Curious how to squeeze in more time for self-care? Or maybe you wanted know the secret to setting goals and sticking to them? Or perhaps you’re on the fence about enrolling in the Primal Health Coach Institute and wondering how to use your certification once you graduate? In the final installment of our Ask the Coach series, our expert panel of Primal Health Coaches answer these questions and more. Missed the other posts in our series? There’s still time to catch up on Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

What advice do you have for someone who chronically falls short when it comes to goal setting? It feels like every time I commit to making changes to my diet and exercise habits, they go the way of the New Year’s Resolution and ultimately end up being abandoned.  – Marc G.

Rachel P.: You might need to set goals that you can accomplish gradually. But then again, some people have to go all-in, 100%, or else they won’t feel like they can stick to it. Start off small if need be. Set a weekly goal to eat one healthier meal. Then the next week add another healthy meal. Notice how you feel and keep track of what you’re eating if you feel that is helpful. Also, get a partner to make these changes with you! An accountability partner can often make things more fun and easier to stick to. If you’re the competitive type, maybe make it a fun competition to see who can have the healthiest week, and agree to buy the other a healthy lunch if that partner’s weekly goal is met first.

Monica L.: Ask yourself: Do I really believe this is a bad habit? How would my life be better if I didn’t do ___? Am I willing to make this change to be in a better place? Remember, you can help yourself and you always have a choice. I find that if clients aren’t ready to commit to making a change, then they aren’t ready to change.

Nanette M.: My advice is that you probably aren’t ready to make major changes. Start small by avoiding fast food and processed foods. Just those changes alone will make you feel better. When you’re ready to commit, I would love to support you.

Linda B.: You need to dig down and think about what you want to change and why. Then only you can make it happen. If you are committed, but need support, that is where a Primal Health Coach can help you. But if YOU aren’t committed, then no one can really help you. Not even a Primal Health Coach has a magic wand.

I’m a busy mom on the go with hardly a minute to spare. How can I sneak in self-care when I barely have time to take care of everything that needs to get done?  – Shaelyn W.

Rachel: It can be hard. But even if it’s just a few hours a week, it’s so important to carve out time for yourself. Try to get a family member to watch your kids for a couple of hours and go to a yoga class, or have lunch or coffee with a friend you haven’t connected with in awhile. Enlist the help of a spouse or partner too, and kindly explain that you need a break here and there to stay sane.

Monica: I’ve been there! Don’t buy into the lie that you don’t have time. We are all given the same amount of hours in a day. The question is, are you willing to give up some of the things that you perceive are standing in your way? The best thing about primal living is the little amount of time it takes to fit in exercise and self-care. A Primal Health Coach can show you how to do that.

Nanette: I am, too. What has saved me is planning. It doesn’t take any longer to throw some good meat and a bunch a vegetables in a crock pot than it takes to cook an unhealthy meal. If you plan and aren’t constantly running to the store, you may have time to take for yourself.

Summer D.: Don’t sneak it in. Schedule it on the family calendar. Let the family know it is important for you to be taken care of just like everyone else. Ask the family to help with a chore that could give you time to do something for yourself. If you cook, make that a night for an easy, quick or pre-cooked option.

Linda: As a working mom myself, I understand the problem. You need to make eating, exercising, and sleeping as important as everything else in your life. Not just for you, but for your family as well. There aren’t any shortcuts. The benefits for the whole family are better health, a more pleasant life, and a healthy future. As a Primal Health Coach and a working mom who has always prepared the majority of her family’s meals, I can help you learn how to make that happen. It’s another avenue of support that some of us with that experience can help you with.

I’m a Type-A personality—if I decide something needs to be done, I just go ahead and do it. What can a health coach offer me that I wouldn’t be able to get done on my own?  – Randall Y.

Rachel: I am a Type A, so I totally get it. You’re strong-willed and you want things done on your own terms. This can be a great motivator, but from experience, this can also leave a person feeling burned out and frustrated. I would explain that I can help you stay motivated to achieve your health goals, but as part of my training, I can also work with you to help lower some of your stress and learn better ways to slow life down. Type A’s are often the ones who need the most help, because they try to do it all, and their lifestyle can make them sick over time until they are then forced to take a break and reevaluate their lifestyle habits.

Summer: Sometimes people have trouble identifying issues that may be holding them back because they are too close. A health coach can look from an outside perspective to help you see things you could be missing. This also helps narrow your focus and saves you time since you won’t have to do the research.

Nanette: You certainly could do it on your own. The challenge is figuring it all out. Which direction will you take? A coach can shorten that learning curve for you. I offer different coaching packages. Someone like you may not need as much hand-holding. You may be surprised…there is much to learn.

What type of career paths are available to me as a certified Health Coach?  – Lindsey H.

Rachel: So many! You can grow your practice to eventually coach clients full-time. You can do something within the food industry like a meal prep business. You can do workshops to teach healthy habits, speak to groups, get into corporate wellness, write about your experience, and even get continuing education in fitness or other healing modalities so that you can provide multiple services in the health field. It’s really whatever you want to create with the opportunity.

Monica: Working for yourself, a gym, a functional medicine doctor, online coaching…the possibilities are endless and growing!

Nanette: They are as varied as your imagination and experiences. I focus on families because that is where my experience is. I know health coaches who focus more on fitness, keto, chronic illness, Lyme disease, obesity… Really, it is limitless.

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