How to Make Time for Language Learning et al

My eldest son will be returning home from Spain at the end of the month. He has spent the year teaching English and learning Spanish. He is inspired and enthusiastic about learning the language but he wonders how he will keep it up when he starts college in September. How will he find the time and maintain the inspiration?

The Long Arm

We all have dreams we never fulfill, things we would love to do but never find the time. For years I had a bucket list as long as my arm or more like Twangy Pearl, the Elastic Girl’s arm. Those of you around in the seventies may remember the comic book hero from Tammy. My bucket list was like Twangy Pearls’ arms, ever expanding. Problem was, mine never seemed to get any shorter, there were few ticks on my list.

Twangy Pearl the Elastic Girl


Could you call it procrastination? The paralysis that holds us back from having a fulfilling life? Why do we remain frozen in the status quo? Too scared to press play or take action to move forward.

Bite the Bullet

Writing a book was on my bucket list, as was learning Afrikaans and becoming a professional speaker. But all of them sat there for years until one day I complained to a friend. There were so many things I wanted to achieve but my life was stagnant, nothing was happening and I was extremely frustrated. The first of my complaints was that I wanted to write a book but with three children where would I find the time. Her reply was simple; “Ten minutes a day will write a book”. With this advice I started to write and I never stopped. Ten minutes was never threatening, it was achievable and attractive all at the same time. Once I got started it created the momentum to keep going.

So whether you want to write your first novel, or you want to learn a language here are a few more tips you can use to shake you up and start living life. Don’t wait for a time in the future to enjoy your life. Your life is happening now, make each moment count and start scratching off a few items on that bucket list.

1. Commit publicly to doing it
They say that when we make a commitment to a stranger we are much more likely to follow through than when we promise ourselves or a loved one. Seems like public humiliation is enough to get us motivated. Tell your family, tell your friends and tell people outside your close circle. People in work, clients, anyone and everyone. It may just be enough to get your started and make it happen this time.

2. Schedule time in your calendar
Like everything in life if you plan it you are more likely to do it. Set times for your goals in your calendar. Once they are written down in your calendar you are much more likely to do them.

3. Give yourself a deadline with a reward
Nothing motivates like a deadline. Give your self a realistic deadline for doing a task. Break your big goals into smaller achievable chunks. When you give yourself a deadline for your milestones you will feel more motivated each time you achieve one.

4. Visualise the final outcome
Always keep the end goal in mind. Keep reminding yourself what you are aiming to achieve. When you feel deflated, connect with the feeling of success of having achieved what you want.

If you really don’t have the time to learn a language you may want to check out Benny Lewis’ blog on language Hacking

And to make sure you take action and tick one thing off the list this year ask yourself the following question:

“What one thing could you do this year to make it one of your best yet?”

Let me know what you decide…..

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