New Year’s resolutions lead a sorry life; born full of optimism in the (often alcohol-fuelled) build up to 31 December, only to be neglected and forgotten about entirely before the January sales come to a close.
We’re not having any of that here at translate plus – we believe that New Year’s resolutions are for life, not just for Christmas! To prove it, we’ve come up with 5 reasons why modern resolutions are easier to keep than ever. And seeing as we’re obsessed with all things translation, we think our language-learning examples are a great way to show how easy it can be!
#1: You can learn just about anything online (often for free)
The web has made learning new skills easier than ever, whether it’s languages, business skills, academic courses or anything else you feel a calling to learn. So, what better New Year’s resolution to make than boosting your brain and career prospects with a new language or skill?
Language learning has some of the best online resources to help you make it happen. You can connect with native speakers from around the world by visiting websites such as italki or LiveMocha, and even find teachers for private Skype lessons. You’ll also find most languages come with a treasure-trove of websites offering free and paid lessons to help you learn:
Spanish: Try SpanishDict (free)
Chinese: Try BBC Languages (free)
French: Try The French Experiment (free)
Italian: Try OneWorldItaliano (free)
Japanese: Try JapanesePod101 (free)
You’ll find no end of resources online by simply searching for them, and you can easily pick up some basics without paying a penny. There are some great paid courses too of course, and you can always use language networks to find native speakers for practice. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide to become a translator with your new-found language skills!
#2: There’s an app for that (and everything else)
There really is an app for just about everything, which means that you have dozens to help you with any New Year’s resolution. Language learners can connect with people around the world with Skype and pick up the basics with any number of language-learning apps. Then you have translation tools, dictionaries, messaging apps, flashcards, podcast lessons, language games and a whole app store full of other goodies.
You can even schedule in your study time, set daily tasks and track your progress with a range of personal planning apps – whatever your language needs, there’s an app for it. Check out this article for inspiration about some of the best language learning apps out there.
#3: Social media can make failure (and success) a public affair
There’s no incentive quite like the risk of being branded a failure in public, but social media can be a place to celebrate success too. You can hook up with fellow language learners and native speakers to showcase your newly acquired skills. It’s amazing how addictive progress can be and how proud you become of your daily achievements.
#4: UK adults spend more than two hours per day on mobile devices
Whichever way you look at it, you have enough time to spend 10–30 mins on your New Year’s resolution per day. Better yet, you don’t even have to put down your smartphone to do it (see our previous points). UK adults alone spend an average of 2 hours, 26 minutes on mobile devices per day, so the old “too busy” and “no-time” excuses don’t cut it anymore.
#5: Learning one thing every day is a great place to start
Even if you only learn a single new phrase every day, you’ll have hundreds of basic phrases under your belt by this time next year. That’s incredibly achievable too, especially with all the apps and resources we’ve been talking about. It won’t be long before you start setting yourself multiple phrases, words or grammar lessons to learn in a single day. The best thing about learning languages is it becomes easier to learn more, the more you learn. So start with the one thing every day rule and see how quickly you’re picking up multiple things each day.
So there you have it, no excuses to let your New Year’s resolution trail off before the February chill creeps in. Keep learning one new thing every day and you’ll be in a good place for your well-earned summer holiday come August – perfecto!