It won’t surprise you to read that there really isn’t a clear answer to this question. People are different, with goals and aspirations that differ in size, scope and duration. One life coaching client might want to own their own company one day, while another might need urgent assistance with a large overdue project they feel overwhelmed by. The short answer: it depends on your situation. The long answer: we’re taking a look at it below…
Purpose of Life Coaching Sessions
As mentioned above, the number of life coaching sessions you’ll need depends entirely on the reason you chose to work with a life coach in the first place. Here’s a rough idea based on the type of goals you wish to achieve:
Short term goals are often the most stress-causing ones as these almost always have a time limit attached. Examples of these include projects that have imminent deadlines, like if you’ve given yourself two months to quit smoking or you’re due to submit your thesis in a few weeks.
For time-critical goals like these, you should aim to meet with your coach once a week as a minimum and preferably twice a week for the first week or two. So, you’re looking at around eight to 12 life coaching sessions in total.
These types of goals are more common in the life coaching arena. They are often held by people who have just opened a business (or who have a failing business), people who are experiencing troubles at work or in their marriage, and people who have hit rock bottom and are searching for a way out.
In these sorts of cases, life coaching sessions should be more frequent at first, becoming less frequent as you adopt the strategies and techniques taught by your coach. Depending on your specific needs, you’re looking at around 12 – 20 life coaching sessions in total.
When it comes to life goals, things become less concrete. For example, opening a coffee shop is extremely different from, say, wanting to be a better father/husband. In these instances, the number of life coaching sessions you’ll need will depend on how quickly you action the suggestions (and how well you stick to them over time).
For life goals that require serious commitment and changes on your part, you’ll more than likely want to remain in contact with your life coach indefinitely – calling on them as and when you feel you need a refresher session.
How Long Should Life Coaching Sessions Be?
Again, the answer here depends on a number of things, like how often you’re seeing your life coach and the nature of your attention span. The last thing you’d want, if you suffer from ADHD, is to sit through a two-hour coaching session. On the flip side, someone who prefers to really dig deep into topics won’t enjoy the rapidness of shorter sessions. Here are the three most common types of life coaching sessions and their durations:
These are short, powerful life coaching encounters that usually last between 10 and 30 minutes. Since time is in short supply, and both parties know it, you can dive straight into the crux of matters without sidetracking or unnecessary interruptions.
The standard timeframe for a life coaching sessions is between 30 and 60 minutes (with 45 minutes being the industry favourite). These sessions give enough time to cover what was discussed in the last session, look at a few topics, celebrate victories, ask/answer questions, and set goals for the coming weeks.
Sometimes longer life coaching sessions are needed where a multitude of issues are discussed and for which solutions are offered. These sessions usually last between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on what is on the agenda. Marathon coaching sessions are usually chosen by people who cannot meet their life coach regularly.