Life coaches teach clients to maximize their life efficiency by using simple methods, such as to-do lists and writing long-term and short-term goals. Because of ingrained habits, however, improving time and life management is not easy for many people. Therefore, a flexible approach is a great way for a life coach to work efficiently while providing individual or customized services for clients.
Identifying Problems or Obstacles
The process of helping clients identify problems or obstacles often begins with an interview or conversation with the client at the start of the initial consultation. During the interview, work to identify (with the client's help) areas in which the client frequently struggles such as scheduling (always being late, never enough time) or follow-through (begins things but rarely finishes), as well as stress triggers such as interactions with certain people or the mental approaches the client takes with others. A checklist of items to discuss or questions can help ensure an efficient consultation.
Create a checklist containing items for identifying problems in the client's life. Behavior patterns or other obstacles should be the first addressed. Sometimes issues the client considers primary problems are not actually primary; look for things that cause the client distress or that the client seems particularly frustrated with and consider these as possible problems along with things the client mentions.
Checklist questions for finding the problems could include questions such as: "When do you feel most energized during the day?", "How often are you early for appointments? Late for appointments?", "How many times a week do you engage in physical activity for exercise?", or "How often do you eat breakfast? Skip lunch? What do you eat at dinner? Snacks?"
Selecting and Fine-Tuning Goals
Work with the client to list goals that have some relationship to the problems discovered earlier. Goals should be detailed and as specific as possible. Vague or general wording can make a goal seem like an "option" instead of mandatory. Goals should be reasonable and realistic and have a timeline. The timeline should be flexible but not relaxed. Goals should be either short term or long term.
Creating Steps to Reach Goals
Long-term goals require steps, and these steps may include some short-term goals. Short-term goals that require more than one step also require sub-goals. Detail the steps for each goal in neat handwriting or by typing.
Once goals are achieved, the need for life coaching becomes less important to many clients. To keep clients happy and progressing, create a list of maintenance items, such as steps clients must take on a regular basis (daily, weekly) to maintain progress. Have a method to recognize when the client begins to slip or relax standards.