Welcome back to the Art of Business English and a very happy New Year to you and your family.
I hope you had a great Christmas break and are now looking to the New Year with energy and optimism.
In the first episode of the year, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the year ahead, as well as share with you some conversation questions that you can use in your next social interaction.
I would also like YOU to share your thoughts and I ideas with me. If you have an idea for the show, then I want you to email me and share it with me. I am here to serve you, so please make one of your New Year’s resolutions to share your questions and ideas with me. Just email me at aobe @ theartofbusinessEnglish .com
So, in this episode, I will be sharing with you some vocabulary for talking about New Year’s resolutions. If you’re not sure what they are, then let me explain. They are the goals or objectives we set for ourselves at the start of the year.
On average, about 25% of people set resolutions, yet, unfortunately, most people rarely see them through to the end, so I’ll give you some tips on how to keep them.
I will also be sharing with you some conversation questions for talking about the New Year, which you can use when socialising.
So, let’s jump to it.
Vocabulary for talking about New Year’s resolutions
Typically, when we are setting New Year’s resolutions, they fall into very common categories. Many are related to self-improvement. When talking about New Year’s resolutions, we generally use an action verb to describe the thing we want to achieve.
Below are some typical New Year’s resolutions that people make. Notice that they all start with an action verb:
- Do more sport
- Get fitter
- Lose weight
- Eat healthier
- Start a diet
- Save more money/Spend less money
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Travel more/Go on more trips
- Take up a new hobby or interest
- Sleep more
- Read more
- Look for a new job
- Get more organised
- Overcome my shyness
- Become more confident
- Work less
- Give up smoking/drinking/eating junk food
- Learn a new language
- Stop being late
- Spend less time on social media
- Stop doomscrolling
What I find interesting about most of these common New Year’s resolutions, is the fact that they are focused squarely on self-improvement and less on the attainment of money and material possessions. That’s right, we are more interested in our health and relationships than money. This in my view is one of the things that I like about this time of year. Spending time with your family and taking a break from work gives you a chance to gain some perspective on your life.
Now let’s look at some ways in which we can try and ensure we follow through with our resolutions.
How to follow through on your New Year’s Resolutions
Below I am going to give you my tips on how you can put in place some strategies to ensure that you make your New Year’s resolutions a reality.
Break them down into parts:
If you have a big lofty goal, then maybe it will seem like you have a mountain to climb to achieve it. So, why not divide your goal into smaller, more achievable goals. This way you will get some momentum and feel like you are moving forward.
For example, if you want to lose 10 kilos, then why not break it down into smaller 2 kilo blocks. Say to yourself, I am going to lose 2 kilos every 2-3 weeks.
Set many small achievable goals:
This is similar to the one that I just mentioned. Did you know that when you create a to do list of things you want to achieve, you usually only achieve about 80-90% of them in the given time?
Over the years I have learnt a little life hack. Basically, if you create an ambitious list of things to achieve then you will nearly complete them all. So, the theory is, be ambitious, if you create a list of 100 attainable goals in the next 12 months, then you will probably achieve 85 of them. Conversely, if you only create a list of 20 achievable goals, then you will probably only complete about 17 of them.
Do not ask me why this happens, but in my experience, this is they way things go. In fact, Pitbull the rapper sums it up nicely in the lyrics to “Give me everything”, they go, “Reach for the stars. And if you don't grab 'em, at least you'll fall on top of the world.”
Create a plan:
This may seem obvious, but hey, it is easy to say “I want to be more confident”, but you should really be asking yourself, “how” you will become more confident. In this example, you will need to analyse why and when you feel you lack confidence and then design a plan to overcome this.
For example, if you feel you lack confidence, then they best way to overcome this is by putting yourself into situations where you feel uncomfortable. Yes, I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but this is the only way to do it.
So, as part of your plan, you may start to go to events where you do not know anyone. Or you may start a new hobby and sign up to something where you also don’t know anybody. You may go on a trip alone.
By having a plan you will actually stand a better chance of doing, rather than just saying.
Have a growth mindset:
January 1st is a great excuse to start new things and make New Year’s resolutions, however you are going to need a growth mindset if you want to see them through.
What I mean by this is, basically, you need to continually be eager to learn and get outside of your comfort zone all year to move forward.
Let me give you an example related to dieting. As you probably know, a diet works for as long as you are on the diet. Everyone knows that if you stop the diet and start eating junk food again, then you are going to put on weight.
Someone who has a growth mindset will make the diet their “new” way of eating. So, you will transform your understanding of healthy eating and incorporate this into the new norm.
New Year’s Resolution Conversation Questions
Now that we have some tips for creating resolutions, talking about them and how we can stick to them. Let’s imagine you are in a social situation. Now is a great time to turn the conversation to reflecting on resolutions. You will be surprised by the insights you can get from your friends or those you are talking to.
To engage people in conversation, why not use some of the following conversation questions:
- 1Do you believe in making New Year’s resolutions? (Why/why not?)
- 2Have you made any New Year’s resolutions this year? Why did you decide on that?
- 3What is your plan to make sure you achieve your New Year’s resolutions?
- 4What predictions do you have for the year?
- 5What do you think this year will be like for you?
- 6Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the year? Why?
- 7Why do you think people are so bad at keeping New Year’s resolutions?
- 8What is one thing you would like to do differently compared to last year?
I hope you loved this episode! Now, can I ask you to do me a favour as a New Year’s resolution? Could you share this episode right now with someone who you think would love the podcast? Can I also ask you to pull out your phone and send me a quick email with a show idea you would like to see this year? I would really appreciate it and it will help me to help you.
Now, as this episode looks at some social English skills, then why not improve yours with my premium course “How to engage people in conversation”, this online course will give you the skills you need to feel more confident in social situations.
You can grab your copy here and use the discount code episode194 to get 50% off the course. Just click the link below "Get the course now".
Thanks again for listening, see you all next week. Take care, bye for now.
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