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Danny's Reading Practice - January

Average: 2.9 (8 votes)

So another year has bitten the dust, and a new one just begun, and it is now, a decade into the millennium and three decades and six into my life, that I have decided to change my ways before my ways change me...

Yep, it’s time for some New Year’s Resolutions, and this year...I'm going to take them seriously. So seriously, in fact, that last Monday I plonked myself down in front of my computer and typed out a list of all the wonderful things that I would do in twenty-ten that would change my life for the better.

I enjoy writing lists. They help me to get things done. Not necessarily the things that I actually write down on the list, but other things that I keep putting off and then end up doing in order to avoid doing the other tedious stuff that I… um… wrote on the list in the first place. So lists work for me. Sort of. In a roundabout kind of way…

...but I digress.

Writing out my New Year's Resolutions turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had bargained for. After ten minutes of staring at a blank screen, I typed out the obvious...

Resolution Number One: Quit Smoking!

Then I deleted it, and wrote it again in capitals. And in bold. And then I underlined it. Then I realized that while doing all this, I had unconsciously lit a cigarette, and was happily puffing away. Rather than put it out and waste a perfectly good cigarette, I deleted Resolution Number One.

So far, so good.

Resolution Number One (Second Draft): Spend More Quality Time With My Children!

I felt that this was an excellent resolution. So much so that I stubbed out my cigarette and headed downstairs to the living-room, where my two-and-a-half year old was sprawled out on the floor, watching TV.

"Hey Jake! What are you doing?"

"Watching Handy Manny".

"D'you wanna play hide n' seek?"


"D'you wanna play ball?"


"D'you wanna go to the swings?"


"So what do you want to do?"

"Watch Handy Manny. Go away".


Back in front of the computer...

Resolution Number One (Third Draft): Lose Weight! Join a Gym! Go Jogging!

I looked out of the window. It was raining, so I deleted 'Go Jogging'. It wasn't going to happen anyway. With that in mind, I also deleted 'Join a Gym'. I left 'Lose Weight' there, because a list with just one item on it is not, as it were, a list. Besides, losing weight wasn't something that I had to, or in fact could, do at that very moment, which I found quite encouraging.

Resolution Number Two:


I went downstairs again.

"Hey Jake..."


So I made myself the kind of sandwich where the filling is thicker than both slices of bread put together, and headed back upstairs, where I ate it with relish, and then lit up another ciggie as I frowned at the blinking cursor for five minutes, waiting for inspiration to strike.

Inspiration waited for me to finish smoking, and then it struck. I had a New Year’s Revelation. A Eureka moment, you might say…

My resolutions could never work. They were too drastic and too sudden. What I was trying to change was what I had spent most of my life doing or building up to. It was like trying to stop a fish from swimming. What I needed to do was approach this from a different angle. I needed conditions, and sub-clauses, addendums and get-out-of-jail-free cards. I needed to think outside the box!

I deleted everything I had written, which, admittedly, wasn't much, and started again...

Resolution Number One: Quit Smoking!

And in brackets, I added: (after 8pm, every day!)

For my second resolution, I substituted 'Lose Weight' for 'Eat Less!' (Let's face it, it's much easier to eat three sandwiches instead of four rather than lose a kilo, although the end result may be the same). Instead of 'Join a Gym', I wrote 'Walk past a gym three times a week.' The closest gym to my house is twenty minutes away. That's forty minutes of walking three times a week. Who needs a treadmill? As an afterthought, I added - 'If it starts raining, walk faster. Maybe even jog!'

Resolution Number Three: Watch More Handy Manny!

And so I went downstairs and sat on the sofa and watched Handy Manny with my son. After a few minutes, he dragged himself off the floor and came over to sit beside me. We laughed at the same bits, and I learned that 'herramientas' is Spanish for 'tools'.

Resolution Number Four: Learn Something New Everyday!

Ha! This whole ‘New Year’s Resolution' lark was a piece of cake!

Resolution Number Five: Beware Of Over-Confidence!

Okay, so not a piece of cake. But do-able!

Resolution Number Six: Stop Going To Bed So Late At Night!

And with that in mind, I switched off the computer, and went to have a nap. It was only five in the afternoon, but you have to start somewhere.

Happy New Year, all, and I'll see you next month!


By Danny, EC Malta English languge school

Link: Danny's Reading Practise - Christmas