How to keep your New Year’s Resolution

Real English – that's what every learner of English wants, isn't it? Well, here's some real English vocabulary for you in bold. Check out the Real English Glossary at the end if you can't guess the meaning of the vocabulary from the context of the sentence. 

Traditionally in the UK on Jan 1st, people make a promise to themselves about improving their lifestyle in some way: a new start for the new year. This is called a New Year’s resolution.

Lots of people go for a classic like joining a gym and exercising 3 times a week, giving up smoking, writing a book…and the all-time favourite – going on a diet!

The problem with new year’s resolutions is that they are made with the best intentions, but then life kinda gets in the way and before you know it, the new regime has been broken and your dreams of looking like a sex-god/goddess in time for the summer beach holiday lies shattered at your feet, making you feel even worse than when you began.  


Broken Promises

Have you made a New Year’s Resolution and have broken it already?!?!

Probably the best thing to do if you really want to change something in your life is to think what is realistically achievable and then work on it in little steps – not changing too much too quickly.

So instead of something like… I will never eat chocolate again! A more realistic option could be…. I’m only going to have a bar of chocolate on a Saturday as a treat for not eating chocolate in the week.  


My New Year's Resolution

For me, I would really like to be able to do some killer yoga positions because I’m really inflexible and always have been. Now, I really want to do something about it. But instead of saying… I will join a yoga class and do 1 hour of yoga every day!  I’ve made it more manageable… I’m going to do 5 mins of simple stretches everyday.

I did this 5-minutes-easily-achievable thing this morning, so that it’s done immediately and then I don’t have to build-up to it all day and then it becomes yet another thing to do on my ‘to-do’ list that can be avoided because of time issues!) I've managed to keep it up so far. Day 1 success!!! 🙂  


My Friends' Resolutions

Here’s what some of my friends put on facebook – this is real English ☺

  • This is going to be like every other year. We’ll make promises to ourselves that we can’t keep. We say it’s a new start but it’s just like the year before. Once we mess up during the year, we can’t wait for the next so we can repeat that empty process. You don’t need a new year to change your life.
  • Obligatory new year facebook status update: I dont make resolutions and I'm also not one of those people that thinks you should "live each day like its your last" because you'd no doubt be fired from your job, get slapped around the face a lot & be flat broke very quickly. So in a nutshell! Dont focus on what you dont have, but be grateful for what you DO have. Stay away from negative energy. Be a good friend. And be kind.


General Public

And here’s what some people wrote in a British newspaper….

  • Do more of what makes me happy. See less of the people who don't make me happy. Stop seeing exercise as a punishment
  • New year’s resolutions are generally a load of bull. It’s the mini high before the let-down of failure. Simply don’t make any and decide to make some changes to your lifestyle that you can live with. A long-term goal needs small incremental steps along the way that ultimately may lead you away from your original goal, that’s not a bad thing. It isn’t the destination, people, it’s the journey…..AND with that I’ll leave you and sit in this job I’m not happy with for the foreseeable future.
  • Find a new job (I hate my boss and some of my colleagues.)
  • Go to sleep earlier.
  • Keep the flat tidier.
  • Read 100 books this year.
  • Worry less.
  • Spend less time online.

If you have made a New Year's Resolution, keep up the will power and best of luck in finding a new and improved version of you! 🙂  


Real English Vocabulary Glossary

a classic
(slang) something that everybody does the same way in a given situation
all-time favourite
(slang) a cliched thing
(kind of) – has the habit of
done with the best intentions
doing sth with determination in the hope of achieving a good result
a system or planed way of doing things
little steps
small bits of action
can't bend your body easily
very good or impressive
time issues
not having enough time
keep it up
to maintain/carryon/continue doing sth
mess up
to do sth incorrectly/wrong action
live each day like its your last
common phrase: live without worrying about the consequences
flat broke
having absolutely no money
in a nutshell
to say sth in a short way, but still having all the necessary information
a load of bull
stupid/nonsense (British – a load of bullshit. American – A load of bullcrap)
a high
(informal) very excited – usually by using drugs
an increase on a fixed scale (normally small increase)
the foreseeable future
a period of time in the future that is near enough to make an accurate prediction

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