With only a couple of weeks left until we welcome 2019, we naturally find ourselves thinking about what we would like to achieve in the new year.
If you haven’t set your goals yet – don’t worry, you will find your motivation after reading this post.
If you have – fantastic! However, your work is not quite finished.
As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish."
Good intentions and wishful thinking will only get you so far – so let’s kick those goals into action and make a plan for your language learning in 2019!
Step 1: Find out what motivates you
Remember when you first heard the language you want to learn? How it sounded, and the way it made you feel? Or perhaps you want to experience the culture and local locations of where that language is spoken. Whatever drew you to this language in the first place, dive deep and write down why it’s valuable and important to you so that you are reminded every day of why you want to learn this language.
Step 2: Determine how far you want to go
There is a big difference between knowing enough of the language to get you by for a two-week holiday compared to becoming fluent. Determining how far you want to go is a crucial step in measuring your progress (Step 3). For example, you can define your goals by setting a date for when you will complete your studies, or, you can set a goal of reaching a certain level of competency regardless of how long it may take. Remember to set them in a positive tone: for example, “In six months I will have completed consistent, quality study.”
Step 3: Measure your progress as you go
Measuring your progress has hugely positive impacts on your improvement, so it is vital that you consistently do this exercise to ensure you maintain your levels of interest. In the simplest form, you can revise your work from the previous week or month, identify the ways in which you have improved - no matter how big or small - and give your self a pat on the back. Or, for those more comfortable with their own voice (cue cringing), record yourself speaking the language and document this as you go along. Make your progress revisions short, fun and regular and we promise you will find new motivation every single time.
Step 4: Make time, don’t find it
Isn’t is funny when we think to ourselves, ‘Oh no, I don’t have time,’ yet we can find the time to watch a couple hours of Netflix every night, or scroll social media? 'Finding the time' (usually meaning if you have 'time leftover') to learn, improve and revise your language skills won’t work, so don’t put yourself through the torment. Make the time. You can do this by looking at your current weekly schedule; nothing too elaborate, simply record your usual weekly commitments and activities such as work, family, fitness, errands and leisure. Now work in one to three hours of study time (depending on your goal intensity in Step 2). You’ll be surprised at how much spare time you actually have (Side note: Download Moment for Apple, or Quality Time for Android to find out where your time really goes). Once you’ve gotten into the rhythm it will become habit, and before you know it you will be wondering what else you can fit into your week.
- Make sure your goals are SMART
- Time Bound
- Look at your goals and your plan to achieve them every day (put them in the bathroom or on a vision board)
- Allow for the unexpected to happen and be okay with it (like relatives visiting, or being under the weather)
- Reassess your motivations, goals and the way you measure your progress as you go (your main goal, or ‘end game’ will stay the same, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change it up along the way to ensure you get there successfully).
If this post has inspired you to set your language goals and a plan to achieve them, act on that motivation and get in touch! Find out when you can start learning one of the eight languages we offer here at The Language Academy. Call us on (07) 5578 6838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.