Maximise Your Month: August 2015

Well, July is over and apparently we’re well and truly into summer now (not that the weather here is proving it right now). Since we’re almost a week into August, I thought it might be a good idea to look back on my goals for last month and set some (perhaps more realistic) goals for this one!

Maximise Your Month August 15

So first, let’s have a look at those July goals! (Note: I didn’t manage any of them exactly…)

Language Learning Goals

  • Practise/use each language for at least ten minutes per day.

Yeah, I did not do this. I had a really strong start to the month, but this just did not work out. I think having four to study (even for ten minutes) each day made it more difficult, so I’ve modified this for August.

  • Complete up to lesson nine of Colloquial Slovak.
  • Finish reading at least two books in German (and try to read daily).
  • Finish New Practical Chinese Reader 4.
  • Post one lang-8 entry per week in Spanish.
  • Read at least 31 pages in Mandarin.
  • Read at least 93 pages in Spanish.

I’m grouping these all together because these were my really specific goals – and I still stand by the idea that specific goals are good, for me at least. A vague goal is really easy for me to put off working towards (I am a terrible procrastinator) and it’s difficult to measure progress. However, I didn’t do well with any of these. Part of this is because some of them (the reading, especially) involved doing something every day – and I know that I should try and learn every day, but that’s not always possible. The others, I didn’t factor in the time (I should have made the NPCR goal more specific for that) or I was just a tad ambitious (Colloquial Slovak, I’m looking at you!). Again, I’ve revised them for August.

It might seem a bit like I did nothing in July (which is only half true), but I still got some studying done and I started to pull it together a bit towards the end of the month. Looking at it, I think July is just always a kind of bleh month for me so I’m going to just try a little harder with August!

Non-language Learning Goals

  • Blog at least once a week (ideally twice).

Well, this didn’t happen. I started out well, announcing my second read-along but then didn’t do anything else. Oops! I’ve created a bit more of a posting schedule for this month, so that might help to fix this slump I’m kind of in right now.

  • Exercise at least three times a week (ideally five times per week).

This one I did? Kind of? Okay, so some days the exercising was just ten minutes of stretching, and there was one week where I did nothing at all, but I managed some form of exercise on 21/31 days last month, which definitely counts! I’m feeling a lot better about it now too, though I still don’t feel like going outside and running. Booooo.

  • Drink at least three glasses of water a day (ideally five).

So a ‘glass’ is like 250ml, right? Regardless, I didn’t do so well on this at first. I drink so much tea when I’m at home – and I know tea isn’t necessarily bad for you but oh I do love sugar. I got better towards the end of the month again though and I’m going pretty strong into August too.

  • Write at least 500 words per day (ideally 1,613+).

Hahahahaaha no this one didn’t go well. However it is another one I’m currently fixing.

RIGHT. Now, onto August’s goals~

Language Learning Goals

  • Study Slovak for 15m per day.

We’re currently in the midst of August’s 6WC and my target language is Slovak, so I’ve set myself a 15 minutes per day goal. I’m trying not to count memrise towards that right now because I know if I do, all I’ll do is water words all month and I really want to get on with the Colloquial book. Still, if that’s all I manage one day and it takes 15 minutes, then it counts. I’ve also drawn out a little calendar and given myself four days where if I don’t do anything, that’s fine (birthdays and trips), so I should end up with a minimum time of nine and a half hours, which would be great.

  • Finish to Colloquial Slovak lesson 8.

This is the only textbook I have for Slovak (it is not a popular language) and I want to get through it. I’m currently on lesson five (I should finish it tomorrow or Sunday), so I don’t think that’s much of a stretch. I worked out, I have to complete one lesson about every ten days to stay on track. That should be doable.

  • Study other languages for 10m a day on rotation.

So what I did (and you may have seen on my instagram) was draw out a calender for this 6WC and then I got three different colours; blue for German, pink for Mandarin and green for Spanish. I’m focussing on one of these languages (alongside Slovak) per day, for at least ten minutes. So today, for instance, is a German day (I’ve been reading). Tomorrow will be Mandarin, Sunday Spanish and so on. I’ve skipped the days that I’m busy (they’re orange) and I pick up the language that should have been on that day the next free day. This takes off some of the pressure – instead of trying to find 30 minutes (or more, because once I get started, I usually go over), I only have to find ten; or, more precisely, I only have to be motivated for ten minutes. It’s working pretty well as a system so far; I’ve only missed one day this month.

I think that’s as specific as I’m going to get here. I want to make sure I keep up with all of my skills and I really, really want to get through some German books but I don’t want to make any specific goals out of them because then I think there’ll be too much. That’s where I went wrong last month, really.


Non-language Learning Goals

  • Blog once a week.

This post counts, which means I’m one week down. My language tumblr is a lot more active than this blog, but I like this blog for writing long posts and I need to use it more. I also have to get on with that read-along; Kind 44 is calling my name! I promise to be back at least every Friday. 🙂

  • Exercise at least three times a week (preferably five).

I don’t know how this is going to go. I’ve managed five days so far, but I tend to use the living room to workout in (as my bedroom is teeny-tiny) when everyone is at work and there are holidays booked for this month. I’m not keen on people being around when I’m doing crazy pilates moves (esp. since I am not good at them). Still, I’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll go outside and run? I think three times a week will be fine though, I’m really getting into it and I want to make it a habit so that I’m still into it in the winter (cold weather = a lottttttttt of comfort food).

  • Drink at least three glasses of water a day.

Like I said before, a glass is 250ml, yes? Someone tell meeeee please. I’m doing okay at this I think; I got this printable and stuck it into my journal, so I get to colour the glasses in when I have them. Plus, I’ve found that pint glasses are my friends – there’s like 560ml in a pint, so I count it as two glasses and I only have to drink four! I have not managed a full eight glass day yet, but I see it in my future!

  • Write at least 500 words per day.

Again, I’m willing to exclude the busy days like I am with language learning, but this seems more achievable this month. I’m using a combination of and an app called 5KWPH that lets you pick an amount of time you want to write for, then you enter your word count when you’re done. It’s been working well for me so far this month and I feel like I’m getting back into the habit again, yay!

Okay, I think that’s it for August. Let’s see how it goes this time around!

And again, if you fancy joining the Maximise Your Month Linkup, here’s the rules:

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, Hsiao-Ting from Shouting Chow, Mariah from Food, Booze & Baggage, Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages, 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.


Maximize Your Month


  1. I have had many, many months where I did not cross-off very many goals, some months just don’t go as planned and that is ok. Some times you are more into other things and you want to carry that energy with what you are doing, instead of checking something off a list. Best of luck with all your goals in August. Yay for at least starting the exercise routine, I’ve struggled with that too, but have consistently gotten better (ie not dreading it) the more months I’ve had it as a goal.

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