Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Get More Exercise

With a New Year on the horizon, many English and American people make resolutions or promises to improve their lives.

Here you are a list of the most common New Year's Resolutions:

-Lose weight

-Eat healthier foods

-Get more exercise

-Give up smoking or drinking

-Spend more time with family & friends

-Learn something new

-Help others

-Save money

-Get more organised

English and American people are crazy about New Year's Resolutions, there are many websites, videos, songs,... related to them and at the end of the year the newspapers publish reports about people's resolutions, advice about how to keep them and so on.
how many really follow their resolutions?

Have you made any New Year's resolutions yet?
Good luck with your year's resolutions!

More vocabulary about this topic on BBC 6 Minute English


  1. Mercedes,

    An interesting list of the most common resolutions - thanks. If I made them, I guess I'd have some of your list. Actually, I'd probably have all of your list! But I don't make resolutions because I know I won't keep them. What about you? Have you made any?


  2. Hi Mercedes!
    Happy new year! I hope you had a great holiday. I'm going to be blogging about mine soon (and trying to keep one of my resolutions, to post a new task to our blog at least once a week).
    I love the links you've found here. What did you think of the news story? Was it difficult to follow? I think it's quite quick, and the BBC lesson that goes with it is really good for extra vocabulary and study. Thanks for keeping the blog tasks going while I was away :)
    e-speak soon!
    All the best,

  3. Hi!
    Happy new year! I'm glad to read you again. The video was really difficult to follow, after watching it again and again I started to understand it, more or less, the pictures also helped me to decipher it.

    Gavin, I don't usually make resolutions either because after a few days I've broken them.

  4. Happy New Year to you!
    Wow, great exercice! Mercedes. It´s time to face the truth, though, vows are spoken to be broken, aren´t you?
    The video is too complicated for me

    I see you soon

  5. Hi Paco! I love the quote, I hadn't heard it before :) - and I'm not surprised you found the video challenging - it is!
    Speak again soon,

  6. Fantastic work, Mercedes!

    I'm going to invite my students from Jerez to read and comment on your class blog. It is interesting to share ideas and experiences in this way, and even make new friends!

    Have any of you made any New Year's Resultions related to learning English?

    Happy 2011!

  7. Happy New Year to everyone!

    For me the main New Year's resolutions is to get more exercise. I'd like to repair my bike and do exercise with it. In that case I've got no willpower,it means that is difficult to start doing exercise to me. When you find easy to start something but you don't keep doing it, it means that you've got no stamina. What about all of you? Have you got willpower or stamina in your resolutions?

    The video is quite complicated to underestand. It remind me that one of my new year's resolutions is to improve in listening the most difficult skill to me in learning English. I specially find difficult how to understand when people speaks quickly or when I can't see the person who speak to me.


  8. Hi Fernando!
    Great to *see* you here on the blog :)
    I hope you had a great holiday and a very happy new year to you too.

    My constant, all year round resolution is to get more exercise! I have the same willpower problem, I can always think of something else I could be doing instead - usually work, usually sitting in front of the computer, which really doesn't help the whole fitness situation. I guess having two young kids helps. Anna got a new bike from the Kings (!) so we're planning some cycling trips at the weekends, and we usually go for walks along the beach or in the mountains when the weather's good. But I have to be honest, if it's a question of me doing exercise on my own - I never do it!

    I've signed up for yoga classes twice a week, but I usually only go to one - this term I'm going to try harder to go to all of them. They really help after long hours in front of the computer screen. Having said that I had a class this morning and I didn't go - what was my excuse? Work! Maybe my resolution should be to work less ;)

    Re the listening, Fernando, what kind of thing do you lke listening to? Maybe I can find some links for you. Let me know. Do you know, I still have the same problme in Spanish - fast talkers and disembodied voices (that is from people you can't see) are really difficult to understand sometimes - mind you, I think that's probably true in our first languages as well :)

    Oh yes, and by the way, did you go to any more zambombás? We went to Anna's vilancicos show at La Perla - great atmosphere, but not really the same thing!

    OK, gotta go and do some more work.
    Speak to you again soon,

  9. Hi Ceri!

    I'd like one webside where I could watch videos, series or movies, all of them with subtitles in English or easy to understand at least. Do you know anyone?

    Tha last 3rd Januray I went to a zambombá in a courtyard of a house in San José street. It was organised by a cultural association called Cádiz Ilustrada. In that zambombá famous flamenco singers of Cádiz sang typical old flamenco carols of Cádiz and another typical carols of Spain in general. There was a great atmosphere too, everyone together singing the choruses of the carols and clapping in the flamenco way. I enjoyed it.


  10. Hi again, Fernando!
    The zambombá sounds great. I'm definitely going to try to go to one next Christmas.

    I've been looking for websites with subtitles - this is what I've come up with so far

    TED talks -do you know about these? it's a collection of short talks of about 15 mins on all kinds of different topics - mostly current affairs, a lot of them about new technology and innovation in design and society. All the speakers are great - entertaining, but with a serious message. Some of them have subtitles in English.

    You might like to try one of these to start off:
    1 Emily Pilloton talking about rural schools in the US

    2 A couple showing great documentary footage about big cats in Africa - great images, very clear speakers

    It's quite easy to surf the site, you can search by subject or by recommendations - I think it's probably easier to understand than most TV series.

    Having said that, when I first came to Spain I watched a lot of TV series on canal 5. I watched things like Periodistas and Hospital Central. They really helped my Spanish!

    I've been looking for websites where you can watch the shows with English subtitles, but I've had no luck so far - except for short clips on youtube. I found one with subtitles for the deaf which looked great but was only available in the States. I'll keep looking tomorrow and get back to you as soon as I can!

    Bye for now,

  11. just very quickly:

    Fernando, try out this website:
    you will have to sign up first but my students like it to watch videos and improve their English.

    Will be back later!

  12. Thank you for a great job, Mercedes. Our class read the blogpost this morning and watched the video.

    Here are the reactions of the students who didn´t have to leave early:

    Marta & Marvi say:

    We think that these resolutions are very common too in Spain, and everywhere, in general, but people can't follow them.
    We ourselves haven't got resolutions for this new year.
    In Spain a lot of people will give up smoking, not because they made a new year's resolution but because the anti-smoking law and the price of the cigarettes.

    Kisses for the smokers! : )
    We will see you on the street while we are having a cigarette.

    Guido says: Incorrigible! LOL

  13. In our evening class we were looking at different ways of talking about the future so I thought I´d let my students loose on your blog again. I promise: "I won´t do it again" - LOL

    Marta: I'm planning to travel to London

    Agustín: I'm going to look for a new job.

    We expect to learn more English.

    Sara: I'm going to finish my degree in two years and I will expect to pass my english exams

    Mª Ángeles: I expect to find a better job next year.

    Peter Luis: I'm going to start a course in September, but before, I'm travelling to Mykono Island.

    Clemen: Next Sunday I'm going to the cliffs of Barbate.

    Chema: I´m seriously thinking about giving up smoking.

    Natalia: Next summer I´m going to find a job in a city near the beach.

    Belén: Next holidays I´ll do the best travel of my life, I´m going to the Moon.

  14. I enjoyed this topic.
    I usually read some English blogs and online newspapers, and also download podcasts from the internet to improve my English. And at the end of the year, most of them were about New Year's resolutions.
    But the most curious was that newspapers published reports analysing thorough researches on New Year's resolutions and their chances of success.

    So, I did my own research as well.
    In my opinion, Spanish people aren't keen on making New Year's resolutions because during those days we were very busy writing the letter to the Wise Men.

    As I can see some of you are trying to turn over a new leaf, you'll find some advice to achieve your aim on this site:

    I'm really happy to read your comments, please carry on letting your student loose whatever they want on this blog.


  15. Hi everybody - and Mercedes in particular! :)
    Here are some more answers to your new year's resolutions questions - short videos from teachers and students at an English school in Barcelona.
    Please visit, watch the videos and leave a comment (or two .. or three ...)
    Thanks a lot!

  16. I'm so sorry! I forgot to add in the link! Here it is:
    Thank you!

  17. Hi Ceri,

    Great chat-a great clip for TP and a few ss will already be warmed up-thanks


  18. Hi Dani! Hope you're feeling better.
    Good luck with the new TP classes (you've got some great students in there ;-))