We’re all used to coaching fitness. But many gym owners and coaches are finding themselves in brand new relationships with their clients. For the first time, we have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to help our clients manage their entire lives.
As citizens are told to “shelter in place,” many are becoming lethargic or even depressed. Our job is to lead our communities to health. But for the first time, our tribes face new challenges. And we must rise to lead them.
Step 1: Tell Clients How to Structure Days
Help them write a plan and stick to it. Ask them if they’re staying on schedule. We all thrive on plans and routine and lapse into lethargy and depression when we don’t have those. When we become bored and lethargic, we stop exercising. Keep your clients on a schedule.
Here’s an example from Certified Two-Brain Business Mentor Shawn Rider: “Hey, Parent. You Need a Daily Schedule, Too!”
Here’s an example from Certified Two-Brain Business Mentor Brian Strump:
Step 2: Introduce Mindset Training
Habits training and mindfulness were already growing practices for online coaches, but shelter-in-place rules make them critical. Ideally, you can teach your people how to meditate or lead them through a mindfulness practice, but this is way beyond the scope of most coaches’ knowledge.
We include a 21-Day Mindfulness Challenge (with specific assignments and exercises) in our new Online Training Course. It’s from The Mental Health Plan.
Here’s an example from Craig Hysell: “The Food of Resilience.”
Step 3: Teach Them how to Plan Meals
Your clients can use MyFitnessPal (or other nutrition-tracking app) to greatest effect by entering their meals before they eat them. Though the app was built for tracking nutrition, this is the best hack ever: Have your clients record their meals for the next day in the app and then “fix” their plan to meet their goals.
Step 4: Keep Them Busy
Give clients extra tasks to do during the day. These can be fitness challenges or simply a checklist of things to do. See a sample checklist in Step 6.
Step 5: Guide Them to Service
Eric Greitens’ book “Resilience” is back on my reading list right now. In the book, Greitens describes the mood and health of people in refugee camps. He makes the point that the people who kept busiest—and the people who worked to serve others—stayed happy and healthy. The people who didn’t usually succumbed to the isolation, poverty and depression. Your clients aren’t in refugee camps, but they could succumb to the same feelings. Tell them how to help others in their community.
Jason Cohen guided his clients to leave messages of hope on local sidewalks.
We run Fit It Forward every year at Catalyst.
Service is a step toward happiness. Lead your clients there.
Step 5: Give Them Some Social Time
Set up a morning coffee break for your members at a specific time. Hold one or two online group classes per day for people who feel alone (but don’t count on them to retain people on their own). Run special live challenges or events.
Kenzie Mosher held an Online Quiz Night that people loved, but you don’t have to go to these lengths. Just plan regular meetups. Be their “hub.”
Step 6: Give Them Their Daily Bread
During a crisis, people want to be told exactly what to do. They’ll follow the leader who can make things simple for them.
Tell them when to clean their houses. Tell them when to meditate. Tell them when to exercise and when to get up and what to read and what to do with their kids. Tell them when to go outside.
When our minds aren’t full, we ruminate. Give them things to do.
In normal time, this is overkill. Right now it will be warmly welcomed.
Here’s a sample weekly checklist you can give them. Definitely tailor it first.
Reason, Purpose and Control
What your clients need most is a reason—to stay engaged, to stay motivated and to stay fit. The sooner you can help them take control of their days, the longer you’ll be employed to help them control their health.
In times of uncertainty, people need structure. They’ll take it from anyone who will give it to them. Leaders who can make things seem black and white get devoted followers.
Obviously, this can be used for evil. But you can use it for good.
– Start by giving your clients a schedule to follow at home.
– Then send them a Daily Brief (that’s a mass email).
– Then give them a checklist.
– Offer them a couple of social events per week.
– Fill their heads with things to do so they don’t ruminate.
You have to do this for them, leader. Tell them exactly what to do as often as you can.
We’re not really in the “spot the flaw” business anymore, are we?