Ready For 2021?
Now that Christmas is over, how do you feel? Tired, refreshed, full of food, free? How do you feel about the new year – 2021? Even though we’re still living in the pandemic, are you ready to change your life?
When people say on January 1st that they want to go to the gym more often, or they want to stop eating so many cookies, or stop smoking, or save more money, or really, really learn a language – this is called a New Year’s Resolution.
Maybe you spent too much money on the run up to Christmas last year and now you feel your bank account is looking a little bit sick. Or maybe it’s made you realise you don’t have many savings in the bank, and you’d like to change that situation. So, how do you start?
Firstly, make a list. Don’t give yourself anything really difficult to do, for instance: I’m going to save £30,000 by the end of the year – this is too much, and you won’t keep to your resolution. And don’t make your resolution general or vague either, such as if you only say: I’m going to save money. Instead, be specific, and be realistic. Why not say: I’m going to save £20 per week. Whatever I do, wherever I go this month and whoever I see, I’m NOT GOING TO spend that £20. If you start this week, by the end of the year you will have £1040.
Secondly, the trick is to choose something you can really do. In fact, the more realistic and possible your resolution, the easier it is to achieve.
For example, what about the resolution: I’m going to improve my English. Maybe you’ve been studying English for a few years, but you want to be better. But what is better? In fact, better is still a bit vague. Maybe you want to have a wider vocabulary – that’s specific. Or maybe you want to be able to understand a movie without subtitles – that’s also specific. So, let’s explore this idea.
How are you going to improve your listening? What about: I’m going to watch one film every week in English without subtitles. This is a better goal. Most importantly, it’s specific and much more focussed than: I’m going to improve my listening.
Have you noticed here that the language we used to talk about our resolutions is Be Going To? This is because we use Be Going To to talk about plans and strong intentions. So, making a list of five New Year’s Resolutions will be good not only for your life or your personal health, but also for your English learning as well.
So, why not motivate yourself and start to today? First, make a – specific – list of five things to want to improve, and how long you think it will take. Next, write down exactly how you’re going to do them. In fact, here’s some help with the format from the British Council to get you started:
Some other very general resolution ideas are:
Do more exercise
Learn to be a nicer person
Learn to play the guitar
Write a book
Buy a bike
Learn to Cook
Stop being scared
Travel more… maybe this is for 2022.
And have fun!