Language in Bloom

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Small daily habits lead to big success

Having large, important long-term goals can be overwhelming, and it’s all too easy to give up if you lose your momentum. Learning a language takes regular, steady practice; a consistency that I’ve seen many people attain, and then lose again because life gets in the way. Let’s say you’ve been diligent about going to classes and reading for at least an hour every night, but work emergency comes up and you can’t devote that kind of time to your language learning for a month. When you get back to your old schedule, it’s likely difficult for you to pick up right where you left off, which can cause frustration and even abandonment of those goals.

It’s impossible to predict what life will throw at you and it’s impossible to always accurately predict how much time you will be able to devote to accomplishing your goals on any given day. That’s why having smaller habits that are relatively easy to fit into your daily routine are important to cultivate, so that in the case of external forces encroaching on your study time, you’ll be able to at least make some progress and keep yourself constantly connected to your goal.

Divide your language learning into smaller goals that can be reached by regular, small habits that you accomplish each day. Instead of having a vague daily task of “study _____ (insert language here)”, outline the specific habits you will do each day. Those daily, small habits might look like something like this:

These are tasks that you can fit in to your daily routine without blocking out a huge chunk of time. When you can devote longer time periods to focusing on language learning, then of course you should take them when possible; but make sure to have a list on hand of things you can do in a few spare minutes on a daily basis. What are some of the tasks you do daily that are now habits? Can you think of other tasks that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you reach your goals?

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Written by

Tammy Bjelland
Language lover, teacher & coach.

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