Simplified Speech #018 – New Year’s resolutions

For many people, New Year’s Day is a time for self-improvement, new beginnings, and resolutions. Come join Andrew, Suzanne, and Morag for this special episode, and learn all about their New Year’s resolutions!


Fun fact

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions started around 4,000 years ago with the ancient Babylonians. Every New Year, they would make promises to their gods to pay any debts and return borrowed items in the hopes of gaining luck and favour.

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • Sounds good
  • Chicken and egg
  • And then some
  • To put [something] away
  • A resolution

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Sample transcript

Andrew:           I’m super excited to have both Suzanne and Morag joining me today. It’s not very often we get to record an episode with all three hosts. So this is great. And today, we’re going to do a Simplified Speech episode about New Year’s resolutions. It’s that time of the year to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions, so that’s what we’ll do here today. We’ll talk all about New Year’s resolutions. Does that sound good to you guys?

Morag:              Yeah. It sounds good to me.

Suzanne:        Me too.

Andrew:           Let’s start today by defining a New Year’s resolution. What do you guys think? Suzanne, what does a New Year’s resolution mean to you?

Suzanne:        A New Year’s resolution is a kind of a promise that you make with yourself, or a goal you have that you want to accomplish throughout the year or within that year. I sometimes like to call it making a New Year’s habit. So something that’s maybe smaller. Because New Year’s resolutions are usually really big goals that people want to accomplish. Sometimes they can be really, really big and hard to accomplish within just 1 year, like, you know, losing a lot of weight or something like that.

Andrew:           That’s right. I like your definition, Suzanne, of starting a new habit. Because I think this gets to the essence of what a New Year’s resolution is. You’re starting a new habit, doing something new. And Morag, maybe you could share with us some of the very common New Year’s resolutions that people in North America make.

Morag:              Sure, Andrew. So some of the most common New Year’s resolutions have to do with health. So they are things like joining a gym, making exercise a habit. As Suzanne said, losing weight, quitting smoking, or things like learning a new language, reading a certain number of books in a year. Often, health or personal improvements are the focus of New Year’s resolutions.

Andrew:           Yeah. Morag, if I had to guess I would say your New Year’s resolution is reading a certain amount of books per year. Is that right?

Morag:              No, actually. Um, I just … That just happens.

Suzanne:        Do you like to read a lot of books, Morag?

Morag:              I do. I do. It’s a consequence of my studying literature, I think, or the other way around. Chicken and egg—I don’t know.

Andrew:           Well, what about last year? Suzanne, did you make a New Year’s resolution last year?

Suzanne:        Mmhmm. Actually, last year, I did make a New Year’s resolution, where I would save more money in my savings account.


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english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips