It’s THAT time of the year again.

You know what I mean. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s that time of the year when you sit back with your cup of eggnog and say, “NEXT year is the year. 20__ is the year when I’m going to

[insert goal].”

Or, maybe you sit back with a plate of holiday cookies and say, “Who am I kidding? I’m too [insert self-criticism] to change. It is what it is. I’m fine with it.” While grabbing another glass of wine.

The modern twist: you Google phrases like, “Why New Year’s resolutions don’t work!” and “How to make your New Year’s resolutions work!

If you read some of those Google results, a lot of what you’ll see centers around the idea that you can achieve your goals if you would just:

  1. Get better organized
  2. Be more disciplined
  3. Manage your time better
  4. Have a support system

The thing is, that’s basically the same advice I’ve heard for years. If it worked, wouldn’t we all have achieved our goals by now? And if we haven’t, that means we’re all too [insert self-criticism] to follow the advice, right?

But what if that advice is [gasp!] wrong?

What if it’s not about you being undisciplined or disorganized or not motivated enough?

I believe coaching offers a different answer—one that actually works. That’s why I believe in it, and why I have a coaching practice. If I didn’t believe in it passionately, I wouldn’t be a coach.

The reason I believe in coaching is because—when practiced by trained and caring coaches using the International Coach Federation (ICF) model—it is an incredibly powerful way to make life changes. It is a gateway to changes in your mindset, which is the bridge between wanting change and accomplishing change.

If you’re wondering if coaching could help you make a change in 2016, I have one piece of advice: spend time researching what good coaching is, and interview at least three coaches before deciding to hire someone. (OK, maybe that’s two pieces of advice.)

When I hired my own coach a few months ago, I reviewed two or three dozen websites and then interviewed or exchanged emails with six coaches. It was a time investment, but it was well worth it. Because that’s what it took for me to find that person who is, at this moment, the perfect coach for me.

Remember that you can choose from coaches anywhere in the U.S., or even beyond. The vast majority of coaching happens by telephone, and it works just as well as in-person sessions. So geography is not a limiting factor. Find the right coach for you.

You can see a list of questions the ICF recommends you ask every potential coach on my website under “Coaching.” And here is a link to the ICF website with a description of what good coaching looks like.

Make 2016 the year you abandon New Year’s resolutions and self-criticism. The power to make change is within you.