coachOne topic we have covered before in detail on this site is whether or not you need a trading mentor in order to learn how to trade binary options. There are a ton of trading coaching programs out there, some designed specifically for binary options traders, others for Forex traders and investors who deal in other types of options. If you do select a trading coach, there are a massive number of considerations to go over—see the full article for details. At the close of the article, I suggested a few alternatives, including free forums for trading, trading groups and partners, and an accountability partner.

An accountability partner can essentially be anyone who will actually hold you accountable for your actions. It could be a spouse or a friend or another trader. It could be your trading coach, if you have one. One other idea for an accountability partner and an alternative to a trading coach would be a life coach. This might be something that interests you if you want an accountability partner who is not too close to you (like a friend or a spouse would be), but you do not want to dig through trading coaching programs to find a perfect match.

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What is a Life Coach?

Put simply, a life coach is somebody who helps you get from point A to point B. Life coaches can help you with all different aspects of your life, both personal and professional. Some life coaches offer very general services, while others may focus on one area of life or another. For trading, you would probably want to work with a general purpose coach or one who specializes in business, self-employment, or personal or professional endeavors. A life coach, like a trading mentor, cannot actually do the hard work for you, but he or she can provide you with guidance, encouragement, and accountability. A life coach will not tell you what to do or give you advice, but may offer ideas or suggestions, and may give you perspective.

Why Consider a Life Coach Instead of a Trading Mentor?

The best mentor is someone who is totally focused on binary options, right? Why would you want to go with a life coach instead of a trading expert? There are actually some very good reasons to consider it. Choosing a good trading coach is a challenge, because you have to find someone who is not only great at teaching, but also fits your personal trading style or at least is going to support it, even if it is different. A trading mentor has the advantage of knowing more about binary options than a life coach would, but has the disadvantage of being fixed in his or her own ways—which may not be the right ways for you. The wrong match with a trading mentor can actually hold a trader back.

A life coach will not attempt to tell you how to trade, even if he or she happens to be an investor. Why? Because that is not what life coaching is about. Your life coach will simply help you to make the most of your own strengths, and to pursue the path which is best for you according to your assessment. You will make your own goals and decisions, but the life coach will be there to help you follow through on your commitments. This may be particularly helpful if you struggle with discipline and follow-through. Those are areas where trading mentors may actually fall short of being able to help you. Trading mentors usually excel at teaching strategies and explaining the importance of self-discipline, but they may not be experts at behavior modification, and may not be able to teach follow-through.

How Can Life Coach Help You?

Here are some ways a life coach could feasibly help you to improve your binary options trading and achieve your goals—even without being a trading expert:

• Help you to identify your goals. As a binary options trader, you need goals to keep you focused, and your goals need to be more established than, “I want a lot of money.” Trading can be a long, tough haul, and you need to know why you want the money. For some traders, that is an easy question to answer. Others may struggle though to identify what they truly desire in life. A coach can help you to take a psychological inventory and develop the self-awareness to discover what fulfills you.

• Help you set short-term goals to target your weekly or monthly trading. Life coaches typically meet with clients several times a month. If you are a trader who struggles to set short-term goals, and only thinks of the long term, you may have trouble taking concrete steps in the right direction. A life coach can give you simple, concrete, achievable homework assignments based on what you want to accomplish. This can help you target short term goals and move your trading forward step by step.

• Help you develop self-discipline, self-awareness, and other vital traits. If you struggle with clouded thinking, doubt, and negativity, or if you are “stuck,” a life coach can assist you with getting un-stuck and back on target. If your bad experiences have caused you to form a negative self-image, a life coach can help you to see things from a new perspective and form a more positive outlook.

For a lot of traders, the really tough thing about trading isn’t the technical challenge. It is the personal challenge. Even if you have a mind for the analysis, you may have a hard time committing to a tough journey and staying the course over the months and years it takes to become a professional trader. There are times during your journey when you may feel farther away from achieving your long-term goal than you did when you first started out. This is what happens when you start realizing something is harder than you initially imagined. If you think that this is what is holding you back from achieving success, a life coach could be a great investment.

How Does It Work?

There are matching services you can use to find a life coach, or you can simply search online. You also might try asking around on trading forums, since you may be able to get a great referral that way. When you identify a coach you may want to work with, you will usually be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire describing where you are and where you want to be. You can describe the challenges you have been facing trading, and what you hope to achieve from the trading and from your time with the coach.

Usually you will then get a free consultation. If you sign up for monthly sessions, you will usually converse with your coach several times a month. This one-on-one time helps you to gain perspective on your challenges. You will often be assigned simple homework to complete between meetings.

For example, let’s say you are having a hard time learning to identify really good trades with sound context around them. Maybe you are routinely getting in on trades that are not so good. Your coach may ask you to go back to your charts and search until you find five really good examples of excellent setups with excellent context. This may not sound like a huge task, but it would realistically bring you a concrete step forward in your binary options journey—more so than floundering with bad trades, like you may be doing while attempting to cut straight on through to the finish line.

Some exercises could also be more general. Maybe you have a hard time developing self-discipline. Your life coach might give you a homework assignment like, “Try waking up an hour early one day this week, and see how much more you accomplish,” or “The next time you find yourself channel surfing on TV, turn off the TV and spend the same amount of time reading a book about trading.” These are small steps forward, but they can make a big difference over time.

Accountability is Key

A life coach is an accountability partner, but notice the word “partner” here. You cannot be accountable to anyone unless you are first and foremost accountable to yourself. You have to be honest with your life coach about whether you are making progress or not, whether you have skipped tasks, and whether you have gone back on your decisions.

Sometimes it is easier to stay honest with ourselves though when we know someone else cares about our success. This is one reason accountability partners can offer so much to binary options traders. Honesty is the first trait you need in order to build self-awareness, optimism, and other key traits for success. Whether you work with a life coach, a trading coach, or you make your accountability partner a friend, family member or significant other, you are setting yourself up to develop those vital traits.