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2015 is finally here – are you ready to jump in? Wait – wait a minute! Did you remember to take out the trash?

Perhaps your new year has already been bumpy. In fact, you may see yourself in the hilarious slideshow, “The 15 Phases of Your Failed New Year’s Resolution.” Maybe you’ve missed a work-out session. Did you plow through the last of the Christmas cookies, even though you promised yourself you would only eat fruit for dessert in January? Is your checkbook still waiting to be balanced?

That’s ok.

No, really. Embrace it. You may need to ease into 2015, not leap off a cliff. Here’s a bold idea: ditch the long list of extravagant goals and replace them with a few stylish course corrections. That’s the concept we’ll explore in the January series, Deft.

Deft means nimble, precise, skillful, or clever. It’s the opposite of most outrageous January headlines. “Lose 30 pounds by the end of the month!” “Make $10,000 working 2 hours a day!” “Pay off your home in weeks!” Being deft means making small, smart, mindful changes that ultimately pay big dividends. Your miracle may take longer than 30 days, but it will be sustainable.

I was happy when Olivia remarried. Her first husband charmed everyone in sight…until they realized he was just covering up his drug habit. Everything changed when a co-worker introduced her to Dan.

Housekeeping had always been at the bottom of Olivia’s list. Who could blame her? With a demanding job and volunteering, she was too busy rebuilding her life to worry about cleaning baseboards. Olivia and Dan loved filling their weekends with close friends and evenings out. The clutter suddenly piled up.

It would have been fun to enjoy tea at the dining room table, but that meant clearing off the enormous pile of packages and household items. The living room couches were a jumble of mail, coats and gloves that never seemed to find a home. Alison, never one to mince words, had had enough one day.

“Olivia, when are you pulling the house together?” she laughed.

Olivia turned with surprise. “What do you mean?”

“C’mon – every time we come over we can barely sit down. Surely you don’t mean to live like this,” Alison said, her tone becoming more serious.

Olivia brushed her off. “Look, it’s no secret housework isn’t my priority. My husband married me for my looks, not my cleaning skills!” she declared.

Alison doubled down. Her tone softened, but she was insistent. “Olivia, your ex brought a lot of chaos to your life. But that’s the past. Imagine a calm, inviting space. This home needs to be different. You need to be different.”

Before you race ahead on your 2015 goals, take a few minutes this week to take out the trash. Release the outworn habits and physical possessions which belong in 2014, not in the new vision you’re building. As TD Jakes encourages, “Don’t blow the new opportunity with old habits.”