It's hard to see a whole forest when you're in the midst of the trees. And it's hard to see the structure of your life when you are living it close-up.
For this reason, it can be useful to have an external observer and coach to help you see the patterns in your life and the way toward your goals.
Life coaching is a series of strategies designed to help people to identify their goals more clearly and work toward them more effectively.
It is not the role of your coach to choose your path or your goals for you. That's your job, although your coach can provide exercises and strategies to identify your interests, talents, and passions.
Your coach may also suggest certain goals (such as having a regular exercise regime), because these can help maintain mood and health and ultimately serve most other goals. One thing your coach is almost certain to advocate is balance - between work and leisure, between social and solitary time, between enjoyment and fulfillment.
Once you have at least some goals in mind, your coach will work with you to map out a route and to work step by step toward them.
What kind of goals can a coach help with? Here's a sample:
- Career attainment
- Healthy lifestyle
- Social life enhancement
- Overcoming negative thinking
- Overcoming procrastination
- Cultivating a sense of meaning and purpose
How does it work?
Generally coaching begins with two to three assessment sessions during which you describe your life situation and develop a concrete list of goals.
Your coach then introduces a set of effective goal setting strategies designed to help you translate your goals into a series of smaller steps, complete with progress markers along the way.
In each subsequent meeting you then set goals for the coming period. You also problem-solve about barriers that you have encountered thus far, and strategies for overcoming these. Additional skills and techniques are brought in as needed.
Usually you would meet with your coach once a week to get started. Some people like to continue with weekly meetings, while others (for practical or economic reasons) prefer to space the meetings further apart. Telephone consultations are available when you are out of town.
You can choose to see your coach for as long as you wish. Generally you would select a certain number of sessions (perhaps five or eight) for the first block, then add additional sets of sessions as desired.