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New Year’s English Reverse Resolutions
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English, Episode 34: Meeting Monday, “New Year’s English Reverse Resolutions.”
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation. Now here are your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ coming to you from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
In this episode, you’ll learn how to put a unique spin on your New Year’s resolution by asking three key questions.
Lindsay: All right. So hey Gabby. How are you doing today?
Gabby: Great. How are you Lindsay?
Lindsay: Oh, I’m feeling really good and the reason is that this podcast really seems to be taking off.
Lindsay: So since we launched around mid-November, we’ve actually had around 100,000 downloads!
Lindsay: Yeah. That’s 100,000 downloads. Can you believe it?
Gabby: That’s amazing.
Lindsay: So we just wanna (want to) say “Thank you” to you guys, to our listeners.
(Um) we really, we’re here to add value to your lives and to help you feel more confident with your English. So thanks for coming along for the ride.
Gabby: Yeah. Thank you all.
Lindsay: And we also wanna (want to) ask you to please go ahead and help us out by leaving us a review in iTunes or Stitcher Radio. This is really gonna (going to) help us to be able to continue to give you the best podcast that we possibly can. So please go straight to iTunes if you can and leave us a review. Let us know how you feel about this podcast.
Gabby: Yeah, you can also go to allearsenglish.com/howto and we’ve described, actually, in a video, how to leave a review because it is a little tricky.
Lindsay: All right. Great. So let’s get down to business.
Lindsay: So today we’re talking about how you can use – (um) how you can take a look at the year that’s just gone by, 2013, and think about how you accomplished your goals or whether or not you accomplished your goals.
Do you wanna (want to) say a little bit more about that Gabby?
Gabby: Yeah I do, but first, (I mean), everyone’s talking about New Year’s resolutions and they’re looking ahead to the new year and making goals or resolutions. A lot of people talk about (like) I wanna (want to) get fit, I wanna (want to) go on a diet, I wanna (want to)… Lindsay: Stop biting your nails, for example.
…save a million dollars. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s (there are) so many, (like), typical resolutions, but I wanted to take a unique look at the idea of the New Year’s resolution and I wanna (want to) talk today about what I call a ‘reverse resolution.’
Lindsay: Cool. That sounds really cool. What does that mean?
Gabby: So the idea is to go back to ‘reverse’ (um) your thinking. Actually look back at 2013 and see what you did, what you wanted to do and what you did, and what worked and what didn’t work. So, specifically, for your English language learning, take a look at what you wanted to do this year and were you able to accomplish that? (You know), what worked? Did listening to this podcast work for you for example? Or were there other things?
Maybe you took a class or (um) did some other kind of language study?
There’s (there are) a million different things you could’ve done. Did it work for you? How did it go?
Gabby: (Um), yeah.
Lindsay: As they say – I think I heard a quote somewhere. I don’t know who said this, but the definition of insanity is continuing to do something that doesn’t work and expecting different results.
Gabby: That is awesome.
Lindsay: So if something’s not working – that’s why we’re going through and we’re doing this ‘reverse resolution.’ We wanna (want to) see what’s not working so that we can make those changes for next year, right?
Gabby: Right. Absolutely. So I like to think of it as an annual review for yourself.
(You know) sometimes – well usually if you have a job in the US, we have an annual review where your supervisor will tell you what’s working and what’s not working for you as an employee. I just had mine a few weeks ago actually.
Lindsay: Oh, you did. How did that go?
Gabby: Oh, it was good. It was great. (Um), but, but this is like a personal annual review where you get to measure your success from the past year.
Lindsay: Okay. So we look at what didn’t work, what worked, and what was the third thing?
Gabby: (Um), what worked, what didn’t work, maybe (uh) what your, what your goals were and if you were able to achieve them (uh) in the past year. And, (you know), if you didn’t actually set any specific goals, that’s okay, but maybe that’s an indicator that you want to set goals for the New Year. So I really think that this ‘reverse (uh, uh) resolution’ is the first step and then you might wanna (want to) go forward and make (like) a New Year’s resolution for 2014. But you really have to look back and measure how far you’ve come…
Gabby: …in order to move forward.
Lindsay: Yeah. And I would also say that one thing you might wanna (want to), you might wanna (want to) do this with a partner or for example, if you have an English tutor, you might wanna (want to) do this with your English tutor because it’s hard to see your own improvement sometimes, right?
Lindsay: Sometimes it’s hard to step outside and look at yourself from the outside.
Gabby: Yeah. I agree.
Lindsay: And then we also sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves credit for things that we’ve done well.
Lindsay: Right. So maybe ask a partner to sit down with you and do parts of this together.
Lindsay: You think that could work?
Absolutely. And if you have a tutor, if they don’t already give you a kind of evaluation of your progress, ask them for it, especially if you’re trying to work on your accent. Ask them for an evaluation of your accent and…
Lindsay: That’s a good idea.
Gabby: …how far you’ve come.
Lindsay: Definitely. See your progress.
Gabby: Okay cool. So one tool that I’ve found really helpful is (uh) kind of a spreadsheet to actually document your past year, your, your (self), annual review in writing and I found a pre-made (uh) spreadsheet on Chris Guillebeau’s website. This was a blog post that he wrote on December 15, 2008, but it’s still really helpful. You can just (um) Google ‘Chris Guillebeau.’ (Uh) I think it’s called….
Lindsay: …“The Art of Non-Conformity” is the name of his blog. (Uh) he’s a really successful internet entrepreneur and a world traveler and he – it’s interesting to listen to his advice ‘cause (because) he really knows what he’s doing.
Lindsay: About how to be successful and the name of the post is… Gabby: “How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review” Lindsay: Cool.
Gabby: Yeah, so check that out and we just encourage you to specifically look at how your English has come along during this past year and how to move forward in the New Year.
Lindsay: All right. So good luck putting together your ‘reverse resolution,’ guys.
Lindsay: And thanks for joining us today.
Gabby: Thanks guys.
Gabby: Hey Lindsay. So I’ve heard some of your students have been using the premium transcripts for this podcast. Tell me about that.
Yeah. (You know) this podcast is just, is fantastic if you wanna (want to) have some fun and you wanna (want to) learn a little bit, you wanna (want to) get a little bit of motivation for your English. But (you know) my students are actually really, really serious about improving and I’m, I’m excited about that. That’s why I’m working with them. And so, so for them, the way for them to actually really improve is to use the premium transcripts. So we’ve been using those in class together (um) and they’ve been able to learn a ton.
Yeah. Actually my students, too, (uh) they read the transcripts. You can read them out loud. You can do (um) some shadowing with the transcripts as well. You can look up vocabulary. You can do a lot of things. I don’t want to go on and on, but the premium transcripts are super helpful and we want to encourage those of you who are serious about improving your English this New Year to try them out. You can find them at allearsenglish.com/conversations.
Lindsay: All right. So please check it out. Thanks guys.
Gabby: Thank you.
Lindsay: Thanks for listening to the All Ears English Podcast. We’re here to help you learn English and you can help us by leaving a five star review on iTunes.
See you next time.
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