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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G27R8BRVRKA"
  • 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?"

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