I arrived back in Medellin, Colombia this week. I really enjoy the warmth and kindness of the people here, the temperate climate, and the many opportunities I have to practice and improve speaking Spanish.
I am beginning my sixth year of learning/speaking Spanish. It is not at the level I want it to be, but it is so much more than where I began. The truth is during the last six years I haven’t always been consistent speaking it.
One of the reasons I left Ecuador and moved to Colombia was because I found myself too comfortable hanging around other expats who, the majority, didn’t speak or want to speak Spanish.
This wasn’t helping me achieve my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish.
Achieving a goal requires consistent effort.
Since moving to Colombia I have put myself in a location and situation where there is almost no spoken English. It has helped me immensely to be consistent in speaking Spanish each day.
What change can you make that will force you to be more consistent?
I’ve decided that my ability to speak Spanish at the level I want is going to be a long game endeavor. So in addition to consistency, it is going to require perseverance.
Achieving a goal requires you to persevere over a long period of time.
How do you persevere achieving your goals? I think it requires a correct mindset, and these two things will help with it:
- Setting Realistic Time Frames
There are no shortcuts to success. Based on what you have going on in your life, and the amount of time you have each day to focus and take action on your goal, will determine when you achieve it.
I have found a good rule of thumb is to figure out what amount of time you believe it will take to achieve your goal, and then double it. The idea here is to check yourself on the level of commitment you have for the long haul, for the unforeseen things that will come up that may cause it to take longer to complete.
In all honesty, my journey to becoming fluent is well past my original time frame, even with the doubling of it. Part of creating realistic time frames is using new information , the understanding of the task, and making adjustments. I suspect for me to become fluent it is going to take 10 years from when I began.
Again, we are talking about persevering to the end, and doing what is necessary to get there. It is a long game mindset.
2. Celebrate Small Wins
Achieving big goals takes time. In order to not burn out, not get down on yourself, and not fall into negativity along the way, celebrate the small milestones you achieve.
In my pursuit of fluency, this looks like using new words in conversation, or learning a new phrase that is used locally. It is any and all the ways I can bring one more word or use of the language into practice.
I still struggle with some of the grammar tenses, but I can communicate my ideas, and get results, based on what I know now and how I use it. That is a milestone and a win!
What changes in your mindset are necessary for you to persevere in what you are wanting to achieve?
Achieving big goals often takes big commitment. Your commitment can be supported by taking consistent action and developing a mindset of perseverance.
Basically men, do it and keep doing it until you get what you want!
The days, months, and years will go by regardless. The only difference is, will you be enjoying your success or wondering what it might have been like?
Wishing you success!
p.s. Check out my YouTube channel for more helpful ideas to help you persevere https://bit.ly/ToddPersevere