New Year Resolutions

Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on June 9, 2019 and last updated on May 12, 2023

The topic of New Year’s resolutions is an excellent discussion topic for ESL learners as it not only encourages communication but can also provides a platform for self-reflection and personal growth. Engaging in conversations about resolutions allows learners to practice expressing their goals, aspirations and motivations in English.

Additionally, discussing the strategies they employ to achieve their resolutions enhances their vocabulary and fluency. By exploring the concept of resolutions, ESL learners can also develop critical thinking skills by evaluating the effectiveness of goal-setting and reflecting on their own progress.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

What are New Year Resolutions?

The start of a new year is a time when many people decide to make a change in their lives, whether it be to lose weight, give up smoking or something else. These changes are called new year’s resolutions.

Even though it is very common to make new year’s resolutions, statistically most people fail to stick to them and will give up by the end of January. Why people find it so difficult to stick to their new year’s resolutions, and whether it is worth making new year’s resolutions is a question you should ask yourself before deciding if you are going to make a new year’s resolution.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • stick to (verb)
  • give up (phrasal verb)
  • take up (phrasal verb)
  • hobby (noun)
  • achievable (adjective)
  • realistic (adjective)

Conversation Questions

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  • Is it worth making new year's resolutions?
  • Why do so many people make New Year's resolutions?
  • Do you think it's important to make resolutions?
  • What are some popular goals people set for themselves at the start of a new year?
  • Why do so many people fail to stick to their New Year's resolutions?
  • What should you do to ensure you keep to your resolutions?
  • Are resolutions more effective when shared with others or kept private?
  • What New Year's resolution do you have?
  • If you knew you could achieve it what resolutions would you make?
  • Is it better to set specific goals or have broader aspirations for the New Year?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.