English Phrases for New Year’s Resolutions

I’m going to…
I’m not going to…

Use these phrases to talk about plans and intentions for the future.

I’m going to spend more time with my family.
I’m not going to work so much.

In spoken English, “going to” is pronounced gonna – but do not write gonna in written English. You can write it in very informal e-mails and chats with friends, but not in a professional or academic situation.

I’m planning to…

Use this phrase for things that you are almost definitely going to do – often things that you have already scheduled or made some preparations for.

I’m planning to visit Disneyland in July.
I’m planning to take dance classes. I already signed up.

I hope to…
I’d like to…

Use these phrases for things that you want to do (but it’s not yet definite).

I hope to read more books this year.
I’d like to be more organized.

I might…
I may…
I’m thinking of/about…

Might and may are like MAYBE. Use these phrases for things you are considering, but you’re not sure if you will do it or not.

I might take some piano lessons, if I have enough free time.
I may look for a new job. My current job is too stressful.
I’m thinking about moving to a different city – but I’m not sure where.

After thinking of / about, use the -ING form of the verb.

Click here to learn more about the difference between may and might.

Common English error:

Don’t use TO with might, may, or thinking!

I’m thinking to buy a new car.
I’m thinking of buying a new car.

Phrases in English Conversation

“Have you got any resolutions for the new year?”

I’m going to start exercising more, for one thing. I hope to lose 10 pounds by April.”

“Why April?”

“My sister is getting married, so I’d like to look good in the wedding pictures!”

‘That’s a good motivator!”

“So how about you? What are you going to change this year?”

I’m going to cut down on my spending – I’m not going to eat out, I’d like to start cooking at home instead.”

“How come? Are you saving up for something?”

“Yeah, I’m planning to buy a house by the end of the year.”

“Ah, that’s fantastic. Whereabouts?”

“Probably in the same neighborhood where I live now – but I might look at some other areas if I can find a good price.”

“Great, well, good luck with your goals!”

“Thanks, you too.”

Conversation Notes:

  • “Have you got…” is the same as “Do you have…” in this context
  • When you want to do or complete something before a date in the future, use the preposition by: “I hope to lose 10 pounds by April.” Don’t say “until April.”
  • Click here to learn the difference between married, marriage, and wedding.
  • The phrasal verb eat out means to eat outside your home – at a restaurant or cafe.
  • How come? is an informal way to ask Why?
  • The phrasal verb save up for means to save money for a specific purpose.
  • Whereabouts? is an informal way to ask Where?

Use the English Phrases Today!

Write sentences in English about your plans, intentions, and ideas for the New Year:

  • I’m going to _____________
  • I’m not going to _____________
  • I’m planning to ____________
  • I hope to _____________
  • I’d like to ______________
  • I might / I may ____________
  • I’m thinking of _____________

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