How to Be Your Own Best Life Coach

A life coach can be an invaluable resource for someone who is stuck in some aspect of his life, such as career, relationships or life-work balance. Unfortunately, a coach is not always an affordable option; these professionals are usually paid several hundred dollars a month at a minimum. Also, the life-coach industry is still unregulated, so the credentials of a life coach are difficult to ascertain. For these reasons, serving as your own life coach can be an attractive option.


  1. Determine Your Coaching Goal and Identify Resources

    • 1

      Identify the area of your life that could benefit from self-coaching. If you find yourself constantly complaining to friends about your low salary and long work hours, that's a clue that your career is a good area of focus. Maybe you have a creative project that needs a spark of focused energy to bring it to life. Measure the level of satisfaction you are currently experiencing in each important area of your life and discover what requires improvement.

    • 2

      Identify the motivational leaders in your subject of interest and adopt their methods. Interested in coaching yourself to success as a creative artist? Check out books by Julia Cameron. Suze Orman is a financial expert who offers strategies for getting back on track with money issues. Martha Beck is a well known life coach whose books and articles offer exercises that can be applied for successful outcomes in all areas of life. You can follow the techniques offered by these coaches, or pick strategies from each to formulate a plan of your own.

    • 3

      Identify free or low cost self-coaching support tools. Many well-known coaches offer books, online tools and techniques that can be used on your own. Whether you use a notebook or an online goal tracking system, it's important to measure whether you're achieving the results you intended. An example of a support tool is Stephen Covey's four quadrants, which can be used to improve time management. In Julia Cameron's "The Artists Way," she recommends "Morning Pages," which are a way of purging the mind of chatter to clear the way for creative inspiration. Self improvement gurus often recommend "Treasure Mapping" - assembling a collage of images representative of your goals.

    Design and Execute Your Self-coaching Plan

    • 4

      Write down your goals, and set a time frame for accomplishing each goal. A self-coaching goal should be concrete and measurable. "Improve family relationships" is a good start for a goal, but you need to get more specific. Action steps in support of this larger goal might be "Take a family trip to Disneyland within the next six months," or "Hold a family dinner each Sunday night."

    • 5

      Regularly record your progress, either in a notebook or an online assessment tool. Use your assessment tool to determine which strategies are working. For example, if your goal is to improve family relationships, and you attempted to do this by holding regular family dinners, but that plan proved impossible to execute, figure out why. Can you come up with another action step to achieve the same goal?

    • 6

      Determine whether the self-coaching process was an effective strategy in achieving your goals. If it wasn't, don't give up. There are limitless low- or no-cost methods of self improvement, including support groups, seminars and instructional DVDs.

Tips & Warnings

  • Even though it's possible to successfully act as your own life coach, it's still a good idea to have a support group of friends or colleagues to use as a sounding board.
  • Establish objective benchmarks of success so that you can measure your true progress.
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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

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