Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution, only to give up on it soon afterwards?
If you answered yes, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. According to Forbes, up to 80% of people fail when they make promises at the beginning of the year.
But what if you learned about a powerful new way to make more permanent positive changes to your life?
There’s a simple secret to success – it involves establishing habits.
If you want to improve your English this year, you can do so by creating fun and easy study routines starting today! A routine will help you stay focused and motivated for the whole year.
Let’s take a look at 7 ways to help you achieve your English goals in 2023.
1. Look back at last year
First, take time to think about all your achievements from the last 12 months—even the small ones.
Research by Harvard Business school shows that people who celebrate small wins are more motivated to achieve bigger goals.
Maybe you watched a movie in English and understood some of it or learned some new words? Whatever it is, celebrating that progress will motivate your 2023 New Year’s resolutions.
Set aside 15 minutes to make a list of all your achievements in English or any other area of your life.
Include everything, no matter how small. Then give yourself a pat on the back for each one. Go you!
2. Set a themed vocabulary goal
It can be tempting to set an ambitious goal like “Learn the 3,000 most common words in English” in 2023.
But that’s 8.2 words per day with no days off. That’s way too many for your brain to really learn.
Instead, for this one of your 2023 New Year’s resolutions, try a different approach.
Write a list of 12 topics or themes you’re interested in. They could be your hobbies, related to your work or studies. For example, you might choose football, or words to do with business, or history.
Then each month, search online for a list of words related to that topic and learn those. Also do lots of reading around those topics. Try to notice when you see your new vocabulary being used.
Because you’re already interested in the topic, you’ll be more motivated to learn them.
3. Try ELSA Speech Analyzer
If you’ve ever wanted someone to tell you exactly how well you’re doing with your English speaking, ELSA has just the tool.
Our speech analyzer uses powerful AI to listen to you and provide instant feedback. It covers fluency, intonation, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.
You can use it to practice presentations and prepare for any context you need English for.
Try combining ELSA speech analyzer with the idea in #2 and record yourself talking about one of your themes using the vocabulary you’ve learned. That way you can get instant feedback and find out where you can improve.
4. Find a speaking partner
What better motivation for improving your English than using it to talk to other people? Look for a language exchange buddy and swap a language you speak for English.
Or, find another student at the same level as you and meet to speak English. Be strict with yourselves though! Set a timer and don’t break out of English until the alarm goes off.
For more targeted practice, we formed ELSA’s Speak Global Community on Facebook to help you with pronunciation but it’s the community aspect that makes it fun.
You can use the group to post recordings of you speaking and get feedback and tips. With more than 40,000 members there’s always someone online somewhere in the world.
5. Do things you enjoy—in English
Too many people associate learning a language with text books, exams and “serious” study. But, if one of your 2023 New Year’s resolutions is to make English more fun, you’re much more likely to learn and improve.
So, how can you make learning fun?
Easy! Just do things you already enjoy, but do them in English.
If you like reading, read some of your favorite books in English. Because you already know the story, it will be much easier to follow. Another option is to go for Graded Readers—books that are adapted to your English level.
If you like watching movies or TV shows, stream your favorites and set the language to English. If you like baking cakes, search for the recipes in English.
Whatever your hobbies are, there are probably a bunch of English-speaking YouTubers making videos about the activities you like.
6. Plan rewards in advance
When you’re planning your New Year’s resolutions for 2023, of course you’ll set goals for the year.
By the way, if you’re stuck and having trouble thinking of goals, search online or ask on social media for New Year resolution examples. Then all you need to do is copy the ones you like.
But it’s just as important to plan some rewards for when you meet those goals to motivate you to work toward the target. Language learning is a long-term goal and research shows that immediate, short-term rewards make people more likely to stick to their plans.
The rewards don’t have to be big or expensive. Just choose things that are meaningful to you. So, that could be something as simple as “allowing” yourself to take a couple of hours off work to go for a walk.
7. Download the ELSA app
Just like with exercise, it’s easier to stay focused and motivated with learning English if you have a personal trainer.
Meet ELSA, your AI coach. ELSA uses powerful artificial intelligence software to listen to your speech and help you improve your fluency and pronunciation.
Our learners tell us that using the ELSA app for just 10 minutes a day for three months improved their pronunciation and confidence and helped them to speak more clearly.
That’s probably because ELSA makes learning fun by keeping track of progress and building in rewards.
Make 2023 your year for English
Have you made your New Year’s resolutions for 2023? Feel free to add to this list and come up with ideas of your own. Maybe you could share them below in the comments, on social media or with other students in your class. Making your goals public is a great way to stay motivated.