Life Coaching Exercises

"Start by doing is what is necessary, then what is possible
and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

                                                                                                   St. Francis of Assisi



Exploring the way ahead

What would you do differently, right now, with confidence and a strong sense of purpose, if you knew you could not fail?

You may already have a strong sense of purpose and a clear, confident idea of what you want out of life, the changes you would like to make, and the support you need from your life coach to help you to achieve your goals.  On the other hand, you may feel vaguely dissatisfied, restless, unhappy or stuck, without knowing precisely what the problem is or what you can do to resolve it.  The following exercises will help you clarify your thinking, increase your self awareness and open up new possibilities you may not have previously considered.



Important Questions for Personal Reflection

Some important questions to ask yourself, which will help you to clarify your direction, set meaningful goals and create the life you want, might be:


  •  What are you truly passionate about? What brings you alive and makes time fly?

  •  What are your own particular gifts and talents, and are you making the most of them?

  •  What do you really want out of life? What would your ideal life look like?

  •  What are you currently doing to make sure you get it?

  •  Are you aware of how to tap into your rich inner strength and resourcefulness?

  •  How could you improve your family/home life/work life?

  •  What would need to change? What help would you need?

  •  Is the life you are living one of your choosing? If not, why not?

  •  Do you feel financially secure?  How much money would you like to earn/save?

  •  What motivates you? Are you working in a job/career that you love?

  •  What would be your ideal job? Where? What hours would you ideally like to work?

  •  What are your personal/career expectations and what are you doing to further them?

  •  What is currently missing in your life? What would make it more fulfilling?

  •  What do you do to avoid facing your feelings? (Alcohol, food, work, etc?)

  •  Is your social life as satisfying as you would like it to be? 

  •  How would you like to improve it?

  •  Are you making the best of yourself and your relationships at home/at work? 

  •  When things go wrong, do you think about what you could have done differently?

  •  How do you sabotage your best intentions? Why?

  •  What would you like to change/develop about yourself?

  •  How well do you look after yourself - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually?

  •  What changes could you make to improve how you feel?

  •  How/where do you see yourself in 3 months/6 months/1 year/2 years/5 years’ time?

  •  What difference would working with a coach make, and what would you want from him/her?

  •  Are you willing to commit funds to coaching over a period of time to achieve your goals?


Life Balance

Wheel of Life exercise

Having a sense of balance in your life is essential for your health, happiness and ultimate success. The twelve sections in the Wheel of Life below offer an idea of the balance you might like to aim for.

Regarding the centre of the wheel as 0 and the outer edge as 10, plot your level of satisfaction with each area of your life along each of the straight lines, and then join up all the dots to form what will look like a spider's web. The end result will show you how balanced your life currently is and which areas could possibly do with greater attention, depending on your own particular circumstances.

This is the starting point for realigning your priorities and setting goals for those areas where you want to grow. Identify two or three scores that you want to impact immediately. What actions will you take? When will you take these actions? What support do you require to ensure that the actions occur?  How will these goals support your longer term vision of what you want out of life?

To do this you may need to let go of old habits, attitudes and ways of working, but you will be amazed at how creative you can be when you feel supported and motivated, and this is where a life coach with your best interests at heart can make all the difference.


Coaching Starter Assignment I

Are you ready to take the first step towards creating the life you really want?  This exercise will help you to become more aware of yourself, your strengths and talents, and what you would like to change.

  1. Make a list of what you really want from life. Life coaching works best when you have clear goals based on your needs and values. If you're unsure what your goals and/or needs are, we can discuss them more fully in due course. In the meantime, what might they be? Don't be put off if they seem too silly, too difficult, too unlikely. Play with the challenge, have fun, use your imagination!
  2. Write a personal biography, as long or as short as you want, but try to include the following:

  3. -   Your passion in life. What makes you happiest/most fulfilled?
    -   What is your purpose in life?
    -   What do you want for yourself and others close to you?
    -   What are the most significant experiences/events in your life?
    -   What minor/major disappointments have you experienced in your life?
    -   What are your achievements? (List at least 20!)
    -   Your business 'mission' - what do you want professionally?
    -   Why do you do what you do? What do you give that is unique or exciting to you?
    -   What do you want to leave for others - your legacy?
    -   What are your personal and professional strengths?
    -   What are you most pleased and proud of having accomplished?
    -   What particular gifts/talents do you have? What makes them unique?
    -   Anything else you want to include about yourself.
  4. Now spend some time thinking about yourself, as if you are meeting yourself for the first time. This will help you to become aware of the first impression you make on others. Make notes, if you wish.

  5. -   What do you notice about yourself?
    -   What do you notice about your appearance?
    -   What do you sound like?
    -   How do you come across to others?
    -   How do you interact with others?
    -   Are you relaxed/anxious, happy/sad, open/defensive, enthusiastic/bored, lively/quiet …?
    -   Do you behave the same or do you change in different circumstances/environments?
    -   What makes you feel uncomfortable?
    -   What else do you notice?
    -   What is your overall impression of yourself?
  6. Make a list of things which you are putting up with/tolerating in your life, from a 'minor' irritation like a button missing from a favourite jacket that you've intended to get fixed for ages, to 'major' tolerations like allowing others to treat you in a way that is seriously out of line with your own beliefs and values, doing a job that does not fulfil you or remaining in a restricting or damaging relationship.
  7. Make a list of 10 things you are now willing to do or to change.
  8. How can I best coach you? What do you want/expect from me?


Coaching Starter Assignment II

Below are a list of questions I shall ask you to look at if you engage me as your coach, if they are relevant to your particular circumstances. Some overlap with material you may have already covered, some don't. For your own benefit, please answer them as truthfully as you can. They are designed to increase your self-awareness, enhance your commitment to the coaching process and provide us both with valuable information about you, as long as you are happy to share it with me. 

  • Where do you get your energy and motivation from? (Both positive and negative sources)

  • Where/when are you most irresponsible?

  • What particular gift/talent do you have that you would love the chance to build your life around?

  • Why have you engaged me?

  • How comfortable are you about being accountable to me for your own progress?

  • What five changes can you make in a week to get off to a good start in our coaching?

  • How might you undermine our coaching/professional relationship?

  • How willing are you to make substantial changes?

  • How will you know how effective our coaching has been?

  • What do you need from me to get the most out of our coaching relationship?

  • What consumes your time that is not creating a wonderful present or a wonderful future?

  • Are you open to doing things the easy way/accepting that life does not have to be a struggle?

  • Are you someone who expects things to go wrong or is confident that things will work out well?

  • What are you most 'addicted' to (both tangible and intangible)? Are you willing to overcome them?

  • Is there something major/fundamental that you need to resolve? Coaching looks forwards, not at the past.  Would you benefit from counselling or therapy to support your coaching?

  • What is your life-long dream/ambition? 

  • How strong is your 'personal foundation' - how strong a base do you have? (Do you get your personal needs met consistently; do you live according to your own values, beliefs and standards; is your personal/professional/family community strong, supportive and emotionally nourishing?)

  • What is lacking in your life that would make a significant difference to your energy, drive and creativity?

  • What percentage of the life you are leading did you choose/is actually the life you want to live? 

  • What five business/professional opportunities are you currently not making the most/anything of?

  • How much profit should you/your business/your department be making? (Use a different measure of success if it is more appropriate to your work or situation.)


Planning Ahead and Setting goals


"If you don't set goals for yourself, you are doomed to work to achieve the goals of someone else."
---- Brian Tracy ----


About Goal Setting
Goal-Setting Guidelines
Planning Ahead
Final Action Plan


This section has been designed to help you identify your short, medium and longer term goals so that you can be clear about the outcome you would like from coaching and align your goals with your long term vision.  


About Goal Setting 

Two metaphysical principles of life to bear in mind when deciding to make any kind of changes in your life are that:

  • Whatever you focus on grows.

  • Whatever you resist persists.

You have far more power and influence over what happens to you than you may realise. Action follows on from thought, and expectation yields results, for good or bad. Your thoughts influence your emotions, which in turn affect your behaviour, whether you are conscious of the process or not.  Positive thoughts tend to produce a positive outcome, and conversely, negative thoughts tend to produce a negative outcome.  If this is a new concept for you, test it out.  Notice how many things often go wrong during the day if you get out of bed the wrong side, or how tense or non-productive a conversation can be if you anticipate that it will be difficult.  

The key to strong motivation and lasting success is to identify a compelling goal that focuses your attention on moving towards what you really want, rather than on moving away from what you do not want.  An example of this might be to find a job that makes your heart sing rather than one that will simply protect you from redundancy.  

A goal also needs to be ecological to succeed in the long term:

  • What will it give you?

  • What effect will it have on your life and work, your health, happiness, family, friends, colleagues?

  • Does your energy increase when you think about it?

  • Is it truly in your own best interests?


Goal-setting Guidelines 

If you have not already done so, fill in the Wheel of Life for a broad awareness of what is currently happening for you, where you are satisfied and where you want to make changes. 

When setting goals, bear in mind the importance of including supportive self-care goals that will give your efforts the best chance of success. Reflect on what you might need to do to:

  • establish nourishing habits that boost your energy
  • reduce things you are tolerating that drain you. 

Make your goals SMART ones:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time deadline

Choose goals that inspire you, feel within reach and increase your choices for the future, as these will stimulate you the most to take action.  Ambitious goals can be more easily achieved in bite-sized chunks.


Planning ahead

Whilst even the most carefully laid plans can go awry, the best way to live with a sense of purpose, find happiness and fulfil your potential is to have a long term vision of what you would most like to achieve in each area of your life and what steps you can take along the way to make that vision a reality.  Then work in 3 year time spans, breaking larger goals down into more readily achievable 3 month and 1 year goals.

  • Three Year Vision 

    How do you want your life to be in 3 years? Look at the different areas of your life. Take some time to reflect on the bigger picture and to express what you really care about and want rather than what you should do. 

  • One Year Goals 

    Make a list of 3-6 goals for the next year which support you in moving towards your 3 year vision. These can be doing, learning or being goals. Choose 3 of these to be your primary goals for the year. 

  • Three Month Goals 

    Make a list of 3-6 goals for the next three months which support you in moving towards each of your primary one year goals. Choose 3 of these to be your initial focus for our work together and pick goals you really want and not those you think you ought or might want. If you have goals which you have historically chosen, but have not achieved, then leave these until later unless you feel really motivated and ready to move forward with them now. 


Final Action Plan

For each of the initial short term goals you have chosen to work on, make a list of actions which you think will be required to achieve them.