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.
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?
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.
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.
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.)
you don't set goals for yourself, you are doomed to work to achieve
the goals of someone else."
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.