Is Health Coaching Right for You? Q&A with BeneFIT Health & Wellness Coach Christie Lanasa, RN, Ed.S.

Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: November 4, 2014

Even those with the best intentions can find it hard to make healthy choices day to day. Whether it’s a heavy workload or a busy family life, you may not have the time to think about your health and wellness goals. A health and wellness coach provides the motivation and accountability you need to get on the path to a healthy lifestyle.

Health coaching is a confidential, one-on-one support program designed to help you improve or maintain your health and wellness. Whether the focus is on smoking cessation, stress management, or diet and exercise, effective health coaching encourages you to create a customized plan and stick to it.

Below BeneFIT Health & Wellness Coach Christie Lanasa, CHWC, RN, Ed.S., answers your questions about how you might benefit from a health coaching program and if it’s right for you.

What could I expect from my first session with a BeneFIT Health & Wellness Coach?

To start, we’d focus on your strengths and explore what is most important to you. I, or another health and wellness coach, would help you visualize yourself as you want to be, and then we would work together to set measurable, realistic goals to achieve that vision. This vision can evolve as time goes on, so we may fine-tune your goals or adopt new priorities down the road.

What are some common health goals?

At BeneFIT, we work with a lot of people who want to eat healthier, get fit, lose weight, manage stress or quit smoking. However, every individual’s wellness journey looks different from the next, and we work with you to define a realistic target that meets our S.M.A.R.T. criteria:

S―Specific: Define a detailed goal.
M―Measurable: Determine how you will see progress and be successful.
A―Action-Based: Describe your goal as a behavior.
R―Realistic: Set a goal that is possible and that you are willing to work on. Be ambitious, but don’t set yourself up for failure.
T―Timely: Commit to a time line.

This ensures that your health goals are meaningful and achievable.

How can you support my health goals long term?

Life can throw many obstacles at us. A health and wellness coach can remind you of your personal goals when you get distracted by the daily grind or unexpected stressful events. We follow up to see how things are going and support you if you get off track. We celebrate victories and help you brainstorm new strategies when you experience setbacks. And even if you have a personal support network available to you, we are a confidential resource, in case you want to keep your health aspirations and journey private.

What are some common obstacles to making a lasting lifestyle change?

It takes time and energy to eliminate a habit, and doing so often comes with an emotional cost. For example, if you open a container of ice cream for a treat when you’ve had a rough day, how are you going to handle unpleasant emotion without the comfort food? It’s helpful to plan ahead so you have resources available to introduce healthy habits. If you’re really hungry, have nutritious food on hand. If you feel tense, go for a brisk walk, or if your thoughts need sorting out, call a friend or write in a journal. Making that substitution can be difficult, but it is critical to meaningful change.

How long will it take?

For many, the 3- to 6-month mark is where we want to see a notable change occur, but it really depends on your unique goals and circumstances. We work with you to ensure we provide ongoing support in a way that fits into your schedule. After our initial coaching session, we can connect over the phone or online for as long as it takes to reach your wellness vision. Many people want to adjust their goals to address new interests and greater challenges along the way.

For more information about Health Coaching, please contact us.

The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of your health care provider. All medical inquiries regarding your health should be presented to your health care provider.

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