LEARNIG TIP #8 - DO A LITTLE BIT
Let’s talk a little bit about motivation today.
If we want to achieve something we need to stay motivated. We might not necessary find the whole process of achieving our goal pleasurable but we need to stay motivated to keep on keeping on when the days of “I feel like doing nothing” come.
In our adult like we are often trapped between our financial commitments, work issues and family matters. No wonder that the last thing, we can think of is our English classes. Not to mention heaps of homework our ‘living in a totally different world” teachers assign us thinking that we have absolutely nothing else to do but go through grammar exercises before we go to bed.
I am guilty as charged of being a teacher who loves giving homework. I truly believe in the importance of self-study and learners autonomy. The truth is that we learn a language our whole life. It’s a never-ending process. You can learn with a tutor for a while but at the end of the day, you need to take a role of a tutor yourself. That is why learning how to motivate yourself outside your classroom is super important.
Well, but how to do it? Aren’t we motivated by different things? Is there a rule we can follow here and all be successful?
Unfortunately, there is no simple formula to staying motivated. However, … - I simply love the word however in the moments like these because it we can expect that there is some light in that tunnel. So, however, try to do a little bit every day. As Stephen Guise says “Doing a little bit is infinitely bigger and better than doing nothing (mathematically and practically speaking).”
Do not overwhelm yourself with your learning material. Many people have big ambitions, especially at the beginning of their learning path, but they overestimate their abilities and the amount of time they can devote to studying. As a result they end up discouraged and disgruntled.
The secret of success lies in creating a habit of doing a bit every day. Not just doing a bit, but doing it often and regularly. A little bit every day can grow into a lifelong habit and this can change everything for you.
But start small. A 5 minute vocabulary practice every day can do wonders. You cannot do it everyday, do it on Wednesdays and Fridays but do it. Your best bet would be to set a reminder, for example in your phone, at the beginning so you couldn’t blame your poor memory for your laziness.
A good idea is also to build a new habit into your life by stacking it on top of the current one. I guess, many of you have a habit of drinking coffee in the morning. Because it’s already something strongly wired into your brain, it will be much easier to use this strong connection to build a new habit - having a morning brew and doing Quizlet.
Science tells us that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. 21 days doesn’t seem like a lot to me and think of the benefits and changes such a small thing can bring into your life. I truly encourage you to give it a try.
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Written by Agnieszka Kansy