A new year has arrived and if you're looking to set a New Year's resolution, life coach, Nancy McNaughton has some advice. 

“The thing with New Year's, it does give us that opportunity for that new start, which of course every day can be a new start,” she says. “So, it really is different for every one of us. But when it comes down to it, really what we need, whether it's New Year's, new start, new promises, we want to give ourselves new disciplines, the important thing is that it's a loving discipline because we get so hard on ourselves.” 

McNaughton says discipline is a word that comes to mind when we consider resolutions for change.

close up of Nancy McNaughtonLife coach Nancy McNaughton (Photo submitted)

She encourages people to be gentle with themselves and to take steps that will help reach a realistic goal. 

Some of those steps could be to post reminders of our goals to notes on our refrigerator, the mirror, or even in our vehicles. When we remember the reason why we set a specific goal, that can help keep us on the right track, she says.

Common resolutions that are made each January include losing weight, eating healthier, exercising more, and quitting smoking. Regardless of your resolution, McNaughton says you increase your chances of success when you write it down and consider various steps that you can take to support your goals.

It can also be helpful to create a supportive environment, which might include fewer temptations that could cause us to stray from our goals. 

McNaughton says each person is different and that means each person has a different journey to reach the desired destination. 

If you slip up, she says that’s okay. The key is to reset and keep your eye on your goal and keep trying. 

While many people set goals on January 1st of each year, McNaughton says every day is an opportunity for a new beginning.

-With files from Carly Koop