New Year’s Resolutions

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Colin Lowther and Liz Waid look at New Year’s resolutions – promises and plans to change behavior. Are you making resolutions this year?

Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

Voice 2 

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

Today’s Spotlight is on New Year’s resolutions. People celebrate the beginning of each year at different times depending on their cultural traditions. But one of the most common times to celebrate the New Year is by the Gregorian calendar. People also call this way of measuring days, months and years the Western or Christian calendar. On this calendar, the first day of the new year is January 1st. People call this holiday “New Year’s Day”.

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Voice 2 

People love to celebrate New Year’s Day. Some celebrate with parties and music. They may sing traditional songs about old times and good friends. Some people celebrate quietly with family and friends. Other people go to church on New Year’s Day. People may ask each other, and God, for forgiveness for the wrong things that happened the year before. People can leave their mistakes in the old year. Instead, they look to the future. They think about how they can make the new year better, or different, than the year before.

Voice 1 

One common way people try to make a new beginning is by making New Year’s resolutions. A New Year’s resolution is a promise you make to yourself. It usually means a change of behavior or a new goal. For example:

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This year, I promise to eat healthy food.

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This year, I promise to exercise more.

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I promise to give more money to the poor.

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I promise to be kind to my sister.

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I promise to finish school this year.

Voice 2 

People believe that the first New Year’s resolutions were made thousands of years ago by the Babylonians. The most popular New Year’s resolution for the ancient Babylonians was to return borrowed farm equipment! Today, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are usually ways for people to improve themselves. People promise to do things like stop smoking or pay back money that they owe. People also commonly make resolutions about relationships and health.

computer that says goals for 2020
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Voice 1 

On the first day of the New Year people feel great about the changes they hope to make. But what happens after some time has passed? Experts say that most people do not keep their resolutions for very long! The University of Scranton in the United States studied New Year’s resolutions in 2014. They found that one week after New Year’s Day only 75% of people have kept their resolutions. This number drops down to 65% after one month. Less than half of people keep their New Year’s resolutions for more than six months.

Voice 2 

There are many reasons why people often do not keep their resolutions. The main reason is that it is difficult to make changes. But there are a few ways to make it easier to make good changes. Spotlight producers Michio Ozaki, Bruce Gulland and Rena Dam each share a way to make – and keep, resolutions:

Voice 5 

Be realistic and detailed. Many people make a goal that is too big or not clear. Your resolution may be to learn English better. But you may not know how to make that happen! Instead, make a resolution that is smaller and more detailed. For example, “I will listen to a Spotlight English program two times every week.” Or, “I will speak English every day.” Making smaller goals will help you to get better at the exact thing you want to do. It will also make you able to measure your success. And that will be encouraging!

Voice 6 

Get as much support as you can. Ask other people to help you remember your resolutions. When you make a promise to someone else, it is easy to remember. It will also make you want to keep your resolution. Some people make resolutions with someone else. For example, if you wanted to exercise more, you could plan to exercise with a friend. Then you can encourage each other and have fun too. Even if you have no one to help you keep your resolution, there are websites on the internet that offer help. One website sends encouraging information about your resolution, such as information about exercising. The website will even send emails to help you remember your resolution.

Voice 7 

Start one new healthy habit to replace every unhealthy one. Many people make New Year’s resolutions to stop bad habits. These habits may be things like eating unhealthy food, or playing too many video games. It is difficult just to stop a habit. Instead, replace it with something else. For example, instead of eating unhealthy food snacks, plan healthy things to eat. Make a resolution to eat more fruits and vegetables. Or, in the case of video games, replace the habit with something healthier. Make a resolution to get more exercise. At the times you would play a video game, play a sport with your friends instead.

cigarette being destroyed
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

However, sometimes a bad habit is not just a habit. Sometimes a bad habit is really an addiction. Substances like cigarettes or alcohol can cause dependence. A person’s mind or body depends on these substances. For example, when you stop using cigarettes, you may feel sick. You will want the cigarettes very badly. Stopping an addiction is much more difficult than stopping a bad habit. If you are stopping an addiction, look for more help. Visit our website for more ideas.

Voice 1 

It is also good to remember that no one is perfect. Even if we fail one day, we can keep working on our resolutions. The Christian Bible uses the word perseverance to talk about keeping promises. Perseverance means continuing to do something even if it is difficult. To persevere, a person needs to be patient and strong. But we do not have to struggle alone. The Bible also says that God will be with us and help us:

Voice 3  

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for good and not for evil, plans to give you a future and a hope.”

Voice 2 

With this hope, it is easier to have perseverance. People may forget their New Year’s resolutions or want to give up. But everyone can remember these helpful ideas: Make detailed goals and get help from friends. Start new good habits as you stop old bad ones. Remind yourself and others that you are not alone. And with perseverance, good changes can last throughout the whole year.

a girl jumping
Image by Shad0wfall from Pixabay
Voice 1 

The writers of this program were Sara DeKoster and Rena Dam. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish. net. This program is called, ‘New Year’s Resolutions’.

Voice 2 

Tell us what you think about today’s program. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@ radioenglish .net. And find us on Facebook – just search for Spotlight Radio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.


Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? What is your resolution?

Join the discussion

  • I think, on the first day of new year, i will make a new year resolution is: I promise to listen Spotlight at least 3 times/week like doing now.
    Thank you for your topic
    From Vietnamese.

  • I have a few new years resolution .
    I should be more cautious about all them and take step by step to reach my goals .
    I need to be more perseverance and do my best in order to achieve them.
    One of my resolutions is to progress my english writing which I like to be here and keep moving .
    Thank you very much indeed

    • Iam amazid to your smooth writing
      therefor my resolotion is to be like you or better.
      Iam promis to listen spotlight to progress my english language.
      insha allah in midyear I will see my weak english language and I will prove that

  • Thanks a lot for your advices about ways keeping New year’s resolution. I will listening Sportligt two times per week and I will read books for people learning English.
    Happy New year for everyone!

  • usually i take resolutions and i do , but this year i will listen to radio english and i am improving my language more than before . thank you all .

  • i am plan to new year and from between all this plans there is resolution is i will practice English everyday with spotlight

  • Thanks for sharing all your contents as such as you doing and for to be in our lives.God bless all of you.

  • OMG ! I have done two resolutions for this New Year. I want to listen Spotlighte With this hope, it is easier to have perseverance. People may forget their New Year’s resolutions or want to give up. But everyone can remember these helpful ideas: Make detailed goals and get help from friends. Start new good habits as you stop old bad ones. Remind yourself and others that you are not alone. And with perseverance, good changes can last throughout the whole year. nglish twice every day. This program helped me a lot, but I want to be more persevere. My second resolutions is take care more my health. I am 67 year old.
    This is an excellent program. Congrats.

  • I have done two resolutions. I want to listen to Spotlight twice every day. This program helped me a lot. It is an excellent program. My second resolution is I get a better health. I will make a changes in my food. I am 67 years old. Happy New Years for all.

  • My goals for this year 2021 are to have self-love and be a better person every day more. 2020 was a very hard year for me and I want to have the mentality and strength to be a good person in all sets. my other purpose is to continue to help everyone around me, this year I want to dedicate myself to my studies. I go into college and I want to strive to make my parents proud of me so I can help around.

    • I think the difference is that a New Year’s resolution is a very specific thing that you promise to do starting at a particular point (in the new year). But an ambition would be something that is less specific. It might be “I am going to get a better paying job”. So, you might have a resolution to put your resumé together to be able to apply to a job. Does that make sense?

  • The years I have many resolution the first I want be the bast youtubaris special of gams and I larand panogram sam like jav because jav the past panogram for any work for futsher of social media and larand English because the en most the people to talk en and Sam Tim now I larand China hhhhh I now more but I don’t Gavin up my dream

  • I’m called Azzah from Saudi Arabia, I pledged myself to learn English and I’m still trying, I won’t give up and I’ll keep going, One day I’ll get to my destination

  • yes i take resolutions and i do , health eat food and do more exercises also in important resolutions development my language the year, always listings English and writing, reading, speak with any person
    I promise myself l can doing

  • hi, yes, I making a resolution for the new excited , happy cause i believe of my self .and I wanna say i love this program and you!
    Thank you

  • yes i’m making some resolutions for new year
    so for example i resolution improve my language english in this year
    and continue to practice sport the body
    and read 22 books
    and test the IELTS
    so there are other decisions 🙂

  • Yes, I have a resolution, but I don’t write it on New Year’s Eve
    Because I don’t celebrate this event I’m a Muslim
    Anyway I write a lot and one of my resolution is to learn English i do writ it every year and I am sure this year will be different and next year I write developing my English skills to be a professional in it

  • Yes I make a resolutions every year . My resolutions for this year are learning English through listening to spotlight everyday ,reading and writing a comment like now. In additional learn Chinese and full-stuck development. I wish do my resolutions this year.

  • I want to put resolutions to next year and perseverance to continue all the year. And replace a bad habit of a healthy habit example, instead a drink lot coffee drink the water, a half hour’s exercise and tow hours learn English. I hope this way brings achievements and success. I liked this information, especially idea putting the resolution or plans a detail and clearly to continue.

  • is it a question?! Of course I make a list of things i prefer to change especially in my habits like ; change my think about alot of people around me and no increase my english skills

  • These program is so useful thank you .
    I planning to new year’s resolutions I want to stop some addictions and a bad habits
    Of course as you tell us (Be more realistic and more detailed)

  • For 2023, I want to be better an English, listen to two podcasts with reading them every day, have a dictionary to study every page of vocabularies for two days and a day of, and download apps for practicing to ilets, and practice idioms, look for tips online and keep and manage them to my timetable, and check books that tell information about the ilets exam

  • Yeah, every year I make one and it fails but this year I hope to continue until the end of the year.
    learning fundamentals of programming with C++, Data Structure, Algorithms, learning English through listening spotlight, writing, speaking.
    keeping going to gym etc.
    And I hope God helps me this year

  • I think I didn’t know that before I just put the resolutions and begun to work but I also didn’t do it evry day and I never give up incha lah

  • yes I do but in the years before I didn’t keep my resolutions that’s why , now I’m just working I set a goal that I start working on until I achieve it and than I move to an other goal and doing the same thing with it.

  • Have you ever plan anything for New Year’s resolution?
    I always set a New Year’s resolution. In order to reach goal I have to a good schedule month by month. Hopefully, this year I will get my goal.

  • Unfortunately, i did not make resulotions for this year 2023 because i forget it but now i begin to learn english and in my opinion the thing that made the people not keep their resolution is their is not perseverance that keep the person more exisited for his resolutions

  • Yes, I made some resolutions this year. For example, I decided to improve my English to study abroad. I also started to stop watching drama, read book and learn how to draw nature. There are so many things I want to change about myself. I read books, but not many. There are a lot of things I have to learn and hopefully I can do better than last year

  • Yes, absolutely. I made some resolutions for the new year 2024, but I wrote them in 2023, not on New Year’s Eve, because I’m a Muslim girl and we don’t celebrate it in Islam. I will achieve some goals, such as being fluent in English, and I will be regular in my prayers. I hope my hair is long and thick, so I will take care of it. The important resolution this year is to be the first in my batch. One of my resolutions is to read many books. I decided to stay away from bad company to avoid getting into trouble. I promise to have clear skin and lose 5 kilograms of weight. I will learn to dance and practice sports every day. I will buy a present for my friend Mohamed. I must have perseverance. Finally, I promise myself to achieve these resolutions.

  • I make and many New year’s resolutions such depended on healthy food like eat a more a fruits and vegetables with reduce sugers and candy because causes many diseases and problems for healthy body. In addion, promise myself to take a good marks and study hard. Also, learn a New things like learn a new language such as english and practice sports. Moreover, I have a positive energy all this year such as To trust for my abilities and increase my knowledge like read a more of books help me to take many information use it in my life, also develop my hobbies and skills and l promise myself To preserve For every prayer at its proper time I never cut it and keep The Qur’an because this works help me on near for god and improve us our life for the better.

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