- "I'm too busy"
- "I'm too tired"
- "It's too hard"
- "I'd rather be doing something else"
Especially during the holiday season, it's easy to fall off the bandwagon, as we say, and let these thoughts and feelings completely derail our language learning plans, making "start over" part of the new year's resolution list. So how can we keep this from happening?
One of the most important habits to build is to find time every day. This doesn't have to be 30 minutes or an hour. It can be five minutes, even two, as long as it's consistent. Of course, to make more solid progress it is helpful to have longer, more focused study sessions, such as 20-30 minutes at a time. But what is most important is to do something every day.
A helpful strategy is to keep a simple daily log sheet. Put it somewhere you are guaranteed to see multiple times every day, such as on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator door. (Don't forget to leave a pen or pencil nearby!) Just write the date, and a couple of words about what your language study effort was for the day. Your effort could be 3 minutes of studying flashcards on the train, watching three or four television commercials on the foreign language channel, or even simply making up sentences and talking to yourself in that language while jogging on the treadmill or preparing dinner.
The idea is to not let too much time pass between sessions. The log sheet will hold you accountable to yourself and give you a sense of accomplishment when you see that you have been diligent in studying virtually every day.