There’s something in the air, we can feel it — 2017 is going to be the year of the language learner. It’s lucky number 7: now’s the time to go all in on those language-learning aspirations you’ve been harboring away for years. While we’re all for keeping that plank challenge and penny-saving plan on your list of 2017 resolutions, the stars are aligned for language learners this year.
2017 is going to be a lucky year for language learners around the globe. The signs are everywhere. Around the world, cultures view the number 7 as a sign of good fortune. In a cultural climate where it’s hard to get people to agree on anything, millions of people across the globe agree that there’s something special about 7. Think about it: language learning is all about becoming a citizen of the world — a world that is made up of 7 continents. If that’s not enough to convince you, here’s the clincher: Mango Languages was founded ten years ago (!) in 2007. The universe is sending a message, loud and clear: 2017 is the year of the language learner.
While luck is on your side this year, the real deciding factor in achieving your language-learning goals is you. When you truly believe in your language-learning resolutions, magic happens. We’re here to help make your language-learning dreams a reality — here are 7 secrets you need to know.
1. Start off strong with #31DaysofLanguage
This year, we’re going all in to help you achieve your goals. That’s why we’ve declared January as #31DaysofLanguage — daily, simple challenges that will keep you engaged with your learning goals in fun, useful ways. Each challenge only takes a little time of your day, but will help you stay motivated and learn something new in your target language. We’ve released a preview of the daily language-learning challenges, but follow along on Mango’s social media for each day’s challenge and to interact with other learners taking on #31DaysofLanguage.
2. Download apps for your phone
You’re addicted to it anyways, right? Save that resolution for another year — this year is all about harnessing the power of your smart phone for good, not evil. Studies show that Americans devote more than 10 hours a day to screen time, so devote some of that staring to language learning. Mango’s fully-integrated mobile apps offer a hands-free, no Wi-Fi required way to keep up with your language learning on-the-go. For chronic multitaskers, our mobile apps are a dream come true — your daily commute is about to become a lot more productive.
3. Break your goal down into bite-sized milestones
Feeling intimidated by your goal of learning Mandarin in just one year? You’re not alone. When people set long-term goals without short-term milestones, they are less likely to see results. Instead, think about the small, attainable achievements that will contribute to realizing your larger goal. For example, set a short-term goal of studying 20 minutes a day or completing a certain amount of chapters by the end of the month. These small steps will keep you motivated and on track, and before you know it, you’ll be booking your trip to Xi’an.
4. Reward yourself in small ways
When you accomplish one of your short-term goals, treat yourself — doctor’s orders. According to WebMD, it’s important to keep your spirits up and celebrate your accomplishments when working towards a goal. After writing down your short-term goals (yes, you need to write them down!), create a corresponding calendar of the rewards you’ll reap when you check off each box. Did you finally master a new conjugation? Buy yourself a new stationary set to practice using those skills in everyday conversation. Completed a course on Chinese Feng Shui? That calls for a new decor item to get the energy in your house just right.
5. Talk about it with friends and family
This step is all about creating accountability. It’s easy to fall behind on sticking to a resolution when you’re only reporting to yourself. Instead, share your goal — and why it’s important to you — with friends and family. For added accountability, share your progress on social media. By posting about #31DaysofLanguage and other exciting milestones, you’ll feed off of the positive feedback of your peers and stay committed to your goals.
6. Track your progress and congratulate yourself
Anytime you’re working towards a goal, there will be off days. Sometimes, life gets in the way and you miss your daily study session or a call with your conversation partner. It can be discouraging to fall behind, but it’s important to fight the urge to give up and instead celebrate what you’ve accomplished so far. By visually tracking your progress (create a calendar, a spreadsheet, or keep a journal), you can fight moments of discouragement by looking back on all you’ve achieved and taking time to be proud of your growth.
7. Never, ever, ever give up
Remember: lucky number 7! This is your year, language learner. Every step of the way, we’ve got your back. From daily challenges during #31DaysofLanguage to inspiring blog posts reminding why you started this journey in the first place, we’re here to make sure you become the bilingual (or multilingual!) you were always destined to be. Whether you need to have Shia LaBeouf yell at you every morning (let’s call that a last resort) or create a vision board to cultivate your sense of wanderlust and curiosity, this is the year that you will stick to your language-learning resolutions. Never, ever, ever give up — you’ve got this.
A new year is just around the corner, and the adventure is just beginning. Mark your calendars for January 1, 2017 and join us on the #31DaysofLanguage challenge. In preparation for the big day, peruse Mango’s 70+ world language courses, our catalogue of Mango premiere films, and download our mobile apps so you’re ready to go on Day 1. Curious what challenges await you in January? Download our PDF to preview the language-learning journey we've designed to help you make this new year your best yet. We’ll see you in 2017!
Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeanette-pavini/10-tricks-to-help-you-actually-keep-your-new-years-resolutions_b_4550549.html, http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx, http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/10-ways-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-stick?page=3, http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/health/americans-screen-time-nielsen/, http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2014/04/08/why-you-should-be-writing-down-your-goals/#1d5510672f14