Clear the List: May 2016

Hi guys! How are you all doing? Sad that April’s over? I kind of am – April isn’t really a special month for me, but we’re getting closer and closer to the day I leave Vienna, so that sucks.

Still, May is a fun month; there are lots of holidays (here, anyway) and the weather starts to perk up, so hopefully we have that to look forward to. And even if not, then it’s a good month for language challenges and kicking your learning up another notch! 😉

But before I can really do that, it’s time to take a look back at what I did and didn’t do last month.

Clear the List: May 2016 | 学习Sprachen

So I’m hoping that I’m going into May with slightly more realistic goals than I had in April; those goals weren’t so bad, but I didn’t track them very well last month, so that was my biggest problem.

Those goals were:

  • Hit my targets for German and Mandarin. – I detailed what I wanted to do in the last post, but things changed pretty quickly at the beginning of the month. These goals are designed to get me ready for uni again in September, but on the 6th I had a Skype call with the programme director, which changed a few of my priorities. For one, I’ll mainly be working with one language pair (German-English), so I don’t need to put as much emphasis on Mandarin. Obviously I want to keep it up and I will be able to practise translating out of it, but it’s nice to have a little pressure off there. I’m still not great at reading and I want to work on it, but I can do that in a more relaxed way now. I also got a pre-reading list, so I’ve started going through that, but the woman who sent it to me actually recommended doing a short translation every day, which was different to what I had planned. I’ve done five of those (out of nine I should have done?), but I’m trying to keep on top of it as much as possible. For the rest of this goal – well, I didn’t write anything. I also didn’t read enough for Mandarin, but I did a decent job with German; I finished Die Herren von Winterfell, at least.
  • Study eight hours of Japanese. – I didn’t manage this either, though with the 6WC being on in May, I’m less worried about it. Now that I’ve got German as my main focus language, I feel like I can distribute time among the others more evenly, so I’m optimistic for the coming month.
  • Study the language of the day for 20m a day. – I didn’t keep good track of this, but I know that I did a good job with German, an alright job with Spanish and a poor job with Mandarin and Japanese. It’s okay though. I’m going to just try again this month. Another thing for this goal is that I’m going to leave my calendar with which language should be the focus on which day somewhere where I can see it more easily. I’m still using my language notebook, but less often than I used to, so keeping it in there is not all that helpful.
  • Make some more progress on my New Year’s Goals. – I made some progress, though not as much as I anticipated. I managed to get through over half of the German pages I wanted to read (264/570) and I watched a couple of hours of TV. I also read almost 40 pages in Spanish, which is pretty good considering it’s a weak language for me. I really didn’t do a lot for Mandarin though, which means those goals are just stacking up.
  • Finish the A to Z Challenge. – For those of you who have been around the blog, you’ll notice that I did not manage to do this. I got almost halfway through, but I’m determined to finish the challenge in May. It was a fun thing to try last month though, and not that stressful, despite the fact that I ended up so far behind.
  • Write 35,000 words. – I didn’t really write anything for CampNaNo, but between a random day of plotting that struck me towards the end of the month and the seventeen (!) blog posts I wrote, I got a fair few words down. 16,009 to be exact (with 9,000+ of those on this blog!). It’s Story a Day May this month, so I am hoping to do more fiction writing, but even if I just write more blog posts, that’s fine too.
  • Work out for 30m a day, three times a week. – Ha, okay so I did the half marathon on the 10th April (and I did it slowly and oh god everywhere hurt for like three days afterwards) and went on a 16km hike the week after, but apart from that I didn’t do much exercise. I’m trying to ease myself back into Blogilates and I have a 5k on the 22nd May, so that should change it up a little.
  • Walk at least 6,000 steps on 80% of days this month. – I literally managed this; I walked/ran over 6,000 steps on 24/30 days, though I had my two days with the most steps this month too (38,761 and 38,019, respectively), so overall this month was great for this.

So, what are my goals for May?

  • Study Japanese for 20m a day – or for eight hours in total. – I think a combination of a daily and monthly goal works better for me. That way, I know I should do something every day, but if not then I know where I’m aiming for in terms of time. With the added boost of the 6WC, I think I’ll do well for this goal this month.
  • Study the language of the day for 20m a day. – I mean, this is the same as ever, but I’m hoping to do well. I need to remember to add which language I should be studying to the right days on my calendar, though!
  • For German: read one chapter a day, do one translation a day and write one text per week. – This is all prep for uni, which is why it’s a little more intensive. It shouldn’t take too long though, all things considered.
  • Make some more progress on my New Year’s Challenge. – This should be a little easier now that the Super Challenge has started, I think, though my goals still seem a little high. But oh well, I don’t mind that!
    • For this month, I should:
      • Read 540 pages of German, watch 6.5 hours of media and write 1,225 words.
      • Read 95 pages of Mandarin, watch 62 hours of media (!) and write 1,220 words.
      • Read 145 pages of Spanish, watch 11 hours of media and write 625 words.
      • I really would like to also focus on the writing, so I need to set something up for that.
  • Hit my targets for the first month of the Super Challenge. – It’s always nice to start off with a bang and I’d like to sail out of May having done well. That means I need to read nine pages and watch fifteen minutes per language per day (or 250 pages and 7.5 hours per language this month) – which doesn’t seem like it’s beyond my skill set.

Non-language goals:

  • Write at least two blog posts per week. – Obviously, I’ve said I want to complete what I started with the A to Z Challenge and I will, just at a steady pace. I’m also supposed to update on my Japanese progress every Sunday (at least one Sunday it’ll be moved because it’s a long weekend so I’m going to Amsterdam…), so that’s a couple of blog posts right there. So I guess I do kind of know that I’ll hit this goal, but I want to see if I surpass it and then I can come up with something a little more realistic for next month.
  • Take part in Story a Day May. – Well, I didn’t put ‘write a story every day’ because I already haven’t done that – but also because the challenge is supposed to be a little low maintenance. Plus, I really need to work on that ‘no beating yourself up’ attitude. So if I write one story or twenty-nine, I’ll still have completed this challenge so long as I get something down.
  • Workout 30m a day, three times a week. – Yep, so I have a 5k run on the 22nd (it’s the Frauenlauf again!) so I should probably run at some point; but I also want to get back into doing Blogilates workouts regularly. I am probably going to join a gym when I go home again, but it’s getting back into that routine that’s important.
  • Walk 6,000 steps or more a day. – Hopefully I’ll manage that every day this month – it’s my goal, anyway. I’ve managed it so far, so let’s see if I can keep this streak going!

Alright, well that was long and perhaps excessive – but who of us is surprised by that at this point? 😉 Tell me about your goals for May, too! Who else is taking part in these challenges with me?

(And, as ever, if you fancy joining the Clear the List linkup, here are the rules:

Maximize Your Month

1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this post. You can use our button if you wish.

3. Follow the hosts: Esther from Local Adventurer, Lindsay from Lindsay Does LanguagesMariah from Food, Booze & Baggage, and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList.)


    • Thank you! 😀 I really need to work on those days when I don’t have to work and can’t be bothered to go outside – good weather helps, thankfully! Good luck with your goals this month too!

    • Haha, thank you! 🙂 I love having clear goals, even if it’s not always so easy to reach them. I hope you’re having fun with your language learning too! 😀

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