So, you've learned a new alphabet and some pronunciation rules. You've discovered that you already speak your new language. And you've signed up at LiveMocha and started learning some new words. It's exciting, isn't it?
It can stay exciting, if you keep the right attitude. But just as that emotional burst you get from your excitement can keep you going all year, the disruption you get from distractions and competing obligations will be there to slow you down or make you give up altogether. We're not going to let that happen!
It's time to set some good habits early. Most importatly, you need to dedicate a time to your studies. Personally, I suggest that the best time is right after you come home from work, before dinner, but you might find a different time works better. Either way, pick a time and do it. Get the schedule experimentation over with early.
You probably only need an hour or less, but you need it every day, and it has to come from somewhere. Maybe it means you don't want those Seinfeld reruns anymore. Maybe it means you send less time at your Playstation, or less time looking at internet porn. Or maybe it means one fewer beers at the bar. We've all got something we're doing to waste time, and we can all spare 30-60 minutes for something as enriching as learning a new language.
Set this habit now. You're going to need to work out the regularity in your schedule right from the start, so that later on when your study is more intense, you won't be fighting for time to do it. The outside influences will fight you for that time, so let the fight happen now, while you're really motivated. Later on, it will be accepted that this is your time, and you won't have to have that fight when it could damage your progress.
Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.