Ever wonder what’s involved in a life-changing coaching experience? At a)plan coaching, we work with hundreds of clients who all come to us with different levels of knowledge around this question. For some coaching users, the basics are already understood – from finding a coach, to setting coaching goals, to attending weekly coaching sessions. Yet, for others, these are entirely new concepts.
Whether you’re new to coaching or familiar with the space, it’s crucial to understand that there are many types and flavors of coaching. While some aspects of coaching stay consistent across the board, finding the right coaching method for you means understanding what’s involved. In this post, we cover some life coaching basics, particularly as they relate to a)plan coaching’s own method. With a)plan, users set high-reaching coaching goals, attend 1:1 weekly coaching sessions, and form rock-solid connections with their coaches. We’ll get into each of these in more detail below.
No matter your knowledge of the coaching space, let’s start with a brief intro to life coaching, from the lens of a)plan coaching. We’ll then cover how to set excellent coaching goals, and how to make the most of your coaching sessions.
Intro to Life Coaching
As an intro to life coaching, there are a few key things to understand. First is that at a)plan, the term “life coaching” is not necessarily an all-inclusive way to think about coaching. While many people refer to general coaching as “life coaching,” the truth is that life, career, relationships, parenting, and more are all part of the same system. For that reason, at a)plan we like to make the distinction that we engage in “whole person” coaching.
As many coaching newcomers get an intro to life coaching, the importance of “whole person” coaching quickly becomes clear. Some users may rely on their coach for career strategizing. Others might rely on them for more personal life goals. The beauty is that the a)plan coaching experience is designed to be fluid, and just like life, different things take priority at different times. That’s why we keep the door open to work on any part of one’s life as we set our coaching goals and engage in coaching sessions.
One of the underlying themes of coaching is that users can and should seek powerful breakthroughs both in life and work, as a result of their coaching. Breakthroughs can take many forms, and they can mean different things to different people. Adopting a new life-changing habit is a breakthrough that could come as a result of setting a coaching goal. Changing the way you view a problem is a breakthrough that might come from a weekly coaching session. Breakthroughs typically come from making a profound, positive change. That’s why a)plan was specifically built to serve changemakers, or people who are determined to pursue and create change.
With that basic intro to life coaching, or whole-person coaching, you might be wondering, what’s next? Let’s discuss the process of finding a coach that works well for you and your needs.
First Up? Finding a Coach
Before creating well-formed coaching goals and enjoying productive coaching sessions, the first step is finding a coach. For many coaching newcomers, finding a coach can be an exciting and encouraging process. The goal is to find a coach who works for YOU, and that means considering your preference for you coach’s gender, sexual orientation, race, age, and more. At a)plan, we take good care to ensure our coaching roster is highly diverse, and our 48+ coach options reflect those efforts. Finding a coach you are excited to work with on a weekly basis is a critical element of your coaching foundation. Hitting your coaching goals and enjoying your coaching sessions will be much easier if you form a rock-solid partnership with your coach.
Optimizing Your Coaching Goals
With a well-considered coach on your side, it’s time to create your coaching goals. At a)plan, our method revolves around creating three core coaching goals. The user is responsible for creating their own goals, but their coach is a key part of that process as a thought partner and feedback provider. The driving question that helps users create high-reaching goals is simple: What do you really want? As your coach helps you peel back the layers to this question, goals begin to reveal themselves. Chipping away at those goals, defining them, then writing them down are foundational steps of all engagements at a)plan.
In creating goals, consider what you really want in all aspects of your life. What do you want as it relates to your health? Your income? Your romantic relationships? Your career? Forcing yourself to answer each of these questions is a useful path to creating life-changing coaching goals.
We recommend clients choose goals that are ambitious yet attainable. Coaching is designed to be an experience that has no hard stop, which means there should be no hard cap on the timeline for your goals. One month, three month, six month, and multi-year goals should all be on the table as you discuss what you really want with your coach.
Making the Most of Your Coaching Sessions
Becoming an a)plan client means harnessing the power of weekly coaching sessions – our time-tested cadence for creating meaningful progress. As you settle into a routine with your coach, something will be very clear from the jump: They are there to support YOU. That means it’s their job to accommodate your needs as you create a coaching schedule and process that will maximize your success.
Coaching sessions at a)plan last 30 minutes, and they can take place on any number of platforms. With the a)plan coaching app, you can connect directly to a video chat with your coach, or if you prefer FaceTime or phone calls, you can arrange for those formats as well. Remember, your coach will adapt to whatever it is that will make your coaching sessions most productive and successful, so take some time to consider your preferred approach.
The a)plan coaching app is also designed to help you get the most out of your coaching sessions by being a central location for all notes, gratitude lists, and session summaries. Users can use the app in between coaching sessions to update their coach, communicate with their coach, and stay well-resourced ahead of their next session. And to give our clients the best experience during coaching sessions, the coach is responsible for taking notes and capturing key takeaways in the app. This gives you immediate access and feedback once the session ends.
What a Life Coach Can Do For You
Some coaching newcomers ask a common question as they first embark on their coaching journey: “What problems do life coaches solve?” As a closing thought, we’d be remiss not to address this question and the misguided mindset behind it.
When considering what a life coach can do for you, it’s important to understand that coaching is not about trying to fix things that aren’t working. Instead, coaching at a)plan is all about building on what’s already working. This is a key distinction, and it is one of the first differentiators that separates coaching from traditional therapy. Whereas therapy is often seen as a solution for addressing problems, coaching is a tool best used to double down on one’s strengths, discover promising areas for improvement, and pursue lofty goals. Of course, challenges and problems will always be part of the process, but they will rarely make up the core focus.
So what problems do life coaches solve? The answer is it’s much less about solving problems and more about discovering opportunity. Your coach helps you to get more out of all facets of your life. They are a thought partner, accountability partner, motivator, and an ally. What a life coach can do for you is a question to which there is no singular answer. But one thing always remains true: The possibilities are truly endless, and few will believe in that fact more than your coach.