Setting and Sticking To a New Year Resolution for Learning A New Language

How to Set Your Resolution Up for Success

It is that time of the year again – Christmas holidays, family time and the time to set New Year resolutions. A survey found that nearly 58% of people in the UK planned to make New Year resolutions in 2023.

Each year, 38.5% of adults in the United States establish New Year’s resolutions. Among young adults aged 18-34, a significant 59% participate in this tradition, marking them as the largest demographic engaging in goal-setting. The most prevalent New Year’s resolution, embraced by 48% of individuals, is the desire to increase physical activity, solidifying its status as the most popular goal.

Most people in the UK as in the US choose fitness, saving money or spending more time with family as their top resolutions. If you are among the select few who have chosen learning a new language as their resolution, read on to learn how you can set and achieve your goal.

Learning A New Language

How to Set Your Resolution Up for Success

Generally, people tend to set resolutions which are either too difficult, too easy or not well-defined. Even if they set achievable resolutions, many tend to forget about them after the year starts.

The first step when planning about your resolution is to define it clearly. If you plan to get fit, you could keep ‘Losing 10 pounds in 6 months’ as a resolution. For learning a language, since there is no single measurable method, you can choose something like ‘Being able to understand 50% of a news article after 1 year’ as your goal.

Note that your goal does not need to be applicable for the entire year. You can break the resolution down into smaller parts and go about completing them one after the other.

One of the helpful ways to set a goal is using the SMART framework.

sucess Learning New Language

What is a SMART Goal?

SMART goals are part of a framework from the 1980s initially designed for the workplace. Despite being devised for the workplace, these goals are perfect for anything you want to achieve and include the following:

Specific – Consider what you want to get from learning the language, such as understanding enough to talk to people if you go to the country where it is spoken. Being specific is especially helpful when you intend to learn the language if you want to take on a new work role or move to a new country. It could also be helpful if you plan to participate in immersive cultural experiences where language plays a more significant role, such as culinary schools or music-related events.

However, if you chose to learn Italian with us, we will teach you Italian while experiencing these cultural experiences. See our live & learn Italian workshops in London, UK for example and our immersive live & learn Italian experiences in Italy.

Measurable – Although it is somewhat difficult to measure learning, you can set some benchmarks to gauge your progress. As mentioned in the earlier example, your goal can be to understand a certain percentage of a news article, finish a certain number of lessons in an online course like “The Mindful Italian Experience” which teaches not only Italian, but helps to stop the fear of speaking it using mindfulness interventions backed by academic research. The platform will also enable you to track and record your progress directly on it.

Achievable – Your goal needs to be realistic in order to increase your chances of completing it. Picking something like ‘I want to speak like a native Italian in a year’ can be too ambitious if you are planning to learn Italian from scratch. At the same time, choosing something like ‘I want to complete 20 hours of learning in 6 months’ can be too low and make you lose interest in the goal.

Relevant – One of the ways to understand the relevance of learning the language is to ask why you want to learn it. Your motivation can be anything from understanding the lyrics of a favourite song to communicating with a friend or colleague who is a native speaker of that language.

Time-Bound – It is important to attach a time limit to your overall resolution and any parts that you’ve broken it down into. Your overall resolution can stretch beyond a year too. Without a set timeframe, you may not feel motivated to prioritise acting on the resolution.

Sticking to Your Resolution

Sticking to Your Resolution

How to Avoid Losing Interest

You’re probably enthusiastic initially when you decide to learn a language, but this may not last forever if you learning it by yourself and not following a valid online language course or have a private tutor.

In later stages, you may feel that various elements of life are coming at you to prevent you from reaching your goal, much like opposing team players in an NFL game.

Rethink your reasons for learning the language and consider revising them somewhat to see if your interest shifts back. Looking at your motivation can sometimes spur you back into the learning process. Try watching a new movie or TV show in the language to see if you regain your interest.

Try different learning options, such as switching your preferred app for a personal learning course. Consider whether your mode of learning makes you focus too much on one aspect of the language at the expense of another. Mastering a language involves a mixture of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, so you must ensure you have the chance to do all of these tasks. Above all, speaking is a skill which needs to be practiced a lot.

Therefore, seek a learning companion among your friends, family, or online communities. Ensure that your learning partner shares the same proficiency level as you. Studying with someone at a different skill level, whether higher or lower, can be demotivating.

When you become a part of The Mindful Italian Experience, you will also become a member of a lively community consisting mostly of learners who are starting from scratch or have an elementary level.

How to Make the Most of Technology

How to Make the Most of Technology

Take advantage of technology to enhance your language-learning experience. Online courses, and interactive platforms provide engaging and convenient ways to practice.

There are many free as well as paid options to choose from. Free apps include Duolingo and Memrise while paid apps include Babbel, Busuu and Lyrica. While these apps could help you with vocabulary, you need solutions such as online learning courses or one-on-one sessions in order to progress further as the mentioned apps lack of structured learning.

If you hit a roadblock or feel that your progress is plateauing, you can start listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos and movies in the target language.

How to Ensure That You Meet Your Goal

You might feel like your progress has stopped after a certain point, but you don’t want to stop after you’ve begun laying a foundation. If needed, consider revising the time frame instead of giving up on your learning altogether.

Be sure to keep your goals. If your goals are challenging to reach, you are at greater risk of giving up. For example, committing to lessons several times a week instead of every single day is a more straightforward goal to achieve.

Some people do well with learning a specific number of words each day, while others find it better to learn as much as they can in the available time. However you decide to learn new vocabulary, make sure it’s done in context. You can do that by reading a book, watching the news or listening to simple songs while reading its lyrics. Whatever you do, do not memorise a list of random words. Regardless of your daily learning goals, remaining consistent will benefit you most.

Would you like to help your loved ones with their learning goals this Christmas and New Year?

Take advantage of our astonishing offer; 60% OFF our innovative digital course “The Mindful Italian Experience” just choose the gifting option and write a personal note for them. This is a limited offer.

Jennifer was afraid of speaking Italian and after several lessons with me, she also joined our Italian learning experience and reported:

“I had the opportunity to participate in the “Mindful Italian Experience” – what a great program! The lessons are clear and focused, the interactions between Raffaella and Vicki are casual and use language that is valuable in everyday conversations.

My favorite part of the program was the meditations. It allowed me view language learning in a different light and I really did go into my lessons with a different attitude. Thanks, Raffaella & Nicole!” Jennifer Philadelphia PA USA

Conclusion

For learning a language, the best approach is to commit to it in the long term. A new-year resolution can be an excellent starting point. Remember to set SMART goals, stay adaptable, and celebrate small wins.

With consistency and passion, you will be able to complete your resolution without any issues. If would like to discuss your learning goals, feel free to book a free Discovery Call with me Raffaella by clicking on the following link:

https://calendly.com/languagesalive/30min

A presto!