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 History.com, 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