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November 9, 2020

Kelly Hawk Advocates for Small Changes


TaskHuman coach and TaskHuman Talks host, Jamie Carroll, invited fellow coach, Kelly Hawk, to the podcast for a conversation. Kelly is a health and fitness professional, whose years of experience make her an expert in helping clients systematically make small changes in their lives.

Kelly doled out her wisdom throughout the interview. Here are the takeaways, and one amazing recipe:

1. Change Your Behavior

In Kelly’s experience, clients often struggle to carry the practices they have during a training session into everyday life. Moving, eating well, and stretching are simpler to do when the coach is there to guide them.

But Kelly thinks you can set yourself up for success when the coach isn’t there too. She works with her clients to create goals and strategies for the next day or days between sessions.

And the goals aren’t big.

By using small, attainable goals, her clients have success, which empowers them to keep going. The small wins lead to other changes, and eventually there is an entire lifestyle change.

But it all starts with small movements in the direction you want to go.

Kelly also cautions against doing too much at once. It’s important to also let your body rest.

“At some point, their body is going to crash,” she says. “They’re working too hard.”

Sometimes, all you need is a good 15 minute walk to relax your body, clear your mind, and improve your posture and mood.

2. Start Stretching

Most of us know we should stretch, and we have all heard the benefits. We hunch over our keyboards all day and we do high-impact exercises that strain our muscles.

Yet, most of us also don’t give enough thought and time to stretching. Kelly believes people skip it because they think it is boring and don’t immediately see the positive impact it has on their bodies.

She once struggled to incorporate it too.

“For 16 years I was telling my clients, ‘Don’t neglect the stretch,’ but I too was neglecting the stretch,” she says.

Now that she dedicates time to stretching, she has less hip, knee, and back pain.

3. Squats Are Everything

Like most fitness professionals, Kelly has exercises she loves: Burpees and the Clean & Press, are two of them.

But her absolute favorite exercise is squats. The functionality of squats make them a winner for her.

“Everybody needs to be able to get out of their chair for the rest of their lives,” she says.

In our culture, especially now, we spend so much time sitting that our bodies need to be reactivated. Squats do just that. You don’t need special equipment or weights to make them effective either.

“Don’t underestimate your body weight as resistance,” Kelly says.

4. Practice Yoga

Yoga’s long history means it has ridden the waves of popularity. But the benefits of low-impact strength and flexibility exercises have not changed.

Beginning a yoga practice might be intimidating for someone with limited flexibility, but Kelly explains there’s more benefit than just that.

She advocates for starting with a calming yoga practice. Doing this will also let you practice meditation techniques at the same time, and it will likely help you sleep better. Even 15 minutes of practice with a TaskHuman coach on the app will be beneficial.

It’s also an important tool to help manage stress.

Other ways Kelly recommends reducing stress is to take walks and create morning and evening routines.

The practices can be soothing because we know what to expect and what we need to work towards.

“I know myself,” Kelly says. “If I don’t get my workout done in the morning, it’s probably not going to happen.”

5. Plan for Treats

Food can be a big source of anxiety for many people. With a little planning, Kelly says it doesn’t have to be.

Her biggest advice is to work to cut back on white sugar and flour.

Even if you have the treat, but you’ve substituted the white flour for whole wheat and the white sugar for more natural sugars (honey, maple syrup, etc.), the treat is healthier. You can even try healthier options of family favorites, like finding a recipe for muffins that is nourishing.

Here’s Kelly’s go-to snack recipe for her family:

Nut Butter Protein Balls

  • 1 cup nut butter
  • chocolate chips or Craisins to taste
  • 1 scoop protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup honey

Mix it all together. Form the mixture into balls. Put into the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

What Kelly doesn’t support is the idea of diets. For her, it means it’s a temporary solution. What people need to do is change their overall thinking and behavior, so it’s a lifestyle.

“It’s [weight] not fast to come on. It’s going to take a lot longer to come off,” she says.

Related reading: Small Changes Create a Big Impact for Emily Kulas

If you make sure you’re reducing white sugar and flour, and you’re increasing your fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you’ll see progress.

As a coach on TaskHuman, Kelly wants to make sure she understands what clients need before the session starts. She reaches out to them beforehand to get the information she needs to create a tailored experience for each client.

Watch the full podcast here. If you’re ready to make use of Kelly’s expertise, reach out to her for a LIVE 1:1 video chat today.


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