Dan and Kate discuss their New Year’s resolutions and hear what some people are promising themselves.
This week’s question: What is the most common goal for people making New Year’s resolutions?
Is it: a) to sort out their finances and money b) to lose weight or c) to learn a new language?
Dan: Hello and welcome to this week’s 6 Minute English. I’m Dan Walker Smith and today I’m joined by Kate.
Kate: Hi Dan. Happy New Year!
Dan: And Happy New Year to you!
Kate: So what did you do on New Year’s Eve?
Dan: Well, this New Year I went to a party in East London with lots of friends; lots of dancing. Good times really.
Kate: That sounds great fun – a great way to bring in the New Year!
Dan: It was. It was very good indeed. And, of course, as well as celebrations, New Year is also the traditional time to make resolutions, which are plans to improve yourself. So what were your resolutions this year?
Kate: I don’t actually think I’ve made any yet, but I suppose now I think about it, I’d like to do more exercise, be healthy and travel more.
Dan: They sound like good resolutions. The aim of most resolutions is to ‘turn over a new leaf’. That is, to make yourself better by changing your routines and habits. It’s making a fresh or new start in your life.
So the question for this week is:
What is the most common goal for people making New Year’s Resolutions?
Is it: a) to sort out their finances and money
b) to lose weight
c) to learn a new language
Kate: Hmm, that’s a tricky one. But thinking about it, we’ve just had Christmas-time, where people tend to eat an awful lot or overindulge themselves. So I’m going to go for b, to lose weight.
Dan: OK, we’ll see if you’re right at the end of the programme.
Now generally, there are two main types of resolution:
To give up something is to stop it, such as when someone says they’re giving up smoking or giving up fattening foods.
Kate: And to take up something is to start a new activity for the first time. For example you can take up the guitar, or take up a new sport. A lot of people say that their New Year’s Resolutions are to give up a bad habit or to take up a new hobby.
Dan: Now we’re going to hear some of the resolutions a British radio DJ has made for 2010. You’re going to hear the expression ‘carry on’. Can you explain what this means Kate?
Kate: Sure. Well ‘carry on’ means to continue to do something as you were before.
So if, for example, last year I went swimming every day, I could say ‘I want to carry on going swimming’, which means just to continue the same actions as you were doing before.
Dan: OK, so let’s listen. What resolutions does the speaker have for this year?
Right, New Year’s Resolutions 2010. It’s the end of a decade. I think that what I would just like to do is carry on working hard; carry on being happy and healthy. So keep on exercising in the park, keep on eating well and keep on sleeping well. And that’s about it – nothing else. Nothing too big, nothing too heavy, ‘cos experience tells me that if you try to ask yourself to do too much stuff it will eventually not happen.
Kate: OK, that was a bit different, as she’s not giving up or taking up anything, but she wants to carry on or continue what she’s already been doing. There are some pretty common or usual resolutions there: doing exercise,eating healthily and sleeping well – quite similar to the ones I made actually.
Dan: Well, she’s not exactly turning over a new leaf in the New Year, but just keeping herself healthy with resolutions she can achieve.
As well as keeping healthy, one of the most common New Year’s resolutions in the UK each year is to stop smoking.
Kate: Yes, and it’s also one of the hardest resolutions to keep, so this year the British government is launching a new campaign for people who want to stop smoking. Have a listen to the next report. Can you hear how many people tried to give up smoking last year and how many actually succeeded?
More than three quarters of a million smokers tried to give up last New Year. But fewer than 40,000 have managed to keep that resolution.
Kate: Oh dear, not a great success rate then. Only around five per cent of the smokers managed to keep their resolution.
Dan: Resolutions are basically promises to yourself, and like promises, you either keep them or break them. That is, you either successful in keeping to your plans, or you’re not and you go back to your old habits.
Kate: Well we’re almost out of time now, so let’s go over some of the vocabulary we’ve come across today:
First of all, we had resolution, which is a kind of promise you make to yourself to improve yourself or your actions.
To turn over a new leaf is an expression meaning to make a new start in your life.
To give up something means to stop it.
Whereas, to take up something is to start it for the first time.
Then we heard to carry on, which means to continue with an action that you’re already doing.
And finally to keep or break a resolution, is either to persist with your new changes or to go back to your old routine.
Dan: Oh and there’s just time to answer the question I asked at the beginning of the show: What is the most common goal for people making New Year’s resolutions?
Is it: a) to sort out their finances and money
b) to lose weight
c) to learn a new language
Kate: And I said b, to lose weight
Dan: Actually it’s both a and b. Most men want to sort out their finances and most women apparently want to lose weight in the New Year.
Kate: Ah, a trick question then.
Dan: A trick question indeed.
Kate: But I’m sure there must be some women out there who want to sort out their finances.
Dan: And there must be some men who want to lose weight.
Kate: Of course! So Dan can you tell me if you have any resolutions for the coming year?
Dan: I’ve actually signed up to run a marathon, so I’ll be doing that in April. I’m training quite a lot at the moment; it’s beginning to kick in.
Kate: Wow, well that’s very impressive. Good luck with this year’s resolution.
Dan: We’ll see how it goes in April.
So from all of us here at BBC Learning English, thanks for listening. I hope you’re sticking to your resolution and have a very Happy New Year! Goodbye!
Vocabulary and definitions
resolution – a plan to improve yourself
to turn over a new leaf – to make a new start in your life
to give up – to stop doing something
to take up – to start something new for the first time
to carry on – to continue doing something
to keep a resolution – to be successful in achieving the goals you set yourself
to break a resolution – to be unsuccessful in achieving the goals you set yourself
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