2020 was a year of reflection for a lot of us and Lake Bluff’s Mollie Lawniczak was no different. Mollie began a health journey before the world shut down and realized how much she’d love to share what she learned with others.
“I think it dates back to my days in corporate training and development at Macy’s headquarters in San Francisco,” she says. “Give me a flip chart and some smelly markers and I’m a happy girl.”
In 2015, Mollie decided to take her wellness seriously. A busy mom of two, she joined a local health group to help her achieve her goals…and she did! (She’s too modest to say this, but she knocked them out of the park losing more than 40 pounds!) The health group she belonged to was so impressed with her results that they asked if she would join their team and help others find the same success.
“I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed coaching others on the same journey I had been on,” she says.
Mollie was particularly interested in learning more about the direct relationship between food and what it does for the body. So after a great deal of research, she decided to pursue a health coach certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. (Many of us remember Dr. Sears from all the books he wrote taking care of babies.) The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health: lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition. A certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools, and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others. Additionally, Mollie completed a Nutrition Sciences course from the Stanford Center for Health.
“When I finished all the coursework last summer, I was really encouraged to keep the momentum going and do something with what I had learned,” Mollie says. “That’s when I launched Welcome Wellness, my personal health coaching business.”
Mollie’s focus is helping others create healthier habits that will ultimately drive a more sustainable healthy lifestyle for the long term. “Goal setting is the best way to get where you’re going,” she says. “I help people set a specific goal with very actionable steps.”
In the first five-week workshop Mollie hosted this month, she has seven participants. They met as a group weekly over Zoom, and then Mollie would connect with each individual every other week or on an as-needed basis. The personal goals in this group ranged from a smaller pant size, to a healthier BMI, to lasting in a wellness program for more than two weeks. This team also formed a group text where they supported one another, shared what they were eating, and commented on what was working for them.
“This little community formed so organically and was such a wonderful surprise to me,” she says. “I loved watching this group be there for each other.”
But in some ways, launching Welcome Wellness came as a surprise to Mollie, too. The quiet months of quarantine gave her the time to figure out how she could do this, as well as build up her courage to do so.
“I chose the name ‘Welcome Wellness’ because I wanted it to be positive and not close any doors to anyone who wanted access to a personal health coach,” she says. “I want my business to help others find better health and a better way of life.”
Mollie is gearing up to host a number of new workshops, many of them timed with where we are on the calendar—the next one starting February 17. She’ll be posting openings on her website, as well as her Instagram account–@welcomewellnesscoaching–in the coming weeks. Individuals interested in one-on-one coaching should feel free to reach out to her, too.
Until then, if you’d like to start working on some healthier habits for 2021, here is Mollie’s advice for where to start:
- Set a specific goal with a time for when you’d like to achieve it.
- Be detailed in the steps you’re going to take to meet your goal.
- Have the courage to just start doing it!