A New Approach to Health Coaching: Creating Affordability, Accountability, and Sustainability

It has taken me some time to get back into the flow of writing my blog again after putting out my first book last year, Heal Your Soul, Heal Your Gut. It has been said that writing a book is like having a baby and I can attest that this is quite true! Many of the same rollercoaster of emotions of the 9 months leading to childbirth such as anticipation, fear, excitement, and even a touch of morning sickness just about sums up my book writing experience.  Since the book release, it has been a busy year working with clients, doing speaking engagements and participating in health expos.

When I began my own health journey I, myself was a client and worked with a health coach.  Inspired by the experience, I returned to school and received my health coaching certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and now coach clients with a focus on improving gut health and autoimmune disease symptoms.  Through those experiences, I have come to many conclusions about what works and what doesn’t work to create long-term health.    For many, the current model does not allow for sustainability of healthy habits after the conclusion of their programs; many feel that they still need some form of support after ending their time with their coach.  Since the goal of health coaching is empowerment of the client, it would not be appropriate to create a co-dependent relationship where the client works with the coach on a long-term basis.  In addition, that sort of model, just isn’t affordable for many.  The new coaching program I am releasing offers a solution to these very issues and creates just that, affordability, sustainability and even accountability.  In addition, to releasing this new program, I will also be discussing additional programs that can meet you at whatever level of coaching you desire.  I will have programs that will offer options starting for free (yes free!) with levels all the way through individual one-on one coaching.

Working with my health coach was an incredible and life changing experience and brought me onto a path that permanently changed the way I approached my health.  However, I have found a universal problem within most coaching programs and that is the need for ongoing support after the coaching period has ended.  As the saying goes, “health is a journey, not a destination,” and for that reason, I feel strongly that creating a path for ongoing support is essential at the conclusion of any health coaching program.

As I went through my journey of health coaching school, one of the ideas that I found fascinating is the concept of, “the client heals the coach.”  Thats right, I’ll say it again, “the CLIENT heals the coach,”as explained by Joshua Rosenthal, founder of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching School.  This notion really solidified my idea that ongoing support is crucial to the long-term success of any coaching program.   This is very similar to the concepts exemplified in the 12 -step plan of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  Those who maintain their sobriety are sponsors to others struggling with addiction.  The brilliance of AA is that being a sponsor, a mentor, is the key to maintaining one’s own sobriety.  I am convinced that this same concept absolutely applies to health coaching.  While ideally the best way for health coaching clients to sustain their healthy changes would be to become a health coach, I recognize that this is not realistic for everyone.  Therefore, I am proposing a solution to this problem with my new program.

In my new program I will offer a shared-mentorship program, where I will simultaneously coach two individuals who would like to work together.  While each session will be shorter than a typical one-on-one coaching session, the program will also be half the price. Each client will have individual one-on-one sessions to work on their own health goals.  In addition, each client will be trained in basic mentorship skills, much like a sponsor in the AA program.  I see my clients twice a month, so during the weeks where I am not meeting individually with my clients, those in a shared-mentorship program will be expected to mentor each other.  Once the program is over, these two individuals will be considered ambassadors of my health coaching program and would be encouraged to continue mentoring each other long-term.  Therefore, this new program would create affordability, sustainability and accountability.  I do recognize, that while this program solves many of the concerns within the current coaching model, it is not for everyone.  Therefore, I will continue to offer one-on-one individual coaching as well.

What if neither of these programs addresses your needs?  For some, the group coaching environment will provide the right kind of support one is looking for.  Recently, I conducted a free online coaching group introducing my 20-30-20 water challenge where individuals were taught how to incorporate 60 oz of water a day.  I was so inspired by the dedication and success of this group and look forward to offering monthly challenges approximately 6 times a year.  The next challenge will be a 24 sugar challenge where participants will receive education about sugar, how to read labels and will be challenged to keep their sugar consumption to 24 grams of sugar for 24 days.  While I intend to offer my online group challenges for free, there will be the option to pay a nominal fee for the month to receive daily check-in and more support during the challenge.

While it is said that raising children takes a village, I believe maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires ongoing support.  I am so excited to be releasing this new shared-mentorship health coaching program and would love to hear what you think about it!  The first two individuals to sign up for my new program will receive free copies of my book as well as a free joint supermarket tour!

Now Go Love You,

Jill 🙂

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