In the United States, when the new year is approaching, many people think about what they accomplished and what mistakes or wrong choices they made so they can change them in the year that’s about to start. In other words, they think of the new year as a new beginning – an opportunity to leave anything they don’t like about their life in the past and set goals to change them, or they just set new goals for self-improvement. Here are some idioms or phrases connected with this practice.

New Year’s Resolution– a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.

Example: “Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?”

     “Yes, I’m going to eat healthier and give up smoking.”


turn over a new leaf– to change your behavior in a positive way.

Example: She turned over a new leaf; she began getting to school on time and doing all her homework.


kick the habit– to give up something that you have done for a long time.

Example: He used to smoke but he kicked the habit last year.


bite off more than you can chew– when you do something that proves to be too difficult 

Example: I think he’s bitten off more than he can chew taking all those classes; he should’ve started with just a couple of classes at first.


get the ball rolling– to make something happen or the beginning of something 

Example: We want to get fit this year so we joined the gym to get the ball rolling.


back to the drawing board– to go back to the beginning of a plan, and start over

Example: My plan to read one book per week did not work last year. I have to go back to the drawing board and think of a new way to accomplish my goal of reading more. 

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