Health Coaches: Goals Are Not Enough. What Is Your Why?
If you’re a health coach, you probably already know all about setting goals, accomplishing them, and evaluating your progress. You’re probably great at teaching your clients how to do the same. Whether or not you’ve had formal training, most health coaches want the same thing: to help their clients accomplish their goals.
Unfortunately, many health coaches are failing at their own goals (particularly business goals), despite knowing all about the SMART goal-setting principle, and even going further into figuring out their process goals. There’s a simple answer to why you’re not seeing the progress you want in your business, and it’s this: goals are not enough. They are important, but they are not enough.
To be successful, you need to find your why. It’s a rare person who feels fulfilled in their work when they simply work to make a living. Have you ever heard the saying, “don’t get so busy making a living that you forget making a life?” Dolly Parton knew what she was talking about.
Remember that quote when you decide to start setting goals for your health coaching business. Sure, you want to help clients (and hopefully make money doing it). But what is your deeper why? Why do you want to be a health coach? What is the one major thing driving your decisions in life?
Until you find that answer, setting goals is somewhat of a meaningless process. It’s still helpful, of course, but it’s not enough. To find your why, discovering what’s most important to you is the first step.
There are many ways of doing this, but using a graphic organizer can help. You can, for example, use circles within circles to show that everything you work for is connected, but there’s a central driving force behind your decisions. The center circle can contain that driving force—your why.
Establishing your why and your priorities will help you set goals that reflect those choices. Finding your why—and honouring it—will help you to create healthy relationships with those around you, set healthy boundaries, and accomplish meaningful goals.
Suppose you have kids. Your why could be building healthy family relationships. That why will guide your decision the next time you need to choose between missing your daughter’s recital and losing a client. Knowing your why will help you to make your choice with grace and to have healthy boundaries with current and prospective clients.
Suppose your why is to make a difference in your community. That driving force will help you decide how to structure your company’s spending (for example, you may decide to set aside a certain percentage of your profits to donate to volunteer efforts in your neighbourhood).
Finding your why is simple: simply remember what’s important to you, and go from there. The hard part is actually honouring that why—saying no to opportunities when those opportunities no longer reflect your priorities.
Here’s a simple process to remember for finding your why before setting goals:
Define your why
Set goals based on that definition
Choose activities that reflect your why and gracefully decline the ones that don’t
Re-evaluate your why at least yearly, but preferably, every six months.
Once you’ve mastered this process, why not teach your health coaching clients to do the same? You could create a simple how-to eBook or a series of videos that teaches your clients to find their why and honour it. You could then use this material as a lead magnet for your email list, or you could turn it into a paid program that you can sell.