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30 days: How to improve self-discipline

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
39 messages over 5 pages: 1 24 5  Next >>
United States
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37 posts - 42 votes
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Cantonese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese

 Message 17 of 39
03 April 2010 at 8:58pm | IP Logged 
I've had success sticking to a "do it every day" rule (best stretch was 22 months before being defeated by illness) but I've often had a problem of not "doing" what is probably the most helpful thing. Out of laziness or disinterest I will sometimes read learning materials I've already finished, or reference materials.

I also find that the more I need to reboot, the less effective rebooting is. When I rebooted following the interruption of my 22 month marathon, I failed to stick to the plan for no good reason after just 5 months. If I don't "atone" for my lapses quickly, the whole plan is trashed...
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Senior Member
United States
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 Message 18 of 39
04 April 2010 at 9:25am | IP Logged 
I find the SRS helps to make sure I do a bit everyday.

Missing a couple days and having due cards build up can be a real drag later on. Therefore the fear of future pain gets me to the computer every day and gets me working for at least a bit. And once I've started working on the language from the SRS I'll usually also find time for some other language activities like Assimil/textbooks/etc. Have to keep your SRS sessions short tho, or the drudgery of the daily work might burn you out on its own.
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 Message 19 of 39
05 September 2011 at 3:16am | IP Logged 
- A good thread which well deserves re-reading. -EMK's first post is particularly useful.

Two of my favourite quotes on "discipline" came via AJATT :

"Discipline is remembering what you want", and

"Many people overestimate what they can get done in a day, and underestimate what they can get done in a year".

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 Message 20 of 39
05 September 2011 at 4:15am | IP Logged 
To have disicipline, I just imagine others are watching and I pretend I am very disiciplined, like a schizophrenic :p

PS I love how you're learning French and you're teaching your kids to be bilingual, my father would never teach me German because he is an ass that does jack shit. But I just wanted to praise you there ^.^

Edited by JamesFr on 05 September 2011 at 4:16am

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yourvietnamese.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 21 of 39
05 September 2011 at 6:32am | IP Logged 

"Discipline is remembering what you want"

Nice quotes, Songlines! I can't agree more that for things to truly last, it needs to start with a genuine desire or need.

And completely agree with the OP that having well-defined goals is the key. I also enjoy Steve's book: "Personal Development for Smart People"

One last thing to add is that some people also suggest that we define (concrete) goals for the next day the night before. During our sleep, the brain would work on those and helping us to become more focused (and possibly with solutions as well) the next day. I've been trying this and find it just amazing.

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 Message 22 of 39
05 September 2011 at 9:13am | IP Logged 
I love reading posts like these. They make me want to pick up a book and do something. Right after reading it I turned on France Inter. It's not exactly hard work but I'm practising my listening skills ;).
My biggest problem was always endurance. I can make great progress in a short period of time but then I do nothing so my skills deteriorate. Anyway, you've inspired me to make the effort and consciously work on my French every day.
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Andrew Coach
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 Message 23 of 39
08 October 2011 at 9:34am | IP Logged 
The interesting thing is that when we love doing something, we are disciplined. We spend every waking minute
thinking about and trying to do the thing we love. So a lot of the time when people say they lack discipline in
something, my take on it is that they are not really in love with what they want to do.
Put another way, the thing that is your highest priority you will always make time for. The trouble is a lot of the
time we are confused about what we want ( with our intellect) and what our heart is really telling us.

So the issue in discipline becomes more of an issue of raising the priority of what it is that we "want" to do, or
falling in love with it-- ideally both! :-)
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 Message 24 of 39
08 October 2011 at 4:00pm | IP Logged 
Another misconception - discipline is the skill of making yourself (or others) do unenjoyable, but necessary tasks.
Of course it's possible to use intrinsic motivation and make the task more enjoyable - what is actually easier if you want to stay self-motivated -, but good intrinsic motivation does not equal good discipline.

Thanks to melatonin I now have a slightly more predictable sleep schedule, so it's nice to see this thread up as a reminder to try creating new habits again.

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