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How To Create A New Year Health Challenge

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According to a survey of 2000 people, the top three New Year resolutions all involve health goals. 71% of people resolve to “diet or eat healthier,” 65% resolve to “exercise more,” and 54% aim to “lose weight” in the New Year. 

Most resolutions tend to fall short come February, but not for lack of motivation. Goals like “lose weight” are too broad, and don’t indicate the realistic, step-by-step changes that need to occur in order to reach the desired end-point. Most wellness professionals will agree that there’s no quick-fix solutions for eating healthier or losing weight. Instead, a series of healthy, sustainable changes are needed to achieve (and maintain) these wellness goals. 

There is something to be said about the motivation people experience in January. A new year represents new opportunities. We think of how we want to reinvent ourselves in the new year — how can we feel better, and do better? For wellness professionals, the motivation that new and existing clients experience can be harnessed into a more effective way at making strides towards a healthier lifestyle — and there’s no better way to utilize that energy than with a January wellness challenge. 

A wellness challenge is a great opportunity to engage with clients. By setting achievable goals throughout the month, a whole group of clients are able to use their new year motivation to take concrete steps towards change. 

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Follow the steps outlined below to create a successful January health challenge: 

1. Identify your business goals for your wellness challenge. 

As a wellness professional, you may be quick to jump ahead and start thinking about the content you want to create. However, a wellness challenge provides a chance for you to drum up new clientele, and provide an engaging new service for existing clients. In order to evaluate if your wellness challenge has been a success, you’ll need to know what business outcomes you’ll be measuring. Choosing outcomes, and tracking data are essential when evaluating the effectiveness of any new business service or offering. These outcomes also will help indicate what marketing strategies you’ll need to put in place to achieve success. 

So before starting your wellness challenge, define what success will look like for your business. Here are some outcomes you may want to consider: 

  • Total number of clients enrolled 
  • Amount of revenue generated 
  • Number of new clients (ie. Are you trying to generate new leads and use a wellness program for new / prospective clients?) 
  • Number of existing client enrolled (ie. Are you trying to re-commit current clients that you are working with, and leverage a wellness challenge as an add on feature to your current suite of offerings?) 

Furthermore, the most effective wellness services are the ones that speak to your target client — so you’ll want to think through who this challenge will be designed for. Having a clear understanding of the pain-points this client experiences is critical, and will pave the way for what type of content, goals, and support your wellness challenge should offer. 

2. Choose a topic for your wellness challenge.

Now that you know what your desired outcomes are and who this program will be designed for, you can decide on a topic. What are the outcomes that your clients can expect to achieve? This will completely depend on your client-based, their current nutritional challenges, and wellness goals. 

Some popular health and wellness topics to consider for your program: 

  • Weight loss challenge 
  • Improved mindfulness with food challenge 
  • Intuitive eating challenge 
  • Better digestion challenge 
  • Food elimination challenge 

Keep in mind, you don’t need to create a wellness challenge that will only be able to run for January. Instead, if this is your first program, consider creating a Signature Program for your business. The content and design of your health challenge can be used again, either on an ongoing basis for your business, or at other opportune times throughout the year. 

3. Set a realistic cap for enrollment. 

With any program or service in your practice, providing a quality experience in essential. Think through the time that you’ll need to maintain your wellness challenge. There is often a lot of “in-between,” support work that needs to be accounted for. For example, if you’ll require participants to keep a food journal, which you’ll provide daily feedback on, then you should think through how many clients you can realistically manage to complete this daily task. Perhaps giving feedback on 10 food journal entries a day is feasible, but 20 would be unsustainable. 

Also consider how you’ll be delivering your wellness challenge — are there any in-person meetups, or will it be completely virtual. If in-person, important considerations have to be given to the space requirements. 

Do you have access to a conference room or office space? How many people can comfortably fit in the space? 

Are you able to rent a space large enough for a group, which will still be profitable for you in the end? 

If you’re hosting a virtual program, what’s the maximum amount of participants you can have on your video call? 

Thinking through these questions will help you set a realistic cap for enrollment. This will also drive your pricing, which we’ll discuss below. 

4. Choose a time length to run your New Year wellness challenge. 

One of the biggest questions we get asked regarding creating health and wellness programs and challenges is this: “How long should I run my program for?” 

The answer depends entirely on your topic, and the outcomes you want your participants to achieve. If you’re looking to run a weight loss challenge, then a 2 week challenge will not be sufficient for clients to make the changes, and see results in a healthy way. Whereas if you’re running a challenge to improve “mindfulness” surrounding eating, a 2 week challenge may be appropriate. 

You will also want to think through how much support and work participants will do during this time-frame. Will you run a more bootcamp style challenge, where you’ll meet with participants every day for a week? Or are you offering a weekly group session with some in-between support? 

With that being said, most challenges run for a relatively short period of time, depending on the heightened motivation of clients in the New Year. Most January wellness challenges will run anywhere from 2-6 weeks, again, depending on the health outcomes. 

5. Choose the structure for your challenge, and get your content ready.

Now that you know how you’ll conduct your program, the health outcomes you’re working towards, and the duration — it’s time to fill in the structure and content for your wellness challenge. 

The structure, or framework can vary greatly, depending on what you’re helping clients work towards, and how much autonomy you want to include. A good question to consider when deciding on your challenge structure: do your clients mostly lack education, inspiration and/or accountability? 

Example 1: 6 Week Better Blood Sugars Challenge:   

  • 60 minute group educational sessions each week 
  • Participants keep a food journal daily, and receive a point for every day they log during the challenge 
  • 20 minute daily exercise challenge included, participants receive a point for every exercise activity they log 
  • Access to a support group chat for ongoing peer support 

Example 2: 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge: 

  • Participants receive a small challenge to accomplish every day for 30 days, based around self-care and gratitude. 
  • They can check-off their new goal each day to indicate that they’ve accomplished it 
  • 1:1 message support with their wellness provider 

7. Price your wellness challenge strategically. 

Probably the most difficult part about creating your wellness program is determining the right pricing point. Wellness challenges can be free, low-cost, or higher-cost, depending on your desired outcomes. Here’s some reasoning behind each of these pricing structures: 

The case for a free challenge: 

If your primary objective is to drive new prospects to your business, then your wellness challenge will be used as a lead-gen tool. To attract the most prospects to your business, we can remove the barrier of requiring a fee or credit card. 

This is often a great approach if you want to then target participants to enroll in a fee-service that you offer. In this way, your challenge is more of a high-quality “preview” to what your services offer. It may make sense to take this approach if your program is shorter in duration, such as a 10 Day Mindfulness Challenge, which you’ll then pitch your one-on-one intuitive eating services. 

The case for a low-cost challenge:

Low-cost challenges often make a great (and affordable) value-add service to your existing clients. If you’re looking to engage your current clients, your January wellness challenge can be a way for them to commit to making changes, and to continue working together. You could still open up your program to outside participants who would be a good fit. 

The case for a higher-cost challenge: 

If your wellness challenge will be more of an education workshop and/or require more of your time in support, then you may want to price your challenge to match what your challenge is: a premium experience. If you’re providing one-on-one touchpoints like accountability chat, food logging commenting, combining it with one-on-one weekly calls, then let the price reflect this work. Participants who don’t want to pay out-of-pocket for this ?

A quick and easy way to calculate your wellness challenge pricing: 

If you’re leaning toward a for-profit price, here’s one easy method to utilize: 

Calculate the amount of time (in hours) that you’ll need to spend creating and running your program. If you have in-between work, like reading food journal entries, estimate how much time you’ll expect to dedicate to this week. 

Multiply your hours of time by your hourly rate (ie. 4 hours of work x $100/hour = $400) 

Add in any expenses, like utilities or office space rent (ie. add $600 for the space rental) 

Divide this number by the number of participants you’d like to enroll (ie. $1000/10 participants = $100 each).

From there you can decide on whether to make it a one-time payment, or recurring payment, whichever may be more attractive or affordable for your client-base. 

Pro-tip: Even if your practice is insurance-based, wellness challenges can be a great value-add service to your insurance-based clients. While insurance may not cover for these services (except for in-person group counseling sessions), you can offer your wellness challenge as a self-pay service. Those who are interested can enroll and pay out-of-pocket to get started. 

8. Choose your start day for your program, and start enrolling participants! 

Riding the wave of New Year’s motivation, many wellness challenges like to kickstart right after New Year’s Day. Come January 2nd, people are looking to make changes, and it’s an opportune time for them to start your challenge. 

You’ll want to give yourself 4-6 weeks to promote your wellness challenge, depending on how many participants you aim to enroll. Offering a promo code to those who sign up early will help push enrollments. If you are primarily marketing to current clients, then an email blast and newsletter, including the promo code announcement, can be the best way to push for sign-ups. If you’re looking to enroll new clients, then explore other channels to market your program: 

  • Print flyers or postcards to display at nearby wellness professionals’ offices  
  • Ask for a segment on your local radio or news station 
  • Take out an ad in your local paper or list as an upcoming event 
  • Promote on social media 
  • Host an event on event-brite 
  • List on your website on your services page, or as a pop-up box 

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Ready to start enrolling participants? 

Healthie’s program tool allows wellness professionals to build custom programs and wellness challenges within their provider account. 

  • Organize all participants within a group, and share specific forms and educational materials with the group 
  • Maintain a HIPAA-compliant group chat 
  • Launch virtual group sessions 
  • Engage with participants via photo-based food journal, and goal setting 
  • Pre-build your content and add it to your program to automatically distribute to participants, including emails, forms, documents, and/or videos.
  • Add your wellness challenge program to a package to bill participants (customize your billing terms: one-time payment, or multiple recurring payments) 
  • Securely store participant information, including credit card details, within their client profile 
  • Keep track of each participant’s progress, and see valuable statistics about your challenge 

Make more time to grow your business.

Use a platform that automates the administrative, so you can focus on growth and care.

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