A new year has just begun, which means we are full of resolutions, dreams, hopes, and plans. With a list of things we want to achieve, we are burning with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. And this is great; marvellous; fantastic – as long as it doesn’t make us forget about all the endeavours we have already undertaken.

“What does it have to do with language learning?”, you may ask. Well, a lot. Motivation – the reason why somebody does something – is the key to everything we do in life. Unfortunately, it can disappear as quickly as it usually appears. It is not uncommon to see people giving up on learning a foreign tongue soon after they have started. Because they don’t have time. Because they have other priorities. Because they no longer see the point in it. Believe me, we have all been there. That’s why it is important to remind yourself why you started learning in the first place.

Make a list – this time not with new year’s resolutions but with reasons why you have taken up a particular language. Be specific and honest – don’t be ashamed to write: “because I find it interesting”, or “because I genuinely like it”, or “because I think speaking … makes me cool”. There are no bad reasons for learning anything! Always remember that and don’t let others tell you differently.

When you finish writing everything down, put the piece of paper into the textbook you’re using or, better yet, stick it somewhere you can see it – such as the fridge, the pinboard over your desk, or even your laptop. The more you’ll look at it, the less you’ll want to quit in times of self-doubt. After all, you wouldn’t want to abandon the journey before reaching your destination, would you?

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