Herzlich Willkommen zurück!
If you haven't read parts one and two yet, I highly recommend you do. In fact, let's just be German about it and say "Das müssen Sie zuerst machen!"
This post is dedicated to all the perfectionists out there, all the recovering perfectionists, and those of us who get hung up on one small thing. A lot of people who are perfectionists are interested in learning German and discover that the tendency towards perfectionism goes well with learning German. German can be exacting. German can be incredibly precise and a lot of German is very rigid.
If you're a perfectionist and you're pounding your head against the wall when it comes to German, or perhaps you don't understand perfectionism and have a hard time dealing with how "perfect" German has to be, this post is for you.
Part 3 of 3
Screw it all up plan #3:
ALL. WORK. ALL. THE. TIME.
GERMAN IS SERIOUS.
I MUST BE SERIOUS.
NO FUN ALLOWED.
My favorite German joke goes like this:
How many Germans does it take to change a lightbulb?
(Wait for it…)
One. We are efficient and don’t have humor.
If you think you need to keep to a strict schedule, pounding German into your brain, and you take to shaming yourself for that one word you can never remember…
…if you are too hard on yourself…
…if you’re a perfectionist…
…if 99.5% just won’t do…
…try something new.
It’s vitally important that if you are a person who says “I’m so stupid, I can never remember that word!” or “Why can’t I just get this?! Why do I have to work at this so hard?!” or even “I’ll never understand this. Why do I even try?” It's time for something different. Something small and something different.
You need to create a positive learning experience for yourself, so support yourself as you work at German. It’s really hard! So give yourself some fantastic resources, #1 being YOU!
Realistic Plan #3:
TRY ONE NEW SOMETHING THIS YEAR
ONE AND ONLY ONE
At the beginning of the year everybody is all hyped up on “resolutions” and “goals,” blah blah blah. How about you set ONE goal for your German learning for this year?
That’s so achievable!
I’ve created a special worksheet for you for this one goal—you’ll find it at the end of this article.
To set this ONE goal, write out one small goal for learning German this year and put it up where you’ll see it often. (Hint: there is a page for this in the free bonus worksheet!)
Remember that you’re investing in YOU and you are worth it!
I heartily suggest you try ONE of the following:
- Doodle one German word every week.
- Have you checked your answers with the answer key? Start putting smiley face stickers on your homework.
- Give yourself a star sticker on your calendar for every day you work on your homework. Treat yourself to something lovely for every 25 stars! (Feel free to use any stickers you like!)
- Try reading one (only one!) of these books and re-read it every month. Write down notes on how much you understood each month and in December see how your understanding of it has changed.
- Take a 10-minute break and stretch for every 30 minutes you spend working on your German. Your body will love you for it.
- Buy one package of these Stabilo pens (affiliate link). Use them for everything in German. Use a different color every day. These are the pens I used (alongside regular pens and pencils) when I was at the Goethe-Institut and last year I bought myself a brand new pack. It’s a delight every single time I open the package. (I bought this one last year (affiliate link).)
- Create a German learning routine. Read on for this.
A routine can help you get into the mood for studying and exploring German. It should be short and sweet, so here it is short and sweet:
- Cook up favorite tea/coffee/hot chocolate.
- Turn on lights and/or light candles.
- Get out favorite pens and books.
- Start with a warm-up (start small, follow the suggestions in this post)…and off you go!
Stretch Goal #3:
SIGN UP FOR 2 MONTHS OF LESSONS
Did you know that when you sign up for lessons here, you’re only committing to 2 months of lessons? That means you have the first month to try it and decide if you want to stay longer than the 2nd month.
Find out what you can really do in German when you learn based on YOUR needs and not the needs of a curriculum set up for a teacher who has to give you a grade.
Clients learn to learn, not for a grade. Chapter tests are done as additional worksheets and clients only get graded on their work if they ask for it. Which is … never.
Here’s how individualized German lessons really are:
Several clients have a really hard time with werden, wurde and würde so we took two whole lessons to work on only these words. And we keep working on it when those verbs come up in other chapters.
Another client was ill and missed a week, so we took time to review the previous chapter so the client didn’t feel like anything was “lost.” Only when she felt comfortable did we move on to the next section.
One client had a very busy month so he requested that he not have any homework for that month. Done and done! After that month he could pick up again with a bit of homework each week and he’s happy as a clam.
This is the beauty of learning to learn, learning to speak German, not for a grade. The most important part is that you learn to communicate IN German. Das ist das Wichtigste!
Are you ready for the bonus worksheet?!
Here is the bonus worksheet!
Click the button to download your bonus worksheet, which will guide you through each of the three goals so you can decide which one, realistic goal you'd like to set for 2018.
It doesn't end here!
Did you think I'd write these posts and then just leave you on your own? Das geht nicht! I'll be posting a few other posts on this one goal later this year. So be sure to sign up for the blog post emails on the upper right and you'll be sure to receive them.