No matter what your goals in life, health, and fitness happen to be, whether it’s to burn excess body fat, build more muscle mass and strength, improve your skills and athletic performance, lower your risk of heart disease, or simply recapture the energy level you used to have as a younger adult, you need to have a game plan.
‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.’
Make this your new mantra moving forward in all you do in life. Once you have your goals set, you need to begin putting that plan in place.
The best way to do so is to make use of my ‘etc.’ concept, which stands for education, testing, and coaching.
Check out the video below where I explain what this concept means.
Okay, so now you know that you first need to educate yourself, and once that’s finished, you then need to have some sort of testing procedures in place to monitor how well you’re doing in terms of reaching those goals.
It’s the testing that helps you ensure that whatever processes you put in place (be it a workout program, a nutrition program, or some other program variety) are going to pay off as they should.
If you aren’t ever testing, you’ll never know for sure exactly how you are doing.
Beyond that though, there is one more thing you must have if you really want to get to the next level.
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If you want to take your progress towards your life goals from good to exceptionally great, there is one critical factor that needs to be there.
As noted in the video, coaching is what separates those who do well from those who become ‘superstars’, so to speak.
If you take a look at all the best athletes in the industry, the top level business professionals, and anyone else who really excels in what they are attempting to do, they all have coaches.
They all are getting guidance from someone who knows the ropes and is dedicated to helping them see the success they desire.
So stop and ask yourself this for a brief moment.
Do you want to get to the next level?
Are you ready to take your efforts and push them into overdrive?
Is attaining a higher level of functioning truly important to you?
If you answered yes, it’s time to find yourself a coach.
Not any coach will do however. There are far too many people out there in the ‘coaching business’ who really may not be able to take you as far as you would like to go – or move you forward in any direction at all.
Coaching, be it life coaching, business coaching, fitness coaching, or so forth has a number of imposters.
Just about anyone can hang their name on a door and call themselves a coach. This is why you need to do a bit of research and digging around to ensure that you find a coach who is going to best be able to help you achieve that higher level.
To help you get started, let’s go over the most critical factors that you need to know and remember when it comes to finding yourself a coach.
The very first thing to look for in a coach who is going to help you learn how to achieve your goals is the education that they have.
Now, education can mean a lot, but at the same time, it can also mean very little.
Let me explain.
Formal education, whether this means a university degree, a high level certification, or some other formal type of learning does help give that coach the technical knowledge that they can then use to help you move forward.
There is no denying the fact that someone with a university degree is going to be at least moderately well prepared to take someone and help them move forward.
But where the issue comes in with just looking at education alone is the fact that that coach can be book smart, but not real-life smart, so to speak.
While in theory they may know how to achieve something, when you put them into a real life situation here they are working with people to move them from good to great, they may start to falter.
Real life is not always the same as what’s seen in scientific studies. So despite the fact they have this knowledge, it may not always directly transfer over to what they are aiming to apply it to (that being YOU).
Another problem with just looking at education is it may cause you to write off some individuals you should consider more carefully.
For instance, take two people. One individual has 8 levels of schooling – they have an undergrad degree, a masters degree, and are also currently completing their Ph.D.
Clearly they are a very bright individual and would seem to have a lot to offer.
Now contrast that to someone who has zero schooling at all but started working in the field at the age of 18 and is now 35.
Who do you choose? If you’re only looking at education, clearly the former individual wins out. They have a Ph.D.
But don’t discount how much information that individual who has no schooling may have gained. Since they have been out doing what they do for years now, this will translate to a high level of knowledge as well.
Sure, they may not know the most advanced scientific principles or stay up to date on the most current research studies out there, but they have practice experience and that does count.
So while you definitely do need to factor in education, don’t completely rule people out because of it, or think that you’ve hit the best coach in the world because they have attained a certain amount/level of education.
They need more.
Which brings us to the next factor you’ll want to be looking at when trying to find a coach to help get you to your end goals – experience.
When looking at the key to success, experience means a lot. The coach must have practice experience in whatever field they are coaching otherwise, they really don’t know much at all.
Here again, there are some grey areas.
A coach who has 20 years of experience under their belt and is 50 years of age and relatively stuck in their ways or a coach who has 5 years of experience, but is constantly keeping up with new trends and findings?
In this case, it could be a toss up.
Experiences can range. Some truly great coaches know what worked in their time and keep repeating these strategies. And sure, they may work for you as well – after all, if they’ve worked for others, they will likely be able to recreate these effects.
But in some cases, their strategies are not optimized.
New research is coming out all the time so you’ll want to look for a coach who is experienced but who also is staying up to date on the latest in findings and techniques.
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This will help you gain the greatest overall chance of moving forward as you’ll get the most up to date information that’s proven to work.
This isn’t to say all older coaches are stuck in their ways. Many coaches make an effort to stay on top of trends so their coaching practice remains current.
You just need to question any coach you are considering working with and see how involved they are in the industry and whether they are still keeping up.
If they are attending continuing educational courses, going to seminars, networking regularly, and appear to have knowledge on some of the newer techniques and training methodologies, this is a good indication you have a great coach on your hands.
Moving along, the next thing that you’ll want to be looking for in any coach you are considering working with is their past client base.
Who have they worked with and what have these people attained?
If you are hiring a coach to help get lean for instance, you’ll want to see a number of success stories of other people they have helped who have also gotten lean using their training methodologies.
If the only people they have helped before have packed on pounds of muscle mass and attained great feats of strength, this may be impressive, but it may not necessarily mean good things for you.
This coach may be very good at what they do, but what they do is train people to get stronger. If they can’t show you anyone who’s been able to lose weight on their plans, how will you really know they possess the knowledge and information to get you to that level?
It’s that simple.
So always look for success stories. Inquire about the types of clients they have worked for in the past.
How old were they?
What was their training background? Do they tend to work with beginners or only those who are more experienced?
How long did it take their clients to get the results they were looking for?
All of these are great questions to ask so that you can get a glimpse into what your journey may be like.
Of course there are a number of personal factors that will influence this within the client themselves (a coach can only take you so far and the rest does come down to YOU), if you see trends happening, this can give you a very good indication of what the future may have in store.
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The next factor to look at when trying to find a coach who is going to help you improve your goals is their overall coaching style.
Here you will likely find a great deal of variability as each coach will be slightly different.
For instance, some coaches may be very strict and direct with their coaching. When you are doing something wrong, they make no secret of it, pointing it out to you immediately.
These ‘tough love’ coaches, as you might call them can work very well for some people who have thicker skin and just want a straight, direct approach.
On the other hand, some coaches use a more supportive style of coaching. These coaches may point out what you are doing well before gently making comments about what you might want to improve upon.
For someone who is a bit more sensitive and needs a softer approach, this style of coaching may be far superior.
While it’s harder to know the exact style of coaching this individual uses prior to actually working with them and seeing for yourself first hand, you can ask them questions about how they go about working with their clients.
Or even better, if you can reach out and speak to their past clients, this can give you a greater indication of how the coach interacts with the people they are working with and what training with him or her is like.
If you can find a past client to speak to, this is likely your best avenue as you will get the real picture. It’s easy for a coach to portray themselves in a certain way that isn’t always 100% accurate.
If this is not possible, then it may just come down to trial and error. Just remember that you aren’t making a life-long commitment to any coach that you work with.
Do a few trial sessions and see how you both fit with each other. If the relationship isn’t feeling right, move on and find another coach.
Sometimes it may take going through two or three coaches before you finally find the one that is going to work best for you.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Better to go through a few coaches at the beginning to find your perfect match than stay with the same coach for years on end and not get all that you could from it (or worse yet, not get started at all).
The next factor to look at when hiring a coach is their schedule and availability.
How does the coach work? Will you be meeting mostly face to face or will you be utilizing phone calls/web meetings?
With the advent of the internet and all the modern day technologies that go with it, it’s becoming easier and easier to meet with coaches from all around the world.
You are no longer limited by geography when selecting your coach. Now you can find the right coach for you regardless of their location.
Find out how they prefer to structure their business and then figure out if their schedule is going to allow you enough time to get the attention you need.
Some people who are very set on going from good to great as fast as possible will want to meet their coaches a few times per week.
Others may prefer having more time between meetings.
Know what you want out of your relationship with your coach and make sure that they are going to be able to accommodate.
Some coaches get so busy – too busy for those who want more attention – and this will not help you improve your goals.
Likewise, if you are working online with your coach, so they live in another area of the world from you, you may find that time zones can become a challenge.
Consider this before booking in to work with them.
Method Of Coaching
Which brings us to the next point that you must consider, the method of coaching the individual you are planning on working with is using.
Do they prefer to interact via email and text most of the time? Or are they someone who likes to speak face to face?
Maybe doing phone calls is their ‘thing’?
Figure this out before you plan to work with them. Some people are simply better with certain mediums than others.
Perhaps you lead a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to be arranging face to face meetings. For you, when you have a question or something that needs to be discussed, sending an email is the best way to go about doing that.
For others, email or text may not be something they are interested in and instead, they would much prefer to just see the person face to face and talk that way.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to this. Each person has their preference and what works for some, may not necessarily work for others.
It’s all about learning what works best for you and then finding a coach who can offer this.
Some coaches are quite flexible in this regard, while others are less so and tend to be more strictly focused on whatever their coaching methods are.
Speak to your coach about this before moving forward.
So there you have the most important factors to consider when finding a coach to work with to help you achieve your life goals. The right coach will help guide you through, ensure that you are moving forward and realizing the key to success.
Remember that there will never be a ‘perfect’ coach out there, but rather, the right coach for you. Each person is unique and therefore while you can take recommendations of others, do make sure that you do the leg work yourself, figuring out if the match is right for you.
Have you ever considered getting yourself a coach? If not, what’s holding you back? Share your thoughts on this topic with us in the comments section.
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In this program, I’ll cover everything from nutrition, to exercise, to overall well-being practices such as breathing and meditation that you can use to improve the quality of your life.
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