New Year´s Resolutions

NYR1NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS  What are they, and are they a good thing, or are they a bad thing?

Firstly, a RESOLUTION is a promise that you make to yourself which you hope will improve your life in some way.

Brad Pitt made these two resolutions: 1) Redouble my efforts to support charitable organizations around the world and 2) Replace Angelina’s fertility medication with Tic-Tacs.

The most common resolutions people make are connected to the categories of: Health, Finance, Career, Family, and Happiness.  Here are some common resolutions connected to the aforementioned categories:


  • Lose weight
  • Drink less alcohol, eat less junk food
  • Get fitter
  • Give up smoking
  • Reduce stress


  • Get out of debt
  • Reduce spending and increase savings
  • Stop playing the lottery every day


  • Get a job
  • Apply for a promotion
  • Set up a business


  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Get married
  • Have children


  • Learn something new
  • Go abroad
  • Become a volunteer

What do you think is the most popular New Year’s Resolution in 2013? Vote now.

Secondly, are they a good or a bad thing?  I suppose it depends on your perspective and maybe your personality.  For me, they are a good tool to help me understand what I want out of life. In addition, they help me to keep in touch with my family as we skype every month to talk about how we are getting on.

However, it is often reported that, for some people, if they don’t stick to their resolutions, they often have negative effects.  The most common complaint documented in a recent research was that people suffered from a feeling of failure and severe depression.  Interestingly, the research study also suggested that women were much more likely to keep up their resolutions than men.  Would you agree?

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?  If not, why not look for inspiration from the rest of the world? Google have mapped more than half a million resolutions on a world map, with one of the top resolutions being the desire to love and be loved.  We really are a romantic world!  However, the resolution that made me laugh was this: ‘Quit facebook’. Check it out at:


nyrvocabularyWhat words can you think of when you hear the word NEW YEAR and NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS? You have one minute to write as many words as possible.  Go……….

Now, connect the nouns to verbs.  You should have more words.

Look at a photograph of a New Year’s Eve party; can you think of any more words? Or, think of the last New Year’s resolutions you made. Have you thought of any more words?

 Remember:  improve your vocabulary by connecting words to SITUATIONS.  Lists of words are easy to write, but very difficult to remember.

Vocabulary Challenge:

Can you make sentences using the following words?

1 To give up EG: I’m going to give up eating junk food.
2 To quit
3 To give something a go
4 To make a promise
5 To take up something
6 To fancy doing something new
7 To try something new
8 To reduce doing something
9 To increase doing something
10 To start up

 Idioms and Expressions connected to Food

As many New Year’s resolutions are connected to food, for example: Give up junk food, Eat healthier food, Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables etc.  It thought it would be a good idea to include some common idioms connected to food.

(have a) bun in the oven be pregnant Sara won’t come to the pub because she has a bun in the oven.
big cheese very important person (VIP) I thought I was just going to interview the secretary, but they let me talk to the big cheese himself.
bread and butter the main thing Just explain the bread and butter of your report. You don’t have to go into details.
bring home the bacon earn the income My husband has had to bring home the bacon ever since I stopped working
cheesy silly I love reading cheesy romance novels because I don’t have to think.
cool as a cucumber very relaxed I thought I was afraid of flying, but I was cool as a cucumber during the flight.
(not my) cup of tea something you enjoy or don’t enjoy Opera isn’t my cup of tea.
full of beans have a lot of (silly) energy The kids were full of beans after the circus.
piece of cake very easy The exam was a piece of cake.


London New YearNew Year Celebrations

People all around the world celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another year in different ways. However, there is usually one common element; everyone wants to have a better year and if you’re superstitious you might do a variety of things on the 31st of December at midnight to help bring you good luck.  For example, you might eat 12 grapes, or wear red underwear; or if you belong to the O’Carroll household, you might shout: ‘pinch punch first of the month’ and then start a fight.  Having said that, my mother never joins in as she thinks it’s very aggressive!

In the Philippines, people set off fireworks and firecrackers with the belief that the noise will scare evil spirits away and prevent them from bringing them bad luck. Coins are also jumbled in tin cans to make noise with the belief that this will bring more money to the revelers. Children are encouraged to jump about as there was an old belief that this was supposed to make you taller. Seriously!

NYD Scotland 2012On New Year’s Day, people in certain countries gather on beaches and run into the water to celebrate the New Year. Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States and Australia are the most popular countries for this, although this is also becoming more popular in ex-pat communities in Spain. These events are sometimes known as polar bear plunges, and are sometimes organized by groups to raise money for charity.


1) New Year Resolutions

Listen to a group of people telling us what their New Year’s resolutions are.

2) Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for Charity

Watch a group of ‘nut-jobs’ taking the NY plunge. OMG, it looks freezing!

3) Richard Branson’s Big Idea for 2013

Listen to Richard talking about his big idea for 2013


cookery classlearn to surfberryhill primary staff parents and kids get into the street dancingActivity One: Describing Photographs

At the beginning of the year a lot of people make a resolution to take up a new hobby. Some people want to learn how to cook, some people want to learn how to surf and some people want to learn how to dance.

Can you describe these photographs and say which hobby you would take up?

  1. What is the general idea?
  2. What is the specific situation?
  3. What is there in the background and the foreground of the picture?
  4. What are the people wearing, what are they doing? How might they be feeling?
  5. What’s the weather like?

Activity Two: Can you talk for 2 minutes about….?

  1. How you usually celebrate New Year ‘s Eve
  2. How you celebrated last New Year’s Eve and what was the most memorable thing you did
  3. How you would celebrate New Year’s Eve if you had more money and more time

Useful phrases to help you say more, and organize your ideas better.

Adding Information

Contrasting Information

Giving a Reason

Explaining a Consequence

Ordering Information

In addition (to)




Firstly, secondly, thirdly



Due to





Owing to


To summarize

As well as


In conclusion

On the one hand,… ..however, on the other hand…..


Malaga NYEActivity One:

This is part of a letter you receive from an English friend

  • How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve in your country?
  • Do you do anything special with your family?
  • Do you think it is important to celebrate things with your family?
  • Now write a letter, answering your friend’s questions.

Activity Two:

Sergio RamosRajoyHere are some people that want to make New Year’s resolutions.  What three resolutions do you think each person should make?King Juan Carlos

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