Given Up Yet?


Which way to go?

If you are in the wellness business, then you probably know that by now most of your clients have given up.

What? It’s true. According to USA Today, most people have given up their resolutions by January 17. It takes more than just a promise to keep those resolutions going. It takes inspiration.

For many of us, making a massive change in our lives comes with a shift in our habits, mind, body, spirit, and well, habits. And since habits lurk in the dark unconscious places, we need constant reminders to bring our intentions into the light.

This is where you come in. Whether you teach a fitness class such as spinning, or guide yoga, you need to do more than just show up to keep your students on track. You need to be inspiring to keep them going.

Match Inspiration with Perspiration

Inspiration is the secret as to why some trainers thrive and have the highest retention of students and clients, and why some see a decline almost right away.

Who doesn’t experience a thrill to see new students in January? I do! I love that people are turning on to the benefits of wellness and making their health a priority.

And who doesn’t experience a little pang of “WTH” when those same students disappear by February? Whenever I lose a student I try to find out was it time, money, injury or just a lack of mojo?

Many times, a student quits because they just lost interest.

So how do you become inspiring to your students and clients? How do you keep them motivated, whether they are on a mat or on a bike or lifting weights?

Being consistently prepared for class is just like those resolutions our students make in January. The first step is the hardest.

Themes are Dreams in Action

The road to inspiration is paved with good intentions, but intention really needs you to take action. I begin by deciding what my “theme” is going to be. I think what might be relevant to the most people at that time.

Then I write down a few phrases and concepts that support this idea. I also add a human virtue, such as compassion, forgiveness, perseverance, or strength. This underlying virtue is what really motivates your students.

'Tis the Season of Treason

For example, saying a theme of “Tis the Season of Treason” is a cute idea for your students to recognize that they may be tempted to give up. But just saying that over and over again in a session will make it trite.

If you add an underlying virtue, or a human value, then you make it meaningful. I might add perseverance. For example, we unconsciously commit treason on our intentions. Therefore, we must stay relentless even when we want to give up. This makes our cute theme much more meaningful, and the impact can potentially change someone’s life.

The concept of a Theme and the Virtue is explained in “Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga.” You can use these concepts for yoga, or for any kind of activity where you want your students to stay motivated.

Yoga is known for dropping a little nugget of inspiration in each class to keep students coming back to their mats. This also holds true for the wellness industry. Wellness is not a one-night stand. It’s not a hit and run relationship. It’s a lifetime commitment. For those of us this industry, we need to do more than just show up for our students. We need to keep them inspired, motivated and on the path to more.

Michelle Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is the author of three books on yoga includingTheme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, available wherever books are sold.