The Complete Guide to Life Coaching Tools, Forms and Exercises (with Examples)

Coach at desk with Life Coaching Tools and Forms

Coaching Can be Challenging, Life Coaching Tools Help!

We know that many coaches struggle to grow their coaching practices. Professional life coaching tools, forms and exercises help boost confidence, make great handouts, homework - and offer concrete value to clients and prospects.

What Are Life Coaching Tools?

Coaching Tools Toolbox

Most commonly, Life Coaching Tools are forms, worksheets or exercises given to the client to help them move forwards, learn something new or take action. Each life coaching tool covers a particular topic and when matched to a client’s individual situation, deepens a client's understanding of themselves, helping them see things differently, learn and make change in their lives.

Coaching Tools are a supplement to the coaching relationship and conversation. Coaching exercises can be used in one-on-one coaching sessions, workshops, groups or given as homework. They provide extra opportunities to inform our clients and raise their awareness, helping clients create time for reflection,to solidify their learnings and move forwards.

So Life Coaching Exercises are another powerful tool in your toolbox! You work your coaching magic - and draw on coaching tools and worksheets as appropriate to boost your clients' learning and growth. The purpose of coaching tools is to enhance the experience for your client and help your client get results more easily or faster!

In the broader coaching context a life coaching tool could be anything from a coaching question, journaling prompt, metaphor or story to a multi-step personality assessment with pages of questions to be answered, interviews and a 100 page report.

There are many different kinds of coaching resources:

  • A Coaching Exercise or Workbook around a Specific Topic
  • Coaching Questions
  • Quizzes
  • Journaling Prompts (questions, lists, dialoguing and more)
  • Metaphors or Stories (whether client or coach generated)
  • Personality and Psychological Assessments
  • Books or eBooks
  • Physical Card Decks e.g. Letting Go Cards or Spirit Cards. [Find a great selection at The Coaching Toys Store]
  • Coaching Games
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • An Activity (intended to teach the client something or help learn a new skill)
Example of cards as Life Coaching Tools
Example of Cards as a Coaching Tool

A good coaching tool has a particular goal or purpose in mind, and the more specific the coaching exercise, the better. Emma-Louise Elsey
[source: choice Magazine Article]

Examples of our Life Coaching Tools

So, What Do We Mean by Life Coaching Tools at The Coaching Tools Company?

We specialize in practical, actionable coaching resources for coaches. When we talk about life coaching tools, we're talking about tangible documents - coaching exercises, forms, worksheets, templates and activities, printable forms that get clients away from technology and distractions.

Our coaching resources take the form of coaching exercises, forms, eBooks or guides.

Coach with Client using Life Coaching Tools

Who Uses Life Coaching Tools?

Coaching Tools are used by a wide variety of health professionals including counsellors, therapists and coaches. The many types of coaches that use Coaching Tools include life coaches, executive, leadership, career, health and wellness, retirement, parent, teen, small business coaches and more.

You may be surprised to know that in addition to coaches, professionals from a wide variety of other industries also use career and life coaching tools.

Some of the types of professionals who use career and life coaching tools include:

  • Human Resources Professionals
  • Managers and Leaders
  • Wellness Professionals like Personal Trainers and Nutritionists
  • Educators
  • Pastors
  • Mentors
  • Financial and Mortgage Advisors
  • Organizational Consultants and Trainers
  • Corporate Coaching Programs
  • Volunteer Organizations

Coach and Client using Life Coaching Tools with Thumbs up

Why Use Life Coaching Tools?

Running a coaching business can be challenging, Coaching Tools help!

Coaching as a vocation is both rewarding and challenging. We get to do work which is meaningful and help people grow, but the vast majority of us must also learn to run our own business. And running your own coaching business is extremely hard work. There is so much to do, to learn, and time disappears - fast.

So, when coaching tools are done-for-you, they save you energy and weeks of work.

Help clients and prospects see the value of coaching right away!

When you use tools in coaching they concretize the coaching experience, helping potential clients see the value of coaching right away. This is especially true with tangible forms and resources - as it offers something the client can literally 'grab hold' of.

Life Coaching Tools, Forms and Exercises help people discover and learn about themselves. This understanding motivates clients - and helps them commit to taking action.

Coaching Tools can also boost a newer coach's confidence, offering professional pre-prepared forms and exercises to use in coaching sessions, as homework, as handouts in workshops and more.

And for more experienced coaches, Life Coaching Tools and Forms can bring fresh inspiration to an existing coaching practice, coaching session, homework assignment or workshop.

So, Life Coaching Exercises are simply another 'tool' in your coaching toolbox to help your clients get to know themselves, grow and get motivated to take action.

Coach holding sign that says The Benefits of Life Coaching Tools

What are the Benefits of Coaching Tools?

When I began to create Career & Life Coaching Tools for my clients, it was largely to boost my confidence, and save time. And then I found there were many extra benefits I didn't expect.

Coaching Tools:

  • Provide instant, concrete value to both your clients and prospects.
  • Help you appear established, professional and organized.
  • Help clients tackle specific issues and get unstuck.
  • Keep your coaching fun, fresh and interesting for the clients.
  • Make great homework and keep clients engaged between sessions.
  • Make fantastic exercises and handouts for workshops, groups and teleseminars.
  • Are great to boost your clients' creativity and brainstorming.
  • And many clients just love completing coaching tools!

A Life Coaching Tools Testimonial from a Coaching Client:

Rishel-Tomlinson-New-Headshot

"Her tools are simple, easy to use, and highly effective. What I like most about her coaching and her tools, is that I always walk away with an 'action plan' I can implement right away, from which I start seeing results almost immediately. Even though I consider myself already 'happy' with my life, working with Emma-Louise inspires me to reach an even greater level of happiness and not settle for anything; she uncovers barriers and desires I didn't even realize I had. By inspiring the child-like creativity and dreams inside each of us, her methods helped me break free of the 'daily-grind' and instead enjoy this 'adventure called life' as much as I possibly can!"

- Rishel Tomlinson, Former Client, Mortgage Broker & Owner of Custom Mortgages

How & When to Use Life Coaching Tools?

There are many ways to use Life Coaching Tools and Exercises. Use them throughout the coaching life-cycle from your first prospect meeting right through to wrapping up a client engagement.

Just as a plumber has different tools to do different jobs, each coaching exercise has its own specific purpose - uniquely suited to the job at hand. Each life coaching exercise will be used at different times and matched to the individual client's situation.

Coach using Life Coaching Exercises and Tools in a Workshop

Here are some great ideas of when to use Life Coaching Tools and Exercises:

  1. In your Welcome Pack. Give clients something concrete that provides value right away and justifies the investment they've made in coaching with you!
  2. In a session with a client to inspire, inform or help solve a problem (or when you're stuck!)
  3. As homework. Delve deeper into something that came up in a coaching session, work on self-discovery (like values) AND keep them in a coaching frame of mind between sessions.
  4. As worksheets in workshops and teleseminars.
  5. With prospects or in sample sessions. A great way to give people a tangible taste of coaching - and something they can keep or take home with them!
  6. To demonstrate progress and value. Ask your clients to score ___ / 10 whatever they are working towards. Then come back later and ask them to score again.
  7. As back of room giveaways at networking events, conferences and your own workshops
  8. To save you time and energy on repeatable tasks (and make sure you don't forget anything!). This could be anything from admin forms to your client intake/wrap-up sessions.
  9. To lighten up a serious topic or challenging session.
  10. AND of course you can use life coaching tools to develop yourself - in fact I recommend it!

For even more ideas on how to incorporate life coaching tools into your sessions:

12 Ways to Use Coaching Exercises and Tools INFOGRAPHIC

Coach using Life Coaching Tool at their Desk

12 Different Types of Life Coaching Tools and Exercises (with Examples):

The best way to explain coaching tools and exercises is to give you some practical examples. Below we outline the key types of career and life coaching tools, and then offer some examples to explore.

One-on-one coaching conversations are just one option available to you. Coaching forms, worksheets and exercises are another tool in your toolbox - and another opportunity to help your client learn and grow. Emma-Louise Elsey 

1. Powerful Discovery Questions

A life coaching tool can be created around powerful discovery questions that brainstorm or explore possibilities for the client. These deep and open-ended questions help clients explore themselves/particular topics. The goal is to maximise the amount of information and self-learning.

Examples of Powerful Discovery Question Coaching Tools:

Pondering Questions Coaching Tool Page 1

2. An Inquiry or Journaling Prompt

Journaling prompts and coaching inquiries make great exercises for motivation, goal-setting, decision-making and self-discovery. In particular, journaling is great to deeply explore a client's vision and values. You can also use journaling to help a client get super-motivated - aligning their lives with what matters most to them.

Examples of an Inquiry or Journaling Prompt Life Coaching Exercise:

  • Offer your client The Rocking Chair Exercise, to help them envision what they want the rest of their life to be about.
  • The “Retirement or Big Birthday Party” or “Newspaper Article Exercise” to help a client hone in on what matters most, and what success looks like or means for them.
  • An inquiry to “Describe your ideal day” or an inquiry that asks, “What advice would I give my younger self?”

Learn more about journaling at the International Association of Journal Writing.

Life Vision Coaching Exercises Page 1

3. A Sequence of Questions that Walk your Clients through a Learning Process

This type of life coaching exercise helps your clients take action in a particular area of their life. It offers a series of questions and answers that flow from one to the next to build the learning. And it usually ends with actions to be taken. Both coach and client are rewarded when client's responses are explored more deeply in a following coaching session. These also tools make great homework!

Examples of Tools Based on a Sequence of Questions:

Success Habits Coaching Exercise

4. Powerful Lists!

Never underestimate the power of list-making to give your clients important insights! This type of life coaching worksheet asks clients to make a list, and sometimes review and explore each item on the list for a deeper result. Powerful lists can be used in every area of coaching!

Examples of Powerful List Coaching Tools:

  • My Favourite Powerful List to give clients is What Makes My Heart Sing? Help clients find more happiness - where they are right now.
  • What are you Tolerating? (Free) Do you know what you’re tolerating in your life? When we see a list written down, we have a better understanding of how draining it can be.
  • The Love and Loathe List Help a client free up energy, by doing less of what they loathe, and more of what they love.
  • Detox Your Relationships Understand who drains you and who inspires you with this list and scoring system. Helps clients spend more time with people who really support them.
What Makes My Heart Sing Coaching Form - Page 1

5. A Visual or Get Your Clients Drawing!

Using visual life coaching tools is a powerful way to help our clients make sense of things. Images access a different part of our brain and can inspire us, help us see patterns, create new links, think about things in a creative new way or angle.

Examples of Visual Life Coaching Exercises:

  • Possibly the most powerful example of a visual life coaching tool is the Wheel of Life Template (Free).
  • The Life Map is a fabulous coaching exercise for new clients - helping them and you see the key high and lowlights of their life visually.
  • There are many other ideas here including asking clients to draw themselves and discussing that, or asking a client to Draw Their Gremlin or Inner Critic and coaching them around it.
  • Visuals can also be used to frame things more lightly like in the Eat Your Elephant Tool.
Wheel of Life Template Exercise Page 1

6. A Reframe

A powerful way to 'shake-up' a client’s limiting beliefs and patterns is to offer them (or ask them to come up with) a reframe. This is where your client gets to view a problem or situation in a new, unexpected way. Reframes can be turned into powerful life coaching tools and exercises that shake people out of habitual and often limiting ways of thinking.

Examples of Life Coaching Tools that Reframe:

  • Coaching questions are the easiest way to reframe. A common reframe is to turn what is currently viewed as a "problem" into an "opportunity". You could ask, "Where could this problem become an opportunity - or even the solution?".
  • Love Your Weaknesses.  In this tool, the client is asked, "How do your weaknesses serve you?" so they can see their so-called weaknesses in a new, more positive light.
  • The Not To Do List turns the idea of a To Do list on its head, helping people achieve success by identifying what NOT to do…
  • Another example of this is in the Are You Sitting (TOO) Comfortably? Coaching Exercise. In this life coaching exercise, the client learns that discomfort is good - because it means they are learning. In addition, did you know that doing too much can also be someone's comfort zone?
Weaknesses Coaching Reframe Exercise

7. A Story or Metaphor

Stories and metaphors are powerful transformational tools - offering learning in an easy to digest format. In particular for common life challenges, a story or metaphor helps a client feel less alone, may give them ideas to problem solve with - or see an issue in a new light.

Examples of Story or Metaphor Life Coaching Tools:

  • The Build a Bridge Exercise! This uses the idea that we don't need to see the other side to take the next step to get clients moving on something they feel stuck on.
  • What Do I Need to Let Go Of? There is a buddhist teaching story about how we hold onto things, and how it clouds our mind unnecessarily. This prompts clients to make a list of things they could similarly let go of.
  • The Big Rocks, Little Rocks Exercise This powerful metaphor helps people understand that they need to work on their priorities first, or they will fill their lives with minutiae.
Build a Bridge Coaching Exercise

8. A Helpful Model, Concept or Technique

There are so many helpful models and concepts out there that offer new ideas, techniques or learning to help people get more done, manage their time better and be happier! Often these come with acronyms, or helpful names.

Examples of Models, Concepts or Techniques:

  • A common and extremely helpful example which I have shared with many of my clients is The Urgent-Important Matrix. This coaching form helps clients realise that if they focus on the important things, it reduces the number of things that become urgent - and disruptive in our lives
  • SMART Goals is extremely popular and helps people create more powerful goals.
  • The Spheres of Influence  I love this concept which encourages people to focus on what they can control, and let go of things they can’t...
  • The Action Priority Matrix is a fabulous coaching tool to help people focus on the tasks and ideas that give us the most bang for our buck!
Urgent Important Matrix Template Page 1

9. Recording The Facts/Seeing the Truth

Often people need to actually see proof of the issue before they will change. Another type of life coaching tool is one that enables the client to record the facts of their world or life.

It could also be things like recording your spending or where you spend your time and then reviewing that for patterns and themes we can learn from.

Examples of Record Keeping Tools:

  • One life coaching tool I often use with busy clients is Expose My Hidden Time Wasters. This records the time spent in different areas of our life. Similar to the latte factor, it's powerful! Clients get to see - wow I spent 10 hours on social media this week, but only 3 hours of quality time with my partner...
  • Interruptions Blaster Workbook This workbook aims to reduce and manage interruptions so we can be more efficient! In particular, a key piece is to record and observe our interruptions so we can do something differently in future.
  • Other examples could include recording spending, sleep, sugar/calorie/alcohol consumption etc.
Track Time Recording Coaching Template

10. Informational Handouts/eBooks

Sometimes it can be helpful for us, or our clients, to have a list to refer to, some reading or other reference material around a specific topic. These can be Handouts, Special Reports or Ebooks with useful information to help your clients learn and grow!

Examples of Informational Handouts/eBooks:

  • The Cognitive Distortions List (Free) This one sider handout outlines the 10 key ways we distort our experience and beliefs with our thinking. It can be a powerful wake-up call for clients - and coaches!
  • Values Example List (Free) Sometimes clients get stuck trying to think of "value" words. This is not a "pick list" for clients, instead it supports the coach and client as they go through the values identification process.
  • Client Reminder List A short list of Coaching Topics to help the client prepare for their coaching session, and ensure they have something to discuss with you.
  • 549 Powerful Coaching Questions! This eBook has 549 coaching questions organized into coaching areas for inspiration and ideas! It’s still our most popular freebie that comes with signing up for our newsletter!
Cognitive Distortions List for Coaching

11. The Coaching Quiz

We've all seen and completed quizzes in magazines and books. A coaching quiz can be great to give clients a quick overview of where they are. We need to be careful not to "tell" people who or what they are. Instead the quiz results are simply a way to raise awareness and start a conversation about a particular topic.

Examples of the Coaching Quiz as a Life Coaching Tool:

  • A good example of this is the Motivation Quiz. This tool helps clients understand if they are ready to "do anything" to achieve a goal or whether they're only willing to do a little. It includes some helpful tips about how your coach can help you, and the advantages and disadvantages of each motivation level.
  • The handy Self-Care Quiz coaching quiz raises our clients' self-awareness around their self-care. Because sometimes it's the obvious that escapes us! Great for life balance coaching.
  • Life Satisfaction Quiz (Free)  This quiz asks clients to rate their satisfaction with different areas of their lives. Then they identify how they would like coaching to help them. This is a great life coaching tool to give prospects or clients when they start out with you.
Motivation Quiz Page 1

12. Coaching Activities

This kind of coaching tool is more physical - and may have an active component. Many of these activities are good for groups and workshops, or can be done without paper if needed.

Examples of Coaching Activities:

Free Workshop Icebreaker Form Page 1
Smiling Coach with Life Coaching Exercise at Desk

There are also Coaching Forms and Administrative Tools to Manage Your Clients

Administrative Coaching Tools help the coach manage their client engagement professionally from being a prospect through to a client wrap-up.

Examples of Administrative Forms and Tools:

We have many administrative forms and tools in our all-time biggest selling product - the Welcome Pack Toolkit. This includes a coaching agreement (coaching contract, client agreement, client contact details etc). Other examples include:

  • Coaching Goals Worksheet Essential to every client engagement - know what your client wants to get out of coaching with you! Refer back to this often. This forms a core part of the "Coaching Agreement" you create with each client. Note: The creation of the "Coaching Agreement" is ICF core competency number 2.
  • Coaching Contract or Agreement More than the broader "Coaching Agreement" as mentioned above, it's helpful to have an actual coaching agreement or contract for your client to sign.
  • Intake Session Template Checklist (Free)  This is a version of the checklist Emma-Louise still uses with her clients in the first session. It includes reminders to set up the next session, take payment and discuss how to reschedule sessions. This form helps you form the broader "Coaching Agreement" with the client.
  • Wrap-up Session Questions (Free) This is the form Emma-Louise developed and still uses to help clients understand how they have grown during their coaching engagement.

Coach at desk with PC and Administrative Life Coaching Tools

In Conclusion

Life Coaching Tools take many forms including tangible exercises, worksheets, templates, activities, materials and resources that you use with your clients. They help clients move forward and achieve their dreams and goals - and can also be administrative tools used to manage the coaching relationship professionally.

Coaching Tools and Exercises add power tools to your coaching toolbox, helping your clients grow - faster. They make coaching more concrete when working with new and potential clients. And they're also great for boosting your confidence when starting out as a coach.

Coaching tools and forms are used industry-wide, and many clients enjoy completing them - so it's a great way to keep clients engaged. There are many, many different ways to use coaching tools including one-on-one, in groups or workshops and as homework. And when branded with your contact details, they also make great marketing materials.

As a business coach with over 20 years experience, I must tell you these exercises and user guides are absolutely incredible.  I am very impressed. They are very creative and artistically well done.  I can tweak them just the way I like.

I absolutely love it! Keep up the great work. You are helping us to keep enlightening the world by doing the work we love.

- Tom Borg, CPBA, CPDFA, MA - President Tom Borg Consulting, LLC

Learn More About What We Do

What makes our coaching tools special?

We offer a wide range of Professional *Brandable* Coaching Tools and Exercises to help coaches build a thriving practice full of engaged clients.

Our Career and Life Coaching Tools and Exercises are here to help you. Don't spend days creating forms and exercises when we've already done the work for you! It took me years to develop, test and accumulate all these Coaching Tools; you get to receive all the benefits without the months of work!

Pssst! Clients love our coaching forms too. They love completing them, and they love delving deeper with you, their coach. It's why we keep creating more...

But don't believe me - check out our testimonials here.

Our Most Popular Life Coaching Tools & Products

With such a large selection of tools in our catalogue it's difficult to choose a favourite. However, we can tell you what people buy the most.

You can also learn which are some of Emma-Louise's favourite tools in the 9 Coaching Exercises and Templates I Would Not Be Without.

The Top 5 Most Popular Coaching Forms & Products:

  1. Our FREE Wheel of Life Tool available in English and Spanish is by far our most popular life coaching tool! Powerful, simple and versatile.
  2. Our Coaching Agreement Sample Template is the most purchased individual tool.
  3. The Welcome Pack Toolkit - everything you need to get started with a new client - is the most popular purchased coaching toolkit (see image).
  4. Followed closely by our Coaching Tools MEGAPack! - All our career and life coaching tools in one package.
  5. And at number 3, our Renew YOU, Love Your Life! Coaching Program - a complete 3 month coaching program package - includes 13 done-for-you tools, user guides and marketing materials.
Welcome Packet with Coaching Templates, Forms and Exercises in a Folder
Welcome Packet
Inside a Coach's Heart Graphics for Coaches Product

Other popular products include:

Finally, our most popular Social Media Graphics product is "Inside a Coach's Heart".

"The Coaching Tools Company is a 'go to' resource for me. From the FREE business admin forms to the goal-setting, vision, and getting unstuck resources, this site is a treasure trove. When I'm working with a client and want to give them a specific homework exercise, the first thing I do is to check out The Coaching Tools Company to see if it already exists. And when a certain topic or issue comes up with a client, it's easy to search for resources and tools for that specific issue. The format of these tools makes them easy to brand with my logo and very user-friendly for my clients."

Ildiko Oravecz - High Performance Consulting

Sign up for our Newsletter - stay up to date and get a coupon code!

It can be lonely running a coaching business. We build community through our weekly newsletter with coach-specific articles, tips, tools and more to help coaches and their clients grow. When you sign-up you'll receive the 549 Powerful Coaching Questions eBook, plus a $5 coupon code and one free coaching resource a month for 5 months!

Get Free Life Coaching Tools Image

Emma-Louise Elsey HeadshotEmma-Louise Elsey has been a coach for over 15 years. She's a huge coaching fan and the founder of The Coaching Tools Company.com. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her passion for coaching, creativity and love of systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 25+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools, resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is also an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Did we miss something? Is there a question about Coaching Tools you'd like answered? Simply comment below!

If you liked this article all about the Life Coaching Tools, Exercises & Forms, you may also like:

Image of Coach on phone with Computer, Pen and Plant by bernatet's photo via Shutterstock

Image of Red Toolbox by iqoncept via 123rf

Image of Happy coach counting on fingers with client. And Relaxed Coach with Coaching Tool on Desk by michaeljung via Shutterstock

Image of Coach and Client - both with thumbs up by Tess Mai via Shutterstock

Image of Coach Holding Sign by BlueSkyImages via Shutterstock

Image of Coach with hands on hips holding meeting. And Client completing coaching form in office by El Nariz via Shutterstock

Image of Relaxed smiling coach at desk with laptop by Milles Studio via Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.