The only thing you really need to learn a language
Happy 2019! It’s a new year, and if your goal is to learn a language or improve your language skills, I’ve got just the trick for you. All you have to do is…. make it a priority!
Easier said than done, I know, but over the last year I’ve learned from both research and experience, that things get done when we choose to prioritize them. Many of us feel motivated to achieve certain things, but also feel like we don’t have the time or resources to make them happen. But if we take a step back and look at things objectively, we may find that there really is time and resources, we just have to choose to use (or create) them!
You could even get started right now with this list of tips to keep up language learning motivation!
Being honest about priorities
We don’t always have complete freedom in decision-making; most people have to work, feed their children, etc. But almost everyone has some “free” time that they can choose how to use.
There are things that I have let fall by the wayside because I haven’t chosen to use my time for them. A great example is this website! In my first post of 2018, I said I was going to update the site to better reflect the services we currently offer, and “update Esperanza website” has been on my to-do list since long before that. Yet, it’s still not up-to-date. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important, it’s that I’ve continuously prioritized other tasks.
We need to be honest about our priorities. When I look at what I haven’t achieved off my to-do list, instead of feeling frustrated at external barriers to getting them done, I can take responsibility for how I’ve chosen to prioritize my time. One thing I recognize about myself is that I often go for low-hanging fruit (tasks that are easy to quickly check off the list), and procrastinate on bigger, more important, tasks. I need to get better at prioritizing based on importance regardless of task size.
I also think it’s important to be clear with others about how we are choosing to use our time. Rather than saying “I don’t have time”, I’m working on getting into the habit of saying “I’m not prioritizing this right now”. It’s hard to be that blunt sometimes, but it’s more honest. Actually (to be completely honest!), I usually say “I can’t prioritize this right now” which isn’t as honest as it could be!
One thing at a time
We all have many competing priorities, and sometimes our free time is very limited so we really can’t do everything at once. But a good friend often reminds me that you can do everything you want to do eventually – you just have to do one thing at a time!
So if language is your goal this year, make it a priority! Bring it higher up on the to-do list and choose to use your time for it. If the resources you need to learn the language don’t seem to exist, maybe you can create them! At the very least, reach out for help. Reach out to me! If I don’t have the answers you need, I’ll be very happy to help point you in the right direction.
From all of us at Esperanza Education, wishing you a happy, healthy, and language-filled 2019!