Maximise Your Month: July 2015

So there’s a Maximise Your Month Linkup going on over at Lindsay Does Languages, and I thought, since my crazy June (finishing work, moving home, starting my new job, finding out about my next job, trying to see all the people I haven’t seen for five months…) is almost over, I should really be pulling myself together and getting motivated a little.

Language Learning Goals

These are not always the most important, maybe, but I’ve actually done a pretty good job of keeping up my learning in June, though I’ve realised I need to get a move on with the Super Language Challenge and I really need to work on my German. I’m currently actively studying four languages (German, Mandarin, Spanish and Slovak) and I AM NOT ADDING ANY MORE* until I’m at least at A2/B1 level in all of those.

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

I’m saying practice and use instead of study, because I know that I’m not going to have hours and hours to study every day and when I want to improve my German, for example, I can do this by reading a chapter or two of a book. I don’t want to just be doing grammar all the time – and I don’t want to make these goals really hard to reach.

Complete up to lesson nine of Colloquial Slovak.

I’m currently on lesson four and I’m mostly enjoying this book. (I’m going to see how it goes; there are sixteen lessons in total, and I think I’m going to post a review of it when I finish.) I don’t know what I’m going to do once I’m finished with the book, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Finish reading at least two books in German (and try to read daily).

I said last month I wanted to start reading through another book on the blog, but I didn’t get around to choosing one. I have now – I’m going to start reading Kind 44 (Child 44), mostly because I’m really anxious to see the film, and start posting about it the same way I did about Divergent (Die Bestimmung). I also want to finish reading Die Rebellin by Trudi Canavan and probably begin another book. If I’m reading daily, this is pretty doable.

Finish New Practical Chinese Reader 4.

I have one or two lessons to finish in this book. Granted, I have left NPCR 5 in my flat in Austria (oops!) but once I finish this I can consolidate what I know and I’ll probably find a native speaker to practice with. I’d really like to take the HSK 5 at some point between now and September 2016, so I need to get a move on with this.

Post one lang-8 entry per week in Spanish.

I was going to put each language, but that seems impractical. I’m not having problems with Spanish, per se, it’s just that there is such a gap between what I can understand and what I can produce, so I need to fix it. Speaking would help too, but there’s no time pressure on my Spanish so for now, I think I’ll just focus on writing a bit.

Read at least 31 pages in Mandarin.

One page per day might take me a while (at the moment, about 10-15 minutes…) but I’ll get there. And it’ll be 31 more pages than I read in June! (Or May/April/whenever, I think.)

Read at least 93 pages in Spanish.

Same as the above, but three pages a day, since Spanish is a bit easier to read. 🙂

*I am probably not adding any more anytime soon, but don’t hold it against me if I do 😉

Non-language Learning Goals

Blog at least once per week (ideally twice).

My poor, neglected blog. 🙁 I aim to fix that this month! I’m doing more and more things that involve my languages – I’m teaching English now and I’m hoping to tutor German/Mandarin too – so I’m always thinking about languages and I should be putting some of those thoughts here. If any of you follow my Instagram, then you’ll have seen I’ve done ‘Word of the Day’ posts in German for all of June. I want to keep doing those in July too and hopefully use them on the blog in some way. If I’m blogging about Kind 44, then that’s going to be one post per week, so ideally I’ll have two posts per week, depending on what’s going on.

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

Also, my poor, neglected workouts! I was doing so well when I was in Austria, but since coming back I have been eating terribly and not working out really at all. I really like the workouts on YouTube from blogilates, so I’m going to try and follow her monthly calendar as much as possible throughout July. I’m not saying I’ll stick to it every day, but 12-20 workouts in the month should be pretty good. 🙂

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

I just need to drink water more, especially if this heatwave that’s planned for this month is going to carry on. 🙂 It also stops me drinking pop so much (I looove it but it is not good for me).

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

Camp NaNoWriMo is on in July – so it’s time for me to make up for all the writing I haven’t done this year. I’ve been sort-of writing a web serial over on JukePop Serials, but again, I didn’t manage to update it in June. My goal for the camp is 50,000 words, but it’s more about the habit than anything, so even if I only write 500 words a day, it’s better than nothing.

Phew, that’s it! More than I was expecting when I started out, maybe, but even if I only achieve half of these, it’ll be a pretty good month!

Finally, here’s the Maximise Your Month Linkup Rules (in case you fancy joining):

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. Wow – I’m so impressed you’re learning 4 languages at once! I struggle with just one … I also need to drink more water! I realized bringing a water bottle with me all the time have been helping me drink more. I also watch blogilates video to workout at home! It’s so hard to do a workout everyday but doing it at least 3 times a week is awesome. I need to work up to three times a week! Good luck with your goals for this month! I know you can do it! Jia you!

    • Ha, well I’ve been learning German a loooooooooong time and Mandarin a pretty long time too, so I’ve been adding the others on gradually – that makes it a little less difficult ;). And yeah, I need to remember to bring a water bottle! Still finding drinking enough water so hard 🙁 I’m struggling to workout that often too haha, though I guess we’re not a week into July yet! Still, I’m sure you’ll get there too! Most of the time, I find I just can’t be bothered more than anything; once I get into it, I’m glad I’m doing it! 😀

  2. Wow Charlotte you have a lot of goals!! Best of luck on all of them in July!! I stopped drinking soda about two years ago, I don’t really miss it at all. I still get soda dining out sometimes, but we don’t buy it for the house at all. It’s much healthier 🙂

    • Yeah, ha, I didn’t realise how many until I wrote them all out! Thank you 😀 Yeah, I’ve been trying not to buy it for home too, I sort of limit myself to drinking it once a week, but that varies if I go out and eat a lot 🙂

  3. Welcome back! It sounds like you are super busy as usual – good luck with all of your goals for July 🙂

  4. wow.. i’m super inspired by you and the other language learning bloggers and all your goals. 31 pages of mandarin? that’s amazing. my sister in law took mandarin in college and she said it was soo challenging! i seriously don’t know how you memorize all those characters. *_* good luck with all your goals for this month!

    • Aww, thanks! 😀 I figure 31 pages is achievable, reading is definitely the hardest skill with Mandarin, for me at least. After about a page I get soooooo tired haha. And memorising the characters is definitely a gradual process – it’s taken me years to get this far. Thank you, good luck with yours too! 😀

  5. Thanks for joining us with Maximize Your Month! Good luck with all our goals! Exciting that you’re learning Slovak. What inspired you to do so? 🙂
    I love water. It’s my favourite drink! I often get weird looks when I say that to people but it’s true! Once you get into the habit, I find it a hard one to break. Good luck!

    • Ah, it was a really good way to get my blog back on track haha – and to motivate myself in these (surprisingly warm, srsly what is happening?!) summer months. I’m learning Slovak basically because I’m heading back to Vienna in September (and it looks like I’ll be there a couple more years maybe after) and it’s only an hour from Bratislava so I visit pretty often. Plus Slovak is apparently one of the most spoken languages in Vienna after German (there are a few, but it’s up there) so I thought it might be useful. (It also gives me a nice excuse to try my hand at a Slavic language after my many failed attempts with Russian!)

      It’s getting into the habit that’s difficult – that and I just drink so much tea because when I’m in the UK, there’s always someone making a cup. 😀

  6. Puedes empezar con tu meta de leer en español con este comentario! 😉 haha. I currently started my Slovenian curse and I will like to at least talk by the end of it!

    • Jajajaja ¡gracias! Ooh, Slovenian sounds interesting! And I’d hope by the end of your course you’d be able to talk, even if it’s only a little bit 🙂 I always find that the most exciting part – the first few times you manage to make yourself understood; it’s such a fun feeling!

  7. Great goals! I love how specific they are. Good luck with Slovak and Chinese reading! I don’t even think I could manage a page per day (my brain would hurt), but I should definitely start aiming for that soon. What are you reading (if I may ask)?

    • Thanks! I find unless I have quantifiable goals, then I don’t really stick with them (tbh, I don’t always stick to the quantifiable ones, but that’s fair). It’s taken me so long to get to this stage with Chinese reading, but I think a lot of that has been due to intimidation (and frustration that it takes so much longer than with European languages, for example). I’m reading Harry Potter at the moment, although it is still way beyond me in terms of vocabulary (so much description!). I have a copy of Matilda by Roald Dahl that is probably more suited to my general vocab level but I left it in Austria, so… 🙁 HP is working out okay though because I’ve read it so much (in English and German) that I know what’s happening so I can infer a lot. Plus I’m reading it on my Kindle and you can download dictionaries, so if I get really stuck, it’s not as difficult to look up a completely unknown word as it would be with a paperback 🙂

      • I didn’t know you could download dictionaries on Kindle! I’m going to have to look into that now. Thanks! I have HP for almost every language as well. I’ve read it so many times it makes reading it in new languages so much easier.

  8. that’s amazing that you’re learning so many languages at once! I want to start brushing up on my Korean at the very least so I can communicate better with my grandma. 😀 I’ve been trying to drink a gallon of water a day.. and I can only handle about one new goal / habit a month at this point. 😛 good luck with your goals this / next month!!

    • Oh, that’s awesome! Korean is such an on-again off-again language for me – but then I don’t have any really good reason for learning it, so I just dabble whenever I feel like it. 🙂 Looking back on this month, I’d say I can only really handle about one goal/new habit a month, too – but I always think I have so much to do and go a little too ambitious. Oh well. I hope your July went well! 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *