Demystifying the Life Domains

When Wily’s coaches sit down to meet with Scholars every week, the student guides the conversation. The topics that come up tend to fall into eight themes:

Personal Identity
Health and Wellbeing
Relationships and Connections
Life Skills
Finances and Financial Future

At Wily, we call these categories life domains. And our coaches work with Scholars to stay mindful about them.

They ask questions like: which domains tend to come up in our meetings? How does that change with the time of year, with your stress levels, or as you reach different milestones? What does growth and progress look like in each domain? What are your goals in each domain, and which domains are your priority right now?

And I love their little domain structure, and I will tell you, like, me and Susan – I don’t know about other people and their coaches, but we would go down the list every time we met, and we would be like ‘how are we doing here? How are we doing here?’ And like, maybe sometimes we’d focus on more. But I was actually just doing my 2022 planning, like, goals for my life, and… I took that. I literally stole that exact structure. I split my life up into the domains, and I was like, let’s goal-set based on the domains, because that’s what me and Susan would do!

In the Education domain, coaching might focus on: 

  • Getting connected with academic resources on campus
  • Practicing skills like communicating with professors and time-management
  • Reflecting on your interests, goals, and awareness of yourself as a learner

In the Personal Identity domain, coaching might focus on:

  • Discussing culture, race, gender, sexuality, ability/disability, immigration, religion/spirituality, self-awareness, passions and interests, and more
  • Activism and self-advocacy
  • Connecting with others who might have shared experiences and identities
  • Thinking through choices around telling (or not telling) your story

The Health and Wellbeing domain covers physical, mental and emotional health. Coaching in this domain might focus on:

  • Seeking emotional support
  • Accessing insurance and medical appointments
  • Creating daily routines and habits that are self-serving
  • Getting connected with health resources on and off campus

In the Relationships and Connections domain, coaching might focus on:

  • Opportunities for Scholars to connect with one another, like Community Day and other Wily events
  • Setting healthy and constructive boundaries in relationships
  • Building a sense of community and belonging on campus

In the Life Skills domain, coaching might focus on:

  • Practicing time management, organization, and daily living tasks
  • Practicing self-advocacy, communication, and conflict resolution

In the Career domain, coaching might focus on:

  • Exploring job possibilities, and making summer and post-grad plans
  • Developing relationships with professors, school alumni, Wily alumni, and Wily volunteers to establish mentors and build a network
  • Connecting with on and off-campus resources for resume building, interview practice, and more

In the Finances and Financial Future domain, coaching might focus on:

  • Building budgeting and saving skills for a financially healthy life
  • Making plans to manage student loans
  • Working with Wily’s dedicated Financial Aid Coach to fill out forms, review award offers, and resolve special circumstances around financial aid

In the Housing domain, coaching might focus on: 

  • Advocating for yourself when it comes to on-campus housing
  • Thinking though plans for summer and post-graduation housing 
  • Moving costs, savings, budgeting, and accessing financial assistance
  • Navigating apartment searching and housing applications

Life domains aren’t the only tool that Scholars and coaches use during coaching meetings – but we think they’re a pretty useful framework for personal reflection and setting goals.