Clear the List January 2016 – My Goals for the Year!


Hey! Welcome to the first Clear The List for 2016! Hosted by myself, Shannon of Eurolinguiste, Esther of Local Adventurer, and Mariah of Food, Booze and Baggage, we share our monthly goals and encourage you to do the same. Check the bottom of this post for more info on how to join in.

I LOVE this time of year. And the weird thing is, every year I forget how much I love it.

I’m pretty much a “if it needs changing, change it now.” kinda gal, but there’s something refreshing about a brand new year.

So naturally, this month’s Clear The List is a New Years Resolutions special.

Clear The List is your chance to share your goals for the coming month. This time, it's January and I'm looking forward to 2016! Click through to read more.

I was never a big fan of New Years resolutions. For a long time, I couldn’t see the point.

If I wanted to change something about my life so drastically, I’d just do it there and then, surely?

Yet, the chance to reassess and set goals alongside other people put out there on a platter doesn’t have to be ignored.

Last year, I set my first New Years resolutions that I think I’ve ever taken seriously, and I’m really happy with how they went.

So for the review of this Clear The List post, I’m going to be looking way back to my New Years resolutions.

2015 REVIEW

Untitled-12015 new years resolutions lindsay does languages blog

I will be able to visually identify and distinguish between 30 different writing systems.

Yes! This happened!

Well, I think so. I completed the Language Script Challenge having explored a total of 31 different writing systems and alphabets, including Braille, both American Sign Language and British Sign Language and even Semaphore!

I loved this process so much and I’ll be sharing my final thoughts on the process in the coming months.

It definitely did its job of keeping my language curiosity satisfied.

I will continue to study Japanese as my priority language after Spanish

This happened!

The Language Script Challenge gave me enough exploration into other languages that I felt totally happy with focusing the majority of my energy on one language at a time.

When my final Spanish course was happening (February to October) Japanese didn’t get a look in. At the time, I was a little sad about this because I felt like I’d been really improving before the course began. However…

I will achieve at least a grade 2 pass for my Spanish course

…I got a Distinction in my Spanish course – the highest possible grade!

So I guess that laying off the Japanese helped with that. Woo!

I will run as often as I can, regardless of how far

Hmm..this kind of happened.

I started well. Then around the end of May (a CRAZY busy month) I could not stop coughing. I was ridiculously sick for months. It wasn’t until we returned from our relaxing summer break that I really began to feel ready to run again.

But it was hard.

Whereas I stopped Japanese for a reason I wanted (to pass my Spanish course), I was forced to stop running for a reason I didn’t want. So when it came time to restart, I was so hesitant.

I didn’t want to make myself worse again, I feared I couldn’t do it as well as I had before, I knew it would take time and dedication to get good once more.

But I did it. Slowly. And at my own pace. If you want to run, but you’re nodding your head to any of those feelings I’ve just shared, check if there’s a local ParkRun. They are great!

Back in November, I actually ran my first 10k. So I guess the year wasn’t all bad on the running front!

I will listen to online radio in foreign languages for at least 3 hours each working day

This didn’t happen.

Some mornings I just didn’t feel like listening to something I was forcing myself to. Urgh.

So I didn’t force myself to do this. That said, if I wasn’t listening to foreign radio, I was often listening to music in different languages.

Now, I’ve found the NHK News podcasts in different languages, which fill this position in the morning. Yay!

I will produce at least 1 8tracks playlist per month

This didn’t happen.

8tracks stopped working with SoundCloud half way through the year. So I stopped making multilingual playlists.

If you’re looking for some multilingual music wonderfulness, then check my YouTube channel page, where I’ve transferred the playlists to.

I will produce at least 3 YouTube videos per month

Yes! This happened!

Sometimes even more than 3, so that’s pretty neat!

I love making video content so much and I plan to continue this into 2016 too. Hooray!

I will produce at least 2 blog posts per week

Yes! This happened!

Well, with the exception of Christmas and holiday time.

But mostly I was blogging 3 times a week so it all balances out.

I will set myself monthly goals for language learning

Yes! This happened!

Half way through the year, the Clear The List link-up started (it was Maximise Your Month for a couple of months!).

It’s been such a great way to review my progress and plan forward for the coming month.

I’ve also loved the link-up aspect and being able to follow along with your goals too.

Hooray for language goals!

I will have at least 2 trips abroad

Yes! This happened!

I got really luck last year with travel.

I didn’t make it to New York for the Polyglot Conference, but I did get to Berlin for the Polyglot Gathering in May.

It was so much fun. In fact, registration has just opened up for this year’s event now. If you’re interested, sign up here!

Not only that, but we also went to Copenhagen for a few days in May (with a cheeky day in Malmo, Sweden!) AND Brussels and the Baltic in summer.

Most of the trips me and Ashley take start out with a SkyScanner search for the cheapest flights to a place we haven’t been from our local airport. However, we knew we’d be going to see a friend in Liverpool, so checked out flights from Manchester.

There was a crazy amount of Β£20 flights to Brussels from Manchester all summer! So, naturally, we went to Brussels!
Clear The List is your chance to share your goals for the coming month. This time, it's January and I'm looking forward to 2016! Click through to read more.
Obligatory holding up the Atomium photo there.

But we didn’t just want to go to Brussels. So we did some hunting and found a cheap flight from Brussels to Vilnius, and a flight that fitted our schedule from Tallinn back to our local airport. It was meant to be!

There was a great town we visited near Vilnius in Lithuania called Trakai, which is home to Karaim, a language spoken by about 60 people. I couldn’t find any of those speakers on our visit but it was a rather stunning place.
Clear The List is your chance to share your goals for the coming month. This time, it's January and I'm looking forward to 2016! Click through to read more.
I learnt some language from the streets in each country over on YouTube and Ashley made daily vlogs over on our travel channel Mundo Trundle too. So much fun!

Now to look forward…

Finish the add1challenge in Japanese

The Add1Challenge is due to finish at the end of January. When it does, I’m going to be taking a little break for Japanese.

I love love love learning it but after a year of focusing hard on Spanish for my university studies and then focusing solely on Japanese, I’m ready for another dabbling year like 2014 turned out to be!

I’m sure I’ll revisit Japanese in the future. And it is high on my list of languages I want to maintain.

Start Korean in February

Exciting! So when Japanese ends, Korean begins!

This year I’ll be collaborating with my blogger friend Shannon of Eurolinguiste as we both start Korean from scratch.

We both have the same goal of basic conversational level and we’re both just learning for fun. I’ve never really studied a language with a study buddy in this way before so I’m excited to see how this project goes!

If you don’t already follow Shannon, now is a good time to start as we’ll be sharing content across each other’s blogs and YouTube channels. Looking forward to this one.

Get to basic conversational level in Esperanto

One of the languages I’ll be dabbling with is Esperanto. I’m intrigued!

The Esperanto community seems to be ever-growing and I’m excited to find out more.

I picked up a couple of really cool old Esperanto books last year, plus there’s now a Duolingo course, so it seems right.

Duolingo is something I’ve never really used to learn a language so I’m looking forward to see how that all works in better detail.

Get to basic conversational level in Indonesian

For attending last year’s Polyglot Gathering, everyone got a voucher for a free Teach Yourself Complete course. I picked Indonesian.

Their list of languages was crazy though! It look a while for me to pick it!

So now I have a kit, I can’t not learn it. I’m ready.

Video time!

If you’re more of a visual person, I’ve summarised this post and explained the basics behind how I plan to achieve these goals in a video for you. Yay! Check it out below.

Join Clear The List!


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What are your goals for the coming year? How do you plan to achieve them? Share in the comments!

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About Lindsay Williams

Why hello there! I'm Lindsay and I do Languages. I blog, vlog and teach all things language. I blog about languages right here at Lindsay Does Languages, and about travel over at Mundo Trundle. If you're looking for language learning inspiration then stay a while. You might find just what you're looking for. :)
  • Good luck with your goals Lindsay! I can’t wait to start working on Korean with you. It’s going to be a fun project. Best of luck finishing up the Add1Challenge.

  • alysiaraine

    I always love hearing about other people’s language learning goals! It makes me inspired to do EVEN MORE language learning! haha! That’s great to hear that you want to take a more fun approach to language learning! I think so many of us get so serious about language, that we forget to make it fun… I’m very guilty of this. lol. I’m what you can call an all-or-nothing kind of person. So, if I decide to learn a language, I become determined to learn that language, meaning I won’t give up the language, or rather I feel like a failure if I have to. I think I have a pretty stubborn personality unfortunately.

    Here are my language goals for 2016:
    1) maintain my Dutch (I have a B2 level at the moment)
    2) Get my German up to a B2 (I’m at like an A2/B1 right now)
    3) Get my Japanese up to a B2 (I’m also at about an A2/B1 right now)
    4) Get my French up to an A2 (I’m at an A1 now, and just started the language from scratch about 2 months ago).

    I used to only work on one language at a time, but since the end of 2015, I’ve decided to try to learn more than one at a time. It’s going well so far, I just need to make sure I follow my study schedule πŸ™‚

    • Great goals! Thanks for sharing! And all languages I’ve studied (to varying levels!) so looking forward to updates from you πŸ™‚

  • DorothΓ©e

    Good luck with your 2016 goals!
    I’m always amazed that English native speakers like to learn esperanto! One of my regrets… but I learn too many languages already^^
    I’ll take a look at your youtube playlists: I’m always looking for good music. (like your French Disney Songs selection by the way)

  • Those are some pretty good looking goals! Indonesian sounds amazing– I have to admit I got pretty jealous thinking about a free voucher for any Teach Yourself course.

    • Thanks! Yeah…it was pretty awesome! Everyone got one for attending! Amazing! πŸ˜€ Will you be in Berlin this year? πŸ™‚

      • Unfortunately, no πŸ™ But hopefully I’ll be able to attend in the future, because the conference seems really cool πŸ™‚

  • First of all, good luck with your goals for 2016!

    We asked some of our colleagues for their language learning resolutions for this year and added some tips as well on our blog: https://cambridgeesolde.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/what-is-your-new-years-resolution-for-language-learning/

  • You’re going to find interesting similarities between Korean and Japanese! I have a friend learning Japanese and we enjoy comparing grammar structures, even though we’re learning different languages. Yeah, geeky. (And if you need any suggestions for K-Pop to listen to…let me know.)

    There are Esperanto groups active in the UK. I can’t link from my phone, but look up JEB.

    • Ahh really? Interesting! I was expecting not too many similarities so I’m looking forward to that now. πŸ˜€

      Thanks for the heads up on JEB – will look them up.