Motivation is a tricky thing, isn't is? If you are one of the brave souls trying to learn a foreign language by yourself you'll be sure to run out of motivation some time. This is a collection of my best tricks to help you complete what your started.
Track you progress.
Make a chart or find a calendar. Mark you chart every time you finish a session or have studied for a set amount of time. Place your chart in a place you can't avoid. Make a commitment to look at your chart every day. This seems simple, but it's incredible how much it helps your motivation.
Don't overdo it.
Learning a new language isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. If you start out full of fresh energy it is important not to burn it all at once. Limit you study time to one lesson or one hour a day. After you have reached your daily goal - Stop. That way you conserve motivation and energy for the nest day. Portion you energy to last. This allows you look forward to your next lesson and finish the race strong.
Online or off-line there are groups who share your goal. Join an online forum or find some similarly minded people in your community. You will find that there are other people who are going through what you are going through. Some will even have been through it. Your support group will keep you going when you want to stop. Not to mention all the good advice, moral support and fun you will have.
Visualize you reason.
Get real clear on why you are learning a new language. Make at picture in your head of what will be different in your life when you reach your goat. What will it get you in the end. Great travel experiences, a promotion, new friend or something else? Find a picture in a magazine or online to represent your goal. Make sure that you look at it every day. Post it on your bathroom mirror, place it on your desk or hang it by your bed. Make sure you look at it every day.
Get a goal buddy.
Keeping you motivation high on your own is though. If you find somebody with the same goal grab the opportunity to ask if they want to partner with you. This can work even if you don't share goals. Just encourage and push each other to succeed. Having someone to answer to and who answers to you adds a whole other layer to your motivation.
The one minute trick.
You know those days when you can't find a glimmer of motivation. Do a one minute effort. That's right. You can find the energy for just one minute, can't you. Just get started with the intention of working for 60 seconds. Once you start, it you will keep going. This works like magic.
Set mini goals.
There is a trick to doing this right. Think back to a time when you quit something before you reached your goal. How long did you work on it before you quit? Your mini goal is to keep going half as long. When you get there give yourself a reward. Go watch a movie, eat a nice meal and pat yourself on the back. Then decide on your next mini goal. This will ensure that you never reach your quitting point.
Plan your rewards.
Split your large goals into smaller goals. If your language program is 30 lessons long you can plan a reward after every 5th lesson you finish. Write out a plan and decide what the reward will be after every smaller goal is reached. Rewards can be anything you like, big or small. Make your reward a small celebration!
Get a coach.
Learning a language by your self can be a lonely adventure. Even if it's just once a month a session with a language trainer or tutor will boost your motivation big time. This is will also show you that your skills are growing and that your progress is real. Check your local newspaper or college for adds. Nothing is better than finding a native speaker of your language who is willing to coach you.
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Kris Lunde is a personal performance expert. His passion is to help others learn to speak a new language. For language home study he recommends Pimsleur