Do you see a gap between where you are in your life and where you’d like to be in terms of your short- and long-term goals? A life coach could help.

As trained professionals, life coaches can help you tackle anything you’re struggling with, such as making a major life decision, growing a business or even just getting out of the rut you’re stuck in. They do this by encouraging, motivating and equipping you to succeed on your life journey – and keeping you accountable along the way.

An article on life coaching in Newsweek puts it well: “Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend, life coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals — career, personal, or most often, both.”

So do life coaches really make a difference? If the countless anecdotal success stories are anything to go by, definitely. According to CFO magazine, life coaches “have the ability to view things from afar — in what some call ‘helicopter vision’ — and to shed new light on difficult situations. Often they can act as a sounding board through tough decisions, help sharpen skills, and motivate.”

Starting to think you could benefit from hiring one? Here are a few more reasons to consider making the move:

For business, a life coach can help you:

• Manage your time. Life is busy and it only gets busier, the higher up the career ladder you climb. A life coach can help you implement a workable schedule – and stick to it.

• Determine your career goals. A life coach can help you determine the direction in which you’d like your career to move. They’ll also help you get there.

• Advance your career. By identifying your strengths, weaknesses and potential, a life coach can help you plot a course for your career growth.

• Improve your interpersonal skills. We’re not all confident extroverts with the gift of the gab. A life coach can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on adding skills where necessary.

• Work better in a team. Not everyone is a natural team player, but by equipping you with the right tools, a life coach can help you work more effectively in a team.

When it comes to your personal life, a life coach can help you:

• Grow your self-esteem and self-confidence. Armed with the correct skills, we all have the potential to improve our self-esteem and increase our self-confidence. A life coach can help you boost both.

• Strengthen your relationships. Knowing what you want from your relationships is the first step towards building healthier ones, and a life coach can help you identify your relationship wants and needs.

• Sharpen your communication skills. We all like to be understood. A life coach can help you communicate better with family and friends, as well as work colleagues.

• Achieve a work/life balance. We all know it’s the ideal, but very few of us ever really seem to get there. A life coach can help you implement the right changes to achieve this balance.

• Attain true wellness. If you’ve been neglecting your health, or if you aren’t coping with the stress in your life, a life coach can help you put a workable wellness strategy in place.