Habits vs. Resolutions

We are well into the new year and maybe some of your New Year's Resolutions have already been quietly buried. This is what happens to most of us. But instead of getting frustrated with the short life of our resolutions, I suggest to focus on building new habits. Instead of making a resolution such as "Learn German", think about small steps, that may become habits - habits that will help you learn or improve your German.

Habits take time to form. They require above all repetition, repetition, repetition - until you do something without even thinking much about it, until it has become routine. Our life consists of habits and routines. There are thousands of little things we do without even thinking about it. If it were otherwise we would all be exhausted before long and our brain would shut down. Habits make our life a lot easier. Habits are not always things we like doing, but we do them anyway. I, for example, do not especially enjoy bruhing my teeth. Nevertheless, I do it twice a day because it has become a habit.

Habits make our life easier. If something has become a habit, it still takes energy, but it does not require the same mental effort  like for example a New Year's resolution. In terms of learning German or learning any language, building habits will make the effort it takes more natural. Language learning habits or any habits are integrated into your life and come naturally.

The habit of acquiring new vocab

  • Name the objects around you: Whenever you sit down somewhere or wait for a bus or train, look around and see what objects you can put there German names to. Choose one you don't know yet and look it up.
  • Write the name of the object down. If you don't have paper, type into your smartphone or write it with your finger into your hand.
  • Think of verbs that go with the object.
  • Make one or several sentences (if you have a German tutor, have them checked by him).
  • Use the word! Even if you have to speak German to your spouse or colleague who is a learner like yourself.

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