When looking for opportunities at the start of the year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the avalanche of advice, personal ideas, and worries that might be leftover from last year. This overload of information and concerns might act as a paralytic rather than a catalyst, leaving you stuck and feeling unprepared to get moving toward the goals you’ve vaguely got on the horizon. How can you break out of this cycle and start actually doing the work?

First off, set down those goals so you know what you’re working toward. Not every goal has to be monumental. Include smaller goals like setting up that social media profile you keep putting off or buying a second monitor in addition to your bigger aims for the year. Keep track of these goals in a physical way. Rather than just keeping a list in your head, write them down. You can even post them in your work space so you can keep them in mind as the year goes in.

Secondly, recognize that the time you put into planning and research still counts as working toward a goal. If you want to implement CRM software for your office, you’ll need to do research into pricing and features before you choose one. This isn’t wasted time; this is part of the process of reaching your goals.

Thirdly, break down goals into smaller steps to help yourself get them accomplished. This makes the task seem less daunting and can help you keep steady movement toward the finish line by giving you a clearer path to follow. To track your forward movement and keep yourself accountable, consider using a system to check off each step as you complete it. Depending on the way you work, a paper chart with checkboxes may be the best solution, or you could engage one of the many digital planning options that will help you track progress in an app on your phone or computer.

Fourth, know when to ask for help. Not everyone can be an expert at everything. If you feel that an undue amount of time is required to implement something, see if it’s something you can outsource to an expert. This could include working with an IT company for your technology maintenance or hiring an assistant to help with paperwork and customer service. Look over where you’re spending your time and if it’s worth the time you’re spending. If not, look for another solution so that you can spend your time on what you do best.

Lastly, give credit where credit is due, which includes to yourself. When you hit one of your goals, let yourself bask in that for a moment. The feeling of success will definitely motivate you to keep your momentum up as you take on your next project, so reward yourself with a new piece of art for your freshly repainted office or a fancy coffee the morning after you hit your quarterly sales goal. Take a moment of self-congratulation before you jump to the next goal, which will revitalize you as you continue on your path to success.

Mandy Szewczuk

More about the author: Mandy Szewczuk

Mandy works with advisors as the lead of Evolution Financial Advisor’s virtual assistant program and is part of the marketing and events team.