Although it’s true that some clients are able to motivate themselves to stay on track with their health and fitness even when they are not physically with you, there is another subset of clients on the opposite spectrum that may need a boost of inspiration to maintain their focus.
Of course, we want our clients to maintain their physical health, which they’ll do so through regular exercise, healthy nutrition, and sufficient sleep. However, emotional health is also an important factor in overall wellness. As the World Health Organization clarifies, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” In other words, our clients’ health depends on more than just strong muscles and not getting sick.
While there are a number of tactics you could use to inspire your clients to focus on their physical and emotional health, here are three approaches that have worked for me…
Collaborate on Small Goals
Helping your client define and achieve small goals on their fitness journey can really go a long way towards establishing those healthy habits that they’ll keep when they aren’t with you. As they continue to eliminate negative influences in their life, help guide them to come up with positive replacements.
Keep in mind that the key word here is “collaborate”. Clients will be more likely to stay motivated with newly established habits and routines when they are working towards something that they want, not something imposed on them. In addition, breaking down large and intimidating goals into smaller and attainable targets will help make the journey seem more approachable.
Wearable Fitness Trackers
Ever since wearable fitness trackers have become popular (Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, etc.), I’ve noticed that some clients truly enjoy using their tracker to keep them motivated to move. I’m not saying to go tell all your clients to buy one BUT if your client does have a tracker, encourage them to continue using it (or to brush the dust off of it and give it a go, if it’s still sitting in the box) as a means of keeping that enthusiasm level up while they aren’t with you.
You can even turn it into a game and set mini “tracker goals” that you and your client collaborate on… such as how many days can they walk at least 10,000 steps or climb a certain number of stair flights. Some trackers will award badges for reaching certain milestones… although it’s something small, they can make a person feel proud and want to continue their progress!
Make it fun for your client and make a big deal out of any tracker goals they accomplish, whether its badges achieved or something that you and your client have collaborated on.
Check in with them in between sessions
It’s impossible to be with your clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although even if it was possible, it’s not really a practical solution. However, there’s nothing that says you should only speak to your client when they are paying you.
Send them a quick message on a day when you aren’t scheduled to meet, especially if you think they may need a little pep talk, to see how they’re doing. You could also email a helpful c, i.e. info on a free fitness event taking place in their area or a link to a health article that you think they would find interesting. Be sure to keep the language in your client communications positive and supportive.
Figuring out the best motivational tactic will depend on each individual client and your relationship with them. It may be a slow process, along with a few setbacks, but that’s okay. Help your client stay focused on their goals, make adjustments when needed, and keep them moving forward!
Was this Article Helpful?
If this article was helpful to you, please consider linking this article to your own blog or sharing this through the social buttons below. You will also find other great articles at “Ask An Expert“.
She has a B.S. in Business Administration from Framingham State University and a M.S. in Physical Education/ Strength & Conditioning from Bridgewater State University. She is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and with USA Weightlifting as a Sports Performance Coach.
Moe lives in Boston where she keeps busy crossing things off her fitness bucket list.
Latest posts by Maureen Faherty
- How do I keep my clients on track in the New Year and maintain their motivation? - February 2, 2017
- How important is emotional fitness to gaining physical fitness? - October 5, 2016
- I recently injured myself and cannot demonstrate new exercises to my clients. Do you have any suggestions for what to do when I can’t physically demonstrate what they should do? - June 28, 2016