Coaching for Learning and Reinforcement

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Some things are worth learning. Some things we learn are worth reinforcing.
My parents used to force me to sit at the dinner table until I ate all of my vegetables. I really despised vegetables growing up. It wasn’t until I was formally taught in college that good nutrition required that I not only ate vegetables, but lots of them. Everyday. I wanted to be healthy and feel good, so I started to include them in my diet. I’d go through periods where I skipped over the veggies again. Then I would be reminded that vegetables are mandatory if I wanted a balanced diet. So I’d go back to eating them again.
The next two years I was back and forth. Each time I’d go back to eating them because the message of eating vegetables was reinforced over and over again. At some point, the struggle was gone and I started to love vegetables. I craved them. Meals became strangely empty without them. I converted myself into a veggie lover by taking good advice and allowing that lesson to be reinforced many times. Until it stuck.
This is how many things in life are learned and then embodied.
When it comes to our health and well-being, healthy habits and practices require this same process of learning and reinforcing. This is why health coaching is so effective. The information alone is valuable. More important is the reinforcing of the information until it becomes natural. Some folks I work with have already been exposed to the information I’m teaching. They’re more interested in taking the information deeper into their lives and being held accountable for it.
I’ve worked with coaches for many years and I find it’s helpful to stay in the conversation of what we know we should be working on to improve. It keeps the information and practices fresh in our mind so that we are more likely to stay on track and be consistent.
I love to learn. Some things are worth learning and some things can easily be tossed out. When I learn something that I am convinced is valuable and meaningful, I want to embody it. It’s a process that will require reinforcing. I’m up for it. Are you?

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~Melinda Loo

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