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Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 Tips for Keeping your Learning Chinese Resolutions

Resolutions are traditionally made in the New Year on what your going to do for the coming year. A great resolution, as the Frugal Traveler made at the NY Times is to Learn Chinese. Or if your already Learning Chinese, keep on improving!

It's easy to make resolutions, the challenge is how do you make it so you actually keep them. An old saying is talk is cheap. So what actions are you going to take in the coming year for Learning Chinese?

Per the NY Times article ,Findings - The Psychology Behind Putting Off What Can Be Enjoyed Now, it's important to have to have short term deadlines.

Some Suggestions:

1. Do a New Years Resolution for Learning Chinese. Yes, a New Years resolution only has a 19% chance of being still being followed in 2 years, but by making one you have a 10X chance of accomplishing it! Good article - A Cheat Sheet for Keeping Resolutions

2. Create a plan to avoid the issue of procrastination. Spread it over time. Excellent article in the WSJ on this - Blame It on the Brain The latest neuroscience research suggests spreading resolutions out over time is the best approach. Think of the tortoise and the hare, where the tortoise that went slow, but steady won the race. You want your Learning to be like this. So create a plan on what you are going to do for Learning Chinese. It may be buying some Chinese Textbooks, CD's, starting a class, or even traveling to China. Good intentions are just that, until they become work.

2. Track what your are doing. If your going to get serious in an area, track what your doing. If your going to set the goal of studying Chinese 5 hours a week, keep a notebook that you update every time you do.

3. Set short term goals (daily) for what you are going to do for Learning Chinese. It may be as simple as listening to a CD for Learning Chinese when you get in the car during your morning commute. The average commute is 24 minutes in the US, which give you 48 minutes a day you can use for Learning Chinese!

4. Reward your self when you meet your goals!

5. Make Learning Chinese a habit. It takes a while to create a habit, but once you do your learning will become so much easier. Study Chinese at the same time everyday, in the same place. This will make scheduling easier, especially if your teaching your kids Chinese. Creating the habit may take 30 days as you get used to your new routine.

6. Set up a support network! This is somebody, hopefully who made the same resolution, who you can talk to about how your doing and keep you honest on achieving your goal. It's much easier to lie to yourself (I"ll work on learning Chinese tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes as Annie sang).

7. Publish your intentions on your facebook, my space, etc site to your friends!

8. Identify potential barriers to Learning Chinese and find solutions!

9. Make a list of Why you want to Learn Chinese. When you get discourage, read it again. Perhaps read it out loud to yourself! It's OK to copy my list of Why Learn Chinese :-)

10. Set reasonable expectations! Life is often 2 steps forward and a step back. What matters is you are constantly working on going ahead! So don't give up!

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