Olympic athletes rely on their coaches to help them set goals and motivate them to perform at their best. But while you may associate coaches only with sports and physical competition, coaches aren't just for athletes. A life coach doesn't work with athletes; they work with everyday people who want to improve their lives. A life coach can help you learn to cope with stress, stay motivated, and achieve personal goals at work and at home.

"A life coach is a personal trainer for your whole self, effectively monitoring behavior change through a supportive partnership," reports the Mayo Clinic. A life coach can also serve as a facilitator to lead you to insights and a greater sense of personal clarity. Your life coach might help you deal with issues related to:

  • Work-life balance
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Healthy lifestyle choices
  • Career transitions
  • Relationship challenges
  • Emotional health
  • Decision making and goal setting
  • Personal discovery, growth, and development

How does life-coaching work? There are many ways a life coach can empower you to reach your full potential in your physical and emotional health:

Big-Picture Insight
While athletic coaches focus primarily on improving and maximizing physical performance, a life coach works with you as a whole person. They consider the most important aspects of your lifestyle, taking time to consider your goals and dreams for the future.

Your life coach may ask difficult questions to help you get a better understanding of any challenges you are facing. The goal of life coaching is to evaluate the whole picture of your life, come up with an accurate interpretation of your situation, and identify tools that can put you on a path toward a more successful journey.

Motivation
After your life coach has helped you determine the changes you want to make to improve your life, the role of the coach shifts to helping you plan and track your progress. Your life coach will focus on keeping you motivated and positive.

To do this, your coach will help you figure out your specific milestones. How will you know when you've accomplished a key change? If you want to make a significant improvement to your health, a milestone might be losing the first ten lbs. If you want to learn to cope with stress, a milestone might be mediating twice a week for five weeks in a row. Like an Olympic athlete's coach, your life coach will provide motivational support to encourage you to do what's necessary for you to achieve personal growth.

Accountability
One of the most important roles of a life coach is to help hold you accountable for what you commit to doing. Just as athletic coaches push their athletes to put in the training and do the work required to compete at their best, life coaches encourage and motivate you to fulfill your commitment to meeting your own life goals.

Getting Support
Being under stress often leads you to doubt yourself and become indecisive. A qualified life coach can help you overcome these issues. Your life coach serves as a supporter who sees the best in you. A good coach has the ability to see the larger picture of who you are and what you're capable accomplishing, regardless of your current challenges. Having a positive supporter who sees your full potential can be worth its weight in gold.