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Consistency is everything



This post is going to be super real and super personal. Just FYI. I often feel that with all the information available to us on the internet, as well as all the people, influencers, coaches and mentors that we have (free) access to, we perhaps subconsciously feel as if we will never be "as good as them", or "as far along as they are". If you've read any of my posts that detail my own language learning journey (here's where you can read the first chapter), perhaps you even thought to yourself, "well, it was easy for her, she had the opportunity to live in Spain, of course she learned Spanish". If you thought that, I apologize, it wasn't my intention. My intention was to motivate you, by sharing my own personal difficulties along my own very individual language learning journey. The point of all those posts was to show you that perfection doesn't exist, and that the key to learning anything, at any age, is consistency.

 

Consistency is everything, but how do I know?


I know that consistency is the most important thing in learning how to do anything, and it is especially important in learning a language. If you've been following me for a while, at some point you've probably heard me compare learning a language with staying in shape. I am a super fitness buff, my mom is a personal trainer and life coach, and I am lucky enough to have been able to follow her example. I've been athletic since I was a kid, and now, in my 30's, I must say, I am still in better shape than half of the teenagers that I work out with. Why? Because I have been working out and doing sport consistently for my whole life. But just last year, I started a new sport, Muay Thai (yes, every now and then I get punched in the face), and I was reminded what it feels like to be a complete NOOB (beginner) at something. Now, one year later, I am by no means perfect, I am by no means ready to compete (I may never be, but that isn't my goal right now), but I have improved by leaps and bounds. How and why? Because I'm consistent. I go to practice religiously, 3 times a week, for 1.5 hours! I will never be as good as those kids who started kicking and punching before they could walk, and I'M OKAY WITH THAT. I don't want to be the next world champion, I don't even know if I ever want to try to compete...what I do know is that I enjoy the workout, I enjoy the challenge, and hey, I'm learning something cool!

 

Claire, WTF does this have to do with English?


Hear me out. I want you to apply this notion to how you approach English. I'm not saying you have to study for 4, 5 or 6 hours a week. I'm saying that you have to show up for yourself. You have to be consistent. Why do kids learn so quickly? One, because their brains are wired differently, but it's also because they are consistent! They go to their piano lessons every week. They go to their English lessons every week, and do their homework! They are "forced" by their loving parents to show up, and that is why they learn so quickly. We adults have to juggle SO MANY things that we forget to show up for ourselves. We forget to be consistent for ourselves. You have to make the choice to be consistent, whatever that means for you. If it means 5 minutes a day, a week, or even just watching 1 English movie a month. Or reading my blog once a week. Whatever it means for you is perfectly fine. Train your brain to show up. It wasn't easy for me to start going to practice in the evenings, I work a long day and am exhausted by the end of it. But I go because I know I will feel on top of the world afterwards. You don't have to feel this way after studying English, but I bet you will feel happy and satisfied with yourself. Some days you might feel discouraged, I certainly have "off days" when I feel like I can't do anything right. But I don't give up. I go to the next training session and try again. You must do the same for yourself. English is hard, it can be boring at times, but you have the choice to change your learning method to suit you, and once you've found what works for you, all you have to do is show up. Be consistent. End of story.


 

Glossary

  • FYI: for your information

  • to stay in shape: to be in good physical health

  • fitness buff: an informal way to call someone who is very interested in fitness

  • to work out: to do physical exercise, often with weights and or at the gym

  • to get punched: to be hit with a fist, often violently

  • NOOB: a VERY informal way to call someone a beginner

  • leaps and bounds: an expression used to say "a lot of progress"

  • hear [someone] out: an informal way to say, "listen"

  • to show up: to be present, physically or mentally

  • to juggle: imagine a clown with three balls - that's juggling

  • on top of the world: to feel very happy or excited about something


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