So you have decided that this is the year to finally learn Spanish. That’s great, but now what? Sticking to any resolution can be very difficult but there are some concrete steps to take that can help you achieve your goals and finally get the results you wanted.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, the first thing you need to do to make your resolution stick is to answer these 5 questions:
- 1.Why do you want to make the change?
Are you interested in learning Spanish for fun? Work? Love? The key is to focus on the emotional aspect and to imagine what your life will be like once you achieve your goal. This will be key in those tough moments when are you thinking about giving up and need some inspiration to keep going.
- 2. Is your goal concrete and measurable?
Everyone knows that when making a goal it needs to be specific, measurable, and achievable. This can be difficult for some abstract resolutions like “being more healthy” or “being more thoughtful of others”. Fortunately, learning languages can be broken down very easily into small steps based on where you are starting. You will be able to track your progress week by week, month by month, year by year. The key here is to be realistic within the limitations of your daily life. Becoming an advanced speaker within 6 months of starting is very unrealistic unless you are willing to spend hours every day speaking 100% Spanish with native speakers. If you have other commitments in your life it is more reasonable to set a more modest goal like ordering food at a restaurant or having a conversation with a stranger.
- 3. What is your plan?
Spanish may be “easy” in terms of foreign languages, but it is still going to require a lot of work and dedication. Once you have your goal you will need a plan, this should be something short and concise like I will spend 30 minutes every day listening to Spanish. This is also the stage where you can consult with an experienced teacher that can give you a detailed plan of what it will take to reach your goal.
- 4. Who can support you as you work toward change?
Having accountability by sharing your goals with others or on social media is a great way to keep you motivated. When it comes to Spanish this can mean studying in groups, or making short recordings of yourself speaking throughout the process. The change may be hard to see day by day but over the course of a few months, it can be drastic and very rewarding when you can actually see the progress you are making.
- 5. How will you celebrate your victories?
A common mistake that people make when they are trying to learn a new language is that they expect to wake up one morning and magically be able to speak spanish. This is rarely the case, but you will breakthroughs through out your journey and these moments deserve to be celebrated. Just taking a few minutes to reflect on these accomplishments can help you to stay motivated and focused.