The New Year is a time for resolutions. Mentally, at least, most of us could compile formidable lists of 'dos' and 'don'ts'. The same old favorites recur year in year out with monotonous regularity. We resolve to get up earlier each morning, eat less, find more time to play with the children, do a thousand and one jobs about the house, be nice to people we don't' like, drive carefully, and take the dog for a walk every day. Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. If we remain inveterate smokers, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure. Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. We also make the fundamental error of announcing our resolutions to everybody so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways. Aware of these pitfalls, this year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself. I limited myself to two modest ambitions: to do physical exercise every morning and to read more of an evening. An all-night party on New Year's Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on the first day of the year, but on the second, I applied myself assiduously to the task.
The daily exercises lasted only eleven minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before anyone had got up. The self-discipline required to drag myself out of bed eleven minutes earlier than usual was considerable. Nevertheless, I managed to creep down into the living room for two days before anyone found me out. After jumping about on the carpet and twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me. The next morning the whole family trooped in to watch the performance. That was really unsettling, but I fended off the taunts and jibes of the family good-humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea. However, my enthusiasm waned. The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. Little by little the eleven minutes fell to zero. By January 10th, I was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning, I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home formwork Resisting the hypnotizing effect of television, I sat in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to book. One night, however, feeling cold and lonely, I went downstairs and sat in front of the television pretending to read. That proved to be my undoing, for I soon got back to my old bad habit of dozing off in front of the screen. I still haven't given up my resolution to do more reading. In fact, I have just bought a book entitled How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute. Perhaps it will solve my problem, but I just haven't had time to read it!
[flvplayer http://bcs.duapp.com/newce1/media/3-50.mp4 400 300]
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背熟：The New Year is a time for resolutions.
a time for
The spring Festival is a time for gathering.
Mentally: at heart
We become illogical when we decide what can be eaten and what can not be eaten.
背熟：The same old favorites recur year in year out with monotonous regularity.
recur: happen / take place
year in year out: one year after another / year by year
day by day / one day after another / day in day out
resolve to : 下定决心
背熟：Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment.
It is hard for us to attain some certain accomplishment
inveterate: deep rooted
背熟：If we remain inveterate smokers, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure.
Because we have too often experience the frustration, it means nothing to me.
result from : 由 ...... 产生的
result in: lead to / cause
Failure will result in frustration. 失败会导致挫败心理。
背熟：Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out.
carry out: carry off
fail in our efforts / attempt
Eg: We accumulate clutter in an attempt to avoid waste.
背熟：We also make the fundamental error of announcing our resolutions to everybody so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways.
Eg: If you often make some common mistakes, you will get the frustration.
slip back into: return to the normal way
背熟：Aware of these pitfalls, this year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself.
keep my resolutions to myself: keep my resolutions secret
Eg: We arrived at our destination exhausted.
Exhausted, we arrived at our destination.
Aware of the importance, I attempt to carry it out. 由于意识到了此事的重要性，我竭尽全力来把它实现。
limit oneself to
ambitions: New Year resolutions
A good beginning is half success.
背熟：but on the second, I applied myself assiduously to the task.
apply oneself to / apply one’s time to / apply one’s mind / energy to
be devoted / dedicated to
In 2002, I shall apply myself to learning English.
propose to do / I decided to do
The self-discipline required to study English hard is considerable as well.
背熟：I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition.
in an exhausted condition: exhausted
It was exhausted condition that betrayed my secret.
troop in: went / came into the room in group
背熟：That was really unsettling, but I fended off the taunts and jibes of the family good-humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea.
fend off: defeat
wane: diminish step by step
argue: got a good excuse
keep one’s mind fresh for doing sth.
背熟：Resisting the hypnotizing effect of television, I sat in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to a book.
the temptation to do
slip back into our bad old ways / I was back to where I had started from / got back to my old bad habit
dozing off: half sleep
I soon got back to my old bad habit of nodding.
a book entitled: a book which is entitled
We must be true in word and resolute in deed.
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