By Lauren Denos: 11/16/2014 (Mindset)

Hiring a coach in any area in life can be a great choice, but they are not with you 24/7. You need to take action toward coaching yourself as well. Mind you, I’m not implying that you shouldn’t hire an outside coach because sometimes they can help you get through the bullshit excuses that you make for yourself. Think about it. You are the one who knows yourself best. This includes those excuses and mind games to invoke laziness. You are always there to give yourself the coaching you need; thus, you need to have the skills in order to be a successful self-trainer and motivator. Hiring a professional fitness trainer or nutritional coach can help you with what to do, and teach you those needed skills but, again, they are not there constantly telling you not to put that chocolate muffin in your mouth or making you do the cardio you are supposed to do between training sessions. So you need to pick up the slack between trainings and be the best coach to yourself you can be.

How to be Your Own Best Coach:

#1 Most importantly, be completely honest with yourself. Take responsibility for your own life. In order to be the best possible self-coach, you must realize that you are where you are due to the choices you have made. This knowledge allows you to become really honest with yourself, which is when you can truly be transparent with yourself and know what's next to mold your health and your life into what you want. However, if you are not willing to be honest with yourself, you will constantly be letting yourself off the hook and you will not accomplish what you want.

#2 Look at what you have been doing and ask yourself how you can improve. Always be looking for the little things you can improve upon. One good way to do this is to track your progress. Track your workouts, how fast and far are you running, how much are you lifting, how you are feeling, etc. Then look at the record you are making and think about what small things you can alter to progress further.

#3 Find your limitations and then push past them. You know what your limitations are and you know how far you can push yourself. The trick is to pay attention to how you can push yourself a little bit more but do not push to the point of injury. It is not about drastic changes, but about those small changes that can make a big difference. You should be constantly challenging your limitations.

#4 Be your own cheer leader. Let yourself know you are rocking at what you are doing. It's not narcissistic to be proud of what you are accomplishing. So when you are training let yourself know "I can do this, I know I can." When you have accomplished something think to yourself or say out loud, "I rocked that."

#5 Pay attention to what you are going through. What is your biggest challenge right now and how can you get around it? This is a very important thing to ask yourself because you will always have challenges come up in all aspects of life, which is just how life works. The trick is to see what that challenge is and brainstorm the ways you can more efficiently get around them.

#6 Find your own motivations; do not expect them to only come from someone else or an external source. Your trainer will only be able to help with motivation to a certain point. Past that your own motivation will have to take over. There are a lot of techniques to find out what your motivations are.

#7 What does your ideal health look like? This is important to think about. You need to know what you are working towards and what the next steps are to get yourself there. When you are coaching yourself, you need to know how you should be training. This could mean that you are working on endurance training more than heavy weight training, or that flexibility is your focus. In order to be a good coach you must know what you are working towards. Knowing what health you are working towards can be answered more when you nail down your goals like we mentioned above.

#8 Map out what you want. When you have decided what kind of health you want, you need to map out how you plan to get there. This means you will know the steps that you need to take to keep progressing towards your goals. This helps you get the direction you need.

#9 Remember to give yourself steps you can follow and that are doable. Don't go so crazy that it seems too daunting. People tend to shoot way too high or not high enough. If you break up your plan into small easy steps it makes it much less daunting. Yes, you can still accomplish a ton of stuff, but instead of seeing it as big unrealistic steps you see them as easy to accomplish small steps. You will get further faster this way.

#10 Be smart about what you choose to do. If you are going to be a good coach, you need to do things that you enjoy doing at least somewhat. If you were a trainer you would not force someone to do something they hate. Rather, you would find a way to make them enjoy what they are doing while getting healthy. Do the same for yourself. You know what you like and what you enjoy, do more of that.

#11 Research what you don't know, or ask someone. In order to be a good coach, remember, you need to be honest about what you do and do not know. If you do not know how to do something, then do the research to find out how to do it or talk to a trainer in the area of the questions that you have.



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-Lauren