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5 Life Coaching Tips To Increase your Happiness and Success: Part 1

Try these five simple yet effective life coaching tips to improve your happiness and success levels by changing the way you think and behave.

Life coaching tips to increase your happiness and success

In this article, I share five valuable life coaching tips to help you feel happy and enjoy your life.


Working with a life coach is powerful. A life coach is trained to help you achieve your goals AND increase your happiness, success, confidence and motivation. Life coaching and NLP therapy will help you get what you want in life or even to change your life, if that is what you want.


Here are five effective ways to increase your happiness and improve your success. May you achieve your dreams and goals, live a rich life and enjoy each experience.


1. Let go of old stories to increase your happiness

life coaching tips for increased happiness and success

If you keep running old stories in your mind, such as ‘he did this to me’ or ‘if only I had taken the other option’, you are not being present; you are living in the past.

Living in the past does not help you; you are wasting time and energy in the present moment dwelling on the past… which is unchangeable.


Life coaching tip #1: Letting go of these old stories may seem hard but is in fact a straightforward process. You can CHOOSE to keep running the program of such stories in your mind, or you can choose to stop or change the program.

An analogy here is when you watch TV. You may flick through the channels and choose which station to watch. If you don’t like one channel, you change it. It’s the same with your mind stories; the program (channel) of an old bothersome story does not serve you, it eats up your brain space and stops you moving forward.


You can change the program, the channel, to something that does serve you, such as how you are going to achieve a goal or how much you are looking forward to a gathering with friends at the weekend or how grateful you are for what you have today.

You are not the mind. You can choose to stop negative thoughts and instead choose to focus on positive thoughts..

Another way to let go of old stories is to practice forgiveness. Read The Healing Powers of Forgiveness - How to Forgive Yourself and Others

2. Know your needs and wants for the year ahead to increase your success

life coaching tips for happiness and success

I cannot stress how important it is to know what you want and need in life. When you are clear in your mind on what you need and want, you can make choices and decisions with clarity and develop good habits to move forward.

The difference between a want and a need is quite straightforward:

  • A need is something you have to have

  • A want is something you would like to have

Many would say that a need is something that is essential for you to survive, such as water, food, shelter. However, I will highlight another definition from the Oxford Dictionary:

  • A need  is something you require because it is essential or very important, rather than just desirable

  • A want is to have a desire to possess or do something

How we each determine essential is subjective.

In this context, I have a need for:

  • Respect

  • Human connection

  • Love

These are essential and very important to me.

A want requires energy and effort to make it a reality. By choosing to direct our energy and effort wisely, we can make a want happen for us.

I want:

  • To have enough money to live on. I know how much money I need and I have the choice to put effort into making it. If I don’t make it one way, I have the choice to put my effort into other ways to make the required money.

  • To feel loved by my partner; although he is not obligated to love me and if I don’t feel love, I have the choice to end the relationship and find someone who I do feel loved by.

  • To live in a hot climate; I can choose where I live.

  • To improve my French language. I can choose to put my energy into this learning process.

  • To enjoy life, have fun and laugh lots. I can choose who I spend my time with, what activities I do, where I go, knowing who/what/where I find enjoyment.

Life coaching tip #2: What are your needs and wants for this year? Write them down for clarity. Make two columns on a piece of paper and write your needs on one side and your wants on the other. With each entry, revisit the definitions and ask yourself twice ‘Is this a need or a want?’ to be clear.

3. Stop saying ‘I should’ and ‘I can’t’ (one of my favourite life coaching tips)

life coaching tips on self talk for improved happiness

Your self talk and the way you talk with other people has a huge impact on your mindset.

You may often say ‘I should’; for example, ‘I should do X’ or ‘I should be more Y’.

If you switch should to could, you will stop punishing yourself and you will create choice. Everything becomes a choice with ‘could’ because the alternative to could is could not.

‘I should listen more’ becomes ‘I could listen more’

The alternative choice being I could not listen more; I choose not to listen more

‘I should apply for this new job’ becomes ‘I could apply for this new job’

Alternative is I could not apply for this new job; I choose not to apply for this new job

‘I should drink less wine’ becomes ‘I could drink less wine’

Alternative is I could not drink less wine; I choose not to drink less wine.

Know when you are CHOOSING. You always have the choice to do something or not, even if one option is much harder or carries more complications than the other.

‘I can’t’ is another example. ‘I can’t’ says you have limitations, which are usually only in your mind. By changing ‘I can’t’ to ‘I don’t’ puts you back in control of your thoughts and actions because you are CHOOSING.

‘I can’t lose weight’ becomes ‘I don’t lose weight’ (I choose not to lose weight)

‘I can’t give up my job’ becomes ‘I don’t give up my job’ (I choose not to give up my job)

‘I can’t end this relationship’ becomes ‘I don’t end this relationship’ (I choose not to end this relationship)

Life coaching tip #3: Each time you hear yourself think or say out loud ‘I should’, say the sentence again with ‘I could’. Each time you hear yourself think or say out loud ‘I can’t’, say the sentence again with ‘I don’t’.

Notice the impact this has on your mindset.

4. Get out of your own way

life coaching tips to improve happiness

Your mind frequently creates hurdles to stop you moving towards something you want or need. There are several mental avoidance tactics at play here:

  • Procrastination

  • Excuses

  • Fear

  • Invalid reasoning

  • Self doubt

Life coaching tip #4: To spot these tactics requires mindful listening to your thoughts. When you notice them you will see how you are not moving forward because of them. The next step is to challenge them and create a new pathway to success and happiness.

To show you how this works I will share a personal example. When I wanted to leave my London career and move overseas to Thailand, all of these thoughts came up:

  • What if it doesn’t work out?

  • I’ve got so much on my plate right now; I’ll revisit the idea next month.

  • What if I don’t have enough money (without my nice monthly corporate salary)?

  • If I wait until next year, I might get a bonus at work which would help.

  • Will I be lonely?

  • Maybe I should wait until the end of the year when I might be feel more confident about the idea…

  • Am I competent to run my own business, without the support of a boss, organisation, office space, deadlines? I’ve always worked for a company; have I got the balls to do this?

  • The weather in Thailand isn’t its best right now, I could wait until it’s hotter there.

  • London is so good in the summertime. I could have one last big summer here and then leave afterwards.

  • Do I REALLY want this? Maybe I am okay staying where I am.

I know these are natural thoughts when one is making life-changing decisions, but let me know explain to you how I challenged them all:

What if it doesn’t work out?

This is FEAR and SELF DOUBT

The reframed version: What if it does work out? What if it is incredible? There’s a 50/50 chance

I’ve got so much on my plate right now; I’ll revisit the idea next month

This is an EXCUSE

This is a classic mental tactic to delay making a decision

What if I don’t have enough money (without my nice monthly corporate salary)?

This is an EXCUSE and FEAR

Enough money, for what? Life, costs and frivolities will be much less outside of London; Do some solid research on how much I will need each month to survive and live an enjoyable lifestyle; look at ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses; what can I sell before I go that I won’t need any more?

If I wait until next year, I might get a bonus at work which would help

This is an EXCUSE

Even though more money would be handy, this is another delay tactic to avoid making a decision at the present time

Will I be lonely?

This is SELF DOUBT

Doubt in my (absolute) abilities to meet people and make friends

Maybe I should wait until the end of the year when I might be feel more confident about the idea

This is an EXCUSE and SELF DOUBT

How will I know when I am confident enough? What needs to happen in order for me to feel more confident about it… and what action can I take now to change this?

Am I competent to run my own (coaching) business, without the support of a boss, organisation, office space, framework? I’ve always worked for a company; have I got the balls to do this?

This is INVALID REASONING, SELF DOUBT and FEAR

How can I doubt my abilities after I have 1) trained and been certified as a coach b) have experience of running parts of organisations for years 3) have purposefully surrounded myself with and learnt from many entrepreneurs for the past year, absorbing their spirit, to make this transition happen

The weather in Thailand isn’t its best right now, I could wait until it’s hotter there…

This is an EXCUSE and INVALID REASONING

Delay tactic. Plus, hang on a minute, the weather in Thailand is good nearly all year round, bar a short monsoon season

London is so good in the summertime. I could have one last big summer here and then leave afterwards

This is an EXCUSE and INVALID REASONING

Delaying a decision yet again. London will always have a summer (of sorts) and I can come back at that time of year if I choose

Do I REALLY want this? Maybe I am okay staying where I am

This is PROCRASTINATION

This is just a way to either buy some more time or to eliminate the idea all together

When we can spot when we are getting in our own way – when our mind is creating hurdles that are holding us back – we can challenge the mind and push back.

Remember, you are not the mind.

A really great question to ask yourself if you are getting in your own way is: ‘What will happen if I DON’T do this?’ Quite often, you will realise that nothing will change and you will continue to feel unsatisfied.

5. Protect how you spend your time to increase your happiness

life coaching tips for happiness and family time

Your time is precious, and there is much to do in this lifetime. It is important to protect your time so you can have time to do the things you like with the people you love (or alone).


You may often find yourself wishing you had done something sooner. Or wondering if you would be happier staying at home instead of being at a dinner out of obligation.

Life coaching tip #5: When clients share these thoughts with me, I suggest they write down what they do want to get out of life and then create 3-5 questions they can apply to such situations. This helps them evaluate invitations differently and get back on track with doing things they WANT to do.

For example, Lucy* spent hours organising and attending coffee dates with people who always wanted her advice on their personal situations. She kept doing this because she felt she ‘should’ and it became a repetitive pattern. But it had become draining for her and she could see she was falling behind with her own life projects.

When we added it up, Lucy was spending around 10-12 hours a week on this, not just at the actual coffee dates but also to-ing and fro-ing on email trying to arrange diaries between herself and others. That’s half a day!; which is a huge amount of time when you have three children, a busy job and you’d rather be doing something else.

I asked Lucy to share what she wanted to get out of life and how she would like to spend her time:

  1. To meet new, different people, and potentially a partner

  2. To learn new skills

  3. To have new experiences

  4. To have fun

Then, Lucy wrote three simple questions to ask herself each time she was asked to meet up for a coffee. If she didn’t get at least one yes answer, she declined the invite:

  • Will I meet new people who are different?

  • Will I learn something new?

  • Will I have fun? Will I laugh?

How do you want to spend your time, and what questions can you ask yourself to protect how you spend your time?

* Name changed


Faith Hill Life Coach NLP Practitioner

I am a certified Life Coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP Practitioner. Working with a life coach and using NLP therapy will build your confidence, increase your motivation and help you get what you want in life. Book a free 30-minute Discovery Call with me to hear more life coaching tips and to discuss how my life coaching and NLP techniques can help you. I am an online life coach.