My oh, my how time flies. To think that it's been a year since I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach Training Program is truly mind-blowing (in the past way possible, of course).
When I look back on this year I feel so much has happened and yet it all sort of just came to be naturally. There were no big aha moments or huge breakdowns but that also doesn't mean it was easy. This past year has been a lesson in letting go even a little bit more and putting my faith in the universe and that it will point me in the direction I need to be going.
To celebrate the anniversary, below are the top 5 things I have learned in the year since my graduation.
1. Health Coaches aren't just Health Coaches!
One thing I wasn't aware of when I signed up for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition program is how many opportunities opened up after becoming a health coach. Sure, one of the most obvious things I can do is coach others directly (which is great!) but really, the career opportunities are endless as a coach.
I've met so many wonderful graduates who have such interesting and diverse career paths. Some are really digging into 1:1 coaching with their Clients, others are launching exciting new wellness based products like food or digital platforms and so much more. I've recognized that my title helps prospective partners and employers understand my deep knowledge and passion related wellness as well as my philosophy around health and how to achieve it.
2. Clients have a lot to teach Health Coaches.
While you might think it's the other way around, I'm learning more and more everyday from my Clients about how I can help them as a coach and what the most common stumbling blocks are for them. They also show me how successful you can be when you put your mind and energy fully into something and really commit yourself. They inspire me to keep teaching and to keep spreading my health message as it has such a huge impact in the lives of others.
3. When you listen, the Universe has a lot to say.
A big part of this last year for me has been slowing down a bit and listening more. Listening to my body, listening to my heart and the little hints the universe is sending me every moment of every day.
I know you might be thinking that "slowing down" for an entrepreneur is a terrible idea, especially based on the pervasive "hustle harder" mentality that surrounds us but I can say that it has profoundly had an impact on how I view my job and my business. Slowing down and listening has really helped me make clearer and more informed decisions in my life.
4. It's important to set boundaries: in business and in life.
This is one I'm always working on but feel I've made a lot of progress on this past year. Running my own business has really taught me the importance of saying "no". Realistic and positive boundaries can really help make sure I don't get burnt out and help me manage expectations properly. While I am always up for new opportunities, I've learned that my intuition is one of my strongest assets and if I don't feel something is valuable or will benefit me, it probably won't work out.
5. I've developed my own personal philosophies about health and wellness!
One thing many people notice as they go through the IIN program is that there is actually a lot of conflicting information within the lectures. For instance, in one lesson you may have a well-known health and wellness figure talking about the dangers of wheat and how we should all be eating low-carb and yet in the following lecture someone may be talking about the benefits of eating a high-carb vegan diet.
Sound confusing? It is! But it is also done on purpose.
This conflicting information is what most Americans hear all the time from the "health" industry and is why they are so confused about what to do when it comes to healthy eating and living. As coaches, our jobs are to help them navigate this confusing diet culture and focus on what works for them as an individual. This is why the course is structured the way that it is.
Over this last year, I too have been looking at what "health" and "wellness" mean to me and feel I am settling into a really clear place with what I believe. In general, I know that getting more people into the kitchen to cook for themselves is the first and biggest step in improving one's health. It doesn't matter if it's gluten-free or dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian, but if people are partaking in the preparation of their meals and really understanding it, they begin to develop a healthier relationship with food. This is why I am so passionate about teaching cooking classes and providing content, including recipes, as a sort of "culinary coach" for my readers.
As you can see it has been a pretty incredible year and I am still so thankful for the education I received that helped set me on this new path.
If you're interested in becoming a Health Coach and want to learn more, head on over here to download the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Curriculum Guide. You can also always email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org