new year's resolutions in French

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions in French

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Mes bonnes résolutions pour 2022. My good resolutions for 2022

Like many North Americans, European French-speakers are relentless self-improvers. The custom of making New Year’s resolutions is so ingrained it’s estimated that 80% of the French adult population make at least one every year, and often more.

In France, Before Setting New Year’s Resolutions, You Assess the Past Year

Before setting goals for ourselves, we need to assess our past year and current situation. In French, we say: 

Je fais le bilan de mon année.

(Literally, “I am making the balance sheet for my year” or “I am assessing my year.”

Another way to say this is: 

Je passe mon année en revue.

“I am reviewing my year. “

3 Steps to Evaluate The Year in French:

1. D’abord, je fais une liste de tous les bons moments et les succès de l’année

“First, I list all the positive moments and successes of the year.”

2. Ensuite, je note mes nouvelles compétences. –

“Then, I note down my new skills.”

Par exemple :

Cette année, je suis allée en vacances au Québec avec des amis et j’ai commencé à apprendre le français.

“This year, I went on vacation to Quebec with friends, and I started to learn French.”

Je sais dire mon nom, mon âge, ma profession et d’où je viens.

“I know how to say my name, my age, my profession/job, and where I come from.”

3. Finalement, je réfléchis aux erreurs et aux mauvais moments.

“Finally, I reflect on mistakes and negative moments.”

Je note mes objectifs non-atteints – I note down unreached goals.

Par exemple :

Je voulais faire plus de sport, mais je n’ai pas organisé mon temps. “I wanted to exercise more, but I didn’t organise my time.”

Typical French New Year’s Resolutions – Mes Bonnes Résolutions Pour 2022

In French, we don’t just make resolutions. We make good resolutions!

Ce nouvel an, je vais prendre six bonnes résolutions. “This New Year, I will make six resolutions.”

To make it positive, we express them in the present tense.

1. J’apprends le français.

“I learn French.”

If we’ve already started to learn it, we say instead:

J’améliore mon français – “I improve my French.”

And if we’ve been learning it for some time and want to intensify:

J’approfondis mon français – “I go deeper with my French.”

2. Je mange plus sain.

“I eat more healthily.”

If we want some detail:

Je mange moins de sucre et de féculents. –

“I eat less sugar and carbs.”

Je mange moins d’aliments transformés. –

“I eat fewer processed foods.”

Je mange plus de fruits et légumes. –

“I eat more fruit and vegetables.”

Je cuisine avec des ingrédients frais. –

“I cook with fresh ingredients.”

3. Je fais plus de sport.

“I exercise more.”

And so as not to have the same problems as the previous year, we can set down smaller goals to help that resolution:

J’organise mon temps pour faire cinq heures de sport par semaine.

“I organize my time so as to do five hours of exercise per week.”

Je fais 1h30 (une heure trente) de muscu en tout

“I do 1.30 hours of strength training (or weightlifting) in total.”

Je fais 1h30 de footing. –

“I go jogging for 1.30 hours.”

Je fais 1h30 de running.

“I run for 1.30 hours.” (French speakers have adopted the English word when it comes to track or trail running)

Je nage une heure par semaine. –

“I swim for an hour per week.”

Je prends un cours de danse par semaine. –

“I do an hour’s dance class per week.”

4. Je passe plus de temps avec ma famille et/ou mes amis. –

“I spend more time with my family and/or my friends.”

Je déjeune avec ma sœur au moins deux fois par mois. –

“I have lunch with my sister at least twice a month.”

J’appelle mes amis à Minnéapolis une fois par mois. –

“I call my friends in Minneapolis once a month.”

Je vais voir mes parents un dimanche sur deux. –

“I go see my parents every other Sunday.”

Puis je rends visite à ma grand-mère dans sa maison de retraite.

“Then I visit my grandmother in her nursing home.”

Je joue au foot avec des potes tous les samedis. –

I play soccer with buddies every Saturday. (note the plural of samedi)

5. Je prends le temps de me détendre. –

“I take time to relax.”

J’apprends à méditer. –

“I learn to meditate.”

Je fais du yoga. –

“I do yoga.”

Je vais me promener dans la nature.

“I go walking in nature.”

Je vais flâner en ville. –

“I go strolling/wandering through the city.” (flâner is a slow art that the French appreciate. It represents the opposite of being on the clock.)

J’écris un journal intime.

“I write in a journal.”

6. Je fais du bénévolat…

“I volunteer…”

dans une association écologique. – in an environmental nonprofit.

dans une association pour enfants démunis. – in a nonprofit for deprived children.

dans une association pour réfugiés. – in a refugee nonprofit.

pour entraîner des jeunes au foot. – to coach young people in soccer

pour enseigner à des adultes à lire et à écrire. – to teach literacy to adults.

Eat well, exercise, be a good person…but don’t beat yourself up!

We all start the year with good intentions, but some of them will fall by the wayside. According to food delivery services in Paris, bad eating habits start creeping back in the second half of January. C’est la vie!

As the French love to say, on ne se prend la tête !

Literally, that expression means “let’s not grab our heads” – let’s not overthink this / make life too difficult for ourselves. As a psychologist reminded listeners on a French radio station this year, les bonnes résolutions se prennent toute l’année – we can make resolutions all year round. Sometimes, New Year is just an opportunity to relax and have fun with friends, despite our Covid-era restrictions.

Alors… Bonne Année! Happy New Year! Or they say in the French-speaking Swiss Alps, over a glass of abricotineBonne et heureuse!” Good and happy.

Resolve to Learn French in 2022!

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