If you’re dissatisfied with your life and have begun questioning your purpose or passion, it may be time to change course.
Whether you want to make more time for rest or build better relationships, knowing where to start and what steps to take is challenging. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Lifestyle coaching can empower you to address your current position, create a vision of where you want to go, and develop an action plan for getting there.
What’s a lifestyle coach?
We all strive to find fulfillment and happiness. But when we see our lives heading down a path where our needs and wants aren’t being met, it’s natural to feel discouraged or unmotivated. People reach out to lifestyle coaches when they acknowledge this imbalance and want to redirect their life toward a brighter future.
A lifestyle coach, or life coach, is a professional who specializes in helping people make the necessary progress to lead happier lives. These coaches work with clients to assess their current lifestyle, identify areas for self-improvement, and bring about positive changes.
Lifestyle coaches often focus on areas such as goal setting, professional development, and personal growth. They provide guidance, support, and accountability to help clients make sustainable changes that align with their values and aspirations, whether those plans span six months, five years, or a decade.
To do this work, life coaches must foster an environment built on confidentiality and trust, where clients feel safe expressing their concerns and vulnerabilities and receiving hands-on guidance. Then, through personalized strategies, thoughtful conversations, and tailored action plans, they empower individuals to reshape their lives.
Why you should consider lifestyle coaching
Not having the life you want is nothing to be embarrassed about — it’s a challenge to address and overcome.
But conquering obstacles on your own is hard. It’s not always easy to progress toward your goals, whether you’re struggling to obtain your dream career or need more conviction to complete one of your personal projects. Enter lifestyle coaches, who provide tools and unbiased advice that make tackling your goals easier.
There are many reasons to turn to a coach for help. Perhaps you want:
4 benefits of lifestyle coaching
Life coaches serve as guides for their clients, assisting them in uncovering areas of their lives they wish to transform and creating a roadmap to achieve those aspirations — but that’s a little abstract. To better illustrate their impact, let’s explore four specific examples of ways a lifestyle coach might help you:
- Gaining clarity: When you feel dissatisfied with the current trajectory of your life, it’s natural to become overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt. But to make improvements, you must first understand exactly what’s bringing you down. A lifestyle coach can help you find clarity by dissecting each roadblock and pinpointing its cause.
- Setting achievable goals: One of the biggest challenges in changing your life is setting reasonable goals. When a goal is difficult to achieve, it’s hard to see the finish line and easy to feel unmotivated. Your coach can help you set SMART goals and take small, actionable steps toward your objectives.
- Improving accountability: Having someone who holds you accountable for your progress is helpful if you tend to procrastinate. Knowing you’ll need to update your life coach on your progress at the next session can kickstart your productivity and keep work on track, whether at home or in the office.
- Minimizing stress: Life’s turbulence can sometimes stir up a storm of stress and anxiety, impacting your physical health and emotional well-being. A lifestyle coach can help identify and manage stressors, develop coping strategies, and adjust your daily routines to manage stress effectively.
What to expect from lifestyle coaching
Understanding how coaching works and what to expect from your first session can make the process feel more approachable. Here are some standard techniques lifestyle coaches use with clients:
How do life coaches compare to other specialists?
When you’re looking to improve your life with professional help, you have an array of services to choose from. Think of it like picking the right tool for the job — different options for different needs.
Just like you have specialists in the medical world, there are experts in the world of personal development — coaches, consultants, therapists — all ready to help you fine-tune your lifestyle and behavior. Determining the course of action for your particular needs is the fastest way to get in touch with the right professional and receive the guidance and tools necessary to make a change.
Not sure which professional best applies to your case? Let’s compare:
Life coach versus health coach
Life coaches and health coaches may sound like they’re cut from the same cloth, but they each have their own unique specialties. While a life coach might suggest hitting the gym for a mood boost or to fire up your motivation, they’re not the ones to guide you through detailed health goals.
That’s where health and wellness coaches come in. Their work supports the work of healthcare experts — they act as a motivator and advocate for you to lean on while you follow a trainer or doctor’s orders.
Let’s break down a few more key differences between these two professions:
- Health coaches hold you accountable to your specific health goals, such as reducing high blood pressure or managing weight loss. Their focus is on the physical, while lifestyle coaches address mental roadblocks and unproductive thinking.
- Health coaches are your own personal cheerleaders, rooting for you to eat healthy, reduce stress, and stay active. But they specialize in health matters, so don’t expect them to dive into every facet of your daily life like a life coach might.
Life coach versus therapist
Life coaches and therapists share a common goal — helping you lead a better life — but they tread completely different paths to get there. Therapists are the experts in navigating your emotional and psychological processes, while life coaches are the problem-solvers who help you tackle present challenges.
Let’s dive into the nuances that set these two professions apart:
- Therapists are licensed mental health professionals trained to journey into your past and help you understand the “Why” behind your behavior, often navigating unresolved trauma and sensitive topics. While life coaches can provide dynamic solutions and a shoulder to lean on, their role is to help you identify and overcome problems, not diagnose them.
- Therapy can involve a longer commitment, aiming to nurture your mental health over time. Life coaching, on the other hand, focuses on the here and now, aiming to help you knock out specific challenges as they arise.
Life coach versus lifestyle consultant
These two professionals might be the most similar on this list. Life coaches and consultants both serve personal growth, but a consultant is someone to bounce ideas off of rather than an explicit guide.
Their goal is to empower clients to make informed decisions by helping them learn with what they need to know. For example, while a life coach might help you explore different paths to find a suitable career change, a consultant could specifically advise you on the strategies and steps for transitioning into a particular industry, like leveraging certain skills or gaining particular certifications.
Here are a few more differences between lifestyle coaching and consulting:
- A lifestyle consultant offers expertise across a number of aspects of an individual’s life — including career, health, and personal development — all at once. They provide advice, strategies, and recommendations to help clients make holistic changes to enhance their overall well-being and lifestyle. Conversely, a life coach primarily focuses on guiding clients through specific goals and challenges, offering support and motivation along the way.
- Lifestyle consultants typically take an advisory approach, providing clients with expert insights and recommendations based on their expertise and experience. Coaches tend to take a more collaborative approach, helping clients identify their own strengths, values, and motivations to achieve their desired outcomes.
How to find a lifestyle coach
Once you’ve decided to hire a life coach, it’s time to find the right professional for your unique needs.
Similar to finding a therapist, not every life coach will click with you. They may lack the specific knowledge you require, or perhaps your personalities and communication styles are incompatible. But don’t let these hiccups deter you — finding the right coach is worth the wait.
Follow these steps to find the perfect life coach for your journey of self-improvement:
1. Consider the costs
The cost of coaching varies depending on the coach’s expertise, methodology, and duration of the program. Some coaches offer packages or memberships that can be more cost-effective, while others charge per session.
Take into account your budget for personal development. It’s essential to research fees upfront and ensure that your chosen coaching path is financially feasible for you. And remember that investing in yourself, when possible, can yield invaluable results in the long term.
2. Reflect on your needs
Ask yourself: what do I want to achieve with coaching? Do you already know what it is you’re struggling with, or do you need help figuring out what your barriers are?
Understanding your goals and how you hope to improve yourself can make it easier to match with the right coach. During your first few sessions, you can test the coach’s ability to support you and align with your objectives. Should it not be a good fit, you know to move on before wasting any time.
3. Determine your niche
Although life coaches are well-suited to address various personal and professional concerns, you may want someone with a specialty. For instance, depending on your needs, you may benefit from a life coach with experience and expertise when it comes to working with entrepreneurs, executives, or neurodivergent individuals.
4. Use a coaching platform
Online coaching allows you to access professionals from across the country from the comfort of home. BetterUp provides online coaching services to help individuals, teams, and organizations unlock their full potential.
After completing the Whole Person Model assessment, you can select a coach profile that matches your needs and schedule an introductory session. And if it’s not the perfect match, you can always try someone new.
Live the life you deserve
Lifestyle coaching can benefit anyone — no reason is too small.
Although you could tackle life’s challenges on your own, you don’t have to. A life coach can help pave the way to a brighter future and make your goals feel attainable. Determine what you want to achieve, set your sights on finding the right coach, and live life to your full potential.