Keys to Success
While there is certainly no fail-proof system, there are ways you can help safeguard your client against failure and disappointment. Commitment, support, and a good plan are key factors for success. You and your clients working together can find the system that will be effective for them as individuals.
If your clients are going to successfully achieve their goals, they need to be 100 percent committed to doing what it takes to get there. As their trainer, you need to be 100 percent behind them, providing them with support and the tools they need to achieve success. If one or both parties are not totally committed, this system will not work. You can show your clients that you are dedicated to their success by providing them with the best possible service. They will demonstrate their dedication through adherence to your program.
The longer you work as a trainer, the easier it will be to assess which clients have the commitment level and those who will need an extra push. Bear in mind that you will not be able to help everyone. If they are unwilling or unable to take the steps you outline for them, your hands are tied. You can provide guidance, support, and encouragement, but you cannot do the work for them.
Establish a Support System
Your clients will likely need more support than you alone can give. You do not have the luxury of tending to them twenty-four hours a day. Encourage clients to set up a support system to help them stay on track with lifestyle changes. Friends and family are a great place to start if they are willing to help with the process.
Instruct your client to be specific with what she needs from her loved ones. Support can take many forms. She may need something simple like verbal encouragement or someone to call if she feels like eating to relieve stress. Maybe she wants a friend to walk with her or to watch her children while she goes for a run.
Professionals can be a part of the support system as well. Depending on your clients' needs and goals, they may use the services of a life coach, counselor, dietician, running coach, or even a religious leader. There are also support groups that address just about every need and situation. Figure out with your clients what they feel comfortable with, but they should have someone to help them besides you. Very few people can do it alone.
Dealing with Setbacks
There will inevitably be times when progress slows, stops, or even moves in reverse. You are working with human beings, not machines. If this does happen, re-examine the client's goals, and if necessary, rewrite them. Perhaps they were too ambitious, and cannot dedicate as much time as they thought they could to their program. Figure out what is getting in the way. Is it fear, stress, fatigue, lack of motivation? You may need to modify their program, or completely rewrite it. The client may simply need to take a break and regroup. Whatever happens, stay positive and try not to let your clients give up and quit.