You get all excited, you got all your flashcards out you start going over them one by one. You flip the cards over and over, again and again. Hey it’s not so bad this is kinda painless, just me and a handful of flashcards that I made. I’ll just do it for 10 minutes. Anybody can do this for 10 minutes. No problem I got this. You do it for a couple of days, but your favorite tv show is about to start, maybe you take a break and do it tomorrow. Next thing you know a week has passed by and you don’t remember as much as you did before. You get discouraged and then maybe you stop. Yeah, language learning is hard, nobody really ever learns anything.
It sucks to stop your momentum, maybe you feel like you have no momentum and you’re still stuck. You’re feeling frustrated and getting nowhere, at least that is how you feel. It’s all normal just don’t stop. Keep going. Breaks happen all the time but don’t give up. Pick up where you left off and continue, maybe you have to start again. So just start again.
I was like this. I had a textbook and I was trying to follow along on a daily basis. Using flashcards that I made was more fun than trying to learn on my own via a textbook. I used the textbook to gather phrases that I felt would come up in a natural conversation. What’s your name, what’s your phone number, where do you work and so on. I put them all on my flashcards and I studied them a lot. But life would get in the way sometimes and I would put the cards down and not pick them up again sometimes for a whole week. I would grumble and complain that I can’t find time to study, and starting up again was always so hard. But I would start up again. Sometimes I would do awesome like everyday for 2 weeks and I would make new cards and then wham! something else comes up, gets in the way or I get lazy. The cards would get put away, and weeks would pass by.
This went on for a long time on and off on and off. I did keep at it though. I borrowed from the library a book on tape and listened to that for a little while. The book on tape would have to go back eventually and I would stop again. Then after a few weeks I would grab my flashcards again and start all over again trying to memorize. I remember trying in earnest to go step by step with this particular textbook and it was the same thing. I would do well for a week or so and then stop and not go back for a long time. The thing is that although I did stop a lot I never really did stop altogether. I kept going back at it. I didn’t stop. Took longer breaks than I wanted but I didn’t stop.
Not exactly a well thought out plan to learn a language. I never did stop completely. I never hanged up my flashcards or my textbook and say never again. I would just visit every now and then. I never stopped.