Don't focus on the ups and downs of the industry. Focus on you.

Feeling schizophrenic about 2012? You're not alone. As the new year approaches we're always bombarded with mixed messages.

“Home prices decline for six months straight."

“New home sales up for second month in a row."

“2011 was worse than originally thought."

“Resales rise 4 percent."

“Mortgage rates are at record lows."

Man, where do we start? Are things good or bad? Are we heading toward the end of the world, or are we on the mend? I read a lot of news, and I like to stay on top of what people are saying and what trends are going on in our industry, but if I were new to the real estate world it sure would be intimidating.

I think all sides have good points and each article (for the most part) has some merit, but as a real estate agent who is just focused on finding buyers and sellers, what does this all mean?

Remember what really matters.

You can keep reading the news and soak in all the view points, but my advice is to keep your eye on the ball. Our goal each morning is to find buyers and sellers of real estate. As 2012 approaches we need not get bogged down by the mixed messages and charge forward.

This time of year is great to reconnect with contacts, past clients, and people in your sphere. Remain steadfast to your business plan and work harder than ever to be successful at this career. As I read all of the news -- good, bad or indifferent -- it actually makes me excited to refocus and prove to myself and my peers that you actually can have a successful year no matter what the media is telling you.

Embrace the challenge.

In his book “Good To Great," Jim Collins describes a mindset called the Stockdale Paradox. Essentially he describes how Admiral James Stockdal, a POW during the Vietnam War, survived his seven year captivity through an un-wavering faith that he would survive, make it through the worst time of his life, and it would end up defining who he was when he was finally free (to read more click here). This principle can easily be imparted on our profession.

We hear from multiple sources that this is the worst housing market that we may have ever seen. Mixed messages are thrown at us daily. The real estate industry has seen a mass exodus. More agents are getting out of the business than ever before. If we took every negative message we heard to heart it would be very easy to call it quits. We must have unwavering faith that we will get through these times, and when we come out the other side it will be us who dominate the industry for the next decade.

Don't stop reading the news or listening to the media. Stay informed, and form your own opinions. But don't let the news get you down. Stick to your plans for 2012, and maybe even try just that much harder to prove the media wrong.

Good luck in 2012 and here's to your success!

Eric Sachs is a co-founder of BreakthroughBroker.com. Send your feedback to eric@breakthroughbroker.com.