Life coaching is a profession that’s become increasingly well-known, but the service isn’t just for celebrities and the wealthy anymore. Livingston County resident Addie Yoder provides life coaching services through her business Grace and Growth and gave a talk about her work Saturday at the Adair County Library.

Yoder said life coaching can encompass a range of different techniques, but most are focused on helping clients find the tools to improve their own lives.

“For me, what it looks like is helping people sort out situations that maybe overwhelm them,” Yoder said. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, especially as women, and with the internet and social media and friends and everything that we have to do, there’s just a lot of information and expectations that we sometimes put on ourselves, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the things that we want to do and the things that we feel we maybe should do.”

Yoder shared some of the strategies she uses to help clients find out what they really want from life, and how to get it.

1) Figure out your goals

“Sometimes, initially, people don’t really know what they want to accomplish,” Yoder said. “I know that when I first started working with a coach, I didn’t.”

Yoder said she began working with a life coach of her own because she realized she had lost touch with her own desires and goals. She felt she didn’t know what she wanted out of life after focusing on her young children. She said working with a coach gave her permission to want more out of life than a role as a wife and mom. That led her to discovering a goal to become a life coach herself.

The process of life coaching begins, she said, with identifying what a person wants to get out of the process — do they need help with small goals, or a big project? Do they want to simplify their life, or change it entirely? That frequently involves asking clients to break down big changes, or obstacles that seem insurmountable, into small, achievable steps.

“It’s not necessarily my job to solve that problem for them, but to ask the questions to help them solve that problem for themselves,” Yoder said.

2) Prioritize through your values

Making decisions about what you want out of life and how to work toward it can be difficult, and it can feel like conflicting goals are pulling you in different directions.

Yoder recommends identifying the values that are most important to you, the things you use to measure how happy you are with your life path, and using those as a prism for decision-making. Values include the big things that are important to you and that you want to make central to your life — things like family, friends, faith and career success.

“If you can narrow down what your core values are, maybe that’s two or three things, then when decisions come up it’s really easy to say, ‘Hey, does this fit in with these three things that are important to us? In this season of life, where are we at, what matters, and if I say yes to this, is that going to fit into what I ultimately want it to?’” Yoder said.

3) Rethink your routines

Yoder said she encourages clients to take a look at their routines and habits to figure out whether they are helping them meet long-term goals. If there’s something new that you want to add to your daily life, what can you eliminate to make room for it? if there’s something you’re working on that isn’t going the way you want, are you using the time you have to its fullest potential?

Many people have gotten stuck in routines that are not helpful to them, Yoder said, and taking a look at them with fresh eyes can help them see how to break those patterns.

“Almost always, there’s a very simple solution, but it’s just figuring out what the ultimate issue or stumbling block would be so that we can make that little tweak. Nine times out of 10, we make tiny tweaks that make a huge difference,” Yoder said.

4) Don’t play the comparison game

It’s easy to compare yourself to idealized versions of other people — especially in a time when all of the best aspects of other people’s lives are available on social media. But focusing on what other people are doing and how you measure up isn’t always healthy, or productive.

“Especially as women, it’s easy to look at something that someone’s doing and think, ‘Oh, I should be doing that,’ or ‘They’re doing that better than me,’ all of those things that we think,” Yoder said.

Focusing on knowing yourself better as a person and knowing what your values are can help make it easier to see your own goals clearly, rather than trying to imitate someone else.

“If I’m okay with knowing that Pinterest crafts are not my thing, then I don’t have to feel bad because they might to yours,” Yoder said.

5) Keep it positive

Yoder said it’s important to watch how you speak, both to other people and to yourself. Focusing on the negative by repeatedly returning to a topic that upsets you or makes you angry, whether that’s by thinking about it persistently or venting about it to multiple different people, isn’t likely to help you move forward in a positive way.

Instead, Yoder suggests reframing things in a way that focuses on the positive both in how you think about yourself and how you talk to other people.

“Just by making shifts in those words and having positive words around you, it can really impact how you feel and how you view the world and how you respond to others,” Yoder said.