If you’ve stumbled to the end of the year feeling like you were constantly a step behind the rest, regularly berating yourself that you just need to get a little more organised, a touch more productive – yet truly have no idea where to even begin – or are entering 2018 with a resolution list miles long that you’re unsure how to execute, all whilst feeling a little unsatisfied as you search for that intangible something “more” … then engaging a life coach could make 2018 your best year yet.
A life what?!
A life coach is an expert who helps you reach a goal or initiate change in your life. Beata Justkowiak, Life Coach, Psychologist and founder of Energising Goals and Fit Chill Out, explains that a Life Coach is like a friendly guide, who supports you by offering different tools, tips and methods that will help you close the gap from where you are right now, to where you wish to be. As an independent source, a coach has the mission to help you execute goals or implement important life changes. They can help you work through the muddle in your mind to develop clarity, define your goals and/or targets and then apply strategy — so that you can get sh*t done.
Why you need a life coach
Whatever your focus for 2018, be it the #GirlBoss hustle, trying to figure out how to brave asking for a much-deserved promotion or just seeking balance, if you’re wanting more from life or feel like you aren’t reaching your full potential — professionally or personally — then engaging a life coach will help to propel you forward. They can accelerate your impetus to change AND keep you accountable to see it through to completion.
What can they help with?
Focusing on either your professional or personal life, or even an overlap of the two, a Life Coach is simply able to help you with any aspect of life in which you feel you need more clarity, assist you in assessing, analysing or defining your goals or can just be an impartial, yet encouraging, sounding board to bounce ideas around with. Productivity, defining and then implementing goals, balancing work and personal life, communication, self-awareness, self-development and getting out of a rut are just a few of the common areas that coaches can help you with so that you can truly transform your life.
What you need to be prepared for…
No matter how many times you roll your eyes at the cliché “life exists outside your comfort zone”, in the life coaching world, nothing could be truer. If you’re looking to make a shift or a transformation in your life, Justkowiak warns you best be prepared for a little discomfort. Within the process of coaching you will need to be ready to cross your own established boundaries and then learn to set new ones. You will deeply examine where it is you feel okay or what is stopping you, and then begin to analyse which of your boundaries are enabling or disabling you from reaching your goals. This can be uncomfortable, as it is bringing up a mirror to yourself to openly examine your responses. However, the most important thing you will need is a readiness and a willingness to be open, explore and allow change to occur.
A general misconception is that you will enter coaching and get all the answers you need in one or two meetings. We hate to break it to you, but as with all things worth fighting for, organising and redefining your life will take a little more effort, and a life coach will never give you the answers. Instead, they will have the innate skill to help you arrive at the answers you are seeking — all by opening the questioning from within yourself.
As the coaching industry is booming there are now plenty of coaches on the market waiting to help you transform your life. By word of advice, Justkowiak suggests you shop around and look for personal connection and chemistry with your coach. Innately you should feel comfortable and connected to your coach, in an environment that feels safe, open and free from judgement. She suggests an initial meeting over coffee or an informal chat to sound out if it’s the right match, on both sides, to develop a coaching relationship. As coaches have differing styles depending on what you need—either more of a sounding board who listens well, or one who strategically asks provocative questions to get practical responses immediately—trialling a few before you find the right fit is reccommended.
Unfortunately, the industry isn’t fully regulated and it can be difficult to ascertain credentials, so it is important to do your research and check out websites such as the International Coach Federation or other certification sites to find recommended coaches nearby.
The extra bonus element
In addition to finding the chemistry that clicks, if you are looking to deepen your insight, then consider a life coach who also has a knowledge of psychology. That way they can embed some elements of psycho-education into the coaching sessions for even greater results. Justkowiak notes this is particularly important if you are looking at areas of personal satisfaction, self-awareness or self-confidence, as there exists a very fine line between what is coaching and what is counselling. Especially when aspects of mental health may be triggered. Engaging a coach who has a background in psychology allows these experiences to be safely managed and a fluidity to exist between the two forms. Just remember, a life coach is not a therapist!
Life Coaching Retreats
If it’s a truly drastic overhaul you are looking for this year, then your solution might be booking into a retreat that includes life coaching like the Fit Chill Out retreats run by Justkowiak, where the remote removal from your everyday life and coaching workshops run in idyllic tropical locations such as Bali and Cambodia, will give you the quality break you need to dial inwards, reassess and recalibrate, before returning to normalcy more prepared to tackle 2018 and transform your life than ever before. Oh, and did we mention the daily yoga, fitness workouts and delish organic food…*jumpsontoskyscannertobookflights* Start planning 2018 in one of these cute ass diaries.