How Successful Clients ACT

by Addie Kelzer

A few months into my personal training career I was rocking and rolling with my first clients.  I knew there was still infinite things to learn, but I was supremely confused on the most basic aspect of my career:  Why wasn’t EVERY client reaching their goals?

Half of my clients were implementing every piece of advice I gave, working hard in the gym, staying accountable to their own workouts, food logging and seeing results.  Other clients were stagnant.  I felt defeated as a trainer while they felt defeated in their pursuit of better health.  It wasn’t for a few years and exposure to many more clients that I started to recognize common characteristics from each group that were not related to exercise prescription.  Aside from fitness and food, many successes and failures came back to personality, life outlook and overall happiness.  My role as a trainer and nutrition coach is very different now than I would have previously described.  I still provide exercise and nutrition advice but with a much greater emphasis on helping clients become INSPIRED and CHANGE THEIR LIVES.

Most of us know at least one person who had been dealt a tough set of cards.  Disease, loss of a loved one, bankruptcy, natural disaster, and job loss can turn the world as you know it UPSIDE DOWN!  It is likely that sometime in our lives we will also be faced with major setbacks and certainly will be faced with numerous little ones.  While we can’t ALWAYS choose to undo or right our current situation, we CAN choose our approach to these bumps in the road, and maybe even change the outcome.

Here’s a general list of traits I’ve seen from clients who get success, and clients who face setback after setback.  None of these are directly tied to exercise or nutrition but to their life outlook and attitude.

Successful clients:

  • Smile
  • Readily report back and check-in
  • Own their missteps and set backs, and make a plan to do better next time
  • Follow through on objectives
  • Have a burning desire within to be a better version of themselves
  • Have positive friends and ‘cheerleaders’
  • Read, research and seek information to do better
  • Casually speak during sessions about things that make them smile or excited
  • Take initiative on projects related to their goals (taking up gardening, joining a kickball team, etc.)
  • Take initiative on projects not related to their health goals.  Activity breeds activity!
  • Show resilience

Infinitely setback clients:

  • Mood can vary wildly each session
  • Hide or delay reporting back on initiatives
  • Downplay areas they did poorly, emphasize small victories
  • Make excuses.  It’s always something…
  • Have negative people around them who sabotage their efforts, temp them to veer off plan
  • Talk the talk but act in a way that is inconsistent with their said goals
  • Speak negatively about others or things that make them angry.  Finding the glass half empty in other people and situations often is linked with expecting your own glass to be empty.
  • Don’t always complete agreed upon tasks, rarely going above-and-beyond to do other things that would support their goals
  • Can be generally lazy in other areas of their lives.  Inactivity breeds more inactivity.
  • When faced with a setback, they halt any forward progress (either through excuses, fear or a realization of the failure they subconsciously expected all along).

Most of my clients don’t fall completely into either category, nor do I.  Every one of us is a work in progress.  Only through WORK will we see PROGRESS.

Visit the site below for strategic ways you can become HAPPIER and the likelihood of success in all areas of your life will grow infinitely.

The Habits of Supremely Happy People   –  article from the Huffington Post.







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