Does the life you live line up with the life you’d like to live? This can be a loaded question. Let’s start with a brief exercise.
Grab a scrap of paper and draw a line down the center. On one side, jot down facts about your life—your career, relationships, family, and hobbies. On the other side, write down what you wish your life was like in those areas.
Are the notes on both sides identical? Most likely, they’re not. And don’t worry, you’re not alone! Even if on paper your life is exactly what you would like, it’s possible that you aren’t experiencing the feelings of fulfillment you had expected or hoped for. Maybe you’re not even sure what you want your life to look like, or how to even think about planning it out.
Fortunately, there are professionals who have dedicated their careers to helping people in this very situation. If you’re looking for someone to empower and motivate you toward living a more fulfilling life, working with a life coach could be the best solution.
What is life coaching?
According to verywellmind.com, “a life coach is a type of wellness professional who helps people make progress in their lives in order to attain greater fulfillment.” Some life coaches can help you in a broad range of topics, such as things that are job related, relationship related, and any kind of improvements, small and large, to your daily life. They can help you build positive habits, like how to work more productively, build healthy sleep routines, and excel at communication.
On the other hand, some life coaches specialize in specific areas, such as:
- Health and wellness
- Productivity and accountability
- Mental health
- Relationships and dating
Last month on the blog we talked about mentorship, where we discussed the difference between a mentor and a coach. When it comes to life coaching, especially specialized areas like mental health coaching, many people wonder how a coach differs from a therapist or counselor. The main difference is that therapists have received specialized education and are licensed to treat mental health conditions. Life coaches, on the other hand, do not need these certifications to practice (but their advice and suggestions can still be greatly beneficial).
Another way to think of the difference, according to verywellmind.com, is that “the focus in psychotherapy is more on healing from the past, while the focus in coaching is more on getting you to where you wish to be next.”
Pricing for hiring a life coach typically ranges from $75 to $200 a session, and some coaches offer free introductory consultations and package deals when you purchase multiple sessions. Many coaches make meetings extra easy by offering virtual options. In fact, even finding and hiring a coach is easy to do online—sites like www.noomii.com and www.thumbtack.com both have life coaches listed that serve the Lake Forest area and beyond.
Health and Wellness Coaching
Health and wellness coaching is a subset of life coaching that has become increasingly popular in recent years. A health and wellness coach helps their clients set and work toward goals relating to physical fitness, weight, nutrition, sleep, and more. “In addition to being a mentor who holds clients accountable, health and wellness coaches are vital members of the greater healthcare team, bridging the gap between traditional healthcare and enacting sustainable and positive behavioral lifestyle changes,” says Nina Zorfass from integrativenutrition.com.
Rather than working with one specialist for weight loss, another for stress management, and yet another for sleep habits, a wellness coach can do it all. Not only does this save you time and money by requiring fewer appointments, but it allows one professional to get a better picture of your overall health and help you enact changes wholistically.
For example, let’s say you were paying a personal trainer to help you lose weight, but after some time, you still aren’t seeing any results from your new workout routine. A health and wellness coach might be able to identify that your difficulty losing weight is actually rooted in sleep issues. Their discovery and guidance would not only help you lose weight, but improve your sleep and mental health, too.
A Career in Coaching
Are you a great listener with a natural talent for giving advice and a passion for helping people achieve their goals? Starting a life coaching business could be a fulfilling career choice. For those ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, here are some things to consider:
Education is a vital factor when choosing any career, and life coaching is no exception. If you are looking to get a college degree, majors that build a great foundation of coaching skills include behavioral studies and communications. More advanced degrees such as psychology and sociology will also give you excellent insight into human behavior and the ways you can help people build healthy lifestyles and habits. Of course, if you already have a degree and experience in a certain field, your coaching business can specialize in that. For example, if you have experience working in the finance industry, you can specialize in financial coaching and helping people develop good budgeting, saving, and investing habits.
While there is technically no formal education required to offer coaching services, people will expect that the professional they’re paying to help them in a certain area has at least some background experience in that area.
Regardless of if you have a college degree, you’ll want to take a life coaching course to learn the specific skills necessary for the job. There are several programs available online—look for one that’s accredited by the IFC (International Coaching Federation) and will provide you with a certification upon completion of the course. Having an official certification will give you the credibility your future clients will look for (and may be a requirement for joining life coaching platforms where clients can find you.). You can find accredited classes using the IFC’s Education Search Service.
There are many other things to consider, like registering your business for tax purposes, marketing your services to bring in clients, and buying business insurance (yes, people can sue you for giving bad advice). Check out this guide for some information about forming an LLC as a life coach.
Life Coaching and Coworking Spaces Go Hand in Hand
Going the extra mile toward your wellness and hiring a life coach shows that you are dedicated to making positive changes in your life. Make the most of that opportunity! If you’re meeting with your coach in person, meet at a neutral location that will allow you to focus and think professionally. We don’t recommend meeting at your home, where family members, pets, and other obligations can become a distraction. A coworking space like LifeWorking fulfills those needs and also works well if you need a quiet, private place with good WiFi to conduct virtual meetings with your life coach.
If you are on the coaching end of things, a coworking space not only makes for a great location to conduct your sessions (both virtually and in person), but also to carry out all your administrative tasks. It’s also an ideal place to meet people that will broaden your professional network and introduce you to potential new clients. Other à la carte services that LifeWorking offers, such as a mailing address and phone number, are great for running a small business.
Whether you’re getting started on your own coaching journey or are looking for a productive environment to work on other goals, visit https://www.mylifeworking.com/contact-us/ to claim your free LifeWorking day pass and join our coworking community.