What To Do If Learning Spanish Has Ever Been Your New Year’s Resolution

Have you ever set a New Year’s Resolution to learn to Speak Spanish?

Well read on to find out how you can help guarantee achieving your New Year’s Resolution if it is to learn Spanish

So January 1st ….another year…..a fresh start. It is time to think about what we want to do in the next 12 months if we haven’t already done so. After the possible excesses of New Year’s Eve, it is perhaps time to set your New Year’s Resolution.

Will it be giving up the demon drink (especially if you are still hung over from last night)?

Do you want to lose weight or exercise more?
Perhaps your New Year’s Resolution is to give up smoking?

You might have several goals that you want to achieve this year and one of them might be Learning Spanish.

Of course this site is dedicated to those of us who want to learn or are actually learning Spanish so I am going to focus on that as I talk about Resolutions for the New Year.

However what I am going to tell you will apply to just about any goal you have set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Chances are, unless you follow these recommendations I am about to share with you, you will FAIL in achieving what you have set out to achieve.

The Two Ways To Set A Learning Spanish Resolution Now if you have set Learning Spanish as your New Year Resolution then there are two possible situations:

1. You have never learnt Spanish before and you want to give it a go
2. You have tried learning Spanish in the past and want to start again.

Either way congratulations on setting a worthy and laudable goal. There are many great reasons to pick up Spanish as a second or third language. Now how have you set your goal? Have you set an outcome resolution or a process resolution?
Let me explain.

If you have said as part of your New Year’s Resolution that you want to learn to speak and understand Spanish, then that is an outcome you want to reach. You want to be able to converse in Spanish and understand what is being said to you. If however you have said that you want to learn some new Spanish every single day then that is a process goal.

You have defined the process of doing something every single day as part of your resolution. Many people set their New Year goals as outcomes and this is one of the reasons why you will find that within a matter of weeks, maybe even a matter of days, they will have given up on their intentions. Most People Lose Momentum and Stop In the First Week!

On January 1st everything begins, the Learn Spanish program is purchased, the MP3 player is loaded up, the TV set is tuned to the local Spanish Station and you might even consider buying Enrique Iglesias’s latest Spanish album.

You start listening to the lessons, watching Spanish movies and absorbing everything Spanish.

Then after the holidays you go back to work and you vow to have your MP3 player on as you travel to and from work.

Everything is going really well for the first few days and then around about 5th or 6th of January you leave the iPod at home.

Then it is the weekend and you need to spend some time with the family or your friends and so the last thing you want to do is learn! You will definitely get back to working on your New Year’s Resolution on Monday.

Monday comes and because you have not instilled the habit you once again leave the MP3 player at home but you vow to get started again when you get home from work.

A busy day at work leaves you exhausted and so you collapse in front of the TV and watch the DVDs you had for Christmas and promise that you will get started again tomorrow.
And just like the film title, tomorrow never comes…

And this is pretty much the experience for the majority of people who set New Year’s Resolutions.

Set Your New Years Resolution as a Process Goal

Now it is very important to know what you are trying to achieve which is why knowing the outcome of your resolution is vital but the most important part is having a plan, or a process to get there.

Having just outcome as your focus can be a de-motivator because it will appear to be such a huge task if you just express it in one bite and therefore very easy to give up.

This is why your New Year’s Resolution should be expressed as a process.

If you want to learn Spanish as your New Year’s Resolution then I suggest that you express it as a process. Vow that every day for the next 366 days (this year is a leap year) you will learn some Spanish.
Over a whole year, if you did something every single day then you be quite proficient in the language after all that.

Now the key to this approach to making your resolution real is that you must identify what is the absolute minimum you will do every single day.

Just like our friends who set only the outcome goal you are likely to start the New Year spending possibly hours every day immersing yourself in your Learn Spanish program but like them, this will slowly get less and less.

You Need to be A Learning Spanish Tortoise

Remember the story of the hare and the tortoise who had a race. The hare sped off right from the start, got tired and complacent and was beaten by the steady and regular effort of the much slower tortoise.
Life will get in the way of your goal, things will interrupt the process and you will get distracted. However the key will be to do something towards Learning Spanish every single day. Just plod along with regular effort like the tortoise.

You must know exactly what that is so that in your own mind you can legitimately say to yourself “Yes I did some Spanish today and I am on track to fulfilling my Resolution”.

Your minimum might be just 5 minutes of a podcast. It could be learning just one new word or watching 5 minutes of Spanish TV. You might just browse a Spanish language newspaper or magazine for 5 minutes.
It does not really matter what it is as long as it is easy, takes just a few minutes and can legitimately be seen as an activity to support your resolution to learn Spanish.

Learn Some Spanish Every Single Day, No Matter How Small

What you will find by doing this is that you will still keep the momentum of learning something every single day and these short, sharp snappy activities will allow you to deal with being busy, tired or just distracted.
Over time the momentum you will create by doing this will become a habit and you will start spending more and more quality time, knowing in the back of your mind that you have an easy option if things crop up.
One thing I have found that has helped me is to keep a track of when I apply myself to my New Year’s resolution. I will simply make a mark on my calendar every day I do something. After a while the urge not to miss a day grows because it would be such a shame to break a winning streak of consecutive days marked off.

So in summary then:

1. Set a process goal as part of your New Year’s Resolution to Learn Spanish
2. Work out what your absolute minimum is going to be
3. Keep track of your daily effort

Try it because just these simple steps really do work! Do let me know how you have got on and I look forward to hearing about your Spanish Learning success.

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