Here goes the normal girl's resolution list for the New Year: to get skinnier (always first on the agenda, no matter how sane, rational or intellectual you are), to exercise more, to have more fun and to make more love and more money.

The new you will undoubtedly be lovelier, sexier, richer and funnier next year this time if you have anything to do with it. In fact, any girl who doesn't gear up for this transformation around this time of the year, is either abnormal or not a real girl after all. Because we, as every women's magazine suspects and Wallis Simpson knew, are always trying to get skinnier and richer.

The good news is that there are actually women out there who have turned these resolutions and wishes into hard facts. A good example is Madonna, who started out as a material girl and can now claim all the things we wish for: lots of money, lots of fun, two babies and a clearly awesome love life with new husband Guy Ritchie.

Obviously there were mistakes along the way, a couple of broken relationships, bad business decisions and embarrassing situations. But she did persevere, and exhibits many of the attributes that can turn fiction into facts.

Think big.
Madonna's self confidence and business drive cannot be disputed. Everything starts in the mind. As the inspirational book, The Millionairess Across the Street, by Bettina Flores and Jennifer Basye Sander (available through explains: 'Becoming a millionairess is not a test of intelligence. It is more like a test of your will to be mentally tough and believe in yourself through thick and thin.'

Be serious about your goals and yourself.
A New Year's wish list, however, will not do the trick. If you are really serious, you need to move beyond the wishes to tangible goals and definite road maps to put you on the way.

Discover your passions and build on it.
To become too rich or too thin is not really a goal in itself but very often products of a passion much more central to your being. Yes, you can play with a couple of resolutions and nibble a piece of carrot in search of the skinnier, richer, funnier you – but in the end it is passion that really gets you there.

You have to fall in love with what you are doing, whether that is a healthy lifestyle, a business, career or relationship. Half measures just won't do. Instead of a list of empty resolutions, go on a discovery trip this year and identify what you like and how you can make this work for you.

Have a look at some of these books for inspiration:
10 Smart Money Moves for Women by Judith Briles (also available through Amazon); What's Holding You Back? by Linda Austin (available at Exclusive Books).

What will you do to make sure your resolutions last this year? Tell us in the box below.