This article was written by Tim Baker, a proud father of two kids, travel enthusiast and keen contributor on various lifestyle and travel blogs.
If you’ve decided to learn a new language, you should give yourself a high five right now. There are so many great benefits to learning another language and new benefits are being discovered every year.
Sadly, it can seem like a lot of work to reach the fluency you are hoping for. One of the best ways to persevere through the challenging parts of language learning is to get it done first thing in the morning.
Here are a few tips and ideas about how and why daily morning habits are essential in learning a language.
1. Start off on the right foot every morning.
When we first get up, it’s all too easy to just start surfing the web, check social media, or just stare at the ceiling dreading the thought of leaving the cozy covers of your bed. These are those little vices that feel innocent enough but can actually lead to a spiral of bad habits. In the best-case scenario, they are just a waste of that time.
Instead, do your grammar exercises or log in for your daily tutoring session, with a Spanish tutor online, for example. If you start with something productive, this sets you off on a spiral of productivity. It’s easier to keep that momentum going than it is to try and jump start it midway through the day.
When you study language first thing in the morning, you’re getting it done and out of the way before the excuses start. If you put it off, you’ll just keep telling yourself “now’s not a good time, I’ll do it at lunch.” Or “my lunch break isn’t long enough, I’ll do it after work” or “work was too exhausting, I’ll start studying tomorrow.”
When you’re trying to adopt a new, healthy habit – whether it’s exercising more or learning a language – the best time to do it is first thing in the morning. This way, you actually get it done and you get to live on the buzz of that accomplishment throughout the rest of the day.
2. Use your most productive hours.
If you’ve read your fair share of guides and blog posts about productivity, you’ve probably heard the advice about waking up early plenty of times. There’s a reason for that.
We are instinctively most productive in the first few hours after we wake up. That’s usually when our best ideas come to us. And it’s when we have the greatest ability to concentrate.
So rather than wasting those precious productive hours on scrolling through your twitter feed, you should be squeezing them for all they are worth. Studying a language is one of the best morning habits you could possibly do.
Learning a new language is not only a great new skill to have in life, it’s also great for your brain. It’s one of the healthiest and most rewarding ways to spend those supercharged morning hours. As a bonus, language study also pares well with a cup of coffee and cozy blanket!
3. Learn to appreciate the journey more than the goal.
The great thing about learning a new language is that you can easily measure the progress your making. Yesterday, you had no idea how to ask someone where the bathroom was in Mandarin. Today, you’ve got it down—even if the pronunciation is a little strained.
However, many people get frustrated with the learning process because they become so focused on the end goal of being fluent. Instead of impatiently racing to the finish line, learn to enjoy the process of building your vocabulary and grammar.
Learn to savor the moments when you overhear a conversation by native French speakers and actually get the gist of what they’re talking about.
By making it part of your morning routine, you can make it an almost meditative practice.
You’re not competing or racing. You’re strengthening your brain. You’re expanding the scope of what you know day by day. Soon, picking up your translation dictionary or grammar guide will feel just as rewarding and invigorating as that first cup of coffee. So, set your alarm clock and get ready to start learning a new language tomorrow morning!