Life Coaching & Wellness Industry Forecast: 2021

January 14, 2021
Life Coaching Podcast

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we discuss how coaching fits within the Wellness Industry, and emerging trends for 2021 that you’ll want to be aware of.

“Within this new health economy, consumers are prioritising health and wellness as the new ‘non-negotiables’” - WELLTODO, 2021 Consumer Wellness Trends

Over the past year, wellness and coaching have become buzzwords in media and advertising, public discourse, and private conversations. Wellness as a global industry has grabbed the attention of entrepreneurs, investors, consumers and even governments.

Suddenly, everybody is talking about how we “get well”. And what’s becoming even more clear to the public is that “wellness” itself is far more than diet and exercise.

Coaching is an industry that fits within the wellness market. Each of the above areas are represented by coaches who fall into two buckets:

  1. Coaches who support individuals in improving their physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social or environmental wellbeing. Business coaching is not excluded from this bucket, but falls more under the umbrella of personal financial wellness or entrepreneurial business building.
  1. Coaches who support businesses and organizations improve their physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social or environmental wellbeing. Coaches who work in support of business and organizations may work 1:1 with individuals, teams, leadership, or even bridge the gap between different stakeholders.

Whether individual or organizational, wellness is big business.

The wellness economy is a massive global industry, estimated by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) at $4.2 trillion, representing 5.3% of global economic output in 2017. This economy is defined as “industries that enable consumers to incorporate wellness activities and lifestyles into their daily lives”.

For more on how coaching fits within the wellness economy, check out our blog: 2021 State of Life Coaching & The Wellness Economy.

Emerging Trends

Coaches help individuals do things that are hard and new, incorporating all these dimensions of wellness into their lifestyles. As the world begins to open back up this year, people are going to want help in navigating how they want to live, engage, and incorporate a broader definition of wellness into their lives.

We see three wellness areas as becoming more prominent over the year ahead:

Social Wellness

The best way of thinking about social wellness is in terms of “healthy communities”.

This is a new concept that we don’t have as much language and discourse around yet, which means it’s a ripe space for making an impact as this emerging field grows. As a new frontier for coaching and wellness, this is one place where you can contribute to the discourse by putting your own words to what it means and how we do it.

This is also where the idea of “responsibility” comes in. How are we responsible to one another as a collective? How do we create communities that support our wholeness? 

A great example of how coaches can have a role in the social wellness dialogue is John Kim’s new book Single On Purpose. Here’s content that has been specifically generated to help people live socially well inside their single status. Through exploring what it means to be a single person in this world, John is helping to create new narratives around singlehood: it’s not a way-station on the road toward a relationship (as our current cultural norms would have us believe), but a destination in itself.

Workplace Wellness

As the pandemic wanes and the world begins to open back up, workplace wellness will take center stage as employees demand fair wages and working conditions, fair treatment, workplace well-being, and greater balance.

The way we work is also changing.  The pandemic completely disrupted notions of how and why we work, as well as when and where. A shift towards collective consciousness, referred to as “Generation Woke” in some spheres, will continue from 2020 into 2021 as consumers and workers lean into expectations for brand purpose.

Millenials and Gen Z are driving consumer behavior change towards personal responsibility and responsible consumption (WELLTODO, 2020.) This change signals that participation in social change will be expected through and with the brands and businesses.

Overcoming Crisis Fatigue

There is a strong market need for mental wellness solutions that address the needs of our times. Boundaries between work and home are more blurred than ever. Over the past year, our roles as employees, business owners, parents, and caregivers have been stretched to the brink while navigating an intensive period of trauma and isolation.

“Consumers are demanding mental wellness solutions geared towards addressing specific symptoms of modern society, as well as the divergent needs of those living through an era of collective crises.” - WELLTODO, 2021 Consumer Wellness Trends

The challenge to wellness providers and coaches will be to map out and modernise a new mental wellness ecosystem that provides different routes to entry, direct access to resources, and more relatable and attainable outcomes.

How To Integrate 2021 Trends Into Your Coaching Practice

Here’s a Quick 2-Step Emerging Playbook for coaches this year:

1.) Acknowledge that the world has changed. Meet consumers where they currently exist, through digital offerings and adaptations of physical offerings.

2.) Be conscious of the way you’re creating value in this new world as it unfolds

Listen, learn and adapt – and then repeat.

Identify changes and differences in client behaviour and preferences as they occur. What do your clients want, what makes them feel comfortable, and how can you support that? 

Explore and define how you can expand your services to fit within different channels and to meet folks where they exist. Figure out where you fit within this new, fluid landscape.

For a closer look at the most current data on coaching salaries and income potential, be sure to also check out our Ultimate Guide to Life Coach Salaries.

Ready to Help Others Navigate A Changing World?

If you’d like to support people in achieving multidimensional wellness, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a force for good in the world. 

‍JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.


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