As you read today’s blog, vocabulary will be used throughout the text! Key vocabulary words are bold, and you can find their definitions at the bottom of the page. Happy reading! And Happy New Year! May it be safe, happy, and filled with English practice.

A resolution is a goal or objective that we set at the beginning of the New Year. Maybe you want to spend more time with your kids, secure a big promotion, eat more vegetables, save more money, or learn to play the ukulele. New Year’s Resolutions look different for everybody! Whether your resolution is to kick a bad habit or learn a new skill, it’s important that your goals are achievable.

I’ve always admired the people that set ambitious New Year’s resolutions and stay committed to them. Unfortunately, I often set unrealistic goals and fail quickly! One of my biggest pitfalls is that I choose to change a behavior too quickly. For example, I once chose the resolution to exercise five days a week, even though I generally only exercised twice a week. Instead, decide to try a new exercise class one more time per week. If you want to learn a musical instrument, your goal shouldn’t be to perform in a concert at the end of the year (unless you’re a musical prodigy). Perhaps a better resolution is to learn ten songs. Goals like this are measurable and doable. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, but starting with small changes is a good way to insure you don’t fail immediately and disappoint yourself.

Research shows that the most common New Year’s resolutions are health-related: losing weight, exercising more, and quitting smoking. People also set the goal to get out of debt, save money, change jobs, or travel more. It’s not easy to keep our New Year’s goals, but no matter what, it’s a worthwhile challenge.

According to, people have been making New Year’s resolutions for thousands of years. About, 4,000 years ago, ancient Babylonians would celebrate the turn of the year by throwing a big party and making promises to their gods. Those promises were probably the original New Year’s resolutions! The custom of celebrating the New Year in January was established by Julius Ceasar and the Romans, in honor of their god, Janus. As history continued, Christians saw the New Year as a moment to reflect on their sins and mistakes and make commitments to improve in the future. Now, both religious and secular people around the world see the New Year as a time for reflection and goal-setting.

So, what will you do this year? Will you continue the 4,000 year tradition of looking to the future and setting goals? I wish you luck! As for me, I’ll be making realistic goals this year and doing my best to stick with them.


Resolution (noun) - an objective or goal

Goal (noun) - an objective

To set resolutions (phrase) - to decide on and try to achieve your goals

Spend time (phrase) - to dedicate time to an activity, pasar tiempo

Promotion (noun) - to move to a higher position in your job, to advance

Save money (phrase) - to put money to the side, ahorrar

Kick a bad habit (idiom) - to stop a regular, negative part of your routine (i.e. smoking or drinking too much)

Skill (noun) - an ability

Achievable (adjective) - able to be reached/obtained successfully

Admire (verb) - to respect

Committed (adjective) - dedicated  

Unrealistic (adjective) - not possible, not realistic

Fail (verb) - to not succeed, to not complete your objective

Pitfall(s) (noun) - danger or difficulty

Choose (verb) - to select

Behavior (noun) - a person’s way of acting

Even though (phrase) - despite, aunque

Instead (adverb) - as an alternative, en lugar de

Prodigy (noun) - a person with extreme ability

Measurable (adjective) - able to be measured, mensurable

Doable (adjective) - something you definitely can do or complete

Shoot for the stars (idiom) - to have very big dreams and goals

Insure (verb) - to guarantee

Quit (verb) - to stop completely

Smoking (noun) - the habit of using tobacco or a drug

Get out of debt (phrase) - to successfully overcome a financial deficit

No matter what (phrase) - regardless of, a pesar de

Worthwhile (adjective) - worth the time, money, or effort spent, vale la pena

Challenge (noun) - a difficult task or situation

Turn of the year (idiom) - the change from one year to the next

Throw a party (idiom) - to have a celebration

Make promises (phrase) - the action of making commitments to yourself or to other people

Custom (noun) - a tradition

Sin(s) (noun) - a religious word for immoral actions

Mistake(s) (noun) - an error

Commitment(s) (noun) - a promise or dedication

Improve (verb) - to get better

Secular (noun) - not religious

Reflection (noun) - serious thought and consideration

Stick with (phrasal verb) - to continue, to stay committed

Written by: Mariah Wika

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