How to prompt ChatGPT to be your life coach

Check out the best prompts for getting ChatGPT to help you with your personal development goals.

ChatGPT, if you weren’t already aware, is a language model developed by OpenAI. It is a hugely powerful AI tool and its vast range of applications includes acting as a virtual life coach, a role it can assume with a simple prompt.


But you might be wondering: why would someone want to engage with an AI as their life coach?


Imagine having a tool at your fingertips that’s read more self-help books than any human could, that’s absorbed knowledge from psychology to business strategy, and that can provide non-judgmental responses at any hour of the day. ChatGPT can encourage self-reflection, motivate when morale is low, provide resources for deeper learning, and help outline goals, all in the context of a conversation tailored to your needs.


Whether you’re exploring personal growth, navigating career changes, or seeking strategies to balance your life, ChatGPT, prompted as a life coach, offers a unique and convenient way to engage in this introspective journey. Read on to learn more about how it can contribute to your personal development.

ChatGPT as a life coach

Firstly, let’s just appreciate what ChatGPT is and how it actually works as a life coach. ChatGPT is a large language model (LLM), which means it’s a super complex piece of software that’s able to understand and mimic human interaction. So, ChatGPT doesn’t think or have beliefs, emotions, or consciousness, but it can generate text that’s informative, engaging, and even humorous, based on its training.


You can think of ChatGPT as having read a vast library of information; books, articles, web pages, etc. It has learned from all these sources about human dialogue, emotions, goals, problem-solving, and a host of other topics. This extensive reading doesn’t mean it fully understands or experiences these things, but it can generate text about them because it’s seen how humans write about them.


So when you ask ChatGPT to act like a life coach, it doesn’t become a life coach in the same way a human would. Instead, it generates responses based on patterns it learned during its training. If in its training data it has seen life coaches asking about goals, providing motivation, offering tools for self-reflection, and guiding individuals to identify their values, then it will do the same. It’s like an actor playing a part based on a well-studied script.

Man on his phone and laptop using ChatGPT as his life coach

Here's how ChatGPT works as a life coach

So we understand how ChatGPT can play the role of a life coach, but what is its interpretation of what a life coach is? How will it behave?


According to ChatGPT itself, to embody the role of a life coach it would:


1. Listen and understand: My primary goal would be to understand your situation, concerns, aspirations, and goals. I would ask open-ended questions to facilitate this understanding and offer empathetic responses.


2. Provide guidance: Based on your responses, I would provide guidance and actionable advice. This advice would be based on a broad spectrum of self-improvement literature, psychological insights, and common life coaching methodologies.


3. Set goals: Together, we would work on setting clear, achievable goals. We’d discuss both short-term and long-term goals, and I’d ask you to consider what steps you can take towards those goals.


4. Encourage self-reflection: I’d encourage you to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and choices. This can help you gain a clearer understanding of your own motivations and what changes may benefit you.


5. Motivate and affirm: I would provide motivational statements and affirmations to support your confidence and resilience. Remember, however, that positive changes mostly come from within yourself.


6. Follow-up and accountability: In subsequent interactions, I would ask about your progress towards your goals, encouraging consistency and accountability.


7. Share resources: When appropriate, I might share resources such as book recommendations, quotes, or articles that are relevant to your situation and can provide further insights.

Limitations of ChatGPT as a life coach

Of course, there are limitations with ChatGPT as a life coach. Firstly, it doesn’t know you personally and doesn’t have a real-world context. It’s also not licensed or certified in any professional field, like life coaching.


Its role as a life coach is based on emulating patterns seen in its training data rather than personal expertise. It also can’t remember past interactions unless they are part of the same conversation. This means that each new conversation would start from a blank slate. This is where more complex AI models can be more effective as a coach.

It doesn’t replace a human life coach, but rather serves as a readily accessible tool for insights and perspective, potentially serving as a first step towards self-improvement or as a supplement to professional guidance. While it can generate helpful, insightful, and supportive responses, it’s always important to consult with a human professional for serious or complex issues.


In the end, ChatGPT is a tool that can generate text on a wide range of topics, including life coaching. However, for a truly purpose built coaching AI, our creators’ custom-trained Coachvox AIs outperform ChatGPT.

Prompting ChatGPT to be a life coach

Prompting ChatGPT effectively is an art and a science. There’s no single right way to do it, but there are plenty of ways to get it wrong. We’re going to share two prompts you can use to bring your personal life coach into reality.

Simple ChatGPT life coach prompt

“Play the role of a life coach”


If you start a conversation with “Play the role of a life coach”, ChatGPT will engage with you in a conversation that’s aimed at understanding your needs, values, and goals. It can then offer guidance and advice based on these understandings. Here’s an example of how it might play out:

A snapshot of a ChatGPT exchange with it behaving as a life coach

Even with such a simple prompt, ChatGPT should provide you with a helpful and productive exchange. It is capable of asking follow-up questions to gain more context and understand the user’s needs better, but this requires additional conversation turns so there may be more efficient ways to achieve the outcome you’re looking for.


The prompt lacks specificity. It doesn’t provide much guidance on what topics you want to discuss or what kind of assistance you’re seeking. This could lead to a more general, and potentially less immediately useful, conversation.


Providing more specific information upfront can help to guide the AI’s responses and make the conversation more efficient and effective.

Advanced ChatGPT life coach prompt

“ChatGPT, please play the role of a life coach. I’ve been struggling with [describe the problem or challenge you’re facing]. I often find myself [describe some specific difficulties or symptoms of this issue]. Can you provide guidance on how I can [describe the change or improvement you’d like to make]?”


For instance, completing those brackets could look like this:


“ChatGPT, please play the role of a life coach. I’ve been struggling with motivation to keep up with my fitness routine. I often find myself skipping workouts and opting for unhealthy food choices. Can you provide guidance on how I can stay motivated and make healthier decisions?”




“ChatGPT, please play the role of a life coach. I’ve been struggling to maintain a balance between my professional and personal life. I often find myself overworked and not having enough time for self-care and relaxation. Can you provide guidance on how I can manage my time more effectively and create a better work-life balance?”


This kind of prompt gets to the point much quicker, providing context and direction for ChatGPT to provide specific guidance almost immediately. But there’s really only one way to find out how effective it is for you; go ahead and try it!

Continuing the conversation

Beyond that initial prompt, it’s important that you continue the conversation effectively. No language model is able to pick up on your body language, facial expressions or vocal tone so everything you communicate has to be through the words you type. 


As you would with any coach, you should try to be open, honest and clear. Being totally clear in your meaning is the most challenging with ChatGPT because you should have no fears being open and honest with an AI. (Although make sure you don’t share sensitive information. Assume everything you enter is publicly available.)


Before hitting send, double check what you’ve written makes sense and cannot be misconstrued. The more detailed and specific you can be, the more the language model understands your requirements and can find the most impactful responses.


Remember you can always clarify what you meant in the chat, and take as long as you need to find the right words. If ChatGPT isn’t acting exactly as you’d like or maybe isn’t helping; tell it! Reprompting ChatGPT to fine-tune its approach may be necessary during some interactions.

If you’re looking for a more business-oriented discussion with ChatGPT, try out this ChatGPT business coach prompt. Alternatively, here’s a ChatGPT psychologist prompt to try.

Final words

ChatGPT presents unique opportunities for personal growth and self-improvement. Its ability to emulate a life coach, though not a replacement for certified human professionals, offers a readily accessible and non-judgmental space for introspection and guidance. With targeted prompts, users can engage in meaningful dialogues about their life challenges and goals, drawing on the AI’s vast knowledge repository.


Use this tool as an additional companion on your journey, providing insights and perspectives whenever you need them.