Whether it’s trying to start a new exercise or diet regimen; pushing yourself to get up earlier in the mornings, or getting yourself motivated to start learning a second language, the hardest step of all is the very first one. It’s odd, really, because the physical actions of just starting walking on the treadmill, sitting up in bed, or opening a textbook are all incredibly straightforward.
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So, what is it that is stopping us from opening the floodgates to new and exciting activities that we know for a fact will help to better ourselves? It seems to us that the biggest problem lays in our mindset --- our frame of mind --- when it comes to booting up this kind of project.
If any of the above sounds familiar to you (and we know that it likely does) then read on and find our best tips for getting yourself into the right mindset for taking that crucial first step to becoming an active and productive language learner:
📒 The first thing you need to do: make plans
One of thing that stops you from getting started is that you can’t even contemplate how you’re going to begin. There’s no plan in place. You likely have no idea what’s in any of those books, or what your classes with an online native-speaker teacher will be like.
Remedy this by laying the groundwork and making plans. Find out what will be in your online classes, read the contents of the books you have, think about how much you can handle each day and so on. Once a plan starts to form, starting out will feel much easier.
🪑 Next, create a productive study space
You may not believe in feng shui or anything like that, but believe us when we tell you there is a definite, noticeable effect on productivity when you clear up and organize your work area properly. Try it for yourself, either by tidying your existing area or creating a new one.
Make it spacious, but with all the things you need in easy reach. Try to place it in a space with natural light and good air circulation, too. We are confident you will immediately feel the difference.
😎 After that, work on keeping yourself in a positive mood
Any kind of negative mood is bound to adversely affect your studying mindset. When you feel down, you will feel as though you don’t have the energy to open your books or join an online lesson. Unleash the power of positivity before your study time comes. Watch some comedy, do a little exercise to release endorphins, whatever it takes to get you thinking and feeling positive.
🧹 Next, use some basic household chores as a “run up” to your study session
This one sounds a little odd, but stay with us. Have you ever heard the “Make Your Bed” speech by US Admiral William McRaven? In it, the Admiral posits that through the simple act of making your bed each day, you positively snowball into more little tasks, each more useful and productive and the last.
You can use this kind of impetus before studying, too. Start by doing a few basic household chores --- sweep your floor, take out the garbage, pick your laundry up off the floor, tidy your workspace and so on. As momentum builds, you’ll find yourself motivated and ready mentally to take on something bigger like your language studies.
🥧 Another top tip is not to eat too much before studying
You might procrastinate through a morning, get close to lunchtime and think to yourself “Ok, the morning is gone, but I’ll make lunch now and then get to work straight after.” This is often a mistake. Many people eat too heavily and then find themselves in a kind of food coma right after.
Whether the drowsiness or uncomfortably full feeling takes over, you won’t feel in any way mentally ready to face a study session. Eat light before you study.
🌄 Try to reserve the mornings for your study time
Have you ever noticed that many public schools like to put math class in the morning? They do this because it’s often considered the most challenging subject, and our brains are more receptive to new information during the morning, before lunch.
This being the case, it’s a great idea to put your study sessions during the morning where you are in a more receptive mindset than you would be later in the day.
🚀 Finally, tee yourself up and launch!
At the end of the day, getting into the right frame of mind to study comes down to you, since you are the only one in control of your faculties. Just remember that once you can overcome that first stage of just getting started, the floodgates easily open and the rest becomes easier.
🎉 Get started!
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