Happy new [school] year! I hope you've had a wonderful summer and are ready to get back into the groove of things, be it work, school or new projects. September is like a second New Year's, a time to focus new energy and start everything again on the right foot. For teachers and students, this mentality is automatic, we are all starting a new school year, but everyone can take advantage of a fresh start, not just us teachers and our students! In this post I'm going to share a few tips on how to get back into the swing of all things specific to learning English, but they can easily be applied to other projects and goals as well!
Tips for starting the [school] year right
Set realistic goals - if you start off with small, realistic goals, you will find that as you accomplish them you will be motivated to set more goals, whereas if you set goals that will require a lot of time and energy, life might get in the way and this will discourage you from continuing to work towards your objective. Which of these two goals seems more realistic?
I'll do something I enjoy in English (reading, watching Netflix and YouTube, taking lessons) for at least an hour a week.
I'm going to study English every day for at least two hours!!!
Establish a routine - it's much easier to get everything done when you set specific times for specific activities. Life does get in the way, there's always something else that needs doing, but if you try to follow your routine following the 80%-20% rule, you'll soon find that it becomes easier and easier to commit to your learning progress.
Find an accountability buddy - if it's difficult for you to commit to things by yourself, find someone to [study, exercise, cook, write, etc.] with you! Having an accountability buddy makes doing whatever activity you choose more enjoyable, and you motivate each other to continue, even on the days where you'd rather be doing something else.
Find a professional - if you are trying to learn something new, you most certainly can find all kinds of great free information on the Internet (shout out to YouTube), but if you have specific goals or deadlines, or just have no idea where to start, counting on professional help is a really good way to keep yourself on track. You could look for a private teacher, or even think about taking an online course. There is really so much information out there that it can be difficult to decide what's important and what isn't, so having someone to guide you when you're just starting out can really make or break your success.
Don't give up - let's be honest, life is full of surprises, and for as determined and motivated as you are, you may have to deal with unexpected situations that make achieving your goals temporarily impossible. That's life! The important thing is to not beat yourself up about it, if you need to take a break because you don't have the time, money, etc., don't despair! You can always pick it up again when things have settled down.
So here's my "new year's" challenge for you - share one of your goals with me here in the comments or DM me on my Instagram! The first step to making something happen is verbalizing it or writing it down. It's a great way of holding yourself accountable, so what have you got to lose?
get back into the groove: to return to a routine
on the right foot: to do something in a positive way
get back into the swing of things: to return to a routine
80%-20% rule: 80% routine, 20% relax
shout out: an informal way to compliment someone or something
keep yourself on track: to stick to a routine in order to accomplish something
that's life: universal expression - "cè la vi"
beat oneself up [about something]: to get angry or upset with yourself
pick [something] back up: to pick something up (not literally with your hands) is a phrasal verb that means "to start something" - so in this case, "to start again".