By Chris Coward, VP of Coaching for Apollo Health

I’ve been listening to Marcus Buckingham’s newest book called “Love and Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life.”  I’ve followed him for years, as he is the world’s most prominent researcher on strengths and leadership at work. 

The essence of his research is how unique we all are with respect to our strengths and that we live our best lives leaning into our strengths versus focusing on improving our weaknesses. Of course, if a particular weakness has a significant negative impact on your life, then you would benefit from minimizing its effect. This is not the same as putting all of your focus into fixing your “opportunities for improvement.” Honing in on and growing into what we love, which may or may not be what we are good at, increases our well-being and fulfillment. So, what does this have to do with following the ReCODE Protocol?

We talk a lot about the “what” and “how” of the protocol. In other words, you need to know what to do to follow the B7, and then you need to know how you will do it. Our ReCODE 2.0 Health Coaches are excellent at helping individuals with the how part. This is where it gets interesting — everyone’s how is different depending on who they are and what strengths they bring with them to the protocol. 

When I was a new coach, I would get so excited when a client brought a topic to the session that I either was personally currently dealing with or had successfully overcome. I couldn’t wait for my client to pause so I could share exactly what I did to overcome the challenge. As a newbie coach, I found that my expert ideas would not work for my clients; sometimes, they didn’t bother trying my suggestions as they instinctively knew it wasn’t a good strategy for them. I learned quickly that my way wasn’t the only way to get through challenges, and in order to help them uncover their best way to address the situation, I needed to turn my coaching toward finding out my client’s unique wiring. As I started doing this in my coaching, I became more valuable to my clients (once we got past me falling for the “just tell me what to do” requests).

Our Apollo Health Education and Support Groups offer so many facilitator and participant ideas and best practices to adhere to the ReCODE protocol. At the same time, we expect participants to experiment, modify to their unique situation and tweak as needed until it’s a good fit for them. Often group participants hire an individual coach to personalize their learning and get support in implementing the changes necessary to achieve protocol success for themselves. 

There are so many examples where one’s strengths and uniqueness come into play. I’ve worked with clients who have needed to increase their water intake. One client created a small step of drinking her first glass of water when she got out of the shower.  Another client filled up a large drinking vessel with exactly the amount of water she wanted to consume in a day and didn’t go to bed until it was complete. Another client tracked the number of glasses of water he drank daily on a phone app. You may be reading this thinking, “I don’t do any of those things to get my daily water intake.” That is exactly my point! I don’t do any of these things, but I still get my water in!

Another example is exercise which is number two in the B7. There are so many different ways to get sufficient exercise. If I were coaching someone in this area, I would want to learn their loves and strengths as related to exercise. If they dislike the word exercise, we will start there — perhaps call it movement or playing outside with a purpose. Do they like exercising with others or solo? Do they like mornings or other times of the day? What type of intentional movement is fun? Are they competitive? We have several guides on the member website on exercise that not only detail the what but also help generate ideas for creative ways to move.  

Personally, I enjoy cardio with others and working out solo when I do strength training. I also know that having someone to be accountable to and some healthy competition will motivate me. I don’t expect others to have my same combination of loves around their exercise, so If I were coaching them on coming up with a plan, we would dig into their unique optimization. Finding what one loves is all in the details. 

Through Apollo Health’s numerous resources, guides, practitioners, and coaches, there is no shortage of information on what the protocol entails to get the best results. I challenge you to explore your unique loves and strengths to embrace the ReCODE Protocol, putting it together and implementing it in a way that honors YOU. If you are a Care Partner, keep in mind your loved one’s personality, strengths, passions, and loves as you help them make the protocol their own.

Please share your successes with this, and we would love to hear from you via email at

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