Health coaches can help you reach an optimal wellness and well-being level. With their help, you can achieve higher performance levels and greater life satisfaction with your career, relationships, recreational activities, and more.
A health coach’s overall goal is to help you achieve whatever your definition of “being the best” is in your life.
Although numerous health coaches are available today to provide you with the experience and knowledge you need to succeed, it’s crucial to find the fit that works for you. Here are the steps you can take right now to start that process.
Steps to Take When Searching for the Right Health Coach
Step #1: Is the Health Coach Certified?
You can find excellent health coaches without a national certification. It was only very recently, in 2017, when the NBHWC launched the first program to provide minimum measurements and industry competencies standards.
If your preferred health coach isn’t certified yet, they should at least be educated and experienced. You can ask about the individual’s qualifications as part of the initial interview. At this time in the United States, there are no licensing requirements for health coaches.
Step #2: Do You Get a Free Consult?
A health coach should offer a safe place to have candid and honest conversations about your needs. If you don’t receive a free consultation to start the relationship-building process, you’ve encountered a red flag of this industry.
When someone asks you to pay for services before meeting them, it could be a sign that their activities are a cash grab.
Step #3: Review the Logistics
Every coach has a different way of going about their business. Some providers offer monthly rates, while others ask you to pay by the session. We’re even starting to see provision tiers where you can pick-and-choose from different wellness services to create a custom approach to your health.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer here. If the logistics work for you, select the plan that fits the best to start working with your preferred provider.
If not, you can shop around to see if another health coach offers something similar at a better rate or with more convenience.
Step #4: Agreements and Expectations
Your health coach should have an agreement that outlines all of the expectations from both parties before initiating services. You’ll want to review that information to see if these items are covered.
- Do you have a way to extend the relationship if you enjoy the services received from the health coach?
- Is there a way to terminate the contract if you’re not satisfied with the results you’re getting?
- What happens if you need to reschedule an appointment?
- How long is each session, and how often are you supposed to meet?
- Are some meetings via Zoom (or another platform), or are you required to have in-person sessions?
If you don’t receive a full outline of your agreement’s expectations, it could be a dealbreaker.
Step #5: Develop Your Connection
If you do not feel connected with the health coach you’ve selected, it doesn’t make sense to force a square peg into a round hole. It is better to keep looking so that you can feel a spark instead of compromising on what you think the best solution should be in your community.
The conversations a health coach initiates can get quite personal. Their goal is to help you explore the different obstacles that stand in your way so that you can reach your definition of success.
Honest and open communication is what creates a lifestyle change. It would be best if you had someone who won’t pull punches when speaking with you, but they must also have the empathy to understand where you’re at and how hard you are working.
Step #6: Additional Expertise
Does your health coach have expertise in other areas? If you have weight loss goals as part of your overall approach to lifestyle change, it might be useful to work with someone who has nutritional experience.
If you work in a high-stress job, a health coach with similar experiences might have more practical advice to offer in your situation.
This step is tricky because it can lead you away from health coaching. If the person you hire starts designing menus or workouts for you to follow, they’re more of a personal dietician or trainer than a coach. A health coach cannot act as your dietician or nutritionist unless they are licensed to do so.
What Is the Most Important Thing About Selecting a Health Coach?
Although you’ll want to review all of these steps when selecting a health coach, the most crucial part of this process is to feel fantastic about your decision.
If you start second-guessing yourself after an initial consultation, it’s wise to seek a different provider.
When you can find someone who understands your needs, focuses on this relationship, and holds you accountable, you’ve found a health coach who can help you reach your goals.