First of all, I'd like to have a big shout out to two of my partners, Mo and Rae, for starting this habit and be able to stick with it for more than 31 days now. Especially within Lunar New Year's vacation and all the weekends that we still have to get up and start our conversation at 7.
Our challenge is to have a gathering and to talk in English for about an hour every day. Moreover, what makes our challenge even more difficult is that our conversation starts in the early morning at 7 am, which is to prevent us from having any excuses in case we are late for work or to have other things interrupting our appointment. Hence, it has been a double challenge of practicing English and be a morning person at the same time.
Here are some of my learnings after these days:
- If you have had a hard time establishing a habit, find someone to start it with you. We all have a lot of good habits we're trying to start off, but eventually achieved few or even none of them. One of the reasons is that everybody likes to work on something that we will be able to see the result right away. Even though, deep in our minds, we all know that good thing takes time. So when it comes to building a habit in the long-term, people usually lack strong motivation internally. But with someone else's accompany, it adds an extra motivation externally and also forces you to really take things seriously. So if you are the type of person that has always been to easy to yourself just like me, finding another external pressure to force you to keep moving towards your goal might be a good solution.
- Talking about companies, three is better than two. In my case, we have three people in our English morning talk group. And, after weeks of execution, we both agreed that three is the best size for it. Firstly, it's much easier to call it off if there is only two of you. It definitely adds a lot more pressure if you know that there would be two other people waiting for you. Moreover, three people can start a discussion while two people might be stuck in holding their own different opinions. Lastly, it is much more exhausting while delivering a conversation in a foreign language than in your mother tongue, so you could also rest a bit while the rest of your partners are talking.
- While having daily conversations keeps us familiar with English on a daily basis, we are also seeking for improvement. Review truly plays a key role in improvement. During the daily talks, we often stumbled on vocabularies we don't know and experienced hard times expressing ourselves clearly. The better way is to still try to describe the word in English at the moment rather than being stuck in a particular vocabulary. Because, at the end of the day, there will always be words that you don't recognize. Just like I'm pretty sure that there are still a lot of words that I don't know in mandarin, but we've never let it get in our way during a conversation. And the most important thing is, if time permitted, spending time to review your notes about why and what stops you from expressing yourselves. Except for looking up for vocabularies in the dictionary, it's also very helpful to take extra time to rethink and reorganize about what you have shared today, sentence by sentence. By doing so, you will be surprised that there's always something to improve.
- In fact, lots of people are surprised to hear about us practicing English in such an early morning. To me, it's also a mission impossible at first. But as time went by, I realized that the only challenge about being an early bird is that you have to go to bed earlier, which is quite a challenge for people like us who are already used to enjoying our night-lives as an amendment to working hard throughout the day.
Last but not least, when talking about establishing a new habit, persistence is always the most important thing. So leave all above behind and just start it right away and keep on doing it!
Finally achieve my 21 day English practicing challenges!
One is practicing English conversation with my partners @Ya chu @Rae at 7AM every day.
I really appreciate their company, persistence and sharing. We become even more intimate then before and talk
Another challenge is writing 10 sentences that I learned from watching drama every day. I put on my Instagram stories.
Here are some tips on getting started.