I have defined and listed below some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post, as well a YouTube video. 
Reflection – a calm lengthy intent consideration
Resolution – a firm decision to do or not to do something
Precious – of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly
Commodity – a useful or valuable thing
Spare time – time that is free from duties or responsibilities
Priority – a thing that is regarded as more important than others
Beneficial –  favourable or advantageous
Pastimes – an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work; a hobby
Unwind – relax after a period of work or tension
Correspond – match or agree almost exactly
Commute – travel some distance between one’s home and place of work on a regular basis
Decipher – succeed in understanding, interpreting, or identifying (something)
Comprehension – the ability to understand something
Exposure – experience of something
Disciplined – showing a controlled form of behaviour or way of working
Like-minded – having similar tastes or opinions
Milestone – a significant stage or event in the development of something
Commitment – the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc

We often set goals for ourselves that we hope to achieve in the coming year. Some of the most common resolutions are to lose weight, eat healthier, get more exercise, spend more time with friends and family, learn a new skill, or improve your skills in a particular subject. Because you are here, I’m guessing your main aim is to improve your English language skills. As an English trainer and coach, I use the change of year as an opportunity to motivate my students to set new goals.

The biggest challenge is finding enough time to learn

Time is a precious commodity. But what happens when we don’t have enough time to learn English to the extent we would like to? One of the biggest challenges of not having enough time is finding the time to invest in learning new skills.

Better time management is the key.

The ability to organise your time and divide your tasks into sets is what makes a person successful. We all have the same amount of time, but some people have to work longer than others, and some choose to do other activities in their spare time. I ask my students to be honest with themselves when deciding on their priorities and look for areas in their lives where they can prevent wasting time on less beneficial pastimes. If you like to watch TV series and films to unwind, why not watch them in English? Switch on the subtitles to help when it helps. But be warned: quite often the subtitles don’t correspond with the audio.

Learn English passively when you are on the move

You don’t need to take a long flight or commute to learn English or any other language. You can use your phone, tablet or PC to passively learn and practice while you are on the move in busses and trains too.

Listening to audiobooks and podcasts improves listening comprehension

Have you ever listened to an audiobook or podcast and found it difficult to follow because you were unable to decipher the words? Listening comprehension is a critical skill for everyone, particularly when you plan on studying, working and residing in a country where English is spoken. There are many benefits of listening to audiobooks and podcasts such as improved vocabulary, increased exposure to stories and increased understanding.

Tips to keep motivated to learn

One of the most difficult parts of learning a new skill is staying motivated and disciplined. To help you stay on track, here are 4 simple tips to keep motivated to learn:

  1. Study with your friends
    Learning and practising with like-minded learners will help you to stay focused. Moreover, you are sure to have more fun than learning alone.
  2. Establish reasonable learning goals
    Learning a language is not easy, so set yourself achievable milestones on a weekly basis.
  3. Remind yourself of your long-term goals
    By doing this on a regular basis, you will make you consider the commitment you made. Writing your goals down and looking at them on a regular basis is a practice that many people have found to be beneficial.
  4. Reward yourself for studying
    Decide on how you’d like to reward yourself for your hard work. Perhaps you could choose to do some of the activities which wasted your precious time, before you started learning.

Make this year the year you make the most progress in learning that you’ve ever made.  


To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

Learn English through short stories - New Year’s Eve

Click on the image to watch a video about a New Year’s Eve celebration

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