In this episode, I share my language learning routine. (SPOILER ALERT: I don't have one!) After seeing so many gorgeous, detailed, color-coded language study routines on social media, I tried creating my own routine, but time after time, something got in the way, and I couldn't get back on track with what I'd planned. I felt like a failure and struggled with the idea that I needed a routine way of studying languages in order to succeed. After years of negative thoughts and feelings about my lack of a language routine, I finally decided to embrace my language life (and the chaos of my daily life in general) and have an intentional language learning non-routine.
Routines are really great for building good habits, reducing procrastination, and navigating periods of waning motivation. By not having a routine, it's easy to become habitually unfocused, put things off, and give up when motivation is low. So today I talk through a few reasons why creating a language learning routine has never worked for me, and I explain how I make this work for me and still reap the benefits of routine. Accepting my language learning journey for what it is and not trying to forcefully structure it like others' journeys was the first step to making this work. In addition, I had to become intentional with everything I do with my languages. Intention is just as powerful as routine. Intentionally filling the spare moments of my day with languages, always knowing what I want to study, and being prepared to face those things have propelled me forward despite not having a study routine. Tracking everything I do with my languages and becoming intentionally clear on what counts for me in language learning has ensured that I acknowledge my hard work and progress, and I'm able to push through periods of low motivation while still respecting my physical, mental, and emotional stability. I track my language habits in Notion (no affiliation), and here's a copy of the template I use, which you can duplicate and customize with what counts for you.
If there's one take-away I've gained from this language non-routine experience, it's that every language learning path is unique and valid, and finding what works for you (no matter what anyone else is doing) is critical to success.