You know how it goes. Halfway into January, and your New Year’s resolutions don’t look that flashy any more – what seemed to be a good and useful plan turns into a pile of unconnected wishes…sounds familiar? Well, fear not. Today you’re getting introduced to three fabulous instruments. Each of these will help you get your foreign language learning back on track. Best of all, none of those costs a penny.
0. Why we suck at motivation – and how to suck less
When you’re resolving to to anything – especially anything big – you’re actually dealing with two people. Let’s call them “the Current You” (tCY) and “the Future You” (tFY).
The Current You lives in the present, observes and concludes in the present, is ruled by experience, but also wishes and dreams. It has a given mindset and a given agenda. TCY has a set of needs and priorities.
The Future You has all those things as well – it will also dream, aspire, think and decide for itself.
Here’s the thing: tCY has, for the most part, absolutely no influence on tFY – and tFY will have, most frequently, no vivid recollection of tCY.
So when the Current You swears never to touch alcohol again – the Future You will not remember it at this great dinner with friends, where good Italian wine is served along with good Italian cuisine, and everyone’s having a good time.
When the Current You decides to give up smoking once and for all – it will not be the first thing on the Future You’s mind, just before that stressful exam, when tFY could really use something to ease the mind.
And, sure enough, when tCY cheerfully signs up for the language course, paying money upfront and signing those contracts – tFY will not remember that when the homework starts piling up, the cold weather will make the trip to the school unbearable, and the progress will appear to sluggish…
The tools presented below won’t let you become one with the Future You (I’m sure scientists are working on this right now, though). They will let you bridge the gap between both selves – and hopefully become more accountable to yourself. Here goes.
1. Lift: check in to your habit
This is an app whose main advantage is the brainlessness of it. Choose a habit. Get it on your list. Every day, connect with the app and tick the box meaning that you did it. That’s it! You can also get support from other people who do the same thing.
Sounds simple? Well, as someone once said, “when it comes to fooling oneself, you’re the easiest person to fool.” Simple solutions frequently work. (Read this article to discover more about the philosophy behind Lift)
2. Give it 100: Language learning…with the power of video!
This started when the founder wanted to motivate herself to learn to dance. She did a brave thing: for a hundred days, she kept posting short videos of herself learning dance moves. And by day 100, the effects were amazing!
This can work for you, if you’re a language learner on a mission. Give your study one hundred days and post a short video showcasing what you learned on every given day. Cue positive comments from the impressed Internet!
3. My very own motivation booster – 4 tools in one
Okay, so you actually have to pay me for this one…but only with a Tweet 🙂 This is a PDF document I compiled recently. One super-simple infographic which shows you four effective methods of controlling, boosting and understanding your polyglot mission.
Print this out, set this as your desktop wallpaper, share this with anyone…just make sure to actually use those techniques. From David Allen to Seinfeld, these have been used and advertised by some productivity gurus – so foreign language learners are bound to found them at least a bit useful.
4. Share your motivation boosters with us!
What’s your trick for motivating yourself? How do you remain the awesome language user you are? Come on. We deserve to know. We need that comment, right now.
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My three e-books are available for you to download.
I update them every year with bonus chapters, so you always get the latest info.
They all cost less than a fancy coffee. If you don't like them, you get your money back within 45 days.
And if you do like them, you will help me help my favourite charity, and motivate me to write more!
Get the bundle here.