Even though there are 365 or so days to begin your photography adventures, there is, like exercise, never a better time to set yourself some photography goals than a new year.
Document your year with a photo per day! Taking a photo a day also encourages you to find inspiration in your day to day life. You can beef up this resolution by setting yourself themes: e.g., a month of macro, a month of black and white, a month of film, a month of instant photos.
Some of my projects in years passed: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladymixy-uk/collections/72157603824503378/
Photography is akin to life. I believe all photographers have something new to share to help you better your skills and gain inspiration. When looking for a teacher or institution to undertake a course, ensure they are accredited with a reputable organisation in your state or country. Learn a style that is different to images you are used to: e.g., photojournalism, street photography, film photography or enhance your photography with lighting and studio skills.
In Sydney too? Check out the Creative Learning courses at the Australian Centre of Photography: http://www.acp.org.au/cl
Shoot in film
I’ve included this point based on my own experiences. The cost of developing and printing film and limited exposures compared to digital fosters you to think more about the composure, settings required for the type of lighting and knowing when to expose. For first time users of film, I recommend starting off with cheap rolls of black and white film, and carrying a notepad and pen to detail the settings used so you can adjust your settings accordingly the next time you shoot with film. Practice makes perfect!
Buy film online: Lofico Cameras and Film
Happy snapping and all the best in the new year!