Issue Date: February 2011 Web Features, Posted On: 2/9/2011

Training Wheels: The "All or Nothing" Mindset
By Shelby Murphy

It's the most dangerous idea a new client can have, but it's most likely what drove them to you in the first place. It's the "All or Nothing" mindset, the "If I can't exercise everyday and eat perfect then what's the use?" excuse for not achieving success. These clients are generally the ones who seem the most gung-ho to begin training, five days a week, and want to follow a super low-calorie food plan. And they assure you that this plan is very realistic for them...

...Until life throws them the slightest curve and then all bets are off. The minute their son's baseball team calls an unexpected practice and interrupts their training schedule, the plan is completely derailed, never to recover.

Most likely, you too have encountered this type of client. And most likely you've been fooled by their initial enthusiasm. But experience eventually teaches us to give these clients some coaching early on -- let them know that this isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. That exercise and eating right need to become a part of a lifestyle shift, a change that you lean into and become better and better at as time goes along. They need to know that nobody -- including the professional athletes with the greatest bodies and eating habits -- aren't perfect all the time. And as trainers, we don't expect them to be perfect either.

Interruptions will occur. Plan with your client how to handle them. And share with them that consistent effort makes much bigger change than striving for perfection.

Topic: Client Coaching/Motivation

Magazine Archives:
  • Make It Personal, Keep It Professional
  • Training Wheels: The Art of Compliance
  • Training Wheels: Creating Forever Clients
  • 24 Seconds
  • New Year’s Res-Solutions

Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:47:27 AM by Nikki Layton
I know that I personally have fallen prey to the all or nothing mindset! It is a great reminder that having a plan is critical but to realize that life happens and we need to be able to adapt and change in response.

I think the more information you have about your business, exercise plan or whatever is getting you trapped in the at mindset the easier it is to see other options available to you.

Knowledge is power!
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