We’re well settled into the new year and we’re all full of hopes and dreams for the next 12 months – learning a new language, getting fit, changing our job, travelling more. Most likely in the first week of the year you were super pumped, ready to drop anything to stick to your main goal(s).
By the time the second week came however, you kind of settled in, relaxed the rules a bit and got back to some of your old habits. When January’s over, your goal will be completely forgotten like it was never there and you’re going to be thinking ‘how silly of me to think that I could learn Spanish’.
That can be one of the ways the future looks. Let’s take a different turn. Lets push through the phase when we want to give up and see what happens. The other road is familiar but wouldn’t it be nice to see what else can happen? What if you did learn Spanish this year? You could read books in Spanish, and you could talk to other Spanish speakers, and on your next holiday in Spain you could strike up a conversation with a stranger and end up making new friends.
Studies have shown that the human brain tends to value immediate rewards more than future rewards. When you set a goal or a resolution you are in fact making plans for your future self and it ‘s easy to imagine how your life can look. But, when the time comes that you actively pursue that goal most people choose immediate gratification and opt to do what they feel like in the moment.
Now that we understand how our mind works, it’s time to find ways to stop this from happening.
- Start slowly and build a ritual. Set yourself to practice for half an hour a day – that’s not too much to ask right? Offer yourself a reward after – if you’re learning a language with uTalk, the reward comes in the form of earning points and we all like to build up to a nice score, right?
- Put aside some of your other tasks. Obviously not work or eating but if you usually browse the Internet while commuting why not replace that with your main goal?
- Keep your eyes on the prize – never lose sight of your motivation. Look at pictures of beautiful Spanish landscapes and imagine yourself having a chat with the locals, or listen to Spanish songs and try to understand the lyrics.
I hope this helps you push through the temptation of giving up and will ultimately get you to your goal. And don’t worry about making mistakes; the only person who loses is the one that gives up, so no matter how slow you are going, it’s still better than if you weren’t doing anything.
And if your goal is to learn a language (or twelve…), there’s still time to join the uTalk Challenge!
We’re now a week and a half into the New Year, and it’s safe to say a lot of people will already have given up on the promises they made to themselves when the clock struck midnight on January 1st. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, quit smoking, learn a new skill or save money, here are our tips to help you stick with it.
1. Set yourself manageable goals. Instead of saying ‘I’m going to lose weight’, decide how much you want to lose in a set time frame, and reward yourself when you get there.
2. Focus – don’t try and do everything at once. Choose one or two changes you want to make to your life and concentrate on those.
4. Only set targets that you really care about. If it’s not important to you, it’s so much easier to lose interest. Think about why you’re doing it – if you can’t think of a reason, it’s probably not worth doing.
5. Tell friends and family what you want to achieve. It’ll be harder to give up if other people are keeping an eye on you.
6. If you do have a wobble, don’t use that as an excuse to give up. Put it down as a one-off and start again.
7. Take your time. You don’t have to achieve all your goals on the first day. If your goal is to exercise more, start by going for a run to see how you feel, before you rush out and spend lots of money on a gym membership.
If you didn’t set any New Year’s Resolutions this year, it’s not too late! If you want to make some changes in your life, you don’t have to wait for January 1st to roll around again. Why not make a start today?
Learning a language is often a popular New Year’s Resolution, so if you’ve decided 2013 is the year to brush up on your German, or start learning Japanese, have a look at our website to see how we can help you get started.