fitness

Michelle Bridges doesn't like New Year's resolutions. Here are 5 things she wants you to do instead.

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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.

Michelle Bridges says doing exercise over the holidays is actually EASY.

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.

Michelle Bridges.

"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."

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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."

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3. Make a plan

Get planning.

"If there's something you really do specifically want to achieve in 2015, I suggest you make it one thing, and write up a bit of a plan or a schedule for how that's going to happen," Michelle says. "It's one thing to say you want to do something; it's a whole other ball game to actually get the wheels rolling in motion."

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Writing up a timeline, complete with rough 'deadlines' and short-term goals, can make the task of achieving that goal significantly less daunting. "Then you can say, 'I will have this particular thing done - or at last started - within the next 3 months, so by the end of March I want to at least have the wheels in motion for it'. You can timeframe it week by week, month by month," Michelle says.

4. Clear your pantry

Garbage bags at the ready - it's time for a clean up.

"Get rid of all the stuff in your pantry and kitchen that's been holding you back - particularly after Christmas, that's the clean up time," Michelle says. If you're chucking something out that's still got half of it left in there, it doesn't matter. You don't need it, throw it away. Clean out all those treats and chocolates and biscuits and all the things that you have there for Christmas. Christmas is done."

5. Plan 'JFDI Days'

Michelle suggests setting aside one day per month to be your JFDI Day - i.e. your 'Just Freakin' Do It Day' - to help you manage your life administration. The idea of a JFDI Day is exactly as straightforward as it sounds.

"You might say, 'The first of every month - that's the day I'm going to go to my To Do list, and I'm going to knock off the top five. It's the day that I clean up and just knock off those things that have been hanging over my head'," Michelle says.

"It might be to pay a bill, it might be to go visit your Nan, it might be that you have to go and do something you don't particularly want to do like help your mum with the garden. Instead of bitching about why you can't get it done, just shut up and get it done, get the monkey off your back."

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? How do you make them happen?

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