It’s New Year’s Day. You are probably making a list of resolutions, personal and business things that you want to change, improve or let go of. You are enthusiastic and ready to take on the world.

Stop! Be realistic. You are not going to lose weight, start exercising, spend more time with friends, sell more, raise your prices, journal every day, take a class, exercise more, travel to every city on your bucket list, put more money in your retirement account, volunteer more, quit smoking, organize your office, and paint your house all in the first 30 days of the year.

Creating a long a list of resolutions is simply setting yourself up for failure. Then you have the perfect out: “The list was unrealistic, of course I couldn’t keep it up.”

In 2014, I would like you to try something different. Make your list, but then pick one item. That is the only resolution you need to focus for the first month. That’s not as easy as it sounds, because it forces you to look at what is really most important. What is going to have the biggest impact on your personal life or your business? This process forces you to make choices, set priorities and commit to achieving results, no matter how long it takes.

On the February 1, you can take on another challenge if you have mastered the first one. If not, don’t put any more on your plate. Just keep working on the the first thing. I can hear you now: “But Lorraine, everything is important, and it all has to be done now. I can’t wait six months for any of those things.”  The risk of doing things that way is that in six months, none of those things will be done. Or you could try it my way. Then at least a few real changes will occur.

Whatever you decide, here’s wishing you much success and joy in 2014.