One thing I am understanding more and more as I get older is that not all days are created equal, and that’s okay! To be honest I have always been super hard on myself, and I know that in part it’s a defense mechanism. If I was hard on myself, then the judgement from others would pale in comparison, or so I told myself. I thought I was protecting myself but in reality the failures multiplied times 1000 because I couldn’t move past them. Slowly I have been working to overcome this in the past few years. Key word being SLOWLY…
One big aspect where this comes into play is my language learning. I often set out to do XYZ and am disappointed when I don’t quite accomplish it, even if I do ABC instead. I’ve had to remind myself that language learning comes in many forms and that just because I don’t meet every single goal I set out to, it doesn’t mean I am failing. If I am doing SOMETHING in that language then I am learning, whether it be one word or 5 chapters in a textbook. I wrote about some of my goals for the month here, but then I went even further and broke it down by days. I detailed what I thought I needed to get accomplished each day in order to meet those goals and even started keeping track of how long I was studying each thing everyday. To be honest, we are 6 days into the month and this feels like a chore.
Each day this month has looked SO vastly different in terms of my studying. On Sunday, I studied for 8 hours straight! Guess what? I had a blast that day, I not only felt accomplished but enjoyed every bit. Monday, I posted a 10 second recording of myself speaking Korean for my pronunciation to be judged. On Tuesday, I got 2 hours of physical studying in and watched 4 hours of Korean television shows. Wednesday, I listened to a good number of audio lessons while at work. Yesterday, I only did 20 minutes of Duolingo French BUT spent about 2 hours chatting with my French language partner and even managed to write several sentences in French and learned a couple new fun expressions. I also read Boucles d’or et les Trois Ours (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and understood about 80% of it without looking stuff up for clarification.
Did I meet all those daily goals I had set for myself? Nope, not on most days, but I can’t see this as a failure. Every single bit of the aforementioned and the rest of the studying I did, is a WIN! I can end this week knowing more than I did when I started. Heck, I even learned the names of three more obscure body parts in Spanish! What this shows me is that I am better off not trying to regulate what everyday looks like for me when it comes to studying. I love the monthly goals but I am done with daily ones. The only daily goal I want is to do something, anything, in one of my target languages, be it for 15 minutes or 8 hours.
I LOVE language learning and I want the freedom to enjoy it without constraints, goal setting and consistency are both very important but so is loving every minute of it, or at least it is for me. This week I even let myself throw in a little tiny bit of Norwegian and Indonesian which I am super excited about! I can’t wait to see what I learn the next week with no daily constraints.
How was your first week of the month? 🙂