What Exactly Is Life Coaching?

Imagine that it is January 1st, New Year’s Day. The whole year lies ahead of us. Everyone at holiday parties is talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Like most people, we spend some time day dreaming about what we’d like our life to be and some of us imagine ourselves happier, thinner, more content or more successful. Some people write these changes down. Others don’t. Either way, January 2nd comes and “life happens.” We return to work and the day to day details that we’ve all become accustomed to. Slowly, those goals and aspirations fade away. Why does this happen, for many of us, year after year?

Enter the Life Coach. Not sure what that means? Perhaps looking at some of the words dictionaries use to define a coach might help: guide, teacher, tutor, adviser, or mentor. You might also think back on your favorite high school coach if you participated in sports. You most likely will remember a person who opened up a talent or ability in you not have fully realized before. A music or drama coach may have offered inspiration to work through the doubts and fears you had, allowing you to appear on stage and share unique talent with an audience. Within these well-loved role models and many others who help us in life, is the essence of a life coach.

Life Coaching is a relatively new service in Central New York. You may have heard about it from some TV talk shows (Oprah introduced coaching to her audience with guests like Dr. Phil McGraw) or read an article about personal coaches in a magazine or newspaper article. Why are Life Coaches suddenly so popular? The many reasons include:

  • In our transient society, people move far from family and trusted friends, but the need for someone to listen and reflect remains.

  • The choices we are given in today’s society, compared to those of our parents, are vast. Deciding what is best for us is often overwhelming.

  • Our leisure time has grown as has our desire to fill it with meaning and purpose beyond our professions.

  • It is no longer considered odd to have ended a long standing relationship, but support for how to build a new, healthier one is not always readily available.

If a person decides they could use the skills of a Life Coach, what might they expect to happen? Much like our New Year’s Day scenario, a Life Coach would sit with the person setting goals (the “Client”) and listen to their dreams and aspirations. The Coach would write down those goals, transcribing the Client’s words into clear, manageable categories. Next the Coach would pull from theses categories achievable goals and steps toward achieving those goals. Through weekly meetings (either in person or over the telephone) the Coach checks in with the Client looking to see progress toward those goals. It is during this phase that the Coach becomes vital. He or she keeps the Client accountable by checking in and asking questions. In time, because true change takes time, the Client begins to experience a life with fulfilled goals. Those New Year’s Day dreams have become a part of’ their day to day life.

I am a certified Life Coach and offer my services through my business “Clearpath Life Coaching.” My website tells more about my background my style of coaching at www.clearpathlifecoach.com To help people become more familiar with Life Coaching I will be offering a series of articles about it and my work in the field. Future articles will share my coaching challenges and successes and explore the most often requested coaching situations. Please feel free to email me questions or give me a call to find out more about my coaching business. All questions are welcome and there no obligation to use my service or pay any fees if you should contact me. I can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 315 592-7034.