Signs You May Benefit from Working with a Health Coach 

 February 28, 2021

By  Marianne Gernetzke

In the process of change, it is normal to experience periods of feeling “stuck”.  We all occasionally take steps backwards while moving forward. 

Unfortunately, it is easy to get frustrated when this happens!   

Have you wished your change could be easier for you?  I know I have!

Not only can the process of change feel difficult, but the decisions we make about our health and wellness can also feel very personal.  This can leave us feeling vulnerable, and vulnerability is HARD. 

For many of us, vulnerability brings up shame, and causes us to feel like hiding or avoiding the change(s) that we need to make.  

Shame and vulnerability can erode our belief in our ability to change. 

Fortunately, we can decrease our vulnerability by seeking help from others.  Brene Brown, expert on vulnerability and shame, says “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” 

A coach with professional training in the area of health and wellness can help us with empathetic listening skills.  Would change feel more possible for you if your shame was brought into the light?

Once we start to see what is possible, we become courageous!

We might also consider that no one person’s journey looks the same as another’s.  We can seek information from books or the internet, but this information isn’t tailored to your specific situation; it might not fit your personal needs. 

A health/wellness coach can help you to connect to the resources that you are personally seeking, while also encouraging you to be the expert in your own life.  Thus, in the coaching process, you can create a plan of action that is an exact fit to your situation.

Many people find that working with a health coach can be very beneficial. But how do you know if it is time to work with a coach?

Here are 12 signs that you might benefit from partnering with a coach, based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change:

  1. You don’t know HOW to make the changes you need to reach your health goals. You’d like someone to take the time to share additional information with you to help you move forward.
  1. You are struggling to make decisions about how to improve your health. (Coaches won’t give you advice but they can help you find clarity and self-understanding about what you actually want or need).
  1. You feel ashamed and demoralized by past failures and are hesitating to try again. You consider yourself lazy, unmotivated, or lacking willpower. Because you lack confidence, you dread the possibility of another disappointment.
  1. You find yourself defending your self-defeating habits or addictions even though they are holding you back.
  1. You are stuck in doubt: is this change really worth it?
  1. You are thinking and reading a lot about making lifestyle changes but you keep delaying the actual work you need to do. (Check out my post Getting Unstuck when Progress Stands Still.)
  1. You are struggling to stick with new habits/health behaviors because you find them too demanding.
  1. You find that the lifestyle change you are making is increasing your distress significantly.  Your discomfort is a barrier to success.
  1. You are confused about self-defeating thoughts or behaviors (for example emotional eating habits) and you could use some help to understand how to get out of your own way.
  1. You are struggling to create important boundaries (for example, saying “no” to others, keeping unhealthy foods out of the house, putting aside time and/or space for yourself).
  1. Skills like relaxation, stress management, food planning/prep, mindfulness, sleep hygiene, and/or leisure/play are outside of your wheelhouse and you would like someone to help you build new skills.
  1. You are looking for an accountability partner. If any of these situations resonate with you, and you’d like to learn more about health and wellness coaching for your wellbeing, please consider reaching out for a free consultation session!

Marianne Gernetzke


Marianne Gernetzke, MS, PCC, NBC-HWC, A-CFHC, is a Health and Wellbeing Coach who helps drained and distressed adults to ease inner tension and create greater happiness and harmony in living. Marianne has re-awakened her own health and happiness after years of self-induced stress and perfectionism led to auto-immune symptoms and mental burnout. She offers individualized coaching services, utilizing over 20 years previous experience as a trauma-informed health professional and an intense curiosity about the connection between lifestyle habits and mental wellbeing. Marianne lives in rural Wisconsin where she enjoys family-time with her spouse and older children, growing organic vegetables, and artistic adventures with mixed media/crafts.

Marianne Gernetzke

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