Published in Issue 17 (May, 2017) of International Coaching News magazine
Trying to track down a definition for Life Coaching isn’t easy. According to Wikipedia, ‘Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training, advice and guidance; but coaching differs from mentoring in focusing on specific tasks or objectives’.
Although Life Coaching is often talked about when someone wants personal coaching about their own life, and other niche market descriptions are used for professional and business coaching; Life Coaching can mean working with your client across all elements or segments of their life.
Dawn Campbell and I in our Holistic Wholeness Radio Show have defined a Wheel of Life for Holistic Wholeness. Each month we take one element or segment and we create a Wheel of Life for that particular element or segment.
Each Wheel of Life is used to represent a helicopter view of the elements or segments of your life as it is today. Pictorially it’s easy to create these wheels as though they were wheels on your car with spokes. Each spoke represents a specific element or segment.
If we take Health as an example, although you can draw in your level of satisfaction for the overall element, category or segment called ‘Health’ as your life is today and not as you would like your life to be; what would it be like if you were able to break Health down into smaller elements or segments? How would you draw in your levels of satisfaction then?
Life Coaching is not about looking at your whole life as a single element. It is all about understanding where you are in your own life today, working out what changes you want to make, and then working towards making through changes.
Although there is a recommendation about how many changes you try to implement at one time, it really comes down to what type of changes you are trying to make, how much available time you have, and who else is impacted. For example, if you are trying to make one small change, then making a second or even third small change at the same time may be possible.
How do you determine what change or changes you want to make? Often you will know, but the Wheel of Life exercise is a great way to either confirm what you think you know, or find out.
The Wheel of Life exercise can be done at any time and is designed to represent your life as it is today. Write down on a piece of paper all the elements or segments of importance that make up your life. I would caution you to group like elements together, e.g. ‘health’ could incorporate ‘physical fitness’, ‘fitness’, and ‘optimum health’.
Now draw yourself a circle with rings to identify the levels of satisfaction (from 0 in the centre in 10 as the outer ring) in your life and spokes to identify the segments of your life. The ring above has 12 segments, but your circle must have as many or as few as you have defined in your life today. Once you have your own Wheel of Life, enter into it against each spoke your own elements or segments.
Clear your mind of all your current thoughts and turn off your mobile or any other distractions. It is important that you have no interruptions while you do this exercise.
Draw in against each element or segment your own level of satisfaction as your life is today and not as you would like it to be. It’s important that you draw in your immediate thought as analysing at a time like this can produce inaccurate results. Simply draw a line across each element or segment spoke (from 0 in the centre in 10 as the outer ring).
One of the reasons for the Wheel of Life is to find out how well ‘balanced’ your life is, and you can do this by joining up these lines. This will give you your own new outer rim of your Wheel of Life.
Inevitably, it is the elements or segments with the lower levels of satisfaction that represent the area or areas of your life that you would like to change. Take one element or segment and break that element or segment down into its component parts, i.e. for our Health show we looked at a Wheel of Life that included wellness, physical health, mental health, thoughts, personal health, the health of others, sleep, nutrition, water, fresh air, sunshine, Vitamin
D, and equanimity. What sub-elements, subcategories, or sub-segments do you have in the element or segment that you want to change?
Create a Wheel of (Element/Segment) Life to represent this one element or segment with all its sub-elements or sub-segments. Draw in your level of satisfaction against each sub-element or sub-segment. You can do this with one, many, or all the elements or segments of your Wheel of Life.
Once you have completed all your Wheel of (Element/Segment) Lives, then you will be able to identify exactly what change or changes you want to make in your life.
The next steps are:
- Identify the impact, making each change(s) will make to your life.
- Prioritise the change(s) you want to make to your life.
- Create your goal for each change.
- Identify where to start by gaining clarity as to where you are today in your life, in relation to this change.
Although you can select to work through each change on your own, you will benefit from working with a qualified and IIC&M accredited coach; who will not only support you, but help you work through each step you select to take.
Coaching using all the tools
and techniques available creates
a journey of self-discovery and achievement!
© Barbara J. Cormack
Barbara J. Cormack MNMC, CIAC, AFC, AFM is your leading Spiritual Coach, Mentor and Trainer; published in six co-authoring books, and author of two of her own. Barbara is an advocate of achieving in every arena of life. Her clients hold her in high esteem as her style of working makes the knowledge of your future, clear, inviting, and achievable; while her style of coaching or mentoring makes the possibility of sustainable change compelling, exciting, and achievable.
She combines her extensive background and experience with a keen insight into the demands of balancing the personal with the professional.