12 Reasons To Hire a Health Coach In 2013

As we welcome 2013, it occurred to me that many of you still might need to make some New Years resolutions.   So what would you like to accomplish this year, despite chronic illness?

My job as a coach is to help people meet their goals.  Here are 12 good reasons to meet with a health coach:

1. To improve your chronic illness management techniques. Are you tracking your symptoms so that you know exactly what triggers them?  Once you know your triggers, you can develop ways to avoid them.   Are you pacing yourself carefully and well so you’re rarely in a “push-crash cycle?”  Are you being kind and gentle with yourself and allowing yourself time to heal?

2. To obtain support.  It’s a challenge to develop new ways of thinking about yourself when you become chronically ill.  First, you have to come to terms with a life you didn’t plan, which is difficult.  Then you have to decide how to go about life while you’re ill.  It helps to have someone along on the journey, to help clarify and refine your decisions along the way.

3. To be heard, understood and accepted.  This might sound odd, but when you’re first ill, it can be difficult to vent enough.  You need to talk about this stuff a lot, but you don’t want to be a burden to others.  It’s easier when the listener has been there and done that, and understands that need to vent.

4.  To regain clarity.  We all have times when we feel unable to find a solution, when we just can’t see or decide where we should go next.  To regain certainty, it helps to talk about your challenges, your goals, and what has meaning for you.

5. To get unstuck.  Sometimes when life doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would, we become ”stuck.“  To get unstuck, you may need to think deeply about some things and come up with a plan of attack for how you’d like to live during your illness.  Again, having someone else along for the journey can be beneficial, as this is generally a process that doesn’t happen overnight.

6. To help your significant other or family understand your illness.  It’s sad but true that many spouses, significant others and extended family members don’t ”get it.“   One of the most rewarding things I do is explain these illnesses to family members so that they understand how the illness affects you as well as how their denial, denigration or dismissal of your illness means they’ve given you an additional burden to wrestle with just when you need their support most.

7. To reset your focus.  If chronic illness has interrupted your life to such an extent that you can no longer accomplish what you used to, but you haven’t yet developed new ways of defining yourself, coaching can help you find new goals and design new purpose.  Together, we can figure out what a rich, meaningful life despite chronic illness looks like for you.

8. To decide how best to move forward in treating your illness.  There are a multitude of doctors, protocols, drugs, supplements and people out there who say they can help.  Do you have a plan in place for deciding which new supplements, doctors and protocols you will try? Have you established a budget for that plan?  What’s most important to you in improving your day-to-day existence?

9. To make a plan.  Have something in mind that you’d like to accomplish but you’re unsure how to get there?  Maybe you’d like to lose 20 pounds, improve your nutrition, read the classics or learn Russian.  Maybe you’d like to create a year-long program for tracking and improving your symptoms and how often they interrupt your life.  We can develop plans that will help you accomplish any of those things.

10. To add “caring for myself” to your healthcare regimen.  You had an exercise physiologist design a viable exercise plan that didn’t make you crash, and a dietician crafted your nutrition plan.  Your physician cares for your physical health.  Who cares for you emotionally?  Who helps you deal with those days when you’re not OK, when it’s all too much?

11. To add more joy to your life.  Just because you’re ill doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.  It’s tempting when you first get a diagnosis to believe that happiness is out of reach unless you get well again.  But that’s not true, and believing that will limit you to being happy only if your health improves.  What if it doesn’t improve, though, or it doesn’t improve for some time? Doesn’t it make more sense to try to be happy whatever your level of illness?

12. To live meaningfully.  Living meaningfully means that you’re passionate about something.  Curiosity isn’t the realm of the healthy, after all. (If you don’t believe that, read Elizabeth Tova Bailey’s fantastic THE SOUND OF A WILD SNAIL EATING).

So despite chronic illness, what would you like to achieve in 2013?  And what are you willing to do to get there?

Please make an appointment with someone like me who can help.