I coach many different types of patients in my own practice and here at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center. Helping loved ones get healthy is the most challenging. Why is it so hard for us to accept advice from those who have our best interest at heart? Often people use food and certain habits to deal with underlying emotions. The truth is you can’t get anyone to do anything they don’t want to. The desire and readiness have to come from within. Here are five ways to help get them inspired.
1. Don’t Badger, Judge, Preach or Nag
No matter what benefits you’re getting from being healthy, no one will be able to see it because they’re blinded by your attitude and behavior. It will only create more distance and rebellion. Love them, encourage them and support them. Most importantly, be patient until they find a path to a healthy lifestyle on their OWN. It’s the most difficult thing to do but it’s the only way really help.
2. Getting Healthy is Contagious
In the practice here at Eleven Eleven Wellness, many of our patients are women who come for help to feel better. Once they do, often their husbands and other family members follow. The best thing you can do to inspire others is live a healthy lifestyle and allow them see the joy you’re experiencing. It’s also beneficial to talk about how you’ve dealt with some of your own struggles and other benefits that may not be visible. Perhaps it’s how you kicked your sugar addiction or got started with an exercise regime.
3. Suggest Professional Support
If you see your loved one interested but they don’t know where to start, suggest a health coach or an online support program. Enlisting a third party removes the emotional element and allows them to take ownership. A coach can help them create a vision, get unstuck and develop a personalized plan of small, sustainable changes.
4. Encourage Small Steps
Changing old habits is a BIG deal, especially as we start to get older. When starting out, it can feel overwhelming. Most people take the all or nothing approach, procrastinate and figure they’ll start ‘Monday.’ Instead, encourage them to focus on 2-3 small changes to improve their health. Suggest getting to bed 15 minutes earlier this week, taking a walk during lunch or even meditating for five minutes before bed. These goals will seem much more achievable and will provide motivation towards the larger goal.
5. Help Them See the Bright Side
A kind, encouraging word goes a long way and an overall healthy attitude is contagious. Compliment them on small things they may not notice like clear skin or a shift in mood. Become your loved ones biggest supporter especially during the tough times.