Game Changing Habits of Highly Effective Wellness Professionals: Part 1

Wellness professionals in the health and fitness industry often have a difficult job to do. Wearing many hats, juggling tasks, and bouncing between departments frequently presents a challenge. Responsibilities can include worksite wellness programming, community health promotion, organizing biometrics screenings, vendor management, administration of a technology portal, and onsite fitness center management. Numerous roles span from health coach and personal trainer to benefits manager and events coordinator. While tasks and roles will vary from one job to another, there is a common denominator: the goal to be effective. You can accomplish that goal and achieve greater success by cultivating these game-changing habits each day.

They Lead By Example –

Want to get people moving in the right direction? Then be a great leader by demonstrating where to go and how to get there. As you point populations toward a healthier lifestyle with increased productivity and better work-life balance, step up and be a real-life example. This may mean leading the way in small, bite-size steps. For example, if wearables are incorporated into your wellness program, explain the benefits of using an activity tracker first. Then take the time to communicate the basics about how to select, purchase, and use a device and its corresponding mobile app. Is your wearable charged and visible on your wrist? Are you tracking your own steps and encouraging others to do the same? People can only follow your lead if they have something to follow. And don’t forget that a smile and a little positive motivation go a long way.

Check out 9 Things Great Leaders Do Differently from Success Magazine if you’re interested in learning more about the characteristics of great leaders.

They Are Motivated –

Do you have enough enthusiasm to take initiative when it’s required? Are you able to find abundant energy to take action and take responsibility for those actions? Just like the fitness instructor leading your 5 o’clock Spinning® class encourages participants to climb up another tough hill, motivation is needed to accomplish day-to-day tasks. The responsibilities of a wellness professional necessitate motivating others, but planning and coordinating a large-scale corporate event like a health fair also requires motivation. And besides, how can you motivate others if you are not motivated yourself?

Tropical Island Sailboat

Getting self-motivated is achievable for everyone, but what gets and keeps you going will vary from one person to another. Perhaps it’s time to hire your own personal trainer or take a painting class. Maybe you need to recharge your batteries with a spa day or that tropical vacation you’ve been dreaming about (cue the island marimba music). Celebrate progress, but take steps towards finding the inspiration that puts a little wind in your sails.

They Pay Attention to Industry Trends

There is no doubt that technology has changed the way we do fitness. The ACSM’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends states that wearable technology is the top fitness trend this year. And as reported in 10 trends to watch in 2016,

“Wearable technologies that track our health are on the rise. By 2019, the industry is expected to grow by 600%.”

Group classes like POUND® and Surfset® as well as faith-based exercise programs and other trends have continued to change the health promotion landscape.

Today’s wellness professionals need to be aware of industry trends but must also understand their impact. Although no one can precisely predict the future of wellness, knowing how trends affect the workplace and specific segments of populations such as millennials, is imperative. Is there a trend causing a shift in your culture of health? Does your wellness program, available services, or professional development need to shift along with it? Keep an eye on current trends and their implications while also watching the horizon for new and exciting developments ahead.

They Get Organized –

No one has time to waste so don’t let disorganization get in your way and cost you. In order to perform optimally and meet workplace demands, organization has to be a priority. Start by creating a yearly planning calendar divided into three-month quarters (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) and then add holidays and important dates. Next, add relevant National Health Observances such as American Diabetes Month. Consider including state-wide, local, and charity events. Finally, add any additional wellness program dates such as health fairs, incentive programs, team challenges, or medical screenings. Plan ahead – way ahead – by working backwards from event dates.

Being organized is a skill and it’s never too late to learn or improve upon what you already know. Available resources like this Mind Tools video How to Organize Yourself at Work and the accompanying article offer strategies to help get you started.

They Get Connected –

Social media platforms combined with advanced mobile technology means one thing: connection. It is now easier than ever to be connected to the right resources, channels, and people. Are you networked with current vendors and industry influencers? Have you taken the time to connect with key organizations such as the American Journal of Health Promotion, Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), and Edington Associates?

Professional At Work

The benefits of getting connected include learning from other professionals, exchanging ideas, collaborating, being informed about the latest scientific research, and staying up-to-date on trends, upcoming events, and educational resources. Wellness practitioners can also take advantage of the myriad of LinkedIn Groups where “It’s like having coffee with the leading experts in your industry.” Schedule ten minutes each week on your calendar for networking and enjoy a virtual cup of java with some new friends (search for LinkedIn Groups by keyword “wellness” – there are over 3,000 results!).

Put these habits into practice each day and keep aiming for success. Don’t forget to comment with your thoughts and share this post if you found it helpful. Thanks for reading – stay healthy and stay tuned for Part 2… !


Rachael HeadshotRachael E. Picone, MS, is the Motivation Alliance Product Evangelist at BSDI. She earned her Master of Science degree in exercise physiology from The University of Massachusetts. Ms. Picone has more than 20 years of diverse experience with a professional history encompassing corporate fitness, health education and promotion, sports and leisure management, cardiac rehabilitation, and personal training. In her spare time, Rachael enjoys dancing, biking, and photography.

Images: Adobe Stock

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