Come December 31, it’s hard to fight the urge to make New Year’s resolutions – especially if you’ve got a few champagnes in you.
There’s something a little thrilling about starting anew and promising yourself you’ll become more disciplined, fit, kind – add your chosen adjective here – than you were the previous year. Gym memberships are purchased, junk is thrown out, and life becomes Pinterest-perfect… for approximately three weeks.
That’s the thing about New Year’s resolutions – it’s easy to get too excited, devise a long list, then put an insane, unfair amount of pressure on Future You to tick them all off.
"I think everyone feels the pressure to make some sort of resolution on NYE and more often then not they make, like, five or six," says fitness guru and 12 Week Body Transformation founder Michelle Bridges.
"When you're ready for a change it doesn't necessarily have to be on New Year's Eve. When you're ready you're ready - whether that be in the middle of the year, or a quarter or three quarters of the way through the year."
Rather than plucking some lofty ambitions out of the air this NYE, Michelle suggests trying one of these alternatives.
1. Have a 'Closing Ceremony'
"One of my suggestions is to have a 2014 closing ceremony. Just acknowledge everything that's happened in your world over the last year - the good, the bad, the challenging, the ugly, all of it - and appreciate how much you've grown and evolved from it," Michelle says.
"You could even write them down, or more importantly, [reflect on] what learnings you got from each of those events. You can take those learnings into 2015."
2. Do something outdoors
Michelle says doing something active with a friend in the lead up to New Year's Eve, or in the early parts of next year, can help you crystallise a goal you want to knock over in 2015.
"You could say to your mate, 'Let's do a bike ride from St Kilda into the city', or a bike ride from Sydney to Wollongong - well, that's a bit of a long one - but [choose] something that's quite challenging. It might be a trek through one of the national parks. You could do that with a friend or loved one, and at the end you could turn to each other and say, 'This is what I'd like to achieve in 2015' - whatever that might be."