It’s that time of year again. January marks the start of a clean slate and fresh start for millions of people.

It’s estimated that 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and the #1 resolution is… you guessed it – weight loss. It’s also estimated that only 8% of those that make resolutions, succeed with achieving their goals. I believe that a lack of support and accountability is often the missing link.

How can you help your clients achieve their New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s look at 5 strategies to get your clients back on track so they can crush their goals. Feel free to use these strategies for New Year’s Resolutions, but keep them in mind for any time of the year.

1. Assess

First things first; Talk to your client about their goals for the upcoming year. Whether they prefer to make “resolutions” or set goals, it’s important to assess where your clients are as they start off 2016.

Discuss with your client their struggles and their concerns about making changes to their lifestyle, and think of January as being a time to reboot (or recommit) if necessary. The holidays are a time when it’s easy to get completely off track, so this will be a good time to revisit goals that haven been previously set. Let your clients know that they are not alone in their struggle to deal with healthy habits over the holidays, and this is a great time to start fresh.

2. Break it Down

An important aspect of achieving positive results associated with resolutions is manageability. Is the resolution feasible? Will your client need to take drastic measures to achieve the resolution? What sort of time frame is associated with the resolution? How soon is your client expecting to feel “successful” after making this resolution?

Resolutions can be exciting. However, fear of failure can quickly overshadow the excitement. Help your client to break their resolution into manageable chunks.

Remind your clients that they won’t see or feel changes over night, but they can start to see changes within 30 days if they are committed and consistent.

By breaking up their goals into manageable pieces, your client can make meaningful progress towards their health goals. Let’s talk about that a little more in depth.

3. Focus on Progress

Having goals is wonderful. Making progress towards goals? Priceless. Making progress during a time of transition is a huge step towards achieving success towards your goals. Progress shows determination, and one small success tends to build on the next. The progress you make often defines how you conduct yourself in other aspects of your life.

This is true for your clients as well. Focus on a wellness strategy that praises progress. Strategies that praise progress over achievement will focus on the little things it takes to make a big change happen. Little things might include deciding to take the stairs, choosing to make a healthy smoothie instead of going to Starbucks, or something as small as having a good attitude about the changes being made.

Achieving goals are much easier when progress is acknowledged and praised. Celebrate the small wins along the way.

4. Tracking

Since you’re probably meeting with your clients every 2 weeks or so, having them track their habits and progress between sessions can be a huge help to both of you. Tracking can provide instant feedback on an ongoing basis.

Apps like Myfitnesspal are great for tracking food intake and exercise, especially when paired with an activity tracker like a Fitbit or comparable wearable device. Another option for tracking is simple habit-based apps like Good Habits and HabitBull, which can serve as daily reminders to help your clients stay on track.

As a health coach, you can provide additional support and accountability by using an app like NudgeCoach. This app allows you to connect with your clients as they track their activity and progress. This can be a great way to set yourself apart from your competition.

5. Extra Accountability

We touched on this a bit earlier in this post, but discussing how you can best help your client is an important part of helping them achieve their resolutions. Keeping an open line of communication is crucial. How will you stay available to your clients throughout their program? How can you provide extra accountability?

One way to maintain availability to your clients with weekly check-ins. These check-ins will help you to gauge how your client is feeling about the changes that are being made, and whether or not adjustments should be made. Weekly check-ins also allow for positive reinforcement about making healthy lifestyle changes. They help keep your client on the fast track to success.

You can have your client email you every Friday (or any other day that works for you) with a quick update on how they’re doing. You can have them do something as simple as email you with 1 win for the week; something that went well for them. This gives your client a little extra accountability on the weeks that you aren’t coaching them. Another great idea for this is to use a client management and accountability app like NudgeCoach.
Using the above-mentioned strategies will help you support your clients as they work to implement healthy habits, and make progress towards their goals.

Another helpful strategy is to have your clients put their goals and resolutions in writing.

Download your FREE customizable “My Goals” worksheet to help your clients pinpoint their goals for the year.

Fully editable for your convenience, this worksheet will help your clients get to the root of why they want to make their resolutions. It also allows your clients to create accountability for daily lifestyle reinforcements through the daily tasks they will aim to accomplish in their progression towards their goals.

> CLICK HERE << to grab your free worksheet

Goal setting worksheet