“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Leo Tolstoy
Are you feeling worried, overwhelmed, frustrated with your language learning? Feel like you’re not progressing, like you’ve reached a plateau? Stressed about making mistakes, about what others will think, about not understanding, about feeling silly, constantly comparing….? All these questions are blurring your focus, you don’t know where to start? There’s so much to learn, so little time in the day….
Firstly, let’s stop and take a deep breath. I think it’s high time for a spring clean so that you can restart your language adventure feeling refreshed with a newfound sense of confidence, control and peace of mind!
How do you spring clean your language learning? My recommendation is that you follow these 7 steps:
1. First, take a close look at the different areas of your life (such as work, commute, family, leisure etc.) and decide which areas need a “Spring Clean” to make room for language learning (where can you gain time, make improvements, what can you say “no” to, what can you stop doing etc.).
2. Detox your language fears. Make a list of those annoying “what ifs”, “buts” & general frustrations. Decide what you REALLY want to be doing both personally and professionally in English and see how the elements on your “fears” list are preventing you from moving forward.
3. What’s Zapping Your Energy? Identify what’s draining you and holding you back. De-clutter your life and free up energy to use for you and your language goals.
4. Stop Procrastinating. This is something we all suffer from at some time. Decide what you have been putting off for too long in your language journey and where you now need to take action. Ask yourself the question “if not now, when?” This type of question forces you to come up with a specific time rather than just saying “soon” or “some day”.
5. Your 3-Month Vision. Based on the above spring clean, define your priorities and ask yourself: where do I see myself in 3 months? Where would I like to be?
6. Identify your “Language Spring Clean” Goals. Based on your answer to the previous step, set goals and then action steps for you to move forward with.
7. And finally, identify fresh new daily success habits to support you in your goals (such as getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to practice English or any language you may be learning, journaling in the evening, listening to podcasts on your commute, reading headlines during your coffee break etc. – in short, doing what you normally do/like to do… in the language you are learning!)
The above steps should have helped you gain a clearer vision of where you want to be with your language learning, what is stopping you and what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Some other questions to get you started:
– Think for a few moments: What would a spring clean of your language learning look like for you?
– What needs “sweeping away” so that you can appreciate the excitement of learning a language?
– Where do you need to “freshen up” your motivation?
– What things need physically or mentally spring cleaning in your life to make room for language learning? (eg. your office, filing, home, agenda, lifestyle etc.)
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein
Images courtesy of Unsplash (Erik Lundqvist, Tim Gouw)