Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Modeling is a large part of coaching. As a coach, I am committed to modeling the behaviors that my clients express the desire to have. In wellness coaching in particular, coaches are expected to model good eating habits, engage in regular physical activity, and have a good self-care routine so that self-care clients can see that it can be done and even see examples of how they can go about doing it.

Accountability, on the other hand, is an experience for the client. Much of a successful coaching partnership resides in the fact that the coach provides accountability for her clients. For example, an individual is more likely to thrive with a new nutrition or activity plans if she has someone to whom she is accountable (There is extensive research to support this conclusion). I know from personal experience, the only times in my adult life that I have been consistent with any gym membership was when I went to the gym with someone, or knew that a friend or trainer was waiting to meet me there. I used to get to the gym at 6:15 AM, get in a good workout, shower and make it to work by 8 AM.

Those days are long gone. I have children, a husband, a dog and a cat, all of whom need my assistance and attention in the morning. I have to get the kids up and going in the morning. I have to make breakfasts and lunches. I am sleep-deprived – I need those extra two hours of sleep. I run a business, I am on the PTA, I serve as an officer on two different boards.

These are my excuses.

We all have them. When we don’t have accountability, the excuses prevent us from having the things we say we want. But we also do not make the changes we truly desire.

Two physicians have told me that I carry too much weight. I would be happy to shed ten pounds, although both docs have indicated that I would be healthier if I were, well -- more than ten pounds lighter. Their numbers sound overly ambitious to me, but they are the experts.

So, this is what I have done: before I could talk myself out of it (tuning out the gremlins), I responded to an email and I signed up for a six-week boot camp. It begins on Monday, November 4th. The group meets at 6 AM, four mornings a week. When I signed up, I committed to provide before and after pictures for the boot camp website (EEK!).

My clients are all looking to make some kind of change. Toward the end of most coaching sessions, I ask my client two questions: to what are you committed, in order to make this change? And, how would you like to be held accountable?

This is my commitment: I will attend 6 AM boot camp on as many weekdays Ted is in town to get the kids going in the morning. My goal is greater health and strength, though I will be happy to drop a dress size or two.

My accountability: YOU are going to hold me accountable. I am not asking you to do anything. But having made this public declaration, I am now accountable to you. I commit, also, to posting before and after pictures here at the end of the six weeks (I thought about posting a before pic now, but instead I’ll go for the big reveal).

What is it that you have been putting off? Exploring a new career path? Uncovering you true passion – something that is more aligned with your life purpose? Finding your way to a healthier YOU? Developing a self-care routine that better honors your body, mind and spirit?

What can you commit to today?

How would you like to be held accountable?

“If you talk about it, it's a dream, if you envision it, it's possible, but if you schedule it, it's real.”
~Anthony Robbins
Halona Patrick Shaw, LCSW, JD
Board Certified Life Coach
Eyes Turned Skyward, Inc.
 ph/text (917) 846-7784