Stay Motivated and Become Fluent
Reading this article may or may not be a challenge for you. It was written for intermediate-level English language learners. If you are a beginner, use this article as an exercise as well as for inspiration.
All of us have goals but pursuing them can be harder than we imagine. Obtaining or maintaining fluency in English is no exception. You're reading this article because the title promises to inspire you. Why have you lost momentum?
Perhaps you simply find it difficult to fit learning English into your busy schedule. Maybe the more advanced grammar has made the language a bigger challenge than it was before. You might have lost the opportunities to practice speaking that you once had and don't know how to replace them. What if you're just bored with your routine for learning English?
If you want or need to be fluent in English, you may wish you could renew your sense of enthusiasm for learning the language and for reaching your goal of becoming a fluent English speaker.
1. Remember why you began.
Try to recall the first time you decided that one day you would be fluent in English. Why did you decide that would be your goal? How did you feel about the goal when you made it? If you felt positively about that decision, why did it feel right?
2. Determine your current "why."
Answer this question: Why do you still need to become fluent in English? If you can't answer it, then maybe it is time to move on. If you can answer it, then it is important to be able to list those reasons very clearly. Give that a try.
3. Carefully review what you have already accomplished. You may surprise yourself.
From the moment you started to take learning English seriously to the present moment, have you improved at all? You may not yet be fluent, but are you more fluent? Realize that your efforts have paid off even if you haven't yet achieved the results you want. It's worth it to sit down and really look through your "files," whether they be mental, digital, or physical and examine what you've overcome so far. Ask all your mentors if they have noted any improvement. You may find out that you're really good at this.
4. Use your imagination to look into the future.
Look at the very best future version of yourself who has achieved your goal
in English. Do you feel confident? Has your career advanced as a result of your fluency? Are you socializing with native English speaking friends and colleagues? Are you traveling or living in a country where English is widely spoken? Add all of the extra details needed to fully imagine this future and exactly how you want it be, so you can arrive there sooner and with fewer wrong turns.
5. Make a realistic plan.
Consider the time you already have or are willing to devote to learning English. Ask yourself whether or not you can find more time, but if you can't at this moment, that's ok.
Consistency and frequency are more important than the number of minutes.
When and for how long can you regularly spend learning English? Now ask yourself this follow up question: Will you ever have a stretch of time, even if just for a few days, that is less busy when you can dive into English more deeply? Provide yourself a schedule of slices of victory. They build fluency.
Considering the time you have, divide your goal into many small steps. The smaller, the better.
If your goal is to practice your reading comprehension, for example, reading just two pages daily is better than not reading anything for weeks and feeling miserably guilty about it. Every little bit adds up.
Example of a realistic goal:
Choose the book you want to read that will provide you with enough but not too much challenge. Decide on a reasonable amount to read on every scheduled occasion. Then maybe cut that by a third or even in half. You can always surpass that!
6. Schedule rewards and indulge.
Make a good deal with yourself. Make many good deals. Schedule a reward worthy of each milestone, and when you get there, celebrate. Don't break the bank, but don't skimp either. Enjoy the view from every summit.
7. Make rules you can live with.
You can make rules to help you stay on track such as "never skip two days in a row--unless the reason is pre-planned" or "If I'm too tired, I can stop after 15 minutes of good effort."
Be careful not to make a study routine in places or situations that you find hopelessly negative or you may associate learning with these things.
8. Add some (or a lot of) accountability.
If you're one for whom the threat of penalty is not discouraging but challenging, add some ahead of time. If you fall behind on your agenda, maybe you could skip dessert or your favorite TV show until you catch up.
Speaking of accountability, we think adding an accountability partner is always a great idea. Not only will someone will be there to encourage your progress and help you stay on track, but it can make the journey more enjoyable to "survive" the tides together. With Parlay Vacay, you can add a "study buddy" to any session for free. Generally speaking, however, your accountability partner doesn't have to be someone with the same goals as yours, just someone with a goal whom you can support and who will be committed to cheering you on too: a win-win.
9. Get a fresh start and a new perspective.
Sometimes we're tired and we just need a new beginning. This usually means trying something different before going back to what has worked before.
What about a few high-energy "power sessions" with a friendly new on-line tutor (who knows nothing about your previous procrastination or failures)? Or maybe you'd like to getaway for the weekend to a gorgeous destination and enjoy practicing your English in a fun but structured English immersion course? You can do either with Parlay Vacay. The point we're trying to make here is that trying something different may give you back the enthusiasm you once had or cause you to become more enthusiastic than ever before, and who couldn't use that kind of boost?
It is our goal to continue inspiring you forever. Thanks for reading!
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