Lifestyle coaching

Last updated 20th December 2022 | Next update due 19th December 2025

Lifestyle coaching, or lifestyle design, is a collaborative approach in which the coach works with the client to help them design and build strategies in order to achieve their goals.

What is lifestyle coaching?

Lifestyle coaching is a part of the wider coaching industry and has many parallels and crossovers with other areas of coaching, particularly life coaching and in some cases, health, well-being or mindset coaches.

Lifestyle coaching, however, is about working collaboratively on a client’s goals, mindset and values and actively designing and building strategies in their day-to-day lives to achieve them. At times, you’ll hear this also described as ‘life design’ or ‘lifestyle design’.

Our happiness and overall fulfilment are largely determined not by the one-off success or big event, but by the lifestyle we lead, day-to-day. It’s often not the big shifts, but the small, consistent daily work we do that leads to an overall feeling of satisfaction. How we design our lives will ultimately determine how satisfied we feel and what we allow time and space for. For this reason, lifestyle coaching often includes a philosophical or even existential element - how do you want to live your life and what kind of lifestyle makes you feel the most fulfilled? 

Coaching, therefore, is about tackling this question and working backwards; what then can be implemented now, and in the future, to help you move in a direction that feels most meaningful to you? How can you design and curate a lifestyle, that feels most enjoyable or happy, based on where you are right now?

Lifestyle coaches are interested in ways to improve your lifestyle and quality of life... as well as supporting clients to build those same practices to achieve important future goals. 

What is the difference between life coaching and lifestyle coaching?

‘Life coach’ is generally used as an umbrella term. A life coach can, ultimately, support you in any area of your life and help you to achieve future goals and support you in curating plans to do so. Because of this, many life coaches specialise in a secondary area, although they have the skills to move you forward in many. 

The key difference with lifestyle coaching is that this modality focuses on your day-to-day routines, habits, processes and mechanics. Lifestyle coaches are interested in ways to improve your lifestyle and quality of life (depending on what success looks like to you) as well as supporting clients to build those same practices to achieve important future goals. 

This area of coaching doesn’t look at coaching in complementary areas, such as issues in relationships or executive career progression, but rather focuses on designing a lifestyle that cultivates a happier, more fulfilled version of yourself. Lifestyle design can also often incorporate areas and practices from positive psychology and consider deeper questions about how you want to spend your time and what you consider valuable.

To read more about coaching as a process, visit our What is coaching? page.

What can lifestyle coaches help with?

You may benefit from working with a lifestyle coach if you’re feeling stuck, fed up or frustrated with your current situation or lifestyle. Perhaps you’re unsure of how to move forward to where you want to be, or maybe you want to improve your current situation. Perhaps you struggle with routines, habits, and making the most of your time. In all of these cases, a lifestyle coach will be able to work with you to plan and create actionable, achievable goals, supporting you to find the right path and intentionally changing your life in the way you want.

For example, a client may wish to change their career or return to their studies, but are unsure how to actively build this into their everyday. Their desire may be to change their lifestyle by relocating and pursuing a different type of environment entirely. Or they may wish to build important areas into their day so that they feel more fulfilled and their days generally are more enjoyable. A client may struggle with prioritising or where to place importance or value, which leaves them feeling misaligned with the lifestyle they are currently living. These are just some examples of the various types of issues a lifestyle coach may specifically help with.

How do you want to live your life and what kind of lifestyle makes you feel the most fulfilled? 

What to expect from lifestyle coaching?

Lifestyle coaches are usually experts in their field and are often multi-disciplined. Generally, a lifestyle coach will bring elements of life coaching, well-being coaching, positive psychology and even personal development into the mix, to ensure you have the tools and support to achieve your goals. You can expect to get much-needed accountability from such a coach, but also a safe space to explore how you’d like to change your lifestyle. 

Many of us rarely have the time to stop, reassess, and evaluate where we are and how we got here. For many, as we change, grow and develop, we can feel disassociated with the lives we lead and may have felt more like passive participants.

We can feel we have been taken along with the current, so to speak, and we long to change our situation or our lifestyle but haven’t had the chance, space or support to explore this idea. Lifestyle coaching, for this reason, can be transformative. It’s collaborative but also challenging, as any action-based style of coaching is. 

If you feel connected to this idea, however, it could be the very solution you’ve been looking for to propel you forwards and have you feeling excited and curious about your life, again. 

Finding the right lifestyle coach for you

Lifestyle coaching, like all areas of coaching, is still unregulated. So, how do you find the right coach for you? I usually suggest finding a coach via a Directory such as this one, so you can be sure your potential new coach has been vetted and verified.

Read our Life Coach Directory Policy for information on our criteria for membership.

Although there are no specific qualifications, life coaching, coaching psychology, productivity, mindset and positive psychology qualifications are well suited, and even business experience is helpful to understand behaviours, ways of working and challenges. 

Finding a coach with accreditation is important, as this means they work to a set of ethics and guidelines set by a reputable, external body. 

If you can, seek out their website or social media to get a feel for their insight and style of knowledge, as well as sign up for any available webinars or events they are hosting, or even an initial consultation. All of these options can give you the opportunity to hear more about how they work and ask questions. 

When starting out your search, it’s important to do your research and be clear about your intention on what you would like to work on, which set you up for a successful conversation.

This page was written by accredited life and career coach (IAC, AC) Alana Leggett in Dec 2022.

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