Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Is life coaching the solution to your New Year's resolution? Mancunians turn to professionals for January boost

Is life coaching the solution to your New Year's resolution? Mancunians turn to professionals for January boost

By Edward Roberts

It is a countdown we are all familiar with – ten seconds of reflection and consideration before the joyous shout of ‘Happy New Year!’

Then in-between the ritual of Auld Lang Syne in which we vow to ‘take a cup of kindness yet,’ a flood of other half-hearted promises overcome us.

New Year’s resolutions are by nature an optimistic manner of starting the next 365-day stretch.

No matter how contradictory it may be to clink a glass of bubbly only to proclaim ‘I’m not drinking after this,’ or stub out your final cigarette only to put the remainder of the pack discreetly back into your pocket, these resolutions demonstrate that on some level we do want to resolve our bad habits once and for all.

But as we all know this is easier said than done, and for most the oath taken on the dawn of January 1 will have failed by the dusk of January 31.

Is it surprising then that in a desperate flurry for personal redemption, life coaching is becoming a popular option for those struggling with self-discipline and low esteem?

In Manchester alone, a growing number of life coaches are setting up business to accommodate the struggle that comes with keeping resolutions.

It sounds like a service that only the stars of the Hollywood Hills would part with their cash for but it appears that many Manchester residents are investing their time, energy and money into assuring that their declarations are kept by the time 2014 comes to a close.

This now comes in the form of a coach – someone who will rally confidence and guarantee results.

According to Manchester-based life coach Rob Woollen New Year’s resolutions drive his business in the month of January, however not until midway through the month.

Whether it’s a warped view of one’s own self-discipline or a stubborn ethos of going it alone, life coaching capitalises on a mid-month flail by offering much-needed help.

The 36-year-old has been life coaching professionally for six years and blames people’s false start on choosing the wrong resolution.

He said: “Quite often it’s a case of realising that it’s perhaps not the right resolution or goal in the first place.

“In our first meeting I’ll ask ‘What do you need to gain by the end of this?’”

Unlike any other time of the year, the changes we long for are all lifestyle related. From what we eat, to how much we drink, to which gym to join.

But it has to be asked, do we really need someone to hold our hands and make these decisions for us?

Can we not rely on our family and friends network before opening our wallets and splashing the cash?

Mr Woollen said: “I am not just a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen, here is always an outcome.

“It’s about giving help rather than just listening – in counselling there is no outcome, but there is in coaching.”

Although some may scoff at the idea investments are made in many ways at this time of year.

Nobody blinks at the thought of a personal trainer to help with weight loss, or the purchase of expensive nicotine patches or e-cigarettes to cut down on smoking so should a meeting with a life coach be seen in any other light?

“Perhaps it might be seen as disempowering,” said Mr Woollen.

“But I look it at like providing just another tool in the box. My job is to ask questions and help them come up with their own ideas.”

Throughout the year the life coaching business trade is dominated by the business world. But at this point of the year his cliental is at its most diverse and now includes large numbers of students and those who are unemployed.

Life coaching is a grasp for salvation; it is a determination to improve. In this way, perhaps it’s really no different to a New Year’s resolution, except that it assures results.

Picture courtesy of meddygarnet via Flickr, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.