Walk in your client’s shoes

So over the past month I have embarked on a couple of self-induced week-long challenges. The first was cutting out the sugar in my coffee (which I still do). The second was decreasing TV time to one hour per night and the third was to cut out TV completely (I am back to watching one hour per night).

The biggest impact this had on me was to remind me of how hard it is to change our behaviors.

As Personal Trainers we are paid by people to help them change their behaviors. And I think that it’s easy to forget how hard that actually is for them. They come to us, inactive. We ask them to become more active. They come to us with poor nutrition, we ask them to eat better. They come to us lacking sleep, we ask them to sleep more. Any one of these behaviors, on its own, is a huge undertaking to change. And many trainers expect their clients to start all those changes in their first week of training!

So I challenge you, the Personal Trainer, to change one of your behaviors, for the better, for a week. When we challenge ourselves to change a behavior we experience a bit of what our clients experience. Knowing what our clients might be feeling is a powerful tool to help understand where they are and how to move them forward.

Next time you are working with a client take a step back and really look at what you are asking them to change. Remember that change is hard, don’t expect them to tackle everything at once.

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