Tips for Learning Spanish: Tip 2 – Establish Goals – Continued

by Chief Spanish Learner on February 10, 2013

So in my last post I talked about setting goals for yourself as you try to learn Spanish. And I droned on about how goals should be clear and measurable, so you know whether you have achieved them or not.

One thing I left out, but has actually been a factor in how very, very, loooooooong it has taken me to set goals for myself for learning Spanish, has been the goals should feel achievable and NOT burdensome. I thought of a lot of goals in the last month that I could set for myself, but all of them felt dificult at at time when I have an awful lot on my plate.

This is stupid. I have been stupid. I need to do SOMETHING to increase my ability to speak Spanish. SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

Let me digress for a minute. I like to consider myself a runner. I have at some points in my life been a good enough runner to be the first woman in a race (a very small race). But I’ve also had many days of being more of a jogger, someone slogging along. I remember seeing another runner who I hadn’t seen in quite a while and telling him sheepishly that I was doing very little running these days. He listened and then said, “just remember you are ahead of all the people sitting at home on their sofa eating Twinkies.” It’s my favorite line about running and I think of it often. I needed the equivalent attitude about learning Spanish. I needed an activity that was more than sitting on the sofa eating Twinkies (also known as ‘doing nothing’).

So here is my goal for learning Spanish. I’ve invented a new game for learning Spanish, until I can actually get another No-Work Spanish story created (more on that in another blog post). The reason I like No-Work Spanish is because I feel that language has to be meaningful and preferably memorable and/or emotional. So I’m going to take an object, say the name of the object and the first 3 words that come to my mind about the object.

So….. I might turn to my right (I’m doing this now) and see a bottle of water and so…

my object is: water

and the first words I think of to describe it are: clear, refreshing, liquid.

Now for the Spanish:
water: agua — bet you knew that one already, I did
clear: clara click to listen
refreshing: refrescante click to listen
liquid: líquido click to listen

Now you are probably wondering why I have TWO bottles of water or two different brands of water or why my office is such a mess or why I have such an ugly lamp in the background…. BUT that is not the point. I am ahead of all the people who are sitting on the sofa eating Twinkies. Some people would call what I’m doing, studying Spanish vocabulary. If you hear anyone call it that, smack them. I’m having fun, playing with word associations in my new language.

agua –
clara
refrescante
líquido

So here is my goal. I am going to play this game 3 times a week. If you are lucky I will share these dynamic pearls of the Spanish language with you, as well as other glimpses into my personal space.

Adiós!

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