We all know our health and fitness can take a backseat during the holiday season. With all of the delicious (sometimes not-so-healthy) food, cozy time inside, and busy schedules, we tend to forget about our wellness. Holding your clients accountable is an important part of your job, but navigating that duty can be difficult this time of year. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but I encourage you to consider the following ways you can support them.
Let me present my first opinion about the holiday season: Taking time to relax is absolutely important to your (and your clients’) personal health/well-being. Sometimes, a mental/physical break is all we need to hit the reset button. Don’t get too frustrated with your client’s decisions during this time. Many people (myself included), look forward to this season and prioritize time spent with our loved ones over diet and exercise. Be respectful of their holiday time and encourage them to bring their A-game in the new year!
Set Realistic Expectations
You know your clientele best. Each coach-client relationship is a bit different. Some of your clients may need more of your help while others may not need much at all – self discipline is on a spectrum. Regardless of where your client is in their fitness journey, I encourage you to be transparent with them about your expectations for the holidays. Openness and communication are key in any relationship and setting realistic expectations will help your clients be successful.
Trust Your Training
Depending on how long you’ve been working with your clients, my hope is that you have encouraged good habits (holiday season or otherwise). Clients are typically more receptive to encouragement of good habits than discouragement of bad ones. With this in mind, you’ve supported their healthy decisions all year. Be supportive, trust in your training, and encourage them to be mindful of their health but not overzealous.
Your Role for The Holidays
As a coach, you must learn when to draw a hard line and when to offer more freedom. The holiday season is an excellent opportunity for you to practice your relaxation skills and let your clients live a bit. They have learned a great deal from you and you should be setting a positive example as well.
Health and fitness should not be stressful. Positive choices come more naturally as they become a part of your clients’ habits. Support your clients in making the best decisions they can while still living to the fullest.