Maximise Your Month: September 2015

It’s September already?! It seems like I’ve only just come back to the UK – and in a few short weeks, I’ll be off again.

Still, until then, let’s talk about some more goals, shall we?

Maximise Your Month September 15

It’s nice to set goals at this time of year – for me, anyway. I think I’m always a little too optimistic about what I’ll do in the summer, but years and years of being in education means that even now, it feels like a brand new year, more so than even January does.

So, without any further ado, let’s look back at those August goals I set!

  • Study Slovak for 15m per day.

I did not manage to study every single day, but this goal meant that I studied more often than not, yay!  I kept pretty good track last month (as we are in the midst of a 6WC), and I studied Slovak on 17/31 days, which considering I had a kind of long break in the middle, is far better than I expected. Plus, on the vast majority of those days, I studied for longer than fifteen minutes – the act of getting my books out and sitting down for that amount of time got me into the right mindset to keep going.

  • Finish to Colloquial Slovak lesson 8.

Nope. Still on lesson six. However, the lessons have become a little more challenging after lesson five and there’s a lot more to go through, so I’m not too worried about this.

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

This went pretty well too; so much so that once the 6WC is over, I’m switching to a one language a day method. This method works for me I think because I don’t get done with Slovak and Spanish and then think, oh God, I have to also do German and Mandarin – it was more that I finished with Slovak and Spanish and then could allow myself to do some German or Mandarin if I felt the urge. I think it might help me prevent burn out, which happens sometimes when I focus on one language for too long.

  • Blog once a week.

Again, nope. Just did not happen.

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

Like for studying, the break I had in the middle of the month kind of messed this up, but I did blogilates workouts on 14/31 days. Not bad. The break I think did me some good though; I was getting a little tired and I don’t think I was pushing myself – certainly I wasn’t feeling any of the muscle soreness I had come to expect the next day and it’s not that the workouts are too easy. After the break, it all seemed to fall back into place again and I can feel that the exercise is helping. Sometimes you do just need some time off!

  • Drink at least three glasses of water a day.

This goal is my nemesis and, as such, did not happen.

  • Write at least 500 words per day.

I really got into this towards the end of the month, hitting over 1,000 words a day a few days in a row. I’ve dropped this goal a little again, but it’s really a case of butt in chair, hands on keyboard – I need to stop procrastinating.

Things I learnt this month:

  • Studying languages on a rotating basis really works for me and keeps me motivated. Sure, there are some days I still don’t feel like studying, but it’s easier to convince myself to only go for ten-fifteen minutes instead of thirty minutes – an hour.
  • A lot of my time is wasted. I check twitter, facebook, instagram, my emails… And even when I’m not on the internet, I wander around getting a cup of tea, playing with the cat… I’m not going to say I have to cut out all distractions; that would be unrealistic. But I do have to focus when I need to and get all essential work done early.
  • I work well in the mornings (09:00-12:00) and evenings (after about 18:00). Getting any work done about two o’clock in the afternoon is pointless for me, I get such an afternoon slump and just want to mess about and nap. This should help me to plan my days better.

I spent a day this month also thinking about what long-term goals I want to achieve. I’ve been out of university a year and I’m going back to the same job I had the last academic year, working as a language assistant in Austria. However, I can’t do that forever (as in, I literally can only hold this post for three years) and I’m certain I don’t want to be an MFL teacher in the UK. (Props to those of you who do; you’re braver than I am!) I do want to be involved in education because I think that’s important, but I also want to be a translator – and I have for years. This means I need to get a master’s degree and I need to have a job to help me fund that. I’m hoping my month-by-month goals, then, will help me to get there.

Onto August’s goals!

Language-related goals

  • Study the language of the day for 15m.

The 6WC runs until 12th September, so after that, Slovak will be added to the rotation and I’ll study one language a day for at least fifteen minutes. Again, this is flexible: if I finish with, say, German and want to study some Spanish, that’s fine. I just have to try and hit those fifteen minutes – and memrise time doesn’t count!

  • Reach certain points in my language textbooks.

I’m self-studying for now, but I’m hoping to take at least a German class when I go back to Vienna (though I may have to wait until the second semester, depending on when the classes start). Either way, I have a textbook or self-study book for each language and I have certain points I want to hit within them: Slovak – Lesson 8; German – Kapitel 4; Spanish – Unit 14; Mandarin – finish NPCR 4. Some of those points involve less work than others.

Non-language related goals

  • Work out three times per week (preferably five).

This goal is going well, but I want to see how it goes when I go back to Vienna. I also would like to include more running (as opposed to none), but I’ll look at making that a specific goal in October.

  • Write 500 words per day.

I am determined to do this at some point, particularly with November coming up. I’ve got to flex those writing muscles!

  • Blog at least once per week.

I actually made a blog plan (!) for this month, so let’s see how this goes. Any words written for the blog will also be counted towards my word count goal, so that’s handy.

Long post, again! I don’t know how anyone writes a short post about their goals – maybe that should be one of mine for next month? 😉 But anyway, I wish you all success with your own goals too – and if you’re back at school/college/university, I wish you success in general. Have a good start to your year!

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, andShannon 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. which blogilates workouts have you been doing? 🙂 i’ve been trying some of her 5 minute ones. haha it’s a start, right?!

    good luck on all your goals for september!!

    • Oh God, you’re brave; her five minutes ones are sooooooooo hard – I always start out that 5m arms one so optimistically, then after the triangle push-ups I’m just laying on my mat like ‘nope, no thank you’ hahaha. I’ve been trying to follow the calendar but I’ve only done two days so far this month, oops! I love the blogilates work outs though, they’re so fun.

      Thank you! 😀

  2. Good luck with your goals for September! I can COMPLETELY relate to the 2pm slump you mention (for me it’s about 3!). I used to go out and teach students face to face at this time so I think my body got used to brain-change at that time! I normally walk at lunch, which helps in the afternoon but sometimes, I’ll postpone it til 3pm – or even go out twice. It can be tough to actually leave the desk because you feel that there’s so much to do and it’ll be time wasted but it proves much more time efficient than you’d expect! 🙂

    • Yeah, a change of pace does seem to kind of fix it, but I’ve spent a lot of time around the house this summer so all I want to do it nap! Going for a walk might be more helpful though, haha. Definitely agree with the tough to leave the desk thing though; I might not be doing anything for an hour but my brain is always saying ‘we SHOULD be doing…’ which is not always that helpful!

  3. I’m not sure if my comment got deleted – has such an iffy commenting system. Anyway, I want to wish you luck on your goals. Here’s my tip about drinking water: If I’m at work, I have a big bottle of water at my table within easy reach. I aim for three of those bottles a day. And you and me both with exercise. I totally neglected that for two months. Good luck!

    • Ah, I think so, I only got this one from you. But thanks, that’s a great tip! I have a pint glass while I’m at home, but a big water bottle is probably an even better idea (and I’m less likely to spill it everywhere)!

  4. Wow, I admire your goals. Learning a language is no easy task much less when you are working out and writing on your blog. You can do it girl!!

    • Thank you! The 500 words a day goal was supposed to be writing non-blog related things, but I expanded it to include my blog this month, because I’ve done so poorly. I’m not too worried though; I always find this one picks up around November, what with NaNoWriMo. 😉

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