What is habit based coaching? - Go Good Guru




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what is habit based coaching?

What is a habit-based program?
A habit-based program, such as PN Coaching, focuses on repeating small, short-term daily actions to work towards a long-term goal.

We define a "habit" as a small task to complete that forms part of a larger, strategic set of actions.

By doing these habits daily (or as often as possible), clients practice changing.

   *  They act themselves into change, rather than just imagining or wanting change.

   *  They also practice change itself - having the experience of trying something different.

"I’m finding this very effective. I can actually feel it changing my mindset day to day."

"I feel like I'm being led in the right direction, at the right pace."

"Daily actions and tracking make a huge difference, and keep me thinking about the small changes I can make."

"You are teaching us maintenance habits FIRST. Since we've all tried about 1,000 diets, this is so refreshing and powerful."

- Client feedback on using habit-based coaching

How does it work?

The PN Coaching curriculum starts with an end goal and then works backward to ask:

   *  What behaviors will lead to that goal?

   *  How can we break that goal into smaller, simpler pieces?

Those smaller, simpler pieces - small enough that most take only 5-10 minutes a day - are habits. These carefully organized habits make up the “core” of the PN Coaching curriculum.

Every day, clients see a new “habit card” on their “Today” page.

Here’s an example:

That card gives them their daily task for the day, often with some quick tips on how to do it.

Every day, clients try to do the habit.

   *  If they did it, they click “Yes”, high five themselves, and move on.

   *  If they didn’t, no problem. They click “No”, and look at ways to improve the next day. Every day is a fresh start.

Over time, those small habits will add up and become seamless. Eventually, clients won’t have to think about eating nutritiously. They’ll just do it, automatically.

Why a habit-based program?

“I know what I should do, but I don’t do it.”

How often do we hear that from clients?

When it comes to change:

   *  Action is more important than information.

   *  Doing is more important than knowing.

No matter how much clients know, or how much they want to change, only consistent, daily action creates change.

Clients change by doing and experiencing.

Most of us learn best by doing - through hands-on, real-life experimentation and experience.

For instance, if we want a client to learn to shop better, we don’t just tell them about shopping lists. We send them to the grocery store.

We also change best by doing. Because change itself is a skill.

Habits help clients:

   *  learn and practice important skills;

   *  integrate those new skills so that they’re automatic;

   *  build a sense of self-confidence; and

   *  become better at change itself.

Clients are motivated and inspired by doing and experiencing.

Doing and experiencing builds belief, confidence, and further motivation.

Actions - and the direct experience that comes from them - are real-world evidence that things could be different.

When we see and feel change happening, and experience ourselves making new choices, we start to think that maybe change is possible. We can’t un-see or un-know the fact that we just made a healthier choice. We start to imagine making more and more healthier choices.

This is important, because many clients will come to us feeling like they cannot change. Or that they have tried in the past, and “failed”.

Habits are a small, manageable “vote” in favor of change.

Big changes are scary and difficult. So we don’t ask people to make them.

Instead, we simply ask them to cast one small vote in favor of change, today. Then another vote tomorrow. All they are doing is moving in the direction of the change they want.

Each vote is little. Each vote is easy. But like snowflakes, votes pile up, and eventually… votes can turn the tide of history.

And each time a client casts that vote, they are reminding themselves that they believe in a new future.

Habits create “evidence” that clients can change and succeed.

Success breeds success.

Give clients a small - and real-life - success every day, and they’ll be inspired to keep going.

Habits keep clients focused on the present.

Clients put their attention on “right now”: the few small and simple things we can do right now to move in the direction we want to go.

This prevents clients from getting distracted by thought loops, past regrets, or future “what if?” rumination.

Habits put clients in “the zone” of optimal growth.

Habits are just challenging enough to keep clients focused, but not so challenging that they can’t do them.

In fact, a good practice should feel just a little too easy to a client. “A little too easy” means the client can always do it consistently, and feel good about it. That’s a perfect “zone of learning”.

Habits put the client in charge.

Most clients don’t like to follow “rules” or strict plans. And most clients don’t need them.

Habits are flexible and relatively open-ended.

Habits give the client the ball with some suggestions for how to run with it down the field. But the client does the running.

It’s the client’s job to do the habit in a way that works for them. They take the objective and the spirit of the assigned task, and individualize it.

For instance:

   *  If they’re asked to eat more protein, they decide what kind of protein they like.

   *  If they’re asked to eat more fruits and vegetables, they decide what kind of fruits and vegetables they’d like to include.

   *  If they’re asked to keep a food record, they decide how to do it (e.g. writing, photos, etc.) and what they would like to record.

Self-control and autonomy are motivating. (“Rules” and rigid plans are usually not.)

Habit-based coaching works.

Plain and simple. It works better than anything else.

This style of coaching allows clients to:

   *  Get to their goals quicker and easier.
   *  Maintain their results better.
   *  Be able to do it within the context of a real human life (with its distractions, complexities, and surprises).

How is PN Coaching different from other habit-based programs?

Unlike other programs that focus on habits, our PN Powered Coaching:

   *  is supported by an entire platform and underlying system for coaches to monitor clients’ progress;

   *  has a curriculum - a purposeful, strategic, set of habits that are supported by carefully designed lessons, workshops, and other learning resources;

   *  allows us to monitor and give feedback on clients’ progress; and

   *  moves step-by-step through developmental stages of change to make sure clients build the right skills at the right time.

Click here to apply.

For more on how habits fit into the our program, check out the article below:



I have enjoyed working with Jef for the last 15 years. He has added a needed dimension to my life. I feel better, look better and enjoy life more by being healthy and strong due to Jef's instruction and input. Not just working out but looking at the big picture of health has helped me considerably.

~ Tim M.


Been with Jeff for over 12 years. His knowledge of anatomy allows him to address any physical issues. He takes a personal interest in his clients. Workouts are creative and tailored for the individual.

~ Ralph S.

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