Sarah Shortt (SS): Hi Kylie! Tell us a little about your wellness program?
Kylies Gates (KG): The course was inspired by tools and techniques that have helped me find balance in my own life. It’s stuff that's helped me to set boundaries, and not feel guilty about that.
Because of the improvements I’ve seen in myself, I was inspired to share this content with as many people as possible – especially Instructors because they work in an industry where they're always giving to others. I’ve fallen into that category of working too much and not filling up my own tank, just running on empty. And that’s never a great way to start a class – when you’re feeling burned out. So, when I created this course, it was very much with the Instructor front of mind.
"I used to think of my days as black and white – good or bad. And if something went wrong, I might write the whole day off as a failure. Nowadays I have a more holistic view and look for the positives in my experiences."
SS: What does the course cover?
KG: We start by reviewing what I call the foundations of wellness and self-care, because if you don’t have the right foundations, how can you be the best version of yourself? We (myself and other presenters) explore what we mean by wellness and self-care, and understanding our four body systems – the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual – along with the interconnection of those systems.
The course is split into three modules and it's intended to be completed over 12 weeks. At the start of module one, you’re asked to consider what you feel may be out of balance for you – and it’s almost just going with your gut feeling. For example, years ago I was physically out of balance, experiencing emotional highs and lows all the time. I was teaching too much, eating too much sugar, and not sleeping enough. Your balance or lack of balance will always show up in your physical body system.
If you're serious about wanting to make changes to your life, you need to dig into your why. Because just thinking “I’m going to do this” is not enough. You need to explore what your motivations are for wanting to make changes and there are whys around everything you do. Why do you want to be healthy? Why do you want to eat certain foods? Why do you want to be more balanced?
Having Alzheimer's in my family is a huge motivator for me to eat certain foods alongside maintaining consistent exercise to reduce my risk of getting it. My motivators are all about health and longevity. Maybe you’ve got young kids and you want to be strong and fit so you can jump around the playground with them. Finding your why is super important to motivate you and help the habits to stick.
SS: That’s so interesting. And what’s in modules two and three?
KG: In the second module we explore our root system. If you think of yourself as a tree – everything above the ground is what the outside world sees: relationships, happiness, success, and fulfilment. Below the ground, the tree is being fed by values, beliefs, habits, and purpose. To enjoy the fruits of improved wellness, we need to nurture and care for what’s going on at the base. We ask ourselves questions like “What’s important and meaningful for me?”, “How do I want to show up in this world?”, and "What seeds do I want to plant, nurture, and grow for my wellness?"
And then in module three we look at the importance of celebration and allocating where we invest our time and energy. You'll take away some self-care tools and resources that will set you up for ongoing growth for years to come.
SS: Can you explain the importance of celebration?
KG: I wanted to include this because I just feel that we don’t celebrate the small wins enough. We’re always focused on the next goal, and while it’s great to have things you’re aiming for, it’s also important to celebrate the successes along the way.
I have a practice where I ask myself “What was my victory and challenge today? What brought me joy today and where's the opportunity to grow?” Reflection is a great tool to use daily to help you be the best version of yourself. I used to think of my days as black and white – good or bad. And if something went wrong, I might write the whole day off as a failure. Nowadays I have a more holistic view and look for the positives in my experiences.
The final part of the module is breaking down where your time and energy goes. I call it budgeting, and it’s honestly changed my life. It made me realize how much I was prioritizing certain areas of my life which meant missing out on other things. Spending time intentionally planning where my time and energy goes has helped me shape a more balanced life. It also helps you get to know what you need in your life: I know I need to have time for my relationships, I need to contribute and have self-growth, as well as ME time. I’ve become much more deliberate about how I spend my days.
SS: Do you think it's crucial to set goals?
KG: While I think setting goals can be helpful, I tell my clients not to be too focused on the outcome. And that’s because if we’re holding on too tightly to the results, we don’t appreciate all the other things we’ve achieved even if we don’t quite get the outcome we want.
I’m very disciplined and I often have an idea of what I want to get done in a particular week. But then if it doesn’t turn out that way, I look at what I did achieve and celebrate those things. And if I didn’t get x, y, z done, that’s okay, I’ve got tomorrow. Or next week. It’s about being a bit lighter with yourself.
People ask me what’s changed in my life since I started approaching holistic coaching and I say, without a doubt, self-love. Yes, I might have been able to function before I did all this work on myself, but I didn’t love myself completely. Now I love myself with all my faults; all my imperfections. I love who I am and looking at life through this lens has helped me be a lot more grateful for what I have.
"There can be so much noise in life that it’s hard to focus and get clear on what you really want. It’s important to be able to shut out the noise, get still, and ask yourself the deeper questions."
SS: In the videos you talk about living with more intention. What do you mean by that?
KG: It can be easy to fill your world with things that aren’t necessarily aligned with who you really are or aren't helping you get to where you want to go in life. When I talk about intentional action, it’s really being more considered about what you do and what you’re filling your life with.
There can be so much noise in life that it’s hard to focus and get clear on what you really want. It’s important to be able to shut out the noise, get still, and ask yourself the deeper questions. I’ve spent a lot of my life living in the noise. Now, I live in a different world. I can spend a few hours up there in the noise, but then I’ll crave that stillness that allows me to look inward and check in with myself. What I call my inner world.
SS: Is there a particular time in people's lives that they should do the course?
KG: No. You can do this work at any stage, and actually it’s something you probably should do over and over again. It’s not a one-time thing, or something you only do when you’re at a crossroads in life or a big trauma occurs. You want to be constantly working on yourself so you know you can handle life’s ups and downs. That’s the big one for me. I want to know that whatever life throws at me, I can rely on myself. I back myself fully.
I love this work because it really is transformative. My hope is that people enjoy the course and it helps them find a little more joy in their everyday. I truly believe that you can create the life you want – and you don’t need to put everything on pause to do that. You don’t need to book into a fancy retreat. Just taking a few minutes each day to reflect on things is all you need – and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your life changes for the better.
Kylie Gates has dedicated her life to helping others see and become the best versions of themselves. As Les Mills Creative Director and Head Program Coach, she’s coached thousands of Instructors and motivated millions of movers through leading BODYPUMP™ and BODYBALANCE™ workouts. She is also a Master Certified Integrative Wellness and Life Coach, a certified professional coach in transformational coaching and an Australian Level 1 200-hour certified yoga instructor.
Wellness Coaching with Kylie is available in the Releases App and on LES MILLS+. Download your guide