September 18

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EP8: How to Start

 

Hello hello, fellow learners of English, how are you doing out there? This is Kristian here, nice to be with you again, and welcome to the Learners of English Podcast, episode number 8.

Before we begin, let me just remind you that you can get in touch with me via email, kristian@learnersofenglish.com.

And there’s more. You can now also get in touch with me via Twitter, or via Facebook.

I’ve set up both social media accounts to communicate with you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.

BTW, you can find all this information in the description of this episode in your favorite podcast app or you can go to my website, learnersofenglish.com.

OK, that’s enough housekeeping, let’s crack on.

If you google the word habits, you see many books, videos, blogs and articles in your search results. It’s a topic that’s very popular these days. Apparently, many people find it hard to build good habits and to get rid of bad habits.

If you recognize this problem, I recommend reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. In my opinion it’s the most practical book out there. It has been very successful and as a result, it has been translated in many languages. So you don’t have to read it in English. But you can, of course, if you want.

I’ve read the book twice, and it has helped me to improve myself, every single day.

For example, I start at least five days per week in exactly the same way: I get up at 4am, and at 8am I’ve exercised, learned Czech, been to the supermarket and had breakfast.

Now, to be honest, I go to bed no later than 10pm, and I also take a nap before lunchtime, because I still need my 7 hours of sleep. But all in all I’ve never been as productive in the morning as I’m now, at the age of 43.

Atomic Habits also inspired me to create a checklist to start my language learning habits. And that’s what this episode is all about. I’m gonna show you the simple checklist I used to build my language learning habits in the first half-year of 2020.

Are you ready to hear more? Great, let’s talk about my checklist!

So, here’s the thing.

If you want to make long-lasting progress in English (or any other language), you have to know how to start.

That’s easier said than done, of course.

But really, it’s not that complicated. You simply have to find out what you love doing, and then make time to do it.

To help you get started, I’ve created a simple checklist that involves 6 steps:

1. Find out what you love doing.
This is the most important thing. If you love the activity, it’s so much easier to start and to keep going. It doesn’t matter what it is. Early 2020 I decided to start listening to podcasts in English and in Czech, and I still do it every day. And now I’ve even started my own podcast.

2. Select a time to do the activity every day.
I suggest you block some time on your calendar app every day of the week. It doesn’t matter when, but the important thing is to do your favorite activity at the same time every day.

If you cannot do it every day, then make sure you don’t miss twice in a row. If you miss Tuesday, don’t miss Wednesday.

3. Choose a minute goal.
You can create your own target: 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or even longer. Just make sure that the goal is easy enough that you can’t say no, but big enough for you to feel like you’re making progress.

4. Find a great resource today.
You can easily find (free) materials on the internet, such as PDFs, ebooks, audio and videos. Or maybe you still have an English textbook at home. But here’s the thing: you have to find something today. If you wait until tomorrow, you won’t start.

Remember to choose something you love. Only then becomes learning fun and rewarding.

5. Find a comfortable place to do your favorite activity.
Try a comfortable place at home. Or find a quiet place outside. But make sure you’re away from distraction. I suggest you do the activity every day in the same place. The more consistency, the better.

6. Set a reminder.
Use the calendar app from the first step. Keep it simple. And just do it.

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And that’s all. Take these five steps, and you’ll be making long-lasting progress with your English!

Let me know your thoughts on this episode in the comments or via email. Don’t forget that you can find the transcript on my website.

And if you want to get in touch with me, you can send me an email at kristian@learnersofenglish.com or reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter.

All right. Take care of yourself, and each other, and I’ll catch you in the next episode!


About the author 

Kristian

Kristian is a Dutch guy who teaches English online. He relaxes with audiobooks, music and podcasts. Kristian still has a lot to learn, but he's happy to share what he has learnt along the way.

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    • Hi Mykhailo, thank you for your comment. I hope that at least one person is going to use it. That would make me happy! 🙂 Have you been able to build a language learning habit into your daily life?

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