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Is your life stuck in a rut? Are you disappointed by your lagging career? Do you feel like you're not living up to your fullest potential?

Then maybe what you need is a coach. Just like the coaches who push athletes to achieve greatness in sports, life and wellness coaches push their clients to achieve success in their career, relationships, or lifestyle.

Unlike sports coaches, life and wellness coaches don't focus on changing specific behaviors, like correcting a bad swing in baseball. Instead, they develop their clients' overall strengths and abilities, according to the International Coach Federation. That's the governing organization for the coaching profession.

What Is a Life Coach?

Just about everyone has a vision of his or her ideal life. Maybe you've always dreamed of becoming a successful writer, musician, or corporate executive. Yet your vision hasn't quite made the leap from your mind to reality.

That's where a life coach steps in. Life coaches provide the incentive and direction their clients need to improve their careers, relationships, and lives. They help clients to:

• Hone in on their skills and ambitions.
• Refocus their life's goals.
• Overcome obstacles that stand in the way of achieving goals.

What Is a Wellness Coach?

Wellness coaches give their clients the motivation and tools they need to achieve their physical and emotional health goals.

Wellness coaches can show you steps to take and give you encouragement to reach goals such as:

• Lose a few pounds
• Eat better
• Quit smoking
• Reduce stress

Unlike a nutritionist or physical therapist, who make specific diet and exercise recommendations, a wellness coach will help you make better general choices that fit within your lifestyle.

Why Would I Need a Personal Life Coach or Wellness Coach?

There are a variety of reasons that people turn to life or wellness coaches for help. For instance, you might consider looking for a coach if you:

• Need some guidance on moving forward in your career
• Want to learn how to best take advantage of strengths and talents
• Don't know what to do about a major life decision, such as a move or promotion
• Don't have an acceptable work-life balance
• Are overstressed
• Aren't as healthy as you'd like to be

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