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The New Year provides a fresh chance for success. If you had a great 2016, you can build on the momentum of your past successes to start the year on the right foot. If you experienced setbacks last year, or didn’t quite reach the goals you set, you have a clean slate to make this the year you accomplish everything you set your mind to, whether it’s closing more deals, growing your business or getting into a niche market. Follow these tips to help you get started.

Create goals. It all starts with goals. Goals are the targets you set that will help you turn the life you imagine into reality. The most successful people set realistic, measurable goals to help them grow their businesses. Measurable goals are trackable, meaning you track your progress and see how close you are to achieving your goal. This not only provides motivation to keep going; it also offers perspective when you need it most.

Get a system. A system ensures you do what you need to do to take your business to the next level. It gives you a game plan of all of the proactive lead-generating activities to do and how to go about doing them. When you follow a referral-based system, you know you need to focus on doing the activities that will earn you those referrals—maintaining consistent contact with your clients, building trust and finding new ways to serve them. You’re less likely to fall for the latest lead generation gimmick because it doesn’t comply with your established system. This means you experience the biggest benefit of having a system and committing to it: more control over two of your most important resources, time and energy. When you have control over your time and energy, you become a more efficient and productive agent.

Touch base with your clients. When referrals drive your business, building relationships with your clients and contacts is essential. The more you connect with them, the more equipped you are to respond to their needs, whether it’s questions about listing their home or a referral to a reputable tradesperson in your area. Pick up the phone, send them a note to let them know you’re thinking of them or meet them for coffee or lunch. Get face-to-face or voice-to-voice and listen for a need that you can fill. Connecting with your clients on a consistent basis is the first step of service.

Take care of yourself. Many of us are excited to start achieving our goals at the beginning of the year, but that motivation often fizzles out by the second quarter. Why? We’re under the impression that working hard to meet our goals means working all the time when, in reality, the most productive people work in spurts of focus with breaks in-between to enjoy a healthy lunch, take a run or hit the gym, read or just sit and think. All of these activities renew your energy and your spirit, so you can be even more productive.

Never stop learning. Personal and professional development is important to success. When you stop learning, you stop growing—how can your business grow if you’re not? Sign up for classes, trainings and seminars near you or online to not only broaden your skills and knowledge, but also keep your motivation high. Don’t forget to make a plan to put what you’ve learned into action once you’ve completed a course or attended training. After all, the point is to put it to use.

Make this year your best by following these five tips. The best part? These suggestions are timeless, meaning you can do them at any time of the year. Get started today, turn these tips into habits and build the foundation for success that lasts for years to come.

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