
        1. What was happening in your life when you found (service)?

        2. What did you expect (service) to be like?
        3. What was (service) actually like?
        4. What do you feel you got from (service)?

      • Josh Hillis:
        1) What was it like before?
        2) What did you learn/do well/what changed?
        3) What’s it like now?

    • Benjamin Pickard asked for advice on asking better open-ended questions

      • Amy Dix: When I was trained in coaching I was encouraged to use a mix of open ended questions and reflections. I really like incorporating reflections because 1. They feel like I'm listening 2. They can confirm I'm on the right track of interpreting or correct me and 3. Hearing their own words said back to them can be really powerful. Also mixing that in makes the conversation feel less like an interrogation. My fave open ended question is probably "tell me more about that" I don't have a template but I've used techniques like "explore offer explore" that if unfamiliar I'd be happy to share some time. My kids need dinner so I'm off for now! Great question!

      • Amy Dix: Another fave: tell me what that looks like. Every conversation is so different that I don't have a template but over time you find words that feel like your own.

      • Josh Hillis: One if my favorites is "what did you notice this week?"
        (In your workouts, in your food journal, eating slowly, ect.

    • Kerry McCarvill shared a document with some ideas on asking open-ended questions.

    • Roland Fisher started a discussion on ethical marketing.

      • Sandi Danilowitz: I Would say disagree; people behaviour is to resist being told what to do, it's like the sleeping 5 year old within. Also, they're not stupid and will figure out they are being sold the bill of goods, and not getting what they want. Motivational interviewing seems to be an effective tool in finding out what they want, and what their goals are, and then coming up with a workable plan together. I think a good coach is someone who does not deceive, but is honest about the game plan. Thats my thinking!

      • Omar Atlas: I read it as another way of saying "meet them where they are at"

      • Omar Atlas: But this is a great thread cause I think it's an issue everyone here has struggled with or is struggling with.

        How to sell reasonableness.

      • Stevo: Just a point de art, the quote is, "selling people what they want; giving them what they need."

      • Yusuf Clack: It's important to be able to interact with their fantasies and nightmares. "Every marketing decision is an ethical dilemma." But this can be done without deception. We're educators and leaders. Not just because we're great people but that's just sustainable business practice. You can get people excited about a vision and lead them without lying to them. I suspect we all communicate a version of: "it won't be easy but it will be worth it"

    • Josh Hillis started a discussion on balancing client autonomy with a concern for their safety.

      • Jen Willett: could you write a 'quiz' and help people come to that realization themselves? Like, "if you score ___ out of ___ points...your trainer miiiiight be a douchebag."

      • Annie Brees: This reminds me of a situation we had in our group. Georgie and Steven gave some great advice sharing something like this, "I'm super excited that you are so stoked and experiencing success with your trainer! That's awesome! Be sure to keep in mind -insert red flag advice here- and if you need help with anything feel free to reach out to me!"

    • Lauren Koski asked for advice on fostering client re-engagement with a group.

      • Omar Atlas: After two or three times of no response, I give them space.

        I still send them a weekly update of the awesome shit happening in the group as a non-threatening way of reminding them that they can come back anytime.
        This thread also has some good advice:

      • Devan Nielsen: I'd keep them on the list until they ask to be removed, like Omar said a weekly update of awesome shit happening is a perfect thing to do. We often don't know the reason for the silence, it could be that they need the motivation from literally anyone to get back out into the world, and sometimes that could just be an email. Other times it could annoy the hell out of them and they can tell you that.

      • Seth Munsey: After a few emails with no response, I will send an email that pretty much says;

        Hi ________!
        Thank you for taking the time to visit with us at Iron Republic. It was such a pleasure meeting you (working with you/helping you on your journey/...whatever you feel like putting here)I am truly sorry that we were not the right fit for you at this time. I wish you the very best with your fitness endeavors, and I hope you are able to find a program that meets your needs. :-)Please know that I am glad to be an ongoing resource for you – I will happily answer any questions you have about your fitness program. Also, my newsletter and blog will be a great way to get current and relevant exercise and nutrition tips, as well as workout programs. Good luck ________. I hope our paths cross again soon…

        9/10 times they respond. Fortunately I have never gotten a negative response back from this email. They usually thank me for keeping in contact with them, that life has just been pretty crazy, that they love what we do and they definitely want to come back in when able, etc... Many times, I get a response in the ballpark of, "Don't count me out! I'm planning on coming back in this week. Just had a crazy couple of weeks."

        Then I just restart a dialogue with them. People are busy and I am not even in their top 20 list of priorities. So they don't respond until they think they are about to miss out for good.

    • Sean Flanagan asked for advice on addressing clients’ perception of individualization in group program.

      • Stevo: Sean Flanagan, I think you're right on to tweak in the expectations on the marketing copy. And some people are just special snowflakes. The metric I'm more interested in than "perception of complaints" is total engagement ((posts + comments + likes)/users), churn, and the number of people who would be "very disappointed if you stopped offering the service." If those are going up AND your total workload is going down ("we're getting dramatically fewer questions for the monthly Q+A phone calls we do"), then I wouldn't worry at all about a few people complaining. In fact, I'd tell them that "we have an awesome individualization service available for X price point."

        Oh! And good to hear your workload dropped :)

      • Jessica Owens Mauk: I'm always confused when people ask about habit based coaching, but seem to want zero autonomy. I'm not "coaching" you if I'm making every single decision for you.

      • Stevo: Jessica Owens Mauk it's also why I'm wary of selling food plans or programs. I think there's a way to do it while supporting autonomy and long-term growth, I just haven't figured it out yet :/

      • Georgie Fear: I'd ask why this client chose this program but not another. They've got some shred of wanting autonomy because they came to you (assuming your marketing text communicated the no meal plan bit). Fish for it and follow it.

    • Annie Brees asked for advice on increasing participation in her group.

      • Samantha Attard: Two things come to mind: first - I wonder if the platform is difficult for them to use. Perhaps they would do better, for example, if they simply emailed in their reflections to another group member or shared in a different way. Second -- LESS questions and/or rephrase. potentially -- 1 of the questions is a little sticky or people don't know how to answer, so they are skipping all of them. OR, simply having more than 1 or 2 questions seems like too big of a barrier...while if there was only 1 they would be fine to answer. Have you found that participants selectively are answering some of the questions? Could there be 1 or 2 questions that are hanging people up so they don't respond?

      • Nishanth Appari: Hola Annie!

        I'm new to the group, but I'm quickly getting a hang of the group though. I have already noticed a couple of coaches post about how they are having their clients check in daily, in their respective groups.

        Is it just me or does that feel a little cumbersome for others as well? If it were me in that situation, I'd probably not want to checking in everyday? Alternate days, maybe?

        I'm sure, there's some solid reason behind this, but I can't help but feel that it's a lot of work for beginners. Could someone please enlighten me?

        Also, I'm sure you must have thought of this, but I'm just putting it out there. Have you considered dividing the clients into 2 or 3 groups, based on their dominant interests.

        For example, an entrepreneur and then someone who wants to climb the corporate ladder and then stay at home moms, maybe?

        If the group is large enough, you could have them share what they learnt about on their journey as an entrepreneur and the other entrepreneurs could join the conversation about whatever problems they are facing?

        I'm eager to know what others have to share too. :)

      • Kara Beutel: We see this too actually, although it tends to happen a bit later. We've not yet figured out what is underlying the issue. I think "burn out" on the same questions is a part of it, but in talking with Georgie about it this week we started thinking that some of the habits themselves might not be as conducive to conversation as others. For us doing all nutrition habits, we have a few that are behavior based (how often to eat, tuning in to body cues, etc), and those tend to get some good interaction. But then we have a bunch of meal-content habits in a row. It appears people get sick of reflecting on the amount of protein in their meals each day, lol. It just doesn't seem as conducive to chatter and support as the more abstract habits. So we decided to play around with the order of our habits to put some behavior/abstract ones in between the more "boring" ones so that interaction hopefully stays up. Not sure what habits you all use, but maybe see if a decrease in interaction has to do with any habit(s) in particular?

      • Stevo: At Habitry, Co. we call this typical drop in engagement at week 3 "the habit hangover."

        What's happening is the novelty is wearing off, but the habits of checking in haven't formed yet. It usually lasts from week 3-6. The lessons we've learned is more autonomy support, novelty, and reinvestment.

        1) one of the easiest ways to insure that people do something is to remind them that it's optional. That counterintuitive bit of psychology is at the heart of autonomy support. So tell them, "hey guys! We think reflection is the secret sauce, but it's totes optional to do it here or skip a day or two if it feels like work!" Don't make it an assignment but keep it daily!

        2) more off-topic threads. Post more baby animals, jokes, and content about the community itself. You need to create more novelty and it's totally fine if it's way off topic. To Nishanth Appari's point, that would be a great way to build connections if you had 2-300 people and only pockets of interaction. But since you have 1/10 that number and you're using a medium with only a single thread (Facebook groups) I'd not recommend it in this particular case. Instead, in double down on the threads you have.

        3) let them broaden their scope on the reflection. "Hey ladies, just so you know you, if other stuff is on your mind you can reflect on it in the daily 2Qs if it's bothering you."

        4) jump in with them. Do the next habit with them. Model the engagement you want and look at things from fresh eyes. This always reinvigorated my groups. It also lets them see how YOURE reinvesting in the group.

        5) let them pick the next habit. Reach out to your 2-3 most engaged members and present them with options. Let them feel reinvested in yeh process from the top down.

        6) to Kara Beutel's point: absolutely. Look at the order. Letting them have a say will really help this.

        7) if you're bored, they were bored a week ago. Do things YOU think are fun. Do the things YOU want to do and talk about the things you wanna talk about and I bet they'll have fun too because they were drawn to you for a reason. Just be sure to flesh it out with lots of open-ended questions to see how they are liking it.

      • Georgie Fear: I find it helps to reinforce HEAVILY in the first two weeks when they do support each other and interact. "I love how you are helping out your teammate, Michelle!" etc.

        Also, when someone DOES pop in after an absence, whether its a few days or longer, we always give a warm "totally okay!" reception, "just hop back in the river, we're glad you're here! Don't worry about catching up on the old stuff, how was today?"

      • Bart Groninger: Another stray thought: when the challenge ends sit down with participants. Winners, losers, bailers and completers. Have a post mortem discussion, ask what worked and what didn't, ask how your experimental stuff effected the individual/group? From this build a list of best practices (as well as behaviors to avoid). Use the the answers and lists to 1 modify your program and 2 make the "best practices" part of your introduction for your next challenge, make a hard copy and hand it out.

      • Amy Dix: Yo ladies, Steven's suggestions seem on target with my experiences participating in groups: I haven't been an admin on an online coaching group yet. The group that I can no longer imagine leaving feels like a community now. We know little bits of each other's lives and feel personally invested in people's success. A lot of topics are somewhat tangential to the main focus but sometimes those help to bond everyone and make the group feel like a refuge. I'm betting throwing in some other threads other than the tasks will help. I like the idea of not making check in mandatory on a daily basis. There are days when people can't be glued to Facebook.

      • Stevo: Ashley Palmer, I've done very similar things for my groups!!. The keys are to make the challenges related to consistency and to incentivize with schwag, not cash. I cannot stress that enough! NO CASH. Extrinsic motivation destroys intrinsic motivation (Deci, 1970-now, roughly 10,000 studies). Schwag acts as a status, an identity motivation rather than an external motivation which has a much higher self-determined motivational quality. I also love the way that Dustin Schlichting and Mike Hawes do their challenges, which is every gets to set their OWN TARGET. That's right, everyone gets to set their own consistency challenge.

        TBH, I think these challenges go over much better after 7-8 weeks because up until then, the community hasn't gelled enough for schwag to mean much. But after that, you're golden!

        Oh, and I also suggest a two-layered approach where in addition to having a personal consistency goal, you also set a "consistency standard." This would be something that the coach deems a standard like, showing up 80% of the time. And I made these SMALLER PRIZES so people were really striving for a personal reach goal.

        In addition Ashley raises a very important point that I cite in the book: losers who get feedback from a coach are more likely to persist than winners who get no feedback. SO YOU HAVE TO COUPLE CHALLENGES WITH A METRIC FUCKTON OF PERSONAL SPECIFIC POSITIVE FEEDBACK!!!!!!

        You'll not the all caps. That's because it's important. Also, I'm not sober.

    • Benjamin Pickard asked for advice on helping a client figure out her goals.

      • Annie Brees: Correct me if I'm wrong but what I'm hearing is that she is committed but craves variety and if variety keeps her motivated to workout, I'd stick with that! Additionally, what about substitute variations for the same movement - so she feels like it's a new exercise but it's still the same movement. (I.e front squats for xx weeks then switching to kb single or double rack squat)? She should still be able to see improvement in her primary movement.

      • Stevo: But also agree with Annie Brees. What's broken? She sounds happy. She's getting results. Also, Benjamin Pickard you say "if she wants things to improve." Does she want that? What things? Improved how?

        I had this talk with an 80yo woman when I was a young trainer. "If we're not here to work on something, I don't feel right taking your money." And she said, "Stevo. I'm paying you to show up, make sure I show up, and keep me from doing stupid shit.”

        Well. Ok then. Long story short, I got her into a community of people like her and we were all happy, but I never would have known what problem I was helping her with if I hadn't ask and had just kept assuming she wanted to "improve."

      • Stevo: Crap, missed that front squat thing. Thanks Sean Flanagan. Sorry Benjamin Pickard! In that case do Daniel John's even easier strength programming with front squats and give her a bunch of eye wash (what Dan calls all the bullshit other crap like "finishers" and "accessory work" that makes people feel like they did something).

        I've worked with clients for years and told them every single day, "all the stuff that matters is in the first 20min. The stuff we do the rest of the time is bullshit. It's not doing anything except make you sweat and breath heavy." And for years, every day, they say "that stuff at the end is really working!" And I face palm. I feel like a magician telling, "THIS IS A TRICK. I AM TRICKING YOU." and the audience keeps saying, "you have magical powers!"

      • Jessica Owens Mauk: What I'm hearing is she wants to see strength gains, but she also wants those lung busting, body destroying, lay on the floor in a puddle of sweat workouts also. (Is she a former Crossfitter?)

        I like Stevo's suggestion. Put her on a minimalist strength program and then give her the variety and perceived intensity she craves with short "fat blasting" metcons at the end.



    First Identify Who You Want To Serve


    First Identify Who You Want To Serve


    Wow! What a week of awesome discussions in the Motivate Forums. As usual, you can catch up on all action in just 15 minutes right here!

    • Habitry, Co. announced the Motivate OAK speaker line up! Featuring our very own community members Seth Munsey, Josh Hillis, and Georgie Fear, plus the Habitry, Co. crew!
    • Here are 5 Motivating Articles to send to your clients this week!
    • Steve Troutman asked for advice on helping clients identify process goals.
      • Jonathan Pietrunti Almost everyone cones to me with outcome goals, so I start from there and work with them to identify process goals and milestones that would contribute to the best outcome.When it comes to coaching strength or weight loss, I often "know" the answer, but I think its critical for them to work towards setting their own goals.Often I will look at their outcome goal and say something like:"Based on this goal, how do you feel about doing 'X' to aid in getting you there."


        "Increasing your bench is a priority, what areas of improvement in your form do you think we need to focus in and build off of."

        Something like that...always working WITH them.

      • Amy Dix: I spend a lot of time listening to why they're sitting down talking to me and try to figure out what exactly they want to change. That's typically an outcome oriented kind of goal. Then we talk about what kinds of behaviors/habits they want to work on that will lead them in that direction. We move down the funnel into more specificity to find a very specific action to work on and flesh out how they'll go about it rather than many changes at once. I'm over simplifying a little but that's the general process that seems to work well to get them moving toward taking action.
      • Georgie Fear: I bet we all ask about goals: and we get an outcome from the client. Makes sense. So the NEXT step is where I see you want to explore some more techniques Steve Troutman. Yes?If your current common strategy is to do some fact sharing, that's not a bad thing, because misinformation is a big hurdle (thinking someone needs to avoid gluten to lose weight, or do more cardio to "tone up" etc) and if you can kick that hurdle down off the bat, I don't think you're doing anyone a disservice.So Stevo's question is a good one to invite the client to share their ideas or current intention (or what they have been trying that they are fed up with).I have an assessment in front of me when I'm doing the consult, so I typically say something like "ok, no one has a perfect diet - so I expect in here we'll find some things that have been keeping you from this goal. You know yourself best - is there something in here that you noticed while filling it out that you want to improve or think you might need to improve to make progress?"

        Brandice Lardner has a great question (which also works well with stalled progress) of "what would you call yourself out on?"

        As for fact sharing, I often say (not just at the initial assessment but often when deciding the next habit)- okay, so we know we need to get into a calorie deficit to lose fat, you've nailed xyz, so where else in your diet do you think we could save you some calories?"

        And if they say, something I don't particularly think will help, "I'll start skipping breakfast and taking diet pills" for example, I's say something like, you got it right those would cut calories, especially in the morning hours - I have a concern though that when people have done that before they find some drawbacks..(insert drawbacks) -- what's the chance that could happen to you if you try that route?"

      • Georgie Fear: And some clients are like people who bought a whitewater rafting tip but get in the boat and don't wanna paddle. They want to sit and have you give them the habit.Evidence as, "I don't know, that's why I hired you! I'll do anything you say, seriously! I am so frustrated."In that case, I know I will work on fostering their independence/autonomy in the future but for the sake of the first session, I give them a few options, all of which I see as valuable to the client and ask them to consider which would be easiest given their lifestyle and preferences.They can't turn that one back around on me easily.
      • Georgie Fear: And once we get an action (process goal) - keeping them focused on that is pretty easy. Talk about it. Ask about it. Hive five that. Don't mention what you don't want them focusing on. If they go there, bring it back to the process. Josh Hillis is so so so good at that. He reminds clients that the scale always follows habits sooner or later its just a matter of time, so let's make sure the habits are where we want them. (except he says it better than I do).In the community - keep the talk about process. No one wants to be the asshole who is like "why haven't I lost weight yet" when the culture is people talking about and celebrating their behaviors.


    • Brian Tabor asked for advice on fostering a community outside of the gym.
      • Seth Munsey: We have Tribe Iron Republic, or "Iron Tribe" for short. This past weekend we went indoor rock climbing.I contacted the rock gym and they did a private event for us from 6:30pm - 9:30pm. They looked at it as marketing for them as well, so they set the cost at $20 per person. That included everything. Non-climbers were free. My members absolutely love it.Next month we are having a game night.
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter: Why don't you ask them? You can start by singling out a few people in your community who are clearly emerging as leaders. By asking them, you'll get them more invested in 1) showing up and 2) inviting others. You'll also get their creativity and enthusiasm so it's not all on you! And by pulling from the community itself, your more likely to be creating real value for your members.From something really big I'm writing:"My friends Annie Vo and Antonio own Precision Athlete in Manhattan. In 2012, I attended one of their “Test Days.” It was a Saturday where people from the gym could attempt new PRs in various tests that Annie and Antonio set up. I bet a lot of gyms have something like this, but I bet not a lot of gyms have 100% of their membership base turn out and invite their friends to watch. The difference between having a Test Day and having an Intentional Community that demands a Test Day is what makes all the difference in attendance, enthusiasm, and referrals. Annie and Antonio have created a culture that is all about showing up and putting in the work to make small improvements across a lot of physical outputs. Those are their values. That’s their mission. That’s their, “how we do things here.” They did not tack a Test Day onto a gym culture with a 33% active membership base to try and “motivate people to show up.” They created a gym culture where all are welcome, but if you’re not showing up, you can get kicked out by the other members! That’s a community for everyday athletes who want to freaking sweat; a safe space for people who believe in “NO MACHINES. NO EGOS. JUST HARD WORK.” The Test Day came from that, it was not added to it."
      • Robin Mungall: Last summer I did a "smoothies in the park" event. Clients brought their families, My trainers an I each made a healthy snack with recipe cards for clients to take home and smoothie shots of 30 different smoothie recipes. We played frisbee, bolla ball, had a plank crawl race and a dunk the trainer tank (3 balls for $10 to charity) Next year I will have a catering company to the smoothies. Great time.
    • Omar Atlas asked for advice on re-kindling the spark with long-term clients.
      • Georgie Fear: I tend to give them space for an initial time, but then write an email and just be frank. like "I feel like you used to be so engaged, but lately it seems like you might be feeling different. I hope things are okay, I know life might be throwing all sorts of things at you - but I'm always here and would love to help. As much or as little as you need me."
      • Josh Hillis: So I'm new to the whole group thing.But one-on-one I allow for motivation to go in cycles, and tell them about how it's ok to "cycle off" fat loss goals and work in other things (even non fitness related life stuff).So we talk about what they want and what's going on in their life and if circumstances or goals have changed, and how to manipulate the program to have them still maintaining a level of fitness, but leave room for other things that might take priority for a while.
      • Seth Munsey: If they've been with me for awhile, I just give them space and keep in touch just to say hello and see how things are going. I have some of my best friends a few years ago that I rarely keep in touch with now.I don't have any expectations that my clients are going to be with me forever, so I just keep in contact, while also understanding that there are things I'm doing right now that I'm super motivated about that you'll probably have to pay me to do sometime down the road. I'm no different. My motivation changes with the seasons.
    • Adam Muir asked for advice on marketing to grow a new gym.
      • Sean Flanagan: I can't help but feel like you're approach this backwards. It sounds like you're saying "We want to do this thing, now who would be some good people to target for this thing?"What I would suggest is approach it from first identifying who you want to serve - get that CRYSTAL clear - and then build program offerings around that.
      • Josh Hillis: Look at your three favorite clients:1.) What gender 2.) What age 3.) What profession 4.) Married/Divorced/Single 5.) Kids/no kids 6.) What are their hobbies 7.) Where do they shop 8.) What physical/recreational activities do they participate in 9.) WHAT FITNESS PROBLEMS DO THEY HAVE
      • Stevo: you can skip ahead if you take 5 clients and ask them, “how am I helping you?”
      • Vanessa Naylon: Key word in Josh’s list is “favorite”, to me. Your favorite clients are the people you’re hitting a sweet spot with. You love them and they love you. You want more of these people.
    • Hal Kriesel started a discussion on the pros and cons of asking clients for body composition measurements.
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter: To paraphrase Daniel John, "people already know they're fat. They know better and more intimately than you can ever imagine how it feels to not be who you think you should be. They don't need a asshole in spandex with calipers to tell them that."
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter: Also, fuck yeah to this, Hal Kreisel, "When it comes down to it, we are really pushing for internal change, and for people to have increased autonomy and self worth, beyond what's said or shown on a scale, a picture, or a caliper."
      • Seth Munsey: I don't take any measurements. I actually don't even talk about fat loss or appearance in my place. I wrote an article about it for Habitry called, "What's Your Clients Scorecard?" That's just me though. Others may have different methods.
      • Omar Atlas: This is a great topic!I used to also gather weekly body weight numbers and ask for pics.This article by Seth was a major "aha!" moment for me:

        My current way of doing things: I only ask for their body weight and bodyfat percentage estimate in the initial assessment.

        And my reason comes down to this: I am not prepping guys to step on the stage. I am helping regular guys go from "fat to fit".

        The physical results we are after will take months to show up anyways, so there is no need to measure stuff on a weekly basis.

        I do measure whether they do their habits and they post what they are doing well and learning everyday.

      • Josh Hillis: This is why I love this forum. Every place else I go I'm you guys. And then here I switch places. It's all about what population you're working with.I love to take measurements when clients are in certain places. My usual client, is female trying to go from 26% bodyfat down to about 21% body fat, super Type-A, I have to hold them back, and they appreciate being assessed and want to know.I don't EVER measure women who are obviously 30+% bodyfat, they'll measure scale weight all by themselves. But for the relatively fit client going to the next level, they kind of have to to know where things are going. Like, we aren't doing a ton of scale weight change always, and they want something to measure. Like I said, super Type-A most of the time.For my group sessions, measurements aren't part of it, and so they just ask me when they want to get measured.

        And like I've mentioned before, I use measurements in reverse — to let them know how well they're doing, how fit they already are, ect.

      • Georgie Fear: I ask them on the first phone call. With the group - we don't ask for any physical measurements. We are there to help them build habits. So what we track... is habits.
      • Mike Hawes: I had a female client ask me a few weeks back to get re-measured, so we set the date for this past Monday...all good right? Then comes yesterday and I say, "let's pop into the office and get those measurements."She looks at me with fear in her eyes, and says "can we wait a day or two?"My response, "of course, that's no problem."You could see the relief work through her body and she was totally disarmed. Which allowed us to then get in the discussion of how she just the day before tried on a dress she thought "she could never wear" and it fit well and she wore it out to church.

        We then ended the conversation with how she had just "re-measured" with that dress and we don't need a tape measure and body comp test to either confirm or deny how awesome she was feeling in that dress the day prior. Standard measurements will not be a part of her progress going forward.

        But overall we do use all the quantification measures when appropriate. So I suppose it boils down to individuals and circumstances!

    • Michelle Burmaster started a thread to give Lauren Koski some major props on for creating her first viral post! Go give her a high five if you haven’t yet!
    • Amanda Thebe asked for advice on setting up a referral scheme to reward existing clients.
      • Roland Fisher: Don't offer money, IMO. Offer more service. 2 cents
      • Benjamin Pickard: Roland Fisher - why?
      • Roland Fisher: People often feel like monetary rewards are impersonal, cheap, manipulative. But offering something of yourself has more value.
      • Sean Flanagan: Maybe a charitable donation in their name though would work though. What do you guys think?
      • Roland Fisher: Always think love. How would you reward your family members for helping you. What do family want from you? For me, I think they want me. I like to give people me in some way.

    Steven Michael Ledbetter: I second everything Roland Fisher and Sean Flanagan said. My whole career has been referrals but as soon as I started thinking about getting them, they dried up because I was trying to make referrals about me instead of about my clients. Instead I created what I call a "culture of invitation." I framed it as inviting others into their mission, and instead of offering them rewards, I told them they could invite a single person of their choice into our community at a discount of 1/2 off the first month.

    This empowered them to help other people they cared about change their health habits AND allowed them to look awesome, smart, and cool because they could offer them a discount. Plus it lowered the risk for them.

    However, I spent months laying the ground work of making a sustainable, viable, engaged and awesome community first. Amanda Thebe, it sounds like you're already doing that, you just need to keep providing awesome value then lower the barriers on the entry to your own "culture of invitation" by making it easier for new members to join!

    P.S. much more on this next week via Habitry, Co


    What Does She Want To Do?


    What Does She Want To Do?


    Hey Motivators! You’ve tuned in for last week’s summary of the conversations that happened in the Forums!

    • Here are 5 Motivating Articles to share with your clients
    • Sandi Danilowitz asked, “what client tracking tool do you use?
      • Roland Fisher: Over time I abandoned tracking what I wanted and started tracking what the client decides is important to them. They get more out of it, but that means that I don't have a good tool to use. We make it up as we go. Often with a good old pen and diary.
      • Josh Hillis: I used 100% myfitnesspal for a while, that way I could bang 'em all out back to back.These days, I try not to look at their food journal at all, and do it all in conversation from "what they noticed in their food journal"
    • Shannon Khoury asked for advice on helping a client who struggles with self-image and eating.
      • Georgie Fear: Aw, poor thing. The indecision speaks volumes about her mindset , and would lead me to ask about food judgement, and self-judgement on the basis of food intake. To most people, buying a cart of groceries is a matter of little consequence, so we have chicken or beef for dinner, big deal. But if someone sees the store as a divide of "good" and "bad" it is a high pressure thing. Also, I find the distress over making food decisions is fairly proportional to the extent a person judges themselves by their food decisions.
      • Georgie Fear: If your self-worth crumbles with two bites of a sandwich, it's hard to get through the day.
      • Josh Hillis First off - crying is ok. Clearly it was really really hard and maybe even scary for her.I would thank her for trying something SO COURAGEOUS. Or however you feel, but to me it sounds like it was a really brave move for her to take you (a trainer!) shopping.But then she wasn't prepared to make the decisions.I love open ended questions and giving people freedom to choose, but sometimes they need more structure, like TWO choices.

        "What do you think, this one or this one? Not sure, let me share a little of my thoughts. Ok, now which one do you think?"

        And "yes that's a great choice!"

        And "Mostly I just want us to have an opportunity to talk about it, it isn't really about making the 'right' choices."

    • Robin Mungall started a discussion on clients who complain that getting results was “too easy”
      • James Mills: Yes, being in the CrossFit world, I have had many people complain that my workouts are too easy or basic despite the fact that they are sweating and seeing gains. Daniel John talks about a strength program that he put pro athletes through who had significant gains but said they'd never do it again because it was too easy. (please correct me, if I bastardized this Dan)
      • Josh Hillis SELL IT SELL IT SELL IT SELL IT SELL IT SELL ITSeriously, if you're going to do something non-standard, you have to constantly sell them on *why*We always tend to talk about how CrossFit has been so great on building community. But we forget to talk about how CrossFit did such a great job on selling people why CrossFit was the best thing ever in history.The feedback from the environment thing is HUGE. HOLY EFFING WOW it's huge. They don't actually know that 2% bodyfat in four weeks is good. In fact, if you didn't know it was awesome, it wouldn't sound like much.

        So give them reference points to let them know that they're doing amazing, and they'll feel like they're doing amazing. You have to show them. They way they'll feel about how it's going is how you tell them it's going.

      • Daniel John: But, these assholes will learn in the long run. You can run your engine as high as you want to get from street corner to street corner. You make a lot of noise...the first rule of Crossift is to never shut the fuck up about talking about Crossift...and upset the neighbors. But, you aren't in the Grand Prix. So, Josh HIllis nails it in his work...and I just saw he posted, but don't tell him I said anything nice about him...that easy and mediumish workouts beat hard all the time. "Hard all the time" works for just an angel's breath. True mastery, in all phases of life, comes from the gentle nudges towards mastery. In the area of love, Crossfit and the ilk are "Tinder" and stalking. Yeah, it might work, but you don't want to brag to your grandkids about it. That was a good line.
    • Spencer Nadolsky asked for advice on what to charge for coaching
      • Dominic Matteo: When I was on my own I charged $150/month but if they signed up for a 6 month package it was $99. I had one single person go month to month, dozens for the 6 month deal. I also would negotiate/barter if someone really wanted to participate but $ was holding back. In some cases I even helped people "find" the money right off the bat by looking at their grocery receipts with them and letting them identify the "bleed".
      • Georgie Fear: we're at 97/month for group coaching, 147 for one on one, and if someone insists on working with ME personally instead of one of the other coaches, 300.
      • Jessi Kneeland: I was doing 249/month but was getting very overwhelmed. Now I'm charging 449. Mine is completely personal, one on one, and fairly time consuming. I'm coming up with a lower level soon that doesn't involve writing programs from scratch the way I do now, because that's the part that kills me. Also, mine is fitness and body acceptance, not nutrition.
      • Robin Mungall: For my 1on1 coaching that includes a "Results Mastery" course. It's $600/month or $325/month for 6 months depending on level of time I'm personally investing weekly with the client. After the initial 6 months the price drops to $125/month and goes to group training. Really high retention and great results.
      • Roland Fisher: I charge $1000000 an hour for coaching. That's why I'm on FB all day.
    • Michele Burmaster is building a list of fitness professionals and individuals interested in the Body Positive Fitness movement.
    • Roland Fisher shared the results of an email survey sent to Georgie Fear’s blog and they were “really surprising”
      • Roland Fisher: The number one obstacle seems to be in execution. People told me over and over that they know what to do, they just don't execute after motivation wanes.So my big lesson learned? We gotta keep doing what we are doing. We need to keep exploring ways to help people with motivation and making things doable. And that there is a real appetite for that sort of thing.All the blogs seem to write the details, like carbs, IF, etc. That is everywhere. What we can do differently is write empowerment strategies
    • Dan Rollins asked for advice on getting a client to buy-in to a reasonable training and nutrition plan
      • Georgie: Fear Coming to grips with the amount sh is actually eating is obviously painful for hr.
      • Georgie Fear: (safe to say it's not 1000 cal)
      • Georgie Fear: It's very hard to increase awareness when there is judgement there, and I DON'T mean from you - but she's likely judging herself.
      • Chas Cook: Ask her " how its working for her " , also you are asking for ten exercise sessions week ( 3 x resistance and daily walking ) if she is doing or has recently been doing not much then this is a big ask. Make the nutritional changes small and achievable ( so let me see 1 x a week 1 days food journal ) etc
      • Roland Fisher: What does she want to do with her diet, not the effect of diet, the actual diet. We need to foster autonomy, her actions need to be hers, not ours. She wants to diet down, what changes does she want to make to make that happen? That's meeting her where she is at. You then steer her into smarter decisions with your expertise, but let her lead.
      • Josh Hillis: I shoot for something like 1lb per week of fat loss, so I'd be constantly telling her 50lbs is going to take 50 weeks, and it isn't linear.Later (after a habit or two) you can ask her if she wants to know which next habits have been most effective for other clients (say at least three) and give her a choice again.
      • Georgie Fear: What she needs to do is create a calorie deficit, no harm in reminder of this (she knows already) but then expressing concern that she's not achieving a calorie deficit with her current strategies, but that you respect her decision to continue it, and you have suggestions to try if she wants to do something different. "You can ask me anytime if you want to try a different nutrition strategy, I know lots of people who have been able to get into a calorie deficit and lose weight, but they weren't doing what you're doing. I'm not saying your way is wrong, if it works great, but if it's not working, I hate to see you stay this frustrated long term because clearly this is important to you."
      • Georgie Fear: And give her time.
      • Georgie Fear: When/if she expresses a readiness or even a curiosity, I'd share that research shows that dividing food into good and bad categories or attaching negative labels to herself for eating tasty foods actually thwarts success because it makes us feel lousy about ourselves, and when we feel that way we have less confidence, focus, and ability to choose long term goals over short term ones, which adds up to: we tend to eat more. Maybe not the first or second day, but eventually, it's NORMAL to undo the calorie deficit with a calorie overage going about it the way she is. (key points: be kind, speak softly, share if you have a similar experience and don't point fingers or say that she IS doing this, but that it would be normal for a person to.)
      • Roland Fisher: If someone was scared of kettlebell swings, would you get them to do them? You might start with kettlebell deadlifts first. You might graduate to a gentle swing in the bottom position.As I type that it seems less and less like a good analogy.Help her find her fears, help her find her motivation, empower.


    Detective Calories Is In The House!


    Detective Calories Is In The House!


    Hey Motivators! You've tuned in for this week's summary of the conversations that happened in the Forums!

    • Check out this week’s awesome articles to share with your clients
    • Stevo wrote, Help The Clients We Can’t Help
    • Georgie Fear shared with us an incredible opportunity to review a pre-release media copy of her book, Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss!
    • Josh Hillis started a discussion about scope of practice and when to refer out clients dealing with psychological issues.
      • Jennifer Campbell Thanks Josh. Also following. We do need to screen people better because I believe those with EDs are attracted to the fitness industry. Also side note: this is the NASM trainer I spoke privately with you about. She has now taken her NASM affiliation off of all her social media profiles
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter This sickened me. I want to say first.When I was deciding to go to graduate school for psych, my therapist warned me that I'd find, "many people in helping professions are there seeking their own salvation."I'm gonna let that sink in for a second.

        Now combine that with my favorite gym slogan from Gym Jones, "there's a fine line between salvation and drinking poison in the jungle."

        After 3 years of daily ethics training, I'll tell you that ethics is rarely cut and dry, even when you think it is. That doesn't mean we should be lenient, attempt to draft clear standards, or call people the fuck out when they are acting outside how we interpret our professional scope.

      • Seth Munsey I constantly remind myself that I'm not a physical therapist, or a psychologist, or even a therapist. The waters can get muddy very quickly. Great article Jennifer!
      • Andy Fossett My only credential for mental health is that I once dated shrink... this is a very interesting discussion, and I'll have to spend some time reading all the links and resources later.One "dividing line" I've used when dealing with people before is self-limiting vs self-destructive.It's not perfect, and like anything, it can be a judgement call. But even in small degrees of willful self-destructiveness, I've found it just much, much better not to get involved beyond trying to subtilely and gently recommending the person talk to someone with more expertise.
      • Lisa Kinderman As a clinical psychologist and someone who treats EDs, most of the time there isn't a clear, quick, standardized way of screening for eating or exercise disturbances for non-clinicians. However, if you think about behaviors existing on a continuum, problems are typically coming up at the extremes--too much or too little. If a trainer and/or coach wrote me a message asking if I would consider being part of their consultation/referral network I would be THRILLED. I think we need more partnerships like this. Regarding the comment above about psychologists working via Skype, there can be ethical and legal issues with this mode of service delivery. Not that it can't be done--video conferencing can be crucial in under-served communities; however, I would be wary of a clinician who claims to provide services to a client without having seen him/her at least initially face-to-face or without being very clear about the parameters of the service. (There are psychologists out there doing wacky things, too!)


    • Shannon Khoury asked for advice on "selling fitness" and starting a gym.
      • Andy Fossett I don't think you can actually know who your ideal client really is until you've worked with a good number of people who aren't ideal. You can guess, assume, wish, and dream, but you'll probably be fooling yourself.
      • Josh Hillis I trained out of my garage for three years, nights and weekends, while I was working full-time at a Physical Therapy office.Just start working with people. What Andy said is legit. I thought I'd get into this to work with 25 year old dudes training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. What I ended up getting, and falling in love with doing, was fat loss coaching for professional 30-50 year old women.Work with a lot of people. As many as possible.

        Charge for it - because it will force you to upgrade your skills to match what you're charging. It's essentially accountability for yourself that you're providing value.

      • Josh Hillis One last thing, when I was new I knew I needed to provide more than $1.16 per minute in service (what we charged). And that I wasn't going to provide that with guru-like knowledge and years of experience (yet).So I provided energy, enthusiasm, listening, accountability, and bottomless support for their goals. For most of my clients, that was enough to make it worth it.And of course I studied making a difference for people like my life depended on it. And got better.

        But even your first day as a trainer - you can provide a lot just being who you are for them.

      • Steven Michael Ledbetter I think the best way to "sell" is to state your values, then listen. Listen to find the people who resonate with those values, then listen to find out what problems those people are having living up to those values. Once you learn the language they use to talk about those problems, you can communicate with them about how to solve them. But if you skip in there (which we all did as baby trainers trying to impress everyone with our book learning), they won't hear you.All of my most successful, loyal mofo clients have been the result of me creating a safe, judgement-free space to explore health, fitness, nutrition, behavior, expectations, and their peers, then just listening. I have trained all kinds of people, but the people that I seem to have the biggest draw with is women between the ages of 45-90 who are simply out of fucks. They just wanna move better, feel better, and shoot the shit with interesting people so they feel compelled to come back the next day. I could have never told you that was my market until I created a space and started listening. Even now that I have a weekly column for MyFitnessPal that goes out to 80mil people, the emails that I get looking for training are still from that population.It's weird; it's not sexy; and I don't care. It's the best population ever. I've never sold them a thing, but they paid for my entire graduate school education. :)
    • Claudio Espinoza shared Why Self-Awareness Is The Secret Weapon For Habit Change
    • Lauren Koski shared all the progress she’s made since joining the Motivate Collective!
    • Darren Moroney shared, Hacking Willpower: Research tricks for boosting self-control
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter Writing a research piece about willpower without mentioning Baumeister (but mentioning like, 3 of his students oddly) is like writing a research piece about thermodynamics and not mentioning Newton. Also, the "Stanford Researchers" was Carol Fucking Dweck and it was about some odd limits of the strength model of willpower. AND reframing is a really hard skill to teach in a blog post. My recommendations for how to deal with ego-depletion (Baumeister's term) is to gain some self-awareness of the conditions when you become ego-depleted then structure your decisions around those so you have great fall back plans. Like, "do you run out of fucks at the end of the day because of a terrible commute? Let's work on planning and preparing your dinner ahead of time so all you have to do is heat it up."
    • Jamie Chenelle shared with us her success at building an online community for her gym!
    • Omar Atlas asked for advice on where to learn more about evidence-based life coaching.
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter I've met awesome, evidence-based life coaches with very clearly defined ethics and scope of practice as well as wide referral networks and decades of experience. I've met straight up charlatans. And I've met everything in between it seems. I think the problem with life coaches is the same as personal trainers and chiropractors: there are awesome ones; there are whack jobs; and almost no way to tell on paper which is which. (P.S. Jessi Kneeland is getting her life-coach cert and seems rad)
      • Matt Talley Depending on how you might define it, it's definitely a big part of my coaching style. In fact it's the exact reason I keep my client base small and never enjoyed myself or felt as rewarded when I got to over 20 clients at a time, which has been my upper limit for a while.So long as I don't think the person has serious enough issues (feelings about their issues really) that they need to be seeing a mental health professional (and I have a pretty low bar for serious I think), if they are willing to talk about their relationships with friends, spouses, family, their past, their deepest philosophical or religious views, etc. I am not only willing to talk about that I very much enjoy it.
      • Susan Jimenez I'll step in here, though there seems to be a bias against life coaching here, while most posting don't really know what life coaching IS. I call myself a life and wellness coach. I am not certified through a coaching curriculum, though. And there are several certification programs out there. Just google 'Life Coaching' to find out. I have taken several life coaching courses, which, by the way, involve a lot of communication training, psychology, human growth and development, listening, and a mix of emotional intelligence training, and motivational interviewing, and more. Working with a life coach is a way to make yourself and your goals in life a priority. People who work with a life coach are go-getters; they want to make the best use of their time, energy, and they want to see their vision a reality. They often seek life coaching when they are in some sort of transition: looking for a new job/ new career; starting a business; working on a project that is requiring them to step out of their comfort zone. People who hire life coaches are taking themselves seriously, much the way people who hire personal trainers do. They are willing to seek out an expert who knows how to ask them the questions that will reveal their brilliance. Working with the right life coach is incredible & can help a person accelerate their successes and can help one get in touch with their purpose, values, beliefs, and their mission in life. It's a way to make one's life meaningful. What you all are here talking about, in terms of 'habit change' and lifestyle change dove-tails right into what some of my clients seek coaching for. I love holding a space for my life coaching clients to have what they want and listening to them for the bright, brilliant idea, then helping them be creative in their thinking. It's every bit, if not more, awesome than teaching them to move in the gym.
      • KC Ushijima I have the opinion that personal training is life coaching with health & fitness as the catalyst. The best case scenario is that it opens people's eyes to make little improvements/habits in their life in and outside the gym, and they take action. Worst case scenario is that they see chaos and disorder in their personal and professional life and actively ignore it for the gym. "The gym is a place to improve life, not escaping it."When I work with people in the gym, I find myself using more pop self help & business books like Stephen Covey's 7 habits, Jim Rohn stuff, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, Daniel Coyle's Talent Code or Gladwell's Outliers, Good To Great, and Dan Millman's Way of the peaceful warrior. I also dabble a little with NLP.
    • Matt Dowd asked for advice on helping a client lose weight by asking her to do something she is probably against.
      • Georgie Fear Oooooh I love these! Detective Calories is in the house!The best way to flesh out a "this looks fishy" food diary is in person, or over the phone, not in writing. That's because 1. You need to ask a lot of questions and 2. it's verrrrry easy to piss someone off when the written word has no friendly laugh, smile or intonation to it.1. Tone. Pretend you're taking to your best pal about a puzzle to solve together, 'let's find the missing calories', as opposed to grilling a defendant on the stand.

        2. Secondly, take care NOT TO LEAD the person into answers, thus introducing bias. This is tough one for beginning coaches and dietitians to learn, but you don't want to say "You use lowfat milk, right?" because the client will be tempted to please you or follow your lead. Better to ask "what type of milk is it?"

        3. The main goal is to look for things that aren't there, but logically would be, and ask if there was something else, and to clarify portions in case they're got some "portion distortion" going on.

        4. "Anything else? Ask it many many times.

        5. Triangulate by asking the same thing a few times. Often the second or third pass gets something to come up. For example: As you go through the day, "Anything between breakfast and lunch?" .... and then later. "Is there a candy bowl or break room at your work? Is there food in there that you sometimes partake in?" and then "Any coffee breaks during the day?" All ways of looking at the "blanks" between breakfast and lunch.

        Okay, then to the log itself. There are often some flags and clues.

        6. One is an absence of beverages. No water, coffee, tea, juice, nada? "What did you drink with this meal?" "Did you have anything to drink during your workout?" "Can you recall what was the first thing you drank in the morning?"

        7. Specific portions for some things but not others. For example, "1 cup cereal, 3/4 cup 1% milk, a medium apple, coffee with 2 packet of sugar and cream". (<-- ask about the cream and the answer they give, ask if they measure it. If yes, HOW do they measure it?) If they say with a spoon, ask if it's a measuring spoon. A standard tablespoon can hold way more than a measuring tablespoon.

        8. Rounded tablespoons. Ask if the tablespoon of nut butter was measured (see #7) and ask if they *level* the tablespoon. I will often apologize in advance before asking that one, kind of like, ok, I'm going to ask an anal retentive question, but you've been so patient and stuck with me this far and I really want to solve this mystery with you so you can see that weight loss..."

        9. Licked fingers, fingers in the jar, etc - I ask about this every time nut butter shows up. "So if we had a video of you making sandwiches, would there ever be a finger in the jar or maybe an extra swipe?" SMILE. This can be awkward, you don't want them to feel accused!

        10. Moms: "do you make lunches for your kids? Does a bit of their food even end up getting eaten? It's tough because kid food is often so finger friendly that we can pop a goldfish or two without even thinking!"

        11. "While cooking - how often do you taste the food? How many bites would you say you have?"

        12. "When you're doing the dishes or cleaning plates, is it tough for you to throw out uneaten food, I know it can be for some people!"

        13. No condiments. As in a baked potato with nothing on it. A hamburger with nothing on it. Toast with nothing on it.

        14. Cooking oil is often omitted. "Can you tell me how you cooked those veggies?" (in a pan). "Do you do anything to keep them from sticking to the pan?" (if they add oil, then go into the measuring spoons bit) "when they're done, do you add something to them for flavor or seasonings, or just have them plain?

        15. And the big payoff one I have learned to ask "How many days a week do you eat like this?" (motions to page)... because sometimes it's "hardly ever, this is what I plan but hardly ever achieve!" or "5 days a week, but the weekend are my cheat meals"

        16. Ask about "bad days." "Is this how you eat every day, or sometimes is there a day when things are just off and something gets in the way?"

        17. When was the last time you ate at a restaurant?

        18. "What do you enjoy most when you're going to have a treat?" (going for something not on the log)

        19. What is your favorite type of alcoholic beverage? How many of those would you have a week?" Do you ever order something else instead? Oh, and check wine portions, I have had clients who pour a 10 ounce glass of wine.

        20. If they are using myfitnesspal or livestrong, look at the actual numbers on the entries they selected, because there are user entered ones which are wrong. If your clients 4 ounce chicken breast has only 50 calories, it's a bad entry.

        21. Sometimes people will just pick the default portion size and not change it to reflect what they actually ate. So they pick 3/4 cup cereal, and they just poured a bowl.


    Together We Will Change The World


    Together We Will Change The World


    Happy Sunday, Motivators! This is your weekly 10 minutes summary of the conversations that happened on the Motivate Forums!

    • Averaging 5hrs sleep a night
    • Only having one "day" off (Saturday from 1pm till Sunday 6am)
    • Not going out seeing friends as often (if at all)
    • Letting hobbies I loved die (not DJing at all, except for one gig at a festival)


    In lieu of that, coming back getting a new client base in, I have my "rules" to keep a better hold on representing that "practice what you preach" line going:

    • Don't work weekends (unless it's really really REALLY urgent between 10am-midday on a Saturday only - and I can still say no)
    • Mon/Wed/Fri are "early" days - 6am-2pm
    • Tues/Thurs are "late days" 2pm - 8.30pm
    • My training days used to be 10am Tuesday and Thursday so those have now been (re)carved into place.
    • I've told friends to figuratively drag me out kicking and screaming on the weekends - you can't really think "work" if you're out having a giggle.
    • I use my "festival" phone (just an old Nokia: makes calls and texts and can play Snake) on days off when i want a low-tech day.
    • Meditate! Even if it means going and sitting somewhere quiet and watching your brain go by, let it do its thing and it'll shut up eventually
    • Also, I don't stress out too much anymore about finding articles that are tailored to every individual quirk of a client - I theme each week and maybe send 1 or 4 articles of interest on said theme to everyone
      • Mark Fisher Hey Chris, I know we've never met before. Just wanted to say you sound awesome. You're already getting great advice here (raise prices and/or hire/systematize/automate more). If you haven't checked out the E-Myth yet, it's a great read on this piece of the puzzle. I will say hiring and managing other humans is a whole other skill set haha, but for me it's been the most satisfying challenge of my life. Mind you, I'm not sure how good I am it just yet haha, but I sure do love it, and I love the people in my life. I know I felt alone for a long time in this business, but now that I have a team/ family, we share the load. PLUS I get to take days off, leave town a lot, and really prioritize self care. I'll also note both you and Josh have an AMAZING problem; it sounds like you're really great at something you love and that's really helping other people. While it's a great problem to have, I think all of us know what a toll it can take when you really truly deeply give a shit about people and put your heart into this work. But I'm confident that if you're having this problem at all, you must be doing a lot of good stuff for a lot of people. And my bet is that this post is an indication that you're about to turn a corner.
    • Lauren Koski asked for advice on setting up rewards to reinforce habits.
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter There's lots of ways to do it. BJ Fogg recommends a pat on the back. Leo Babuta recommends a Zen pat on the back. But I think the most universal reward that coaches can use is reminding the client that they are acting in accordance with their values. A way to get the client to reflect that, "I'm doing the things that I need to do in order to become the best version of myself."


    To that end, I build the reflection into the habit statement itself as an "in order to." My (current) goto habit loop is:


    I am 90-100% confident I will [action] when [trigger] for the next [1-14 days] in order work towards [skill OR identity OR performance goal].


    action = the tiny behavior they want to perform.


    trigger = the habitual behavior they’re already doing that they can piggyback on.


    1-14 days = the number of days between 1 and 14 they feel confident they can do.


    skill = something that the client's best version of themselves wants to do better or more easily


    identity = the values that the best person of themselves lives up to every day.


    performance goal = the first thing they wanna do which shows they’re on the right track to becoming their best self.


    Some examples of this with the reward statement would be:


    "I am 90-100% confident I will record what I eat after every meal for the next 14 days in order to eat more mindfully."


    "I am 90-100% confident I will record what I eat after every meal for the next 14 days in order to be a mindful eater."


    "I am 90-100% confident I will record what I eat after every meal for the next 14 days in order to learn how many calories I'm eating."


    The secret sauce is then getting the client to then reflect daily by answering:


    1) What did I do well today?

    2) What did I learn today?

    • Benjamin Pickard asked for advice on determining pricing.
      • Roland Fisher I'd advise that you first figure out your costs if you had to hire people to do every part if the business. To do that you need to map out your time and resource commitment and then price the labor market for those roles. After you have a good idea of price of service, add to that a reasonable profit. That is likely the lowest price you can charge. With that knowledge I'd charge what I think I can get. Monitor results. If you then think you aren't getting enough people, reduce your price a bit, see if a loss of 10% profit increases revenue by more than 10%, as an example. If it does, you have a better price for your market and you make more money.
      • Andy Fossett Roland made some good points. You want to ideally offer at least a couple of tiers and split the levels according to the features and interactions your clients find valuable. Pricing is one of the most important business decisions you can make (nothing has a more direct impact of profit), but most people just pull something out of the air.
      • Josh Hillis So one thing that stood out to me a lot doing the internship at Results Fitness was that the Cosgroves weren't there. I mean, in a good way.


    They had staffed the whole gym. They had program designers, head trainers, membership managers (sales), customer service managers — the whole thing was handled.


    And of course they were paying those people.


    So if you know the price of paying your employees ahead of time, and have that baked into the price... you can actually do that.

    • Jamie Chanelle  asked for advice on building an online support group for her gym members
      • Josh Hillis Know that pages are almost less than totally useless. So don't use that as your barometer of FB usefulness. No one interacts with pages. In fact, most people that liked your page will never see posts to your page unless you pay. Pages are *entirely* pay-for-play at this point. And still they don't get the engagement that a group does.


    A group is a completely different experience. People will actually see stuff. On top of that, you can tag people (which pushes a notification to their phone) and start conversations.

      • Steven Michael Ledbetter I cannot overemphasize the importance of people getting notifications pushed to their phones that inform them of relevant conversations happening that they might be missing out on. Unless of course, they do not have a mobile phone. In which case I cannot overemphasize the power of Pot Luck.
      • Omar Atlas Do you have 3-5 really enthusiastic/popular gym members? Recruit them to act as your "champions".
      • Jamie Chenelle Omar Atlas do you mean getting those people to help draw people in to the FB group and to events like a pot luck? Basically having them serve almost as in-house marketers?
      • Omar Atlas ^ Yes!


    The problem is no one will post in the group unless there are already other clients posting useful/interesting/funny stuff in the group.


    I wouldn't describe it as "in-house marketing" when recruiting them (even though that's what they might be doing).


    I'd present it as an awesome opportunity for them to shape their community and as a way for them to increase their own fitness success.


    They are probably going to need a lot of direction early on to understand "what's our role and how do we do it?", so I'd prepare for a lot of hand holding, at least initially.


    People come as often as they can. Some come 1-2 times per week, some come 2-3 times per week. A couple come 4x per week.


    Everyone loves it. And for fat loss, where the food habits are the thing, and the workouts "they should do some", it works really well.


    It works especially well for clients that have busy seasons and not busy seasons (like a client who is a wedding planner) who can modify how often they come, on the fly, week to week.

      • Seth Munsey I have my memberships structured currently at 2x per week, or 3x per week.


    I am evaluating those current offerings and looking at changing them to 8x/month and 12x/month.


    I like my current offerings, but a lot of my people travel, so they miss out on a week here or there. So they are always asking if they can make up a few classes that they missed. Changing it to 8x/month and 12x/month might alleviate that.

    • Stevo shared a personal insight about the concept of unteaching “How can we use open-ended questions, paraphrasing, autonomy, competence, and belonging to get people to see how full their cups really are? Especially when I know that just because someone has hired a coach doesn't mean they're ready to change.”


    "What beliefs does your current self have about success and what do you think your target self would say about those beliefs?"


    I like to ask questions that help clients realize that it's very hard to be two different (often times opposing) people at once. And in general, the person they're trying to be requires belief/value/behavior systems that drastically differ from the systems belonging to the person they currently identify themselves as.


    With enough guiding, they can loosen the grip of the self of old and gain some mental real estate for accepting change.

      • Mark Zarate Awesome post...a key point is that just because someone hires a coach doesn't mean they are ready to change! That simply shows they want to change, but far too often they arent 'ready' to change. That's the beautiful struggle is getting them 'ready' to be 'ready'. Everybody can be reached!
      • Georgie Fear Excellent thread! I try to ask questions aimed at increasing their awareness (like why and when they began xx behavior? What changes have they noticed since beginning it? Have the results changed over time or has the outcome been pretty consistent?)


    If they are hoping that something which isn't working now will begin to work in the future, we can talk about what evidence there is to support that prediction. Because sometimes things DO change with more practice, we get better at riding a bike if we don't give up the first time we hit the curb and take a header.


    But many times, and Steven pointed out, it isn't working. They can't come up with a valid reason why and believe that trying harder is the answer. So I use that as an opportunity to chat about how they probably have tried really hard so far, and if it's been too hard this far, maybe we can try easier.


    With calorie counting as a really prevalent not-effective behavior:


    It's handy to have BEEN the pro dieter and calorie counter - because I speak their language and have done shit like counting grapes. I will share pieces of my experience, and things I have seen with other clients which are drawbacks of calorie counting - the psychological impact, the rationalizations, the logistical flaws of labels and databases being inaccurate, all of which can decrease the return on investment of your time spent with Myfitnesspal. Often they are voicing that they too have experienced some of those problems (like eating "up to" their calorie budget hungry or not, or wanting to slay their spouse for asking for a bite of their pretzel).


    In the end it comes down to fear. Fear that if they lt go of this habit, _____ will happen. And that's a great place to listen, to hear them out, to reassure them that it's normal to have that fear, and that if they want to, you can help them step out of it safely and in small increments with them in charge of the pace.


      • Georgie Fear When it comes to asking a client to give up an old habit, behavior, self-defeating belief, etc, I think of it like a security blanket. Instead of tearing it away from them, I turn up the heat until they feel less of a need for it, and then invite them to shed it since they don't need it.



    You Meet Them Where They're At


    You Meet Them Where They're At


    Sup Motivators! Time for this week’s Motivate Forum recap:

    • Steve Bergeron shared the article, The Positivity Trap
      • Sean Flanagan: I love this! I'd like to hear other people's thoughts though on the example responses in this article. It seemed like a decent chunk are straight out of the DISCOURAGED responses from Motivational Interviewing for Health Care. Questioning their emotional statement ("and you're frustrated?") rather than reflecting and generalizing "a lot of people feel that way"" are the 2 that come to mind immediately.I'm curious if I am missing something in my understanding or if others agree.
      • Josh Hillis I liked that post a lot. I saw a ton of "artificial happiness" trainers at 24 Hour Fitness.I wanted to punch them in the face.Not because I'm against being positive, but because the fakeness. And because it was like oppressive. I saw them totally run over people's feelings.I was always taught that, on a scale of 1-10, you're never more than 1 point more upbeat than your clients. You meet them where they're at.
    • Sean Flanagan asked for advice on how to educate a client on the value of a formal training program
      • Roland Fisher She sounds like she didn't even know about customized programs until now, so she won't know the value, or the purpose, for herself. I'd start with understanding what she gets out of training. She might simply enjoy the process and not even have a performance/physique goal that is connected to training. And honestly as long as someone is training, that is pretty darn good as far as fat loss is concerned.
      • Saul Jimenez First, while I have only trained one person via skype, I am not a huge believer in distance programming. If you can't see them doing the exercise, you don't really know what they are doing. If you still want to program for her, instead of asking her questions, just make up a simple three week cycle with an A, B and C workout (that's what she knows) talk for a few minutes about the workout each time and go from there. Ask with movement rather than words. Given the the "we only track one" post and her response, I would say you aren't doing her any favors by giving her programming.
      • Josh Hillis So ok, let's say she's doing The Daily Burn. Then that's her concept of what fitness is different stuff all the time. She sweats, so it's probably good.You introduce this new concept - she has no frame of reference, and doesn't even really understand what you mean. But you seem smart, so she wants to do it.Then you send her these questions. No answer or vague answers might mean:"I don't understand the question"Or

        "This is too hard"


        "I don't want to look stupid"

        I think you should give her very generic push/hinge, pull/squat super sets, finish with some intervals. Give her an A and a B workout, and have her email you about each workout and let you know how it went.

        You'll learn more from the emails phone & calls about how to customize her next program.

        And just remember that "custom" just means "I've selected the right program for you."

        It doesn't mean that you did every assessment, corrected every imbalance, and gave her the perfect waist to shoulder ratio based on the Fibonacci Sequence.

      • Sean McBride A pretty smart coach that I reference often said something to the effect of “people tend to get stronger when they pick up heavy things”. As long as she is enjoying her workouts and not doing anything frankly dangerous you can probably leave them as is, you can use it like a baseline. When she asks you about performance goals you can outline a specific progression to add into her program. Slow habit change is probably going to be easier to stick to and more likely to be successful long term.I'd like to hear other people's thoughts though on the example responses in this article. It seemed like a decent chunk are straight out of the DISCOURAGED responses from Motivational Interviewing for Health Care. Questioning their emotional statement ("and you're frustrated?") rather than reflecting and generalizing "a lot of people feel that way"" are the 2 that come to mind immediately.I'm curious if I am missing something in my understanding or if others agree.


    Find A Better Way


    Find A Better Way


    Sup Motivators! January is just almost over. Right about now is when all the New Year Resolutionists start dropping like flies. It is also the perfect opportunity for you to differentiate yourself and help support your clients in making their new fitness habits stick.

    And this week in the Motivate Forums we discussed tons of ways to do just that!

    • This week, we hazed Susan Jimene! Welcome to the Collective!
    • Less than a month until the Motivate Summit in NYC!
    • This week’s video from the The Habit Lab was: Fat Loss Habit #173: Exercise Before Breakfast
    • This week's best articles from Collective Members: 4 Pieces of Snack-sized Motivation For Your Clients
    • Stevo shared his article, We Only Track One (Inspired by Annie Brees's post)
    • Andrew McGunagle is going on an adventure! “When my lease ends next month I'll be quitting my job at the commercial gym I work at, packing up my old Toyota, and hitting the road to travel across America to meet coaches, visit gyms, and explore a bunch of national parks. My goals are to learn as much as possible from people who are coaching well and successfully building fitness communities and to figure out exactly how I want to mold my career.”
    • Michelle Burmaster shared with us her marketing wisdom: “The only reason I decided to go into business in this town is because I know there is an entire market of people who either 1. know they should move their bodies but hate gyms or 2. actually enjoy exercise but don't feel moved to subscribe to an extreme lifestyle in order to achieve fitness. These people are my market and they are coming to me in droves.”
      • Andy Fossett By definition, 70% are within one standard deviation from "average" - if you're not marketing to average, you better have a great reason for that decision, as competition is always more specialized at the extremes.
      • Michele Burmaster Should we assume that gyms which use irresponsible fitspo marketing tactics truly believe that they are effectively marketing to Jane in accounting who has never truly worked out but might be considering losing a few pounds and gaining some strength and endurance so she can keep up with her grandkids?
      • Andy Fossett I don't think we can assume very much about what another business is trying to do. Typically, they put very little thought into their messaging and how to market effectively - they are usually trainers, coaches, or entrepreneurs who have little experience or understanding of marketing.If I have to make an assumption, it used to be that people mean well, but now, my default assumption is that they simply don't think; they don't even consider it. They do things they see others do because it makes them feel that they are [whatever they want to see themselves as being].
      • Seth Munsey I would argue that most trainers/coaches want to work with the above average client, so that plays into their marketing techniques. People that are attracted to gyms that market the image of toughness, no excuses, etc... usually are self-motivated on some level and are a little easier to manage in a workout. They are often Type A personalities, and the challenge is usually to keep them from doing too much.Most gyms really don't want to work with the person who hasn't moved in 20 years and has a sense of fear about the gym and working out. They usually take longer to feel comfortable in classes and exercising around other people.Most trainers don't want to work with that segment of the population. They don't want to work with the "average 70%" because they find it boring and more mentally exhausting. They want to work with somebody that shows up ready to snatch that barbell or swing that bell and not make any excuses. It's easier.
    • Annie Brees asked for advice on how to deal with an overwhelmed client: “He's easily overwhelmed about "making the right choice" despite me nudging him to just stay focused on the three actions for now. I told him if he's that concerned to try asking himself "Does this (enter action) support my goals?". He gushed over this simple question. He felt like it was simple enough he could easily implement it on his own to help him make decisions on his own.”
      • Georgie Fear How is he recording his actions with the habits you spoke of? It may be worth specifying that if he catches himself debating to do or not do his habit, to remind himself that these habits are stepping stones to his goals, and that a step here and there in the other direction is totally okay, but too many steps away and you don't get to your goals. What do you think?
      • Seth Munsey You could also suggest that he come up with a few things that he would enjoy as a snack. Then he determines which one is the easiest for him grab and go. The thought of having to prepare something can be a huge stressor. Maybe just a healthy pre-made snack.
      • Annie Brees The habits we've decided upon he has done well with this far. Those he can handle.It's the wanting to make better decisions on his own in addition to the chosen habits he worries about. If that makes sense.
      • Georgie Fear I would commend him for his commitment to change, but advise against adding extracurriculars. “Focus on really nailing these three."
      • Stevo I'll go further and say, "pick ONE."
      • Mike Hawes You beat me to it Stevo. A smart man once told me about how quickly compliance drops with multiple behavior goals. If your client Annie Brees picks one, and is able to nail that - he feels great. Then for the fact that the first one he picks is extremely reasonable, maybe then he even happens to hit a second thing (total bonus) - then he really feels like a rockstar!
      • Josh Hillis The "only track one" thing is HUGEI've always said "you can do as much as you want, but I'm only going to grade you on if you did [insert that one thing]"And then the it's great that next week when you can come back to that: "Yeah you fell off on those seven other things but you did [that one thing], and *that's* the thing we were grading you on!"Play that game a couple weeks in a row and they get how it works.
    • Aron Rightious issued a challenge for fitness professionals to find a better way:

    I just looked back at the before/after pictures of one of our most successful ‘transformation challenges’. These people did an amazing job.

    This was in 2013.

    Today, almost every single one has gained all of the weight back.

    It made me sad. It made me feel like I failed them.

    Though I didn't teach them to do anything remotely like crash dieting, I suspect some did cut some  corners hoping to win.

    More importantly, the glue hadn't dried long enough for anything they did during that time to stick. Just wanted to share that with you all. Especially those who are still early in the game.

    Find a better way.

      • Roland Fisher This a million times. When I coached for a large transformation contest, without mentioning names, think really large, I followed a bunch of the winners afterwards. They all gained it back.
      • Spencer Alan Roland I would love to see the stats of these things. I have a feeling that only a very small percentage of those who do it keep the weight off without continued coaching
      • Roland Fisher That would be awesome to see. I had back end access to their system while I worked there and their success rate for weight loss wasn't any better than any other program either. Seems like much ado about not much special in the end.
      • Roland Fisher  Now all we need to do is convince the public that 1/2 to 1 pound a week is awesome and sustainable.
      • Spencer Alan Yeah gosh I have a patient that has reached 300 pounds down from 400 and maintained for two years. He is now frustrated that he isn't 250 and I'm like. Shit that is 25% weight loss so much better than the studies out there blah blah.It's hard to convince people anything and I think I'm decent at it haha
      • Aron Rightious Roland - your last comment is the crux of my frustration and business stagnation. I'm not a guy who can just go through the motions. I'm working on some of the things I'm learning here to transition to something completely different.
      • Roland Fisher The average is 6% a year, 25% over two years is phenomenal.
      • Stevo, you should make flyers that you hand out there called, "We're here for Week 7." Dead serious. They're basing their entire business in a customer that comes for 42 days and never returns. You can steal all of them in Week 7.
      • Stevo Someone needs to settle this for is and open an invite-only gym that caters to reasonableness. Daniel John + Gym Jones.
      • Stevo I think it comes down to, "hey. Here's our unique value proposition. Here's our mission statement. Here's what we're about."
      • Stevo And then having the patience and the courage to make a community that creates value for its members.
    • Josh Hillis shared “a really amazing article on the wrong kind of praise”.
      • Josh Hillis You'll all be shocked I'm sure - but it comes down to praising effort and progress vs inherently being amazing.
      • Josh Hillis Apparently if you tell them that who they are is inherently and intrinsically awesome, then they're scared to death to not be awesome, and stop taking risks.
      • Josh Hillis If you praise their work and progress, they do work, take risks, and are motivated by progress (vs perfection).
      • Omar Atlas Carol Dweck's growth vs fixed mindset. This dichotomy also describes the difference between North America and South/East Asian culture parents (haha)
      • Omar Atlas On a more serious note tho: I think this relates a lot of the whole self-esteem movement in education. When you tell kids that they are amazing NO MATTER WHAT they do, obviously they aren't going to put in the work.
      • Josh Hillis One other thing I forgot to mention from the article: Specific praise is awesome. General praise is worse than worthless. Stevo told me that and I fell out of my chair. That's influenced everything I do, every day, with every client.


    Don’t Ask "How Can I Motivate Other People?"


    Don’t Ask "How Can I Motivate Other People?"


    Sup Motivators! Happy Sunday! Keep reading on to catch up with another week of awesome conversations in the Motivate Forums!


    I Try To Teach People To Be the Tortoise


    I Try To Teach People To Be the Tortoise


    Sup Motivators! Happy MLK Day! Keep reading on to catch up with another week of awesome conversations in the Motivate Forums!  

    • This week, we hazed Rich B Hall, Jen Willett, Nadine Shaban, Holea B, Jay Stevenson, Annie Brees Welcome to the Collective!
    • This week’s video from the The Habit Lab was: Habit #60: Make A Shopping List
    • This week's best articles from Collective Members: 10 Inspirations to Share With Your Clients
    • Stevo shared his post, We Make Communities
    • Stevo asked, “According to a study of 477 people in 4 cities enrolled in a weight loss program, which matters most for long term success?
      • Josh Hillis said: Ok - I have a question - are we talking initially? Does it change over time?
      • Omar Atlas said: Josh Hillis that's a really good question. My guess is respecting autonomy helps initially and belonging is what makes you stay.
      • Josh Hillis said: So here's my thing : it's like Maslow's Hiearchy of Needs -I think they matter in an order. We know from gym surveys that convenience is usually the number one factor in selecting a gym.Then belonging I would say second, and autonomy third.

        But then what about when they have all of that? Then perception of mastery is huge, and the other things start to not matter if they don't have that (see Zumba).

      • Omar Atlas said: so I guess there's two separate questions here:1) what makes people select one gym over another? 2) what makes the stay?
      • Stevo said: I love this discussion. This study tested for measures that other studies have shown a strong causal connection to long term outcomes, Josh Hillis. But you're definitely onto something bringing up Maslow. And while those are very important questions, Omar Atlas, the jury is out on specific needs being more important over time. But you're onto something with that with regards to the answer to this pop quiz
      • Stevo ANSWER TIME!!! Gay, Suanders, Dowda (2011) found that participants' perception of the convenience of where they performed their physical activity mitigated all other Basic Psychological Needs. In short, no matter how motivated or how self-determined our needs are, if we perceive our environment as inconvenient, it will wear on us. It will soak up our limited willpower and eventually grind us down. What's important to note is that it is PERCEPTION. It doesn't matter if it's objectively true or not. What hasn't been studied are ways to impact the perception that a gym is convenient or not. But I think that it's really important to remember that as practitioners, we need to account for convenience. We need to make things as easy as possible for things to be sustainable.
      • Andy Fossett said: Nice. When people ask me what martial art they should practice, my answer for the past few years has always been "the one closest to your house." Not strictly the best answer all the time, but it usually helps get the point across.
      • Michele Burmaster said: You probably mean "the closest BJJ school to your house" but I'll let it slide;)
      • Steve Bergeron said: Owning a gym in Boston, one of the first comments a new potential client will ask is when our available hours are and how flexible we are. For this reason I have created a good amount of flexibility in scheduling and session length for semi-private training. After that they stay because the community and coaching is totes amazeballs IMO
    • Seth Munsey shared,The Power of Community
    • Stevo posted about being locked in a secret room in the Phoenix offices of NASM for 2 days with 6 other health psychology academics and practitioners…
    • Lauren Koski asked for advice on branding and naming her business.
      • Andy Fossett said: Name changes can be good... if they help steer your brand in a direction that is either closer to what your current clients see you as offering -or- closer to what you want to offer a different set of clients. A lot of times, rebrands can be like putting lipstick on the proverbial pig, so make sure the desire to change is a move towards reflecting your true relationship with your clients.I can't tell you if any of those names is a good one. I'm pretty terrible at naming.But I can definitely set your mind at ease about the possibility of excluding some people in your branding. In short, it's one of the very best things you can do for your business.

        If for example, you name your business something generic like "ultimate fat loss secrets," nobody would remember you, and there would be nothing to show new mothers how perfect a fit your services are. If you go with something that is geared towards mothers, mothers will know that you exist to help them.

        What's more, anyone who knows a mother will know it, and they might recommend you to their friends who are mothers.

        There's a lot more to this, but suffice it to say that being very specific about whom you intend to serve and making it a clear aspect of your branding is almost certainly a smart move.

        Unless you're unsure of this direction.

        So introspect on what you want your coaching to look like if you go the super-specific route, and if it feels like something you want to put 100% of your efforts into for several years, put 100% of your brand behind it too.

      • Josh Hillis said: What Andy said about excluding people is huge.If you can be a known as a specialist in one thing, it's actually more credible than being a generalist.My own experience - when I went from being a "fat loss guy" to a guy who helps fit women lose the last stubborn 7 pounds - it cut out a lot of people, and my business exploded.

        Lately I've gotten broader, and I have been thinking about sharpening it up again.

    • Matt Talley shared his post about framing goals and habits as maximums instead of minimums.
      • Stevo: I LOVE this concept AND you're description of it. Seth Munsey even bakes it into his gym membership: you can't come more than 3x a week. Roland Fisher and Georgie Fear, I think this could be a great tool for those clients who we know are setting themselves up for failure.
      • Omar Atlas said: "Think of goals and habits framed with upper limits as speed limits on the road to your goals. How many times have you lost control and careened off the road while flooring it toward your goals, metaphorically speaking? You're either going 150mph, or you're in the shop getting repairs before you can be on the road again." This part is awesome too.
      • Matt Talley said: Ha I'm glad you liked that analogy. I thought about fleshing it out more, comparing gas to willpower and talking about how fuel efficient following the speed limit can be but decided that was too much lol
      • Seth Munsey said: Great stuff Matt. My members can choose either 2x per week or 3x per week membership options.I never make 2x sound like it's less effective then 3x though. I ask them to look at their current schedule and determine how many times they can definitely show up every week. If they choose 3x because I tell them that will get them better results, but they end up only being able to come 2x, then they are going to feel like they are a) wasting money b) not getting any benefit of 2x week, and c) feel like a failure because they couldn't commit to what they had signed up for in the first place.If members want to do 4x per week, they have to request it, and I have to approve it. I won't let someone jump from 2x to 4x. They have to go from 2x to 3x. Even though I'm losing out on good money. As we know, people think they can come 4x, until they try it. If they go from 2 to 3 and it works, then I will allow them 4x, but no more than that.
      • Matt Talley said: I think that's very smart Seth Munsey! I don't sell gym memberships but I use a similar approach when writing programs and exercise 'homework' for clients. Many people want 4x a week but I will write them 2x and say if they are antsy on their off days to go for a walk. If after a few weeks they're hitting both sessions AND taking a couple walks a week I bump them up to 3 or 4.I really look at it exactly like someone's self-reported strength. Someone says "I can do 3x a week" and I hear it the same as "I can bench 315lbs" Maybe... but probably not. We'll see :)
      • Roland Fisher said: I'm not sure about it. I'd rather teach people smart minimums and let autonomy take them further. We've got some Olympians that would never listen to us anyway if we put limits on them, some regular clients would scoff too. I'm just not sure what sort of client this would be best for? I must be missing something ...
      • Matt Talley said: I appreciate your candid and respectful response Roland. I work almost entirely with complete newbies and a few intermediate lifters with a few years of experience. I can't comment on whether this would work with Olympians because that is completely beyond my experience!I think it's potentially useful for any client that does not SEE, or will not ACCEPT, where they are ACTUALLY ARE AT as Steven Michael puts it. Upper limits take people away from where they THINK they are, and keep them where they REALLY are, for however long it takes them to realize "Okay yeah I wasn't actually there yet."If someone THINKS they can deadlift 300+ lbs, but I've personally seen their spine buckle shy of 250 multiple times, I'll probably make 225lbs an UPPER LIMIT on their program. If I set a 135lb limit that is scoff worthy IMO but inappropriate prescriptions are always a problem whether it's prescribed with an upper limit, lower limit, or any other way.

        A client I worked with previously just started up with me again after a year+ hiatus. Before, he asked for and insisted he could do 4x a week. I obliged. After only a few sessions he was like "I got this" and went solo. Shortly after stopping with me he dropped to 1-2x a week, then didn't go at all for months. Has worked out a handful of times each month for a while now.

        He came back. Wants help getting on a routine. I told him I was going to write him 2x a week, no more, and I don't want him to lift beyond that at all. Only time will tell if he takes the advice and slows down.

        I try to teach people to be the tortoise but almost everyone insists on being the hare, even if it's never won them any races.

      • Roland Fisher said: Now that, Matt, I can see. In the gym programming. Nutrition wise, we do steer people away from all sorts of nonsense too. I want to ponder on this one, see how it might be useful for our group coaching. Really interesting idea.
      • Georgie Fear said: Hm.... very interesting. I want to think about this. I suspect it will be, like many other tools, one that has a time and place and certain client type for which is works, and a time and place and client type in which it blows up in my face. I'll keep mulling this over.
      • Omar Atlas said: Roland: My two cents: You could use minimum goals as a way to build up nutrition habits, too.Example client goal: "I will eat more more protein 3 out of 7 breakfasts this week." When they can nail 3/7 consistently, then you can bump it up.What I particularly like with Matt's examples also is that he's added a context to the goal, which makes it easier to to internalize into a habit.

        For example, let's say a client wants help with reducing chocolate binges. You could help her set this goal: "When I crave chocolate, I will first eat a meal. If I still feel like eating chocolate, then I will eat half of the bar. After eating half the bar, I will re-evaluate if I want to eat the rest."

    • Seth Munsey shared, How the Fitness Industry Fails and What We Can Do About It
    • Mandy Hall asked for advice on how to “motivate people when they absolutely shut down at the idea of movement
      • Jessica Owens Mauk  said: It sounds like any movement at all is too far outside of their comfort zone right now. The challenge is finding what's just slightly outside of that comfort zone, but not so far that it's overwhelming. A fitbit? Step tracker? Have them aim for 5k steps at first, with tricks like parking further away, making two trips to put laundry away instead of one - things that don't *feel* like exercise.
      • Matt Talley said: One simple thing you could try would be something called "Contrasting statements", a really useful communication technique I learned from a great book called Crucial Conversations.The basic idea is that if someone is shutting down or resorting to some form of silence, they probably don't feel safe discussing the topic in the current context. We don't want to jump to conclusions in any one particular case but in general if someone is shutting down and feeling unsafe they may be perceiving your intention as negative.So a contrasting statement basically makes it very clear what you are NOT trying to do, or NOT trying to imply, and then you make just as clear what you ARE trying to say.

        Here are a couple examples:

        "I'm not trying to make you feel self-conscious about your body, and the last thing I want to do is make you feel ashamed or attacked. I would like to see if I can brainstorm with you to come up with ways to implement super simple habits into your life for the sake of your health."


        "I don't want to tell you what to do, and I have no intention of controlling you here. I was hoping to hear your ideas and perspective on what kinds of things you could try to improve how you feel."

        Sometimes people assume bad things about us and what we intend, and we don't know any better, or we figure "well they should know I'm not being malicious here". Just putting it out there and contrasting what you ARE saying against what they think you MIGHT be saying can be surprisingly effective.

        I highly recommend the whole book for more help with people who are shutting you out or trying to shut you down (they call it silence vs violence) when you really need to talk to them.

      • Jessica Owens Mauk said: She's confessing to you. She feels that if she confesses her sins you will judge her and she won't feel so bad about judging herself.Also, tell her to lower her goal. The first goals should be almost no brainers to meet. If she's consistently hitting 2000 steps, tell her to aim for 2200 - and have her changer to goals in her app, so she gets the positive feedback of watching the bars turn green
      • KC Ushijima said: For me, if someone says they want to get healthy but still needs motivation to do something about it, I would drill down as to Why they want to be healthy. Make being healthy a means to something, not the end. "He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how." - Nietzsche.With advances in medicine and technology, someone can live a long time with an unhealthy lifestyle, so it is paramount to find other reasons. Teenage boys aren't working out to be "healthy." Brides to be aren't dieting and extra cardio to be "healthy".Jim Rohn has the 4 questions: Why? Why Not? Why Not me? Why Not now? Simon Sinek has the TED talk and book, Start with Why.

        If they don't like to move or can't move, standing in one place is the workout for the entire training session. And if standing is too hard, crocodile breath and savasana.

      • Annie Brees said: I'm just throwing this out there... Could this be a confidence issue? Maybe these women feel so overwhelmed about how far they feel they have to go and all the tasks they can't do they just shut down. If so, I'd echo what Jessica said about easy to reach goals to start with. You and her Pick ONE thing she can do each day to move towards said goal. Forget the rest (for now at least) build confidence and let the confidence build momentum. I feel awkward commenting being so new but thought I'd share my first thought!


    The Quickest Way To Improving Performance Is Reducing Threat


    The Quickest Way To Improving Performance Is Reducing Threat


    Sup Motivators! Happy Sunday! Here is this week’s recap of all the conversations that happened in the Motivates Forums.

      • Andy Fossett said: It makes sense. Physiologically, perceived threats impede performance in a number of ways, so it almost stands to reason that it would work psychologically too. Similar logic behind the school lunch programs: "you can't focus on math if you don't know when you'll have your next meal."
      • Stevo said: Relevant book:
    • Sean Flanagan asked Motivators about their experience with Dax Moy's "MindMap" system.
      • Josh Hillis said: I hung out with Dax a few times about ten years ago. He's really really amazing at coaching - just straight up coaching people to goals.Example, fifteen minutes of having a beer with him, and I was signed up for a Portuguese class (which was a really big thing for me at the time).I was thinking I'd love to take that course, I think in Miami. And there were times when I was a little more flush I would totally have signed up for it, but right now I have some big stuff I'm paying off and it wouldn't be responsible. That's a fancy way of saying I can't swing it right now

        But if I could, I'd totally want to know what Dax has to say about behavior change.


    Community, Community, Community, Community.


    Community, Community, Community, Community.


    It's the start of the New Year and the possibility of change is in the air. It was also another action packed week of awesome conversations about habit-based coaching at the Motivate Collective!

    • This week, we hazed Benjamin Pickard, Marcelino Martinez, Andy Fossett, William Ferullo, Mandie Hall, Trey Potter, Steve Bergeron, Cameron Yick, and Scott Bojan into the Motivate Collective! Welcome!
    • Another week, another video from from The Habit Lab! This week’s video was on Habit #169: Create habit triggers using phone reminders.
    • This week's Articles for Clients Roundup features articles from Marc Halpern, James Clear, KC Ushijima, and Coach Stevo.
    • Parker J Burns shared his post, A Community for Success.
    • Sean Flanagan asked for advice on how and what to survey his email subscribers.
      • Sarah A Chapman said: I just did a few for my clients. I mainly focus on women but you can adjust it how you like.1. Do you have common negative thoughts that seems hard to get rid of, thoughts that seem to creep in daily is not hourly?2. What are some messages from outside influences that you hear/see, suggesting that you have to "be" a certain way to be "ok" or "good enough"?3. If nothing was impossible for you right now, what would you be doing to create the ideal life you want?
      • Andy Fossett said: One thing to consider is that you're probably surveying your people all the time, without even realizing it. What are your most popular blog posts? Which FB posts get the best responses? What questions do you get via message and email over and over and over?The better you track what you're already doing, the less you have to ask people to tell you what they want (because they probably don't even know).So if you're going to survey, ask things you *can't* tell via other means.
      • Josh Hillis said: What Andy said - I used to base my blog direction on what blog articles were most popular and most responsive.And, in general, I still mostly write about answers to questions my clients are asking me. Like, the stuff that actually comes up, is always there.
      • Stevo said: What Andy Fossett and Josh Hillis said. I think it's important to remember that surveys are very limiting quantitative data because 1) they're really hard to write and people get PhDs in that shit and 2) people like to tell us what they think we want to hear. Instead, we should rely on metrics that more reliably reveal our customers problems. And we have to just fucking test shit and be open to (most of it) not workingI think Henry Ford put it best when he said, "If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have told me 'a faster horse.'"Also, read this:
      • Stevo said: And you don't have to be a data genius. My most popular MyFitnessPal Articles have 7,000 shares. My least popular have 4. I'm no mathematician, but 3 factors of 10 is a pretty obvious difference.
    • Sarah A Chapman wrote a post about how much she has learned since joining the Habitry Collective!
    • Stevo shared the article , The Secret to Talking to Teens (And All Kids) About Weight.
    • Michele Burmaster shared her article, How To Lose Weight.
    • Seth Munsey asked a great question: "If you were asked by someone what the number one reason is for small group/semi-private training over joining a big box gym or working out on their own, what would you say?"
      • Stevo said: Community, community, community, community. Distributed willpower. Distributed struggles. Every major successful intervention for behavior change in the history of humanity has been dedicated, intentional communities united to help people make small changes, one day at a time, lead by a small team of experts, and supporting autonomy, competence, and belonging. These are universal human needs. Community is a universal human desire, even for introverts (who seem to just want less of it, but not none of it).
    • Joy Victoria shared her article, Goodbye 2014: A story of what I am learning as a coach.
    • Sean Flanagan asked whether introverts are more attracted to small group training than extroverts.
      • Lauren Koski said: I'm an introvert and I find I do better and interact more in small groups vs larger groups in anything.
      • Roland Fisher said: My psychologist told me that I was one of the only people she's met that could go and work on some project, by myself, in the woods, for years and be happy. I of course would need Georgie to join me, but yeah, color me an introvert. I love small groups of friends, small groups for training, etc.
      • Steven said: Introversion - Extroversion is one of the only (relatively) persistent "personality traits" in psychology (pardon all my quotes and parenthesis, I'm not really sold on personality psychology as a rigorous social science). What we know about it is that it clearly lies on a spectrum, is affected by context, and one of the easiest ways to understand it is that everyone seems to have a threshold number of people that "energize them" and another threshold that "saps them" (I got this from a professor, so pardon the lack of citations). Personally, I'm energized by a group of 2-6 and sapped by more until the group is large enough that I can reorganize smaller conversations into less than 6. The point is, everyone has these, so I try to create this with dynamic groups of multiple sizes within a larger group. That way I can give people what they need and we don't stay too large or too small for long. It also makes all day workshops WAY easier on people.
      • Kristin Laine Newman said: Even introverts need love! The book Quiet has interesting insights on introversion vs extroversion.
    • Stevo shared a post about Why the Motivate Summit Is So Special.
    • Josh Hillis shared his experience in teaching clients to love their body instead of hating it.
      • Amber Evangeline Rogers said:
      • Michele Burmaster said: I got into a pretty deep convo with a potential client who messaged me from my fb ad I posted two days ago. Samesies, Josh! chat
      • Georgie Fear said: I agree with the positive self-regard working best. Most of the research evidence I have is looking at the opposite though: futility of the negative emotions to aid in weight control, worsening of binge eating, etc with shame. Increased reward circuitry in the CNS from sugars during negative affect states, etc.
    • Lauren Koski asked, "What do you do when someone doesn't quite do the habit 100% but still kind of does it?"
      • Seth Munsey said: I've been told that Josh Hillis has a little experience in food journaling.
      • Josh Hillis I don't actually care about food journals, nor am I married to any habit or sequence of habits - they're tools. Tools for awareness, tools to get strategic, tools to create new changes.So if you step back from the tool and look at what you're trying to create - let's say awareness - is the client more aware of what they are eating than they used to be?Of if you're trying to create a strategy to overcome a roadblock that the client repeatedly faces - do you have enough information to do that now?
      • Roland Fisher said: ^ awareness. It is amazing how if the coach focuses on helping the client become aware, almost all the coaching takes care of itself. Also when the coach doesn't know what to do, clarifying, asking questions to truly understand (aka, become more aware) is the answer.
      • Josh Hillis said: Also - a good time to handle "perfect habits", man, let's *never* strive for that.Sometimes you get a little better at a habit for a while. Sometimes you hit a ceiling and need to move on vs having the client grind away at the best they can do right now.
      • Josh Hillis said: What Roland said about questions - YES.Good questions can totally create awareness, and reframe the issue for clients also.Asking questions to truly understand is awesome. Perhaps Steven Michael Ledbetter could chime in about good questions and better questions. He's my question genius.
      • Josh Hillis said: If you think about habits like exercises, it makes more sense. Do you need a "perfect" squat to load the bar?No.But it needs to be good enough that they aren't going to get hurt. Knees, low back, there are things that need to be in the right position, and when they are you can move on, and do tune up coaching at the same time.I think of habits like that. Most of what we're doing is coaching, with imperfection, on the fly.
      • Stevo said: What Josh Hillis said. Before we ask a question, or indeed ever open our mouths with a client instead of actively listening, I think we need to ask, "what's the goal?" or "what's the point of me talking?" In general, to Roland Fisher's point, the answer to that question should be "to foster awareness." I once asked my counseling skills supervisor, "when do you have to move on from going deeper with awareness? When should we start using other tools?" and she told me, "It's been working for me for 12 years. When it stops working, I'll let ya know."So what's the point of the food journal? What's the actual habit (unthinking behavior) that you're trying to foster in the client? It's not writing shit down, it's being aware of what she eats. So I'd ask her about that. I'd ask, "what have you noticed from writing all this stuff down?" And just go deeper. :-)
      • Jessica Owens Mauk said: I love everything that's been said. The only thing I'd add is asking the client what is stopping them from sending it everyday. If it's procrastination and fear/anxiety produced from the journal, I'd think she's not ready to move on. If it's because she's gained an awareness and doing it every few days works for her, then she's probably ready.
      • Matt Talley said: Another thing to consider is simply toning the habit down, or starting smaller and building UP to daily send-ins. If she's sending it every 2-3 days maybe the habit could be slightly downsized to sending twice a week (Tuesday and Saturday?).If she's able to do that for a while and feels like that's easy-peezy, then perhaps if you feel it will progress things (eg foster more awareness) you can bump up to 3-4x a week, or daily even.For what it's worth, I first ask someone, a new client, to send me 3 days worth of eating without calories, macros, or weight. Just time and a basic description. "3 eggs and piece of buttered toast 8am". Sometimes that is a hassle in itself (they won't send it for a few weeks...) so daily reports are a long ways away, if they are ever necessary.Kind of like with a new exercise, if it looks shaky give them a chance to auto-correct for a few reps. If it doesn't look like they are, give a cue or two. If that cleans it up, sweet. If cueing and practice aren't helping, I just scale it down. I started a bit too hard is all.
    • Rob Morris asked for help creating a habit of daily reading.
      • Roland Fisher said: Pick your trigger. It should be everyday. Write it like this: After _________, I will ___________, and reward myself with ___________. EX: After I brush my teeth at night, I will open my book, and reward myself by saying to myself, success! Make the habit ridiculously easy, so that you can't fail. DON'T skip the reward, you do better to acknowledge your success, after all your brain needs a reason to form the habit. After you open the book you will likely read, if you don't, no biggie, for now you're building the habit that will lead to reading.
      • Jessica Owens Mauk said: I picked a time of night (10pm) and said I will shut down the computer and get into bed with my book. Doesn't matter if my chores are done or not.
      • Josh Hillis said: For me: Reading is a really awesome way to wind down at the end of the night. A lot of times I read because if I stay looking at a screen (internet, TV, movie, phone) I'll stay up forever.Past that — find a book that's really interesting. Like some really good fiction. I go through phases where I don't read much that isn't directly tied to work, but the Game of Thrones books sucked me in to the point reading was like a part time job. I just couldn't stop 'cause I HAD to know what would happen!
      • Sarah A Chapman said: Just pick up the book and hold it. That's a great place to start Rob then thumb through and hopefully it has pictures to keep you captivated! HahaBut in all seriousness I finally "caught the bug" to read because I chose to learn about my weaknesses. I hungered for more knowledge and I can finally say I enjoy reading now. I'm not into fiction at all I can't do those. I want real, tested and tried material.
      • Seth Munsey said: I would definitely start with something that really interests you. If I started with a few of the things I'm reading now, I would have quit day one.Also, I started by just committing to reading one or two pages. After two pages, the gears were already turning in my head and I wanted to read, "just a few more pages."

        With educational based books, I read it in small chunks and try to relate what I'm reading to how it affects my clients. That usually makes me want to keep reading.

      • Jennifer Campbell said: During the week I have to shut down the screens by 9-930pm. I have a really hard time powering down for the night unless I read before bed. Start with committing to five minutes of something you think you could get into. I prefer fiction (non-work stuff!). When you get into a story you'll find yourself going to bed earlier so you can get back to your book. That's how it works for me anyways.
      • Kristin Laine Newman said: ALSO!I put my kindle in a ziplock bag and read in the shower. It's a nice way to wake up or wind down.
    • Jennifer Campbell asked for thoughts on the new Facebook algorithim.
      • Matt Talley said: "Get creative with your organic posts. You can’t post about a gift card sale. You can’t post about an event. You have to add value to people’s lives in some way. You have to provide quality content that’s creative, that makes people stop & think, and then share.Be relevant. If you want to increase your organic reach, you must increase your engagement rates. What’s the best way to do that? Talk about what matters. Have a point of view about trending topics and always think about what’s going on seasonally, and personally for your community."

        I've been thinking for a while about how I want to present posts and content on my business FB page and it's pretty gratifying to read this article and see that I don't need to make any changes to my approach in light of these changes to the algorithm. My intuition already was to avoid anything even remotely spammy and just share relevant and useful ideas, recommendations, recipes, etc. etc.

      • Josh Hillis said: This was good to see. What Matt Talley said 100%. The sale probably has to be entirely outside of Facebook. Possibly only use FB to drive to content posts, and content posts to drive to email list, and email list to sell.
    • Josh Hillis shared an interesting video on marketing and qualifying leads.
      • Jennifer Campbell said: Very inspiring. I had a discouraging day on my page last week. A certain evidence-based but "controversial" post I did left a lot of people angry. Some left angry comments (I even got a PM) and many left my page. It was discouraging. BUT, I also attracted some new followers from that post and in the end probably broke even. I'm always reevaluating my content and situations like last week leave me wondering if I need to do a better job building my content for what my followers want to hear rather than what I'm passionate about. This video reminded me that there are people out there that share my message. I need to stay the course and they'll find me.
      • Aron Rightious said: Funny you posted this Josh - just last night I watched this other video Dax posted. And, I think they go together nicely."Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own" - Bruce Lee

    • Andrew McGunagle asked for advice on long-term success as a coach.
    • Chris Highcock shared the article, Everything We Thought We Knew About Motivation is Wrong.
    • Jessica Owens Mauk wrote a post to see if there was interest in starting a Motivate Collective book club. Go join the discussion if you are interested!
    • Meredith Rhodes Carson shared her monthly newsletter.
    • Omar Atlas shared the article, To Stop Procrastinating, Look to the Science of Mood Repair.
    • Roland Fisher asked if Collective members were interested in a webinar on marketing.
      • Aron Rightious said: Set it up man.
      • Stevo said: We're trying to, Aron Rightious. With Josh Hillis, Roland Fisher and the Habitry, Co co-founder and CMO Vanessa Naylon in February or so. Roland is just surprised we all think he's the expert that he clearly is.
      • Aron Rightious said: This is great! It seems to me that folks who are trying to take a different approach to coaching are also interested in a different approach to business.Well, it's that way for me at least. It usually goes something like this... Subscribe/follow some business guru, inevitably reach a fork in the road where their advice and my values don't match, experience massive frustration.
      • Sean Flanagan said: Aron, you mean you don't want to run a 21 lbs in 21 days for $21 promotion to get new clients?
      • Chris Cbfit Forrest said: Thats what my business coach currently wants me to market like. 21 days for $21. All that stuff. But its never long term. Would like to blend the catchy advertising with the prospect of making life long change. With small steps. Not 6 weeks to ripped and go back to your couch, you are done for the next 3 years.
      • Aron Rightious said: I have this crazy idea for catchy marketing. BE FUCKING HONEST.
      • Roland Fisher said: I really don't have a clue of how to market. I've been lucky, really lucky. All I needed to do was spend years getting to be expert, be very helpful, and deliver like crazy. My audience always knew what I believed and stood for. I was simply transparent, and people paid me. Same with Georgie. Not the fast approach, but it worked. So I may add something to this webinar, but I bet it will be short.My best advice is to first really know who the hell you are and what you stand for, just knowing that will allow you to eliminate marketing ideas like $21 for 21 days.. Then model folks like Learn from great teachers.

        Ha, there, webinar done.

      • Josh Hillis said: I'm going to go way against the grain here and say that being good at what I do, over delivering, and producing results has (until very recently) *never* been enough for me to keep food on the table, much less live a comfortable life.I've had to spen

        d more than a decade working on better messaging, how to tell my story, to get my emails opened, how to get opened emails to click through, and how to get blog traffic.I've spent at least $30,000 on marketing weekend seminars, week long bootcamps, private mentoring, group coaching, hot seats at seminars, ect. And, honestly, I needed most of it to get where I'm at (where I can just be honest and over deliver and make money).

        So, I'm just throwing that out there, because I can distinctly remember years where I would wonder why just doing good work wasn't enough.

        And in case anyone out there is feeling like they're missing it, I want you to know that I had to work for every single subscriber, and learn a lot about marketing just to have any.

      • Benjamin Pickard said: Josh Hillis - thanks for the addition. People always say "give give give" like somehow that solves all problems and you will be picked up as a rising, genuine fitness star.. Obviously don't be a selfish prick, but if you aren't thinking about how to get more clients and make more money, you have a hobby not a business.Obviously I have a ways to go still but been thinking about this recently and nice to hear something different.
      • Omar Atlas said: I think what Josh Hillis has hit here is that being good as a coach and being good as a business person are two different skills. You need to get good at both.
      • Roland Fisher said: And there you have it. I got lucky. Not sure if I'd want to learn much from someone who got lucky, lol. I'd rather learn from Josh.
      • Josh Hillis said: I doubt you got lucky Roland.It's totally possible that most of the stuff I had to learn just came naturally to you.

        Or you got positioned in a way that set you up to be heard early on.

        I'm sure you are doing A LOT right. And I'm sure that I could learn a lot from you.

      • Stevo said: OK Roland Fisher, we'll call the webinar, "how I got lucky." And we'll start with a quote from Branch Rickey: "Luck is the residue of design." And you'll have a front row seat to hear from Josh Hillis, too.
      • Roland Fisher Alright, fine. You can't argue with Obi Wan. I'll participate.
      • Andy Fossett said: OK, I don't really know most of you very well, but I come from an online marketing background, and I've gotta jump in to say that there's plenty of very effective ways to market honest, good shit in an ethical manner without having to hype and BS.Any marketing coach that's telling you to say shit you don't believe in is someone you should stop listening to. And definitely stop paying - immediately.


    They Will Be Loyal Mofos


    They Will Be Loyal Mofos


    Happy Sunday Motivators! Time to recap yet another bustling week at the Motivate Forums!

    • Habitry, Co. launched The Habit Lab, a new weekly video series dedicated to testing out, reporting about, and sharing our favorite habits with the world.
      • Omar Atlas said: We know most people want fast results and out of these people that want fast results, a minority are willing to put in the extra effort required for fast results. How would you deal with these sorts of clients? Does trying to "convince" to take it slow and steady come at the risk of de-motivating them?
      • Roland Fisher said: Comparing two speeds of dieting makes no sense to me, dieting sucks. Changing habits is the only way to go anyway, and it is rather slow for most people to take that approach.
      • Sean Flanagan said: Maybe there's a middle ground - give a couple 'quick fixes' up front to buy some time while creating other habits. Then when less of a "nuclear method" is needed, have them wean off the quick fix tactics and they can fall back on their habits.
      • Matt Talley said: One of the most interesting points in the paper that stood out to me was the discussion of data that indicates most people slowly gain weight over time without any sort of study intervention or diet program.So if gaining a few pounds over the years is the expected norm, then the weight anyone keeps off long term is even more impressive as we shouldn't compare them to a static "starting weight" but rather what their "in another universe" weight can reasonably be assumed to be.
      • Matt Talley said: Right now the industry is TOO HOT. Crossfit, Insanity, P90x, Beast Mode, No Excuses, etc. One piping hot bowl of hardcore is served to everyone and the newbs and genpop are turned away quickly, if they ever try it in the first place. Someone needs a little bit at a time, slowly, but they're given too much too fast.We need to be careful not to make things TOO COLD as we try to cool things down a bit. If we try serving an ice cold bowl of n00b flakes to everyone then the really driven and experienced people will be turned away. Some people need a lot, and they can handle it right now, but they're given too little too slowly.Somewhere in the middle is JUST RIGHT: the appropriate volume, pacing, weight, frequency, restriction, planning, etc.
      • Seth Munsey said: I'm a little confused as to what population we are currently discussing. Losing a lot of weight at a young age when work/life/family stressors are significantly lower, getting involved in the powerlifting community, gaining some weight back to hit a certain strength goal, then losing weight again while surrounded by a supportive community and a lot of time and knowledge, is a lot different than the average overweight/obese client we see on a daily basis.
      • Dominic Matteo said: This is a very interesting conversation for me on a couple of levels. 1) I'm in it. I know what it took for me to go from 300 lbs to single digit bf. I also know the turbulence I experienced in finding and changing to a more maintainable pace to keep it off. 2) I know at least a dozen people who have lost 80 - 100lbs in a similar fashion. Most have put back on weight because they never learned ENOUGH habit change to maintain or they were so extreme initially they were afraid to back off a little, then ended up simply burning out. 3) quite a few of the people I currently coach are "former profession dieters". The most interesting conversations are the ones where they want faster results yet they are doing everything they can in the context of their lives. These guys compare their reality to someone else's and feel bad about it. Going faster would probably be more motivating for them yet in reality, it isn't possible without sacrificing something more important to them like work or family time.
      • Roland Fisher said: Just to be clear, I was saying slow or fast, from dieting, isn't important, changing behavior is. I like fast as much as the next person, but I want it to be habit based so that it is permanent.
      • Spencer Nadolsky said: The way I see this is that you don't have to worry if it seems the patient is losing weight faster than the usual pace as long as the habits you are teaching are long term.
      • Omar Atlas said: On the same page there, Roland. I guess even if you do go fast, eventually you have to deal with slow progress and setbacks. That's why developing the right habits becomes crucial. Georgie Fear said: The reason I asked a question (regarding the gap between action and ability) is because personally, I'm not worried about the maximal intensity and number of things they CAN do. If they aren't doing any of those things already, on their own, in real life, I'm not going to encourage them to SPRINT down the diet track when the race extends the rest of their life. If they have ability but haven't had the motivation to do anything, I think attending to the weak link in the chain is ...well maybe its just my style.
      • Joy Victoria said: Need to read the whole thread, but Dan John talks about this, as do a couple other coaches. I think a big thing is that people set a time frame, but then just reverse back to what they were doing before and gain it all back, rather than easing out of it. Its this lack of awareness that post-massive-effort, you need an incubation stage where you chill the fuck out for a bit, but don't go eating it all back to "reward yourself for the effort". This is an incomplete thought, but I got my nails done, and typing is pissing me off right now.
      • Seth Munsey said: I agree. Taking time to sit, reflect and really discover my "whys," is a lot different then someone sitting across from me repeatedly asking me "why?"
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter said: There's a lot of great alternatives to "why" like:1) How did you come to that conclusion? 2) What's the thought behind that? 3) How do you think that's gonna play out? 4) Walk me through the reasoning there. 5) What do you think led to that?
      • Chris Cbfit Forrest said: Yeh i don't seem to have an issue too much cause i try and make all interviewing as fun and silly as possible.The biggest thing i try is to make them laugh early in the piece. Then i throw out funny examples of why and some serious ones. We are classed as a 'country town' and there are some country town mentalities, as well as that aussie battler mentalities. But i love you examples above, going to throw them into the "scripts" for the pts when they do the assessment. Just so they don't ask why and sit there in that awkward silence for 5 mins
    • Rob Morris shared an experience about the power of empathy for influencing clients.
      • Rob Morris said: Empathy can be a powerful tool that can influence our clients if it comes from a place of honesty and sincerity. My career choice has left me with a whole heap of injuries that cause me chronic pain. I have a client who has experienced some tough times in life. He is a cancer survivor, has a bunch of titanium in his face from an accident, and has chronic back pain from a disk injury. This is a person who owns and is president of a half billion dollar a year corporation. On the outside he has it all, but all he wants is to be able to move without pain. After he overcame cancer he wrote a book and gave me a copy. When I opened it tonight I found an inscription on the inside cover. What he wrote touched me deeply. I have made lots of mistakes in my work with him, but because I can empathize with his pain, I work my ass off to find solutions. I listen to you guys and your thoughts. I listen to my mentors like Daniel John, Jon Torine and Gray Cook. When I don't have answers I find someone who does. He comes to me not because I am the best, but because he knows I understand what he deals with and I will do everything I can to help him. That is the power of EMPATHY. Thanks to you all for helping me on my journey to improve and help others change their own lives.
    • Seth Munsey shared an article about fitness concierges.
    • Parker J Burns shared “Where Does Your Fat Go When You Lose Weight?
    • Nicole Markee asked for advice on web hosting.
    • Sean Flanagan asked, “What role does one-on-one coaching play in your coaching practice? What unique value do you feel that it addresses that group coaching is not ideal to deal with?
      • Chris Cbfit Forrest we do semi private training, that is what we are going to do when we bring in the Habitry Model. I think that would work well, still group based, but individualized training.
      • Georgie Fear said: I do one on one as my specialty. for people with emotional eating or a wonky relationship with eating its really helpful to "get in there". I like to get up to my elbows in their distorted thinking, misplaced emptions, etc and help.
    • Roland Fisher asked the Collective for their thoughts on the Tiny Habits Master Class, by BJ Fogg.
      • Omar Atlas said: This book might be worth reading:
      • Steven Michael Ledbetter said: It's a good base for understanding the first step. But I've not met a single person who made it past the "habit hangover" (week 3) because it completely ignores social engagement, fallback plans (Roland Fisher, you know as well as I do everyone over-estimates in the first week), and a number of other things that I think are key to sustainable habit formation.I think we NEED to be talking about triggers and rewards and planning around drops in motivation (Fogg is great about that), but he's never been a coach, so there's very little practical experience actually meeting people where they're at. He's also got very little academic experience with Self-Determination Theory (I got into a discussion of SDT with him on twitter when he reached out looking for more info on it), so he doesn't talk about the importance of autonomy or belonging (although his system is great for increasing perceptions of competence). His system doesn't address environment or changing your context to make better decisions (ala Brian Wansink). He really doesn't think much of awareness building and yet he seems to think that finding one's own triggers is easy (when in all of Lally and Wood's work, they talk about how delusional people are about what actually triggers our behavior).He is definitely a world expert in a narrow field, but there's a lot about the application that I think is missing. In the grand scheme of things, $66/hr is pretty cheap, and I think there's stuff to learn from him. But I personally think he's got more to learn from you, Roland Fisher.


    Something of a Professional Tongue Biter


    Something of a Professional Tongue Biter


    Happy Sunday Motivators! It’s time for another “This Week on the Motivate Forums”! Grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage and soak in the great conversations that were had! We hazed 5 new members into the Collective! Looking forward to having great conversations with Jae Aube, Lauren Snyder, Lars Mårten Häggquist, Sam Sacket, and Anastacia Ciau!

    • Fellow Motivators Josh Hillis and Daniel John continued to receive praise from the Collective on their new book, Fat Loss Happens on Monday.
      • Andrew McGunagle wrote about how the book “opened up some great new lines of communication about [clients’] eating habits and what we can work on.”
    • Michelle Burmaster released another meme highlighting 167 Fat Loss Habits, featuring her intern (and Collective member), Jae
    • Parker J Burns asked for help on writing and blog promotion, which led to some great responses:
      • Matt McGunagle said: "Post it on your own blog/website first. If it's something you're proud of and want to share with a bigger audience you can always reach out to other trainers to republish on their blog or fitness website. James had an excellent for the Appsumo team about this:"
      • Stevo said: "I wrote this tutorial for people who want to write for Habitry, Co. It's specifically how academics can write for other coaches, but I think you can extrapolate a lot from it to write for a lay audience."
      • Josh Hillis said: "Write a blog post every week. Say just one thing per post. Write with a specific client in mind. Make sure it's actionable content, and not philosophizing, most of the time."
      • Andrew McGunagle said: "Hey Parker, I'd definitely recommend starting with a personal blog, but EliteFTS is a pretty easy site to get published on as you're getting going. One small piece of general advice is to write stuff that is unique. There are so many blogs and websites out there with the same articles saying the same things (Top 10 Superfoods, 5 Bench Press Variations, Why Spot Reduction is a Myth, etc.) . Distinguish yourself by writing about your thoughts and experiences."
    • Seth Munsey keeps breaking the Internet. Check out his fantastic blog post about the power of letting your clients choose their own metrics: What’s Your Clients Scorecard?
      • This sparked an excellent discussion on Jahed Momand’s wall between Coach Stevo and Matt Talley about process versus outcome goal-setting.
    • Michelle Burmaster asked for advice on how to deal with clients that pay but do not attend
      • Aron Rightious said: "is there *something* they could come in for? Stretch, foam roll, mobility drills. Something that isn't so much a sweat session, but gets the "go to the gym" groove going again?"
      • Josh Hillis said: "I always start people back at lower volume. So they know their first workout back they just do one set of everything. Next workout, two sets, etc."
      • Omar Atlas said: "I run online groups, so my experience is from that. Do you collect their email when they sign up? Send them weekly member highlights (after getting permission to email, obviously) of how other clients (similar to them) are kicking ass. The idea is to remind them how awesome your facility is and how easy and painless it is to get back in"
      • Seth Munsey said: "I send them an email.

    Subject Line: We Miss You!


    Hi (name)!


    Just checking in to see how you are doing.


    We miss seeing you in class!!


    Have a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing you back in class again soon.



    • That usually works most of the time. They pretty much always respond back with a thank you for checking in and why they've been absent.I'm sure I could tweak the wording to make it better, but it works for now."
      • Stevo said: "I'm mostly online too, so I'm pulling this outta my Evidence-Based Ass, but at Motivate SLC, Geoffrey Hemingway mentioned that Mark Fisher Fitness (where he works) gets "get well soon" and "sympathy cards" and has all the trainers in the gym and all the members in the afflicted person's class sign them. I think that you can use a similar tact with lapsed members IF you're VERY careful not to make them feel guilty or judged." If someone hasn't been around in a while, how about sending them a card from as many people at your gym as possible that says, "We know holidays are hard. So we wanted you to know there's always a spot for you here when this crap is over." But if someone is showing up, just being inconsistent I don't think you need to freak out. Just say, "hey, holidays are hard. I totes get it." Then ask them if there's anything you can do to support them. the key is to make them feel supported and welcome (no matter how infrequently they show up) and not singled out or judged.
    • Sarah A Chapman wrote a post full of gratitude to the Motivate Collective! We <3 you too, Sarah!
    • Lauren Synder asked for advice on how to start online group coaching as a relatively new coach, which sparked an interesting discussion on what you can learn as a coach from group versus 1-on-1 coaching
    • Sean Flanagan asked “What do you guys do when you're worried that a client is pursuing pseudoscientific faux-medical care?”, which struck a chord with many Motivators
      • Amber Evangeline Rogers said: "The answer I gave sean offline was: refer to a real medical professional, as we are not qualified to be giving diet advice to people with medical conditions."
      • Mickela Mitchell said: "I'm curious if you've looked into the professional they're working with? I think we're going to see more of this. Especially with clients having the ability to work with them online via web cam chats. There are reputable natural minded docs out there - and lots of clients don't want to be on the prescriptions conventional MDs would put them on (ex: statins). I would be interested in building a list of reputable naturopaths as a resource for clients who are drawn toward that."
      • Stevo said: "I think a good way to frame this question is, "How do you work with people who have a different worldview than you as a practitioner? Where do you draw the lines between your scope of practice and the other professionals that your clients work with?"
      • Robert Fernandez said: "The worry of not doing enough is one we must deal with silently as professionals. Reinforcement or dismissal of anything beyond our scope or legal obligation to report on is not beneficial to all clients in all cases. It is beyond our scope because there is consensus that even though we are more educated on the matter, we aren't the ultimate authority and are not qualified to condemn not condone."
      • Georgie Fear said: "If I have concerns about what a client is doing being potentially unsafe or ineffective I share them every time, but don't insist they stop. It doesn't really bother me since usually it is safe and only a waste of time. And I state it that way, as a concern. "I have concerns that XYZ may be unsafe for you because (evidence)." or if applicable, "I am concerned that you might be spending money/energy time on a process which is scientifically not supported for that benefit, however I also think it is unlikely to harm you so I don't think safety is an issue (homeopathy, acupuncture). While there's always a chance alternative practices could help, I just feel I should let you know that (XYZ) is supported by more evidence to be effective."
      • Matt Talley sad: "Sean I don't think you're playing along unless you say something like "Oh yeah homeopathy is totes effective and sadly underrated." If you're practicing your deadpan face that's the best you can do unless you think the client is someone who can benefit from and HANDLE dissenting viewpoints. I say it depends on the client and your relationship with them. Are they easily offended and quick to get defensive? Never take their word for it but find out for yourself sooner rather than later. Most clients/humans immediately trigger fight or flight when they are challenged and unfortunately many take a dissenting viewpoint, even if delivered with perfect assertiveness, as a big challenge. If a client has shown themselves to be this way (they all show who they are, whether we see what they're showing us or not) then I would not share your views on homeopathy or whatever other thing that you two obviously and fundamentally disagree on. Living in Seattle WA where everyone and their dog has a chiropracter, naturopath, acupuncturist, and is eating a gluten free paleo diet specially modified for their blood type.... it's safe to say I'm something of a professional tongue biter."
    • KC Ushijima shared an interesting post combining ideas in the art of magic with health and fitness.
    • Chris Highcock shared an article on creating systems that help you focus on the process
    • Coach Stevo shared an article on what actually matters in health and fitness
    • Eleni Saltas riffed on Seth Munsey’s post on using clickers to motivate clients, check it out!