Well, this is a pretty strange blog post for me to be writing, but today I want to share why you should be your own life coach.
And, you might be wondering, “Ben, why would you write about this? Aren’t you a coach too?”
Well, you’re absolutely right, but there’s much more to it than that.
I’ve spent (read: wasted) a lot of time and money of self-help products from books, courses, coaching and more.
My first experience with life coaching was definitely not ideal and I ended up leaving after the fourth session.
Because I knew what I was there for, but my coach seemed insistent on me following her method rather than exploring what I needed as a client.
And, after having such a positive experience with counselling, this was super off-putting for me.
So, I decided to share some tips – as a coach – on how you can be your own life coach.
That way, you can save time and money until you find a coach that’s right for you.
Let be clear (though not really unbiased), I think coaching is really beneficial and it can be a massive help towards achieving your goals.
I really believe in coaching as a tool for self-improvement.
But, you have to find the right coach for you, otherwise, you might end up wasting your time and money.
So, before you find the coach for you, here’s how you can be your own life coach.
3 Steps For Becoming Your Own Life Coach
Step 1) Learning How To Set Goals
Basically speaking, a life coach helps you along the path to achieving your goals.
At the most fundamental level, that is what a coach does.
So, by learning how to effectively set goals, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own life coach.
There are three types of overarching goal categories:
- Your Life Vision
- Long-Term Goals
- Short-Term Goals
Your Life Vision is the abstract, near-perfect vision for your life that you believe is attainable. It’s your ideal self, your ideal life and your ideal future.
Your Long-Term Goals (LTGs) are the big milestones along the way to getting there and your Short-Term Goals (STGs) are the things you need to do on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
Your STGs build momentum towards helping you achieve your LTGS. Combined, they continue to compound and grow until you’ve reached your Life Vision.
Now, if you want to go super in-depth into this process, you should check out my article on How To Create Your Dream Life in 2020 to get the full benefit.
But, here’s the shorthand version…
How To Create Your Dream Life (Short-Version)
Your Life Vision is the most abstract goal because it’s about everything that your life could reasonably be.
If you want to be a millionaire who drives a Bentley, has four perfect kids, lives in Spain in a beautiful villa, etc., then this goes into your life vision.
Your life vision can be anything you want, as long as it sticks fairly close to the SMART model of goal-setting.
SMART goals stand for:
- Specific – your goal has to be a specific thing, object, outcome, etc.
- Measurable – you have to be able to measure your success (e.g. having an investment portfolio of $4,000,000
- Achievable – the goal has to be possible (don’t worry about if it’s probable for now)
- Realistic – the goal has to be based in reality (this means you probably won’t be living on Venus anytime soon)
- Time-Bound – you have to have a timeline for your goals, even if it’s just a rough timeline
Now, because your Life Vision is going to be a little abstract by nature, you can be a little flexible with the SMART model.
For example, since you don’t know how long it will take to achieve, you can be flexible with your timeline. Though, I do recommend that you challenge yourself with it.
Example: If you think achieving your Life Vision in 20 years is too loose or easy, shorten it to 10 or 15. Or, if you’re not sure it’s achievable to start a 7-figure business, you can still write it down because it’s still possible (even if you think it’s not probable).
Make sure that you write out your life vision in as much detail as possible.
Go crazy with it.
At the moment, it’s just in your imagination so you can have pretty much anything.
Next, we’ll get down to brass tacks.
Long-Term Goals and Short-Term Goals
Your goals are a breakdown of what it’s going to take to achieve your Life Vision.
If you were planning on becoming a millionaire in the next five years, what would you have to do? What steps would you have to take?
Now, here’s the important thing.
You don’t have to know all of the answers right now.
It’s almost enough for you to just have your life vision, but you will need to have some idea of how to achieve your goal.
For example, if your life vision was to own an Instagram brand with 1 million+ followers, then you might have to set out steps such as:
- Get an Instagram business account
- Hit follower milestones (e.g. 100, 1000, 10000, etc.)
- Collaborate with other personalities
- Take brand deals
- Post consistently
Your long-term goals are the big milestones along the path towards achieving your life vision. They’re usually a year or more away from achievement.
Your short-term goals are how you get to the next milestone.
STGs are the daily, weekly and monthly actions you have to take consistently to reach your LTGs.
So, if your next LTG is hitting 1000 followers on Instagram, then some of your STGs might be:
- Post once per day, every single day
- Respond to comments and DMs
- Take advantage of larger trends
- Arrange one collaboration each month
To tie everything up in as simple a formula as possible, this is what your goals come down to:
Completing STGs regularly will help you to achieve your LTGs. Every LTG you achieve moves you significantly closer to your Life Vision.
Remember, always follow the SMART model for all your goals and know that the more consistently you achieve your STGs, the faster you build momentum towards your Life Vision.
Step 2) Becoming Accountable
When I was younger, my parents had a pretty unique system (at least in the UK) of making sure we did our chores, homework, etc.
Every time we completed a task successfully, we were given a “merit” – which was basically made-up currency.
Over few weeks and completed homework, chores, tidiness, etc., we could save enough merits to cash in for sweets, toys and other nice stuff.
I never thought much of it at the time, but in writing this blog post I’ve realised that it’s a pretty great example of accountability.
Accountability means taking responsibility for your actions and outcomes.
Without accountability, most of us won’t achieve our goals in life.
Because there’s nothing in it for us – at least, not at the moment.
But, if you can cultivate accountability for your actions and outcomes, then your success is virtually assured.
So, how do you become more accountable?
Rewards and Forfeits
The most common form of accountability that we have are rewards and forfeits.
If you hit your sales target at work, you get a bonus – that’s a reward that keeps you accountable for hitting your sales target.
If you break the speed limit, you get a fine – that’s a forfeit that keeps you accountable for road safety.
Now, when it comes to holding yourself accountable, I’m a firm believer in the metaphorical “carrot” rather than the “stick”.
I think, if you’re going to hold yourself accountable for your goals, then you need to reward yourself when you complete them.
For example, you achieve your goal of going for a run 3 times this week. You could then reward yourself in a way that’s meaningful for you:
- Go to the cinema
- Take yourself out for a nice (healthy) meal
- Get a massage
But, there are times when forfeits can work equally well.
Now, to be very clear, I use the word “forfeit” purposefully. Because the other alternative is punishment and I don’t encourage that at all!
You shouldn’t punish yourself for not achieving your goals, but you should be held accountable.
So, if you know you’re supposed to go for a run 3 times this week and you didn’t do it, then you can use a forfeit to keep you accountable for next time.
Here are some examples of forfeits you could potentially use:
- Get your friend to change the password on your Netflix account and not tell you for a week
- Ban yourself from chocolate
- Donate some money to a charity or political figure that you don’t like
- Ban yourself from lifts and escalators and only take the stairs
You can be pretty creative with forfeits, just don’t punish yourself or cause yourself any physical or serious emotional harm.
Other Methods of Accountability
Now, the rewards and forfeits method is definitely my favourite accountability tool. But, there are others that you can use such as:
- Publicly stating your goal to your friends or family who will make sure you stick to the goal
- Finding an accountability partner – someone who will keep you on track whilst you do the same for them
- Creating powerful habits – getting into a routine of achieving small goals every single day. Eventually, it will just become automatic rather than a conscious act of discipline.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you keep yourself accountable for your goals.
Step 3) Getting Motivated
I used to think that motivation was a difficult resource to come by.
The truth is, we all have unlimited supplies of motivation. We just don’t know how to access them.
But, there’s one sure-fire way to get motivated and it’s not watching endless inspirational videos on YouTube.
The secret to motivation is a pretty simple one.
It’s all about knowing your reason “why”.
What’s Your Reason “Why”?
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Aside from it being a bit pretentious, what does this quote actually mean?
Well, every single day we take certain actions to achieve certain results.
When you go to a job that you don’t like, you might not think of yourself as being motivated, but you are motivated.
In this situation, you might be motivated by:
- Paying the bills on time
- Working your way up the corporate ladder
- Getting experience so that you can move on to another job
We’re all motivated to act every single day.
And we do the things that we have to do because we have a reason “why”
But, the more powerful your reason “why” you need to do something, the more motivation you have to keep going.
If the reason you work out five times a week is that you want to be healthy enough to run and play with your grandkids one day, then that is a powerful reason “why” and some serious motivation too.
So, if you’ve got your life vision and your LTGs and STGs, make sure you also record why you actually want to achieve these things.
What will they bring in your life? Why is it important? How will achieving your goals impact your life?
The deeper the reason “why”, the more powerful the motivation.
It’s how Viktor B. Frankl was able to survive the Holocaust (Man’s Search For Meaning) and it’s how you can thrive in your life.
Learning how to set great goals, stay accountable and be motivated is what a good life coach will teach you.
But, you need to find the coach that’s right for you and, until then, there’s always the option to be your own life coach.
I hope you’ve found this article useful.
I wanted to provide as much concise information on how you can be your own life coach as possible so that you can save your time and money until you find the right coach for you.
Until then, keep working towards your goals and being the best that you can be!
I’d love to know what your thoughts are on being your own life coach. So, leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll do my best to reply to every single one of them.
Also, if you’re ready to take the next step in your life and start living with confidence, then make sure that you check out my Confidence Coaching page where you can get in contact with me to arrange a free consultation on whether confidence coaching is right for you.
Alternatively, you can check out the LTUK Facebook page and contact me on there.
But, otherwise, thanks for making it all the way to the end of this blog post.
I look forward to having you back on Life Transformation UK very soon!