New Year’s Resolutions 2020 #NewYearsResolutions2020

As a world-weary late adolescent, I gave up on making new year’s resolutions, mainly because you/I never follow through on them properly. Therefore, it felt like lying to myself to even bother making them at all. Then, in my late twenties, I started making them again because, ya know, fear of impending middle age and failure and all that. But, yeah, once again, my resolutions were somewhat incomplete. So I gave up again for a year or two (2018 and 2019).

But now I’ve got my resolution mojo back! What I’ve learnt from the mountain of failures in my life is this: I think the key to making successful resolutions is (1) to make them achievable (i.e. “SMART“) goals, (2) make very few goals, but make them important ones, as quality is better than quantity.

With that in mind.

  • GOAL ONE*: get down to my wedding weight (2013), which was pretty healthy, by the 31st of December 2020. That is, 14st 5lb (201lb, c. 91kg).
  • GOAL TWO: achieve B2 level in Spanish; if timetables allow it, I’ll also successfully take a B2 DELE (official Spanish exam).

I have other things I want to achieve, as well, but I think I need to keep things SMART and achievable.

Both goals are very achievable. GOAL ONE, the weight goal, is roughly a pound of weight loss a week for the whole year, or 4-5 pounds a month. Extremely achievable. A healthy weight loss is 2-3 lbs, no problem. GOAL TWO, the language goal, is also highly achievable as I am already B2 for some skills in Spanish and B1 or B1+ for others. I just need to set aside certain hours a week as part of a routine and then stick to it; I’m not starting from nought here!

Both goals are immensely achievable, especially if I start right away and take the tortoise slow-but-steady approach. But there’s another component to achieving goals; they need to be things that you really, really want. A lot. And I do.

See you this time next year for Groundhog Day! ;-D

*all caps is the electronic equivalent of carving it in stone, doncha know.

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Project Polyglot Parry VIII: Duolingo: English-Spanish Duolingo UN-Accomplished @duolingo #duolingo

As recently as this four posts ago, I posted an update proudly sharing how I had conquered the English-Spanish tree/course in Duolingo. Yet by the very next day, Duolingo had apparently updated the course — something they almost never do. Okay, good news: extra material to learn to take me to the next level. But the bad news: they updated the course with a lot of new material. Just check out the pictures below. I am miles from completing the tree! Waaa. I feel like someone who’s been retroactively stripped of my gold medal through no fault of my own (think: Usain Bolt’s third Olympic gold for the 4x100m relay; yes, that is an exactly analogous situation!)

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

Project Polyglot Parry VII: Duolingo: English-Spanish Duolingo Accomplished @duolingo #duolingo

I’ve finished my third Duolingo tree! Well done me. This time, I finished the English language for Spanish speakers tree. I clearly already speak English, but having previously completed the Spanish for English speakers course, it seemed like a natural next step. As it happens, I have learnt things and been tested in ways that didn’t happen doing the Spanish for English speakers course. For that reason, I would recommend everyone to do this “reverse tree”.

So, what are the next steps?

  1. Get the Spa-Eng tree golden and keep it golden! And keep my Eng-Spa and English-Swedish trees golden, too!
  2. Spend more time doing the Duolingo Eng-Spa, Spa-Eng, and Eng-Swe courses on Tinycards and on Memrise.
  3. Spend more time doing listening work: Notes in Spanish and 8-Sidor (news site and podcast).

These three steps should last me till the Summer or thereabouts. Upon which I will need to reassess again. Probably (4) do a language exchange, (5) start studying more closely to the DELE and Swedex curriculums, (6) think about enrolling on a course at the Cervantes Institute.

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

Project Polyglot Parry VI: Swedish Duolingo Accomplished! @duolingo #duolingo

ProjectPolyglotParry_face

I’m a real language-lover. Therefore, I’ve always wanted to be fluent in several languages. Unfortunately, aged thirty and after many, many false starts, I’m still only fluent in English! But hitting thirty made me determined that I will achieve my life goals — including fluency in several languages.

To keep my language learning on track, I’ve been doing regular updates. Read all my Project Polyglot Parry posts here.

I’m very proud to say that I completed the English>Swedish tree in Duolingo on 29/10/16! 😀 They even gave me this handsome (virtual) trophy!

dlswe

My next goal is to complete the Duolingo English for Spanish speakers course. At my current rate of two-three sessions a day, I reckon I can finish the new tree by the end of March. And after that, I want to get to the maximum level possible on Duolingo in Spanish and Swedish: level 25 (that’ll take a while, though).

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

Project Polyglot Parry V: September 2016 Update @irishpolyglot #newyearsresolution @resolutions @duolingo #duoling

 

I’m learning two main languages, Spanish and Swedish. I’ve been using Duolingo to learn them of late (in fact, I’m more-or-less relying on Duolingo at the moment, which isn’t good; you should use more than one resource to give you good variation). I’ve been doing around 30 minutes a day for each language, which is the bare minimum you should do.

If you know how Duolingo works, I’ve just managed to fully regild my completed Spanish tree. Which is great news. Next steps:

  1. Keep the tree gold.
  2. Work on and complete the “reverse tree”; that is, the English for Spanish speakers course (which is a learnsome challenge). Then keep that gold.
  3. Start the online virtual Spanish classroom from the Cervantes Institute, probably at B1 level.
  4. Go and sit a B1 level DELE.

This will make me firmly intermediate in level. I should have started step 3 by Summer 2017, and maybe completed step 4 by the following summer. When Finish step 4, I’ll work out the best way to keep that level and build on it. The ultimate goal is to be C2, of course.

I was stuck on Swedish for a long time. I kept mucking up infinitives and this sapped my energy. But I’ve been powering on lately. Moving onto new topics has got me pretty excited. In particular, I have loved getting to grips with the kommer att future form and the håller på present continuous. There’s a lesson for you: don’t get bogged down on troublesome topics, as it will kill it for you. Just keep moving.

I hope to have finished the tree by 30th November. So my middle-term plan is thus:

  1. Finish and keep the Swedish for English speakers tree golden.
  2. There is no English for Swedish speakers course, so I need to start a distance / online / self-learning course at B1 level (I am, more-or-less A2 right now).

2016 actually marks ten years of learning Swedish(!) I’m pretty sure I should be fluent right now. Cambridge recommends 1000-1200 hours to be fluent (C2); so, studying an hour a day, I should have been at C2 level by 2010. But more on that next time!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

The Greatest Frustration Duolingo Can Give… @duolingo #duolingo

… is when you get a sentence wrong because you idiotically made a mistake on the ENGLISH!! 😀

DuolingoFail

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

The Greatest Pleasure Duolingo Can Give… @duolingo #duolingo

…is when you finish one lesson but it refreshes more than one!

😀

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© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

Project Polyglot Parry IV: Reborn! / New Year’s Resolutions 2016 @irishpolyglot #newyearsresolution @resolutions

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New Year’s Resolution 2016: An Update

Project Polyglot Parry: my personal quest to turn myself into a multilingual maestro. But I haven’t really applied myself to the task well of late. So one of my major new year’s resolutions for 2016 is to get back on track with my language learning. Part one of which is to start regularly doing Duolingo in Spanish and Swedish again. Well, I have now started.

One of the best ways of sticking to personal goals is to tell everyone. This way, social stigma forces you to see it through. Consider yourselves told.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

 

 

Project Polyglot Parry III: January 2016 Update @irishpolyglot

ProjectPolyglotParry_face

Project Polyglot Parry is me turning myself into a multilingual maestro. Unfortunately, despite being pretty regular on Duolingo, the graphic below(PROJECT Polyglot Parry March 2014) is still an accurate reflection of my language levels. How can that be possible? I’m where I was 22 months ago! Ah yes; a combo of not enough practice and not pushing myself enough when I do practice. Well, learning languages is on my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, so I’ve got to get a grip. Enrolling on a class might be the way to force myself forward.

I don’t want to make excuses or put things off, but I am actually in the middle of several really important life things right now. I physically don’t have that much time. But I’m going to force myself to Duolingo again, effective immediate; I can do it on the bog (half an hour per language per day). Then I reckon in a couple of weeks or so, I can think about enrolling on classes and so on.

My ultimate goals for 2016 are to get myself the certificates and/or level of:

  • B1 TISUS level in Swedish,
  • B1 DELE in Spanish,
  • refresh my ancient Greek by successfully re-finishing Duff and then starting on Taylor’s GCSE to Greek I again,
  • Doing Portuguese Duolingo half an hour / two “disks” per day for the whole year.

As much as I’m keen on Basque — I’ve always loved the language, my wife is Basque, we have a house in the Basque Country –, I decided to only focus on learning that when I am certified C1 in Spanish.

ProjectPolyglotParry_2014March

Polyglot Parry I
Polyglot Parry II

© 2015 – 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

 

Project Polyglot Parry Update: January 2015

ProjectPolyglotParry_face

I’m a real language lover. Therefore, I’ve always wanted to be fluent in several languages. Unfortunately, aged thirty and after many, many false starts, I’m still only fluent in English! But hitting thirty has me determined that I will achieve my life goals — including fluency in several languages.

To keep my language learning on track, I’m doing regular updates. Read the first post Project Polyglot Parry here.

I’m very proud to say that I’ve completed the English>Spanish tree in Duolingo! 😀 They even gave me this handsome (virtual) trophy!

Duolingo_Trophy_Spanish

Apparently I can now read 66.7% of all real written Spanish.

My next goal is to complete the Duolingo Swedish tree / course. At my current rate of two sessions a day, I reckon I can finish the Swedish tree by around 1st June. And after that, I want to get to the maximum level possible on Duolingo in Spanish: level 25 (that’ll take a while, though).

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry