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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If You Dream it You Can Achieve it? Really?

I have started to feel a bit discouraged lately. Dr M hasn't had time to review our revised ethics proposal but she said she hopes we can get everything going by mid October. I'm worried that we won't get approval from the ethics board at the hospital. And then what? Doubt and anxiety that I will ever achieve my dream of being a psychotherapist have re-emerged. But one thing is for sure: I cannot go back to a job I hate. It will kill my spirit and destroy my soul.

Now that my mat leave is over, the only income I have coming in right now is my one weekly spinning class at the JCC...so really nothing. This is the first time since I was an undergraduate student that I have not had a fairly steady income...and I really don't like it. I have decided that if the research project at the hospital doesn't come through, I am going to try and get a job. Actually, I am trying to see if I can start a business. My business idea is something I have been thinking about for a while. I was planning to use it as a way to supplement my income after I finish school and start trying to build a practice. Then I realized it is something I could start working on now.

I don't really know what to call the service I want to offer..."Family Fitness Coaching" or "Family Health Intervention" are a few ideas I've come up with so far. Basically, the idea is that I would go into a home where the parents and/or children are facing health problems due to an unhealthy lifestyle (poor nutrition and lack of physical activity, not enough sleep, too much stress, etc). I would do a personalized assessment of their lifestyle and routines (each family member's schedule, how long it takes them to get to work, school, etc., what they eat, how much leisure time they have, etc.) and then come back to them with a detailed report of recommendations in terms of how to make easy, economical changes to allow them to improve their diet, fit in more physical activity into their daily lives and leisure time, get more sleep and better manage stress. This might include better time management skills, re-vamping schedules, walking to work and school instead of driving, better sleep hygiene, changing bed and wake up times, purchasing home exercise equipment, utilizing available community resources (community centres, parks, trails, etc.). Essentially, I would give them recommendations on overcoming all the real or perceived logistical barriers to improving their lifestyle and their health. Other services they could purchase from me would be a guided supermarket tour to educate them about reading labels and how to prepare quick, easy, healthy and economical meals, a detailed family dinner meal plan with recipes, individual or group personal training, etc.

Since I know nothing about the "business/accounting/marketing/advertising" side of starting a business, I'm meeting with my friend Jennifer in a few weeks for some advice. She runs her own in-home personal training business and seems to be doing very well. I actually don't want to do the personal training myself, and would prefer to refer clients to others for that, but we'll see how it goes.