Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to the Monthly Review!
The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips, study tools, and resources.
By the way, all the lessons and bonuses you’re about to see can be downloaded for free on our website.
So, click the link in the description right now to sign up for your free lifetime account.
Okay, today’s topic is:
How to Create Long-Lasting Habits for Language Learning
Our lives are governed by routines and habits. And a lot of the time, we’re doing things out of habit… without having to think or motivate ourselves.
So, what if you could do the same for language learning… where you can easily slide in, start learning, without needing to push yourself?
If you could, you’d succeed with the language. And that’s why today, you’ll discover:
1. How Habits Work
2. Tricks for Creating Strong Habits for Language Learning
And 3: How to Create Your Own Habits
But first, if you’re looking for new, free language resources and downloads… Here are this month’s new lessons and resources. Be sure to download these now before we take them down in a few days.
First — The Making Plans Conversation Cheat Sheet
With this brand new cheat sheet, you’ll be able to make plans in your target language… and learn useful phrases like, “when are we meeting,“ and “would you like to join,” and more.
Second — the “Talking About Family” Writing Workbook
With this printable PDF, you'll learn all the must-know words and phrases for family. And, you’ll be able to practice writing the phrases out as well. Download it for free right now.
Third — Can you talk about space in your target language?
Learn how to say ”star,” ”sun,” ”planet,” and much more, with this quick vocab bonus.
Fourth — Must-Know Words for Energy Production
Learn how to say ”solar power,” ”battery,” ”windmill,” and much more, with this 1-minute vocabulary lesson.
Fifth — The 20 Phrases for Daily Routines
If you can’t talk about your day yet, this 1-minute lesson will get you speaking.
You’ll learn the must-know phrases: From talking about waking up and brushing your teeth, to dinner and going to sleep.
To get your free resources, click the link in the description below right now. They’re yours to keep forever. Ok, let’s jump into today’s topic:
How to Create Long-Lasting Habits for Language Learning
Part 1: Tricks for Creating Strong Habits for Language Learning
Is language learning a habit for you?
If not, then you’ve probably tried and struggled with creating that habit.
Why? If you think about it, the way our behavior works is… if you get a good result or reward, you do it again. And if you get punished… or if you don’t see a good result, you tend not to do it again.
So, we’re all kind of wired to want results to stay motivated or see progress.
But with long-term goals like language learning… or fitness, for example… it takes that time to see some results. So, it’s understandable why it’s hard for learners to make language learning a habit.
You can come up with a nice routine on paper, but if you can’t physically stick with it… it’s kind of useless.
The trick is to keep going… until it becomes a habit. So, what should you do to create a habit?
Well, there are a few tricks for that.
First, set a specific time and location dedicated to learning language. That could be your house, a cafe, or on the train.
The reason you should start with time and location is because many of our habits are ruled by time and location. If it’s 8 PM, we know it’s dinner time. If it’s midnight, it’s time to brush your teeth. And if you’re at the office - a location - it’s time to work. And if you’re at a gym, it’s time to work out. So, by doing this, you give yourself a plan to work from. If it’s 8 PM, you automatically know to learn language… in the set place.
The 2nd tip is similar to the first. Create an environment that’s good for language learning… where it’s easy for you to learn.
As mentioned earlier, location can set the theme of your behavior and habit. If you’re in a library, you’re more likely to read. If you’re at the gym, you’re more likely to work out.
So, you can turn a room or a corner of a room into a learning space… where you can easily pop in and start learning without getting distracted by TV, your phone, or a pile of clothes on your couch. Again, your environment can make it easy to stick with habits…. or it can break your habits.
For example, if you want to work out… if you had a gym on the first floor of your building, it’d be much easier to go, right? But, if it was 5 blocks away, then it’s out of your immediate environment and not as easy to get to. Similarly, if you decide to learn a language on the couch and next to your tv, it won’t work out as well because your environment isn’t suited for learning. You’d want a place with no external distractions.
The 3rd thing you can do is… piggybacking, or habit stacking.
In other words, combining a habit that you already have with a new one that you want to have.
So, take a look at your existing habits and routines throughout the day. For example, let’s say you commute to work or school for 30 minutes. If you can multitask while doing this, then this is a great place to squeeze in language learning. If you eat lunch at 1 PM, you can piggyback on top of this routine and listen to our audio lessons. And there’s a good chance it will stick because you’re piggybacking on top of an existing habit that you have no problem sticking with.
The 4th tip is called the 2-minute rule. In other words, just learn a language for 2 minutes and then walk away. The whole point here is… to master the habit of showing up and learning. 2 minutes isn’t enough to make progress… but for a beginner who doesn’t have good habits to start with… this is more than enough. It's enough to build a habit. Remember, with habits - it’s not about how many hours you put in right now… it’s how many times you’ve done it - the frequency.
So, someone that did 100 2-minute lessons for 2 weeks will have a much stronger habit than someone that learned for 1 hour a day for 2 weeks and wore themselves out.
The fifth tip is to track your habits, and it’s something you can do with a calendar, where you cross the days on a calendar every time you learn your target language.
Having that habit tracker does two things. First, it keeps the habit on top of your mind, and second, it gives you that reward or result. So if you’re consistent, you have the visual proof right in front of you. If you’re not, well, at least now you know your progress.
Now, how long does it take to form a habit?
Some say 21 days, and then there are studies that say 2 months on average. But remember, the most important part again is… frequency. The current habits you have… you’ve done them hundreds and hundreds of times which is what makes them automatic. So, if anything, you’ll want to aim for frequency instead of a specific number of days.
Now, what about you?
How can you apply these tips? Let’s get into part 2.
Part 2: Recap on How to Create Your Own Habits
As you already know, our lives are governed by routines and habits. And a lot of the time, we’re doing things out of habit… without having to think or motivate ourselves.
Now imagine if you could do that for language learning… where you can easily slide in and start learning without needing to push yourself.
That’s where habits come in…
Habits start with a cue - which is an outside signal - for example, it’s 8 PM. Or you smell some food at 8 PM.
Then a craving. If you eat dinner at 8 PM, you’ll start wanting to eat. Then the response, you eat.
And then the reward: you feel satisfied.
But building habits is tricky… especially when there’s no instant reward. And there’s no instant reward with language learning. We’re wired more so for instant rewards. So, what can you do?
Here’s a quick recap with examples for you to do.
First: Set a time and location.
This one depends on you and how much free time you have. But, keep it simple and don’t aim high—for example, 8 PM to 8:10PM at home.
Or, 2 PM to 2:30PM at the cafe every Saturday or Sunday.
And the reason is that.. again, time and location are powerful cues for our behavior.
There’s a certain time we sleep, eat, do work, and there are places where we work…and so if you want to build a habit, start here first.
Second: Create an environment that makes language learning easy. You can turn a room or a corner of a room into a learning space… where you don't have any distractions in the way… and where it’s easy to start learning.
And if your home isn’t the best place, then try a cafe. The whole point is to make learning easier to jump into.
Third: Piggyback on your existing routines and habits. In other words, combine language learning with a routine that you already do, like… commuting to work, doing chores, or taking a walk.
That way, your brain automatically starts associating your commute time as language time… and you can easily do a lesson… without having to push and motivate yourself.
So, map out your daily schedule from morning to night, and make it detailed. 8AM wakeup. 8:30AM breakfast. Commute at 9AM. Arrive at work at 9:30AM. Lunch at 1PM, and so on. Then, look where you can multitask and stick language learning in.
Fourth: Use the 2-minute rule. Meaning, if you want to create a habit, do it only for 2 minutes and immediately walk away after.
The whole point is to build the habit of showing up to language learning… and you don’t need to put in hours there. It’s all about how many times you’ve shown up… Not the actual hours you’ve studied.
And you can easily learn with our lessons… or the word of the day emails.
Fifth: Track your habits and don’t skip 2 days in a row. If you can track and measure something, that means you can also improve it. And the same applies to language learning. You can do this with a calendar, a productivity app, or a simple notebook.
If you see that you were able to stick with learning for a week, you’re more likely to keep at it without breaking the chain.
Sixth: Surround yourself with other language learners… or get a language teacher. Like the environment, people also have a big impact on your habits. So, if you’re a Premium PLUS user, be sure to take advantage of the teachers available in our program. Or you can sign up for live classes… our next semester opens up in September…
…for Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, and English.
Now that you know how to create habits… leave a comment and tell us which trick you want to apply? You don’t have to use them all. But pick at least one.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we’ll talk about…_Tipping Points - The Secret Signposts of Language Progress &Success
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