With the New Year finally here, now is a great time to create a game plan for finding love in 2016. To help you do that, we asked life coaches for their best advice. Here’s what they suggest:

1. Adjust your attitude. Make sure you’ve got a positive mental attitude before you leave the house or start looking at online profiles. If you’re saying things like, “There are no good people out there” or “It’s going to be a total drag” or “I’m not pretty/strong/whatever enough to get a date” — then you’re not going to be successful, according to Karen Jones, a dating coach, public speaker, author and founder of <"https://theheartmatters.com/" target="_blank">The Heart Matters. “Start looking for evidence to support what you want to believe,” she says, rather than your negative self-talk. “Notice all the good single people around, listen for stories of fun dates others are having, pay attention to people who are the type you are seeking, and observe all the people who are in love with less-than-model types. Then choose a new attitude, and say positive things to yourself whenever you need to hear them.”

2. Don’t perpetuate old patterns. Do you keep dating someone even after the thrill is gone? This is the best way to make sure you don’t meet your match. “Realize that you are usually dating people who remind you of what you defined as love when you were ages 0 to 8,” says John Seeley, life coach and author of Get Unstuck! The Simple Guide to Restart Your Life. “Then make conscious choices to see the red flags without blinders and choose what is best for you.” If you feel like you’re dating someone who’s not right for you, stop dating that person immediately.
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3. Pace yourself. “An accelerated pace often leads to heartache,” counsels John Van Epp, author of How To Avoid Marrying A Jerk. “Taking time to get to know someone is crucial for building the groundwork for a long-term relationship, as is keeping your eyes wide open in the process. Accelerated relationships do just the opposite — they create imbalances that do not hold the promise for long-term stability and tend to mask problem areas that should either be dealt with or walked away from. There are significant or revealing patterns that don’t surface until around the third month of a new relationship.” So take your time and heed any warning signs that you should probably be dating someone else.

4. Live your life. “Your focus should be on living a rich life in which you are responsive to what the world offers,” suggests James Tobin, Ph.D., a Laguna Hills, CA-based life coach and licensed psychologist. “This is the position from which you can be open and available to a positive relationship experience. Why? Because if you are living your life based on personal acceptance and resolution, judgments of others will never be an issue and there will simply not exist a chance that someone will be overlooked.” So pursue activities you enjoy to enrich yourself and your chances of meeting someone who shares them.

5. Trust your gut. “We often get communication from our inner guidance system about what the right thing is to do,” Jones says. “It’s just that so few of us can hear it over the noise all around us — and particularly inside our heads. That is the subtle voice that whispers, ‘This is not the right person for me.’ It’s letting you know through the tightness in your solar plexus or the nagging feeling you have that something is wrong. If you learn to listen to that voice and trust it, there is no doubt in my mind you will make better dating decisions.”

Armed with this coaching, you’re ready to get out there, practice — and find success in the game of love in the months ahead.

Margot Carmichael Lester is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work also appears in Go magazine and other publications, in anthologies and online.