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

Coach at desk with Life Coaching Tools and Forms

Building a coaching business is hard, life coaching tools help!

We know from personal experience that it's hard to grow a coaching practice—at least in the beginning. And Life Coaching Tools, Forms and Exercises really help.

How? Well, they get you started—fast! Life Coaching Tools save you precious time and boost your confidence. You can use them in sessions, as workshop handouts and fun homework.

But crucially, life coaching tools make coaching tangible—offering concrete value to your clients and prospects up front.

What's in this Life Coaching Tools and Exercises Guide

This guide to coaching tools and forms will take you through everything you want to know including lots of helpful coaching tools examples! In this article you will find:

What Are Life Coaching Tools?

A Life Coaching Tool is simply a form, worksheet or coaching exercise that helps your clients learn and grow.

Life Coaching Tools help you coach your clients—for example goal-setting, exploring self-care activities, detoxing relationships, identifying values and more! They are not intended to replace coaching, instead they're a tool in your coaching toolbox that you pull out to help solve a particular issue.

Each Life Coaching Tool covers a particular topic, deepening our clients' their understanding of themselves, helping them see things differently, learn and make change in their lives.

In short, coaching tools enhance the coaching experience for your client, helping them get results more easily—or faster!

Why use Life Coaching Tools? Watch this short (2m 45s) video below:

How to use Life Coaching Tools

A Life Coaching Tool could be anything from a set of coaching questions, a journaling prompt, metaphor or story to a multi-step personality assessment with pages of questions to be answered, interviews and a 50 page report.

You can use coaching exercises in a lot of ways—in one-on-one coaching sessions, as handouts in workshops, in webinars, groups or as homework. They provide extra opportunities for our clients to reflect, solidify their learnings and move forwards. We can also use coaching exercises to share concepts, information, offer inspiration and provoke new ideas.

This means that Life Coaching Exercises are a powerful tool in your toolbox! You work your coaching magic—and then draw on various coaching tools and worksheets as appropriate to boost your clients' learning and growth.

Here are 12 Broad Types of Coaching Tools & Resources

  1. A Coaching Exercise or Workbook around a Specific Topic
  2. Coaching Questions
  3. Quizzes
  4. Journaling Prompts (questions, lists, dialoguing and more)
  5. Metaphors or Stories (whether client or coach generated)
  6. Personality and Psychological Assessments
  7. Coaching Books or eBooks
  8. Physical Card Decks e.g. Letting Go Cards or Spirit Cards. [Find a great selection at The Coaching Toys Store]
  9. Coaching Games
  10. Mindfulness and Meditation
  11. Inspirational Quotes
  12. An Activity (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

Coach using life coaching tools examples at their Desk

Types of Life Coaching Tools and Exercises (with Examples)

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

Here are 12 Different Types of Life Coaching Tools and Exercises

    1. Powerful Discovery Questions
    2. An Inquiry or Journaling Prompt
    3. A Sequence of Questions (that walk your clients through a learning process)
    4. Powerful Lists!
    5. A Visual or Get Your Clients Drawing!
    6. A Reframe
    7. Stories and Metaphor
    8. A Helpful Model, Concept or Technique
    9. Seeing the Truth / Recording the Facts
    10. Informational Handouts/eBooks
    11. The Coaching Quiz
    12. Coaching Activities

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.

One example is to give a Powerful Pondering Questions Worksheet when you start out with a client.

Pondering Questions Life Coaching Tool Page 1
Click to see Powerful Pondering Questions

2. An Inquiry or Journaling Prompt

Journaling prompts and '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.

One great example is The Rocking Chair Exercise, to help them envision what they want the rest of their life to be about.

Life Vision Life Coaching Exercises Page 1
See Rocking Chair Life Coaching Exercise

3. A Sequence of Questions to 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.

One examples of this kind of life coaching exercise is the Daily Success Habits Exercise to help them develop new supportive habits.

Success Habits Coaching Exercise
Click to see Daily Success Habits Exercise

4. Powerful Lists!

Never underestimate the power of list-making to give your clients important insights! These coaching tools examples ask 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!

One favourite powerful list coaching tool to give clients is What Makes My Heart Sing? to help clients find more happiness—where they are right now.

What Makes My Heart Sing Life Coaching Exercise
Click to see What Makes My Heart Sing

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.

Possibly the most powerful example of a visual life coaching tool is the Wheel of Life Template (Free).

Free Wheel of Life Template! Page 1
Click to see the Wheel of Life Template

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 and view a problem or situation in a new, unexpected way.

One example is the Love Your Weaknesses life coaching tool where the client is asked, "How do your weaknesses serve you?". This helps them see their so-called weaknesses in a new, more positive light.

Weaknesses Coaching Reframe Exercise
Click to see Love Your Weaknesses

Get 30+ Free Coaching Tools & Exercises!

If you love coaching activities and tools, be sure to check out our Free Coaching Tools & Resources Page. With over 30 tools, templates and forms to add to your coaching toolbox! You'll find:

  • Wheel of Life (Balance Wheel)
  • A Blank Wheel of Life (to customise for any situation)
  • Understand the Why of Your Goals!
  • 25 Questions to Identify Strengths
  • Client Action Recording Sheet & Template
  • Coaching Intake Session Checklist
  • And many more!

We know how hard it is to build a coaching business so we give away these tools free. They're also brandable and editable—enjoy!

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.

One examples of these types of life coaching exercises is 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.

Build a Bridge Coaching Exercise
Click to see Build a Bridge

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.

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

You may also like this SMART Goals Guide for Coaches an extremely popular model to help people create more powerful, motivating goals.

Urgent Important Matrix Template Page 1
Click to see The Urgent Important Matrix

9. Seeing the Truth (Recording the Facts)

Often people need to see proof of an issue before they will change. So this is a life coaching form that enables the client to record the facts of their world or life. This type of life coaching form allows our clients to review the results that for patterns and themes we can learn from.

One of the life coaching forms I use with busy clients is Expose My Hidden Time Wasters. It records the time spent in different areas of our life. Clients get to see—wow I spent 10 hours on social media this week, but only 3 hours of quality time with my partner...

Track Time Recording Coaching Template
Click to see Expose Your Hidden Time Wasters

10. Informational Handouts/eBooks

Sometimes life coaching tools can be a list to refer to, some reading or other reference material around a specific topic. These could be Handouts, Special Reports or Ebooks with useful information to help your clients learn and grow!

An example of an informational handout life coaching tool is The Top 10 Cognitive Distortions List (Free) This one-sider life coaching tool 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!

Cognitive Distortions List for Coaching Tool
Click to see Cognitive Distortions List

11. The Coaching Quiz

A coaching quiz can be great to give clients a quick overview of where they are. Yes, 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.

A good example of this is the Motivation Quiz. This quiz helps clients understand how ready they are to take action... Are they ready to "do anything" to achieve a goal or only willing to do a little? The review includes helpful tips about how your coach can help you, and the advantages and disadvantages of each motivation level.

Motivation Quiz Page 1
Click to see Motivation Quiz Coaching Exercise

12. Coaching Activities

This kind of life coaching tool is more of a get out there and do it tool—and may have a physically active component. Many of these activities are good for groups and workshops, or can be done without paper if needed.

The (Free) Tic-Tac-Toe Icebreaker Exercise is a fun exercise to get people moving and connecting with each other at the beginning of a workshop or training.

Free Workshop Icebreaker Form Page 1
Click to see Tic-Tac-Toe Activity

Also, administrative tools and life coaching forms can help you manage your clients

Life coaching forms can also be administrative and help you manage your client engagement professionally from being a prospect through to a client wrap-up.

Examples of administrative life coaching forms:

We have many administrative forms and tools in our all-time biggest selling product—the Coaching Welcome Packet. 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.
  • Coaching Contract or Agreement It's helpful to have an actual coaching agreement or contract for your client to sign.
  • Intake Session Template Checklist (Free) Emma-Louise still uses this checklist with her clients in the first session. It includes reminders to set up the next session, take payment and discuss how to reschedule sessions.
  • 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.
Smiling Coach with Life Coaching Exercise at Desk
Examples of our Life Coaching Tools

So, here's what we mean by life coaching tools and exercises:

At The Coaching Tools Company we specialize in practical, actionable coaching resources for coaches. So when we talk about life coaching tools, we mean tangible documents—life coaching exercises, forms, worksheets, templates and activities—printable tools that get clients away from technology and distractions.

Our tools can also be eBooks, user guides and social media quote graphics & infographics.

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]

Coach with Client using Life Coaching Tools

Who Uses Life Coaching Tools?

Life Coaching Tools and Exercises are used by a wide variety of mental health professionals including counsellors, therapists and coaches of every kind. Just some of the types of coaches that use Coaching Tools include life coaches, executive and leadership coaches, 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 people 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 and Exercises?

Running a coaching business is challenging, coaching tools can 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 there never seems to be enough time.

Done-for-you coaching tools save you time, energy and effort.

They make great homework to keep clients engaged and are fantastic as coaching exercises to use in your workshops, groups and webinars.

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. Tangible forms and resources offer something the client can literally 'grab hold' of.

When I started out as a coach I sent every new client, in the 'snail mail', a Welcome Packet - with a welcome letter, code of ethics, Wheel of Life, business card and usually one other life coaching exercise that I thought they would enjoy or find useful.

This created value right away, built trust - and proved to the client the wisdom of their decision to work with me.

Coach holding sign that says The Benefits of Life Coaching Tools

When I first began to create Career and Life Coaching Tools for my clients, it was to boost my confidence and save time. I didn't want to 'reinvent the wheel' with every new client. And then I found there were many extra benefits I didn't expect.

Here are 8 Benefits of using Coaching Tools and Exercises:

  1. Provide instant, concrete value to both your clients and prospects.
  2. Appear established, professional and organized.
  3. Help clients tackle specific issues and get unstuck.
  4. Keep your coaching fun, fresh and interesting for clients.
  5. Offer great homework and keep clients engaged between sessions.
  6. Use them as exercises and handouts for workshops, groups and webinars.
  7. Inspire clients and boost their creativity and brainstorming potential.
  8. And many clients just love completing coaching tools!

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

Here's a Life Coaching Tools Testimonial from one of my clients:

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 so many ways to use Life Coaching Tools and Exercises. You can 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 10 Different Ways 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. Some tools check-in (using a rating system) with how people are feeling about themselves, their goals or their life. So, you can come back later and ask them to rate themselves again to demonstrate progress and the value of coaching. (Here's how to do this with the Wheel of Life and Coaching Goals Sheet).
  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 at desk with PC and Administrative Life Coaching Tools

Wrap-up

Life Coaching Tools take many forms including 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 boost a newer coach's confidence, concretizing coaching for our clients from the outset. And for more experienced coaches, Life Coaching Tools and Worksheets can bring a wealth of fresh inspiration to an existing coaching practice.

Coaching tools and forms are used industry-wide, and many clients enjoy completing them - so it's a great way to keep clients engaged. And there are many, many different ways to use coaching tools including one-on-one, in groups, workshops, webinars, conferences and as homework assignments.

And remember that, when branded with your contact details, they also make great marketing materials.

Coaching Tools are power tools for your coaching toolbox, helping your clients and business grow - faster.

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.

And you can see some of Emma-Louise's favourite tools in 9 Coaching Activities & Exercises I Would Not Be Without.

The Top 5 Most Popular Coaching Forms, Tools & 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 Coaching Welcome Packet - 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.
Coaching Welcome Packet with Coaching Templates, Forms and Exercises in a Folder
Coaching Welcome Packet
Inside a Coach's Heart Graphics for Coaches Product

Other popular coaching tools 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

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

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Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ 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 for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

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17 Comments

  1. Sharon Maurer-Schwartz

    Hi all, I have been a long time admirer and customer of your materials. At the present time I am reentering the to coaching field after a long break. I am in the throws of creating my new website and I cannot locate "12 courageous ways to be kind to yourself!" one of 4 charts (I think there were 4 of them) that I had used in the past. Do you still have them available for purchase? I love using them and my clients got so much from their experience and discussions, that I want to find them. Please advise if the 4 or 5 integrated charts are available?

    Sharon Maurer-Schwartz
    urgrowing@icloud.com
    702-896-3236 home or 1-702-4022 work

    Reply
  2. Tanashia jordan

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    Reply
  3. Selma

    Even if I purchase your tools, am I not allowed to post them on my Telegram Channel in an effort to market my coaching practice?

    Reply
    • Michela Phillips

      Hi Selma, you can post the .JPEG files of the tools in your Telegram Channel to show people the work they would be doing with you, but you cannot post the .DOCX version of the tool. For further questions about our legal terms, please visit our legal page: https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/legal/

      I hope this helps!
      - Kindly, Michela

      Reply
  4. wp minds

    Building an online coaching website is a complicated and time-consuming affair. Website Development Made Simple For Online Coaching.

    Reply
    • Marcus

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      Reply

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