top of page

Six ways to make language learning an act of self-love

Prioritize your time and energy on this Day of Love and Friendship.

This past weekend I took myself on an early Valentine's date. I did something I haven't done in years—I lost myself in a bookstore for a few hours. I got myself a chai first and then started browsing the books. So many books struck my interest. Some were new novellas from other countries. Some were classics that I needed to add to my list. But many of them were productivity books. I've been thinking a lot over the past couple of months about how I spend my time. As a business owner with a lot of family and health issues, I tend to burn out quickly. But this year I've been determined to come up with a better way to manage my time and energy. At the end of last year, it occurred to me that I have a lot of ideas but I don't always know how to implement them so that they don't drain me of my energy and don't compete with my other priorities. I thought back to my students over the years. In Peru, I was always amazed how people would work 46 hours a week and then go take classes for 3 hours a week after work. Here in the US, we're lucky if we make time for an hour a week to work on our goals. But people in Peru have just the same amount of hours in a day as we in the US do. How do they do it? While I can't say I saw my Peruvian students planning out their time, I did see them managing their time in a less stressed way than we Americans do. That's because they didn't have as many competing priorities. They took breaks and enjoyed those breaks immensely. They spent their lunch hour—and they did actually take their entire lunch hour—to socialize with their friends. They never ate at their desks or had a meeting at lunchtime. In the evenings they didn't have class, they'd meet up with their friends. Their priority in the evenings and weekends was their social time with family and friends. If they had kids, the kids didn't have any after-school activities. Kids are free just to do homework and rest after school. They save all the extracurricular activities for summer camps instead. They also had a lot of familial help with taking care of their kids. So that left many of their evenings free. I don't suggest we Americans change our culture. But I do suggest that we figure out a way to manage our priorities, time, and energy better so that we don't feel overwhelmed. So in honor of Valentine's Day—the Day of Love and Friendship as it's called in Peru—here's my list of six ways to make language learning an act of self-love. ❤️ Make a plan for your goals ❤️ Set limits on your time and energy ❤️ Laugh at your mistakes ❤️ Celebrate even the tiny wins ❤️ Do what you said you'd do ❤️ Find new ways of doing things better

May you have a beautiful Valentine's Day however you spend it.


Jackie Amidon Donaldson helps women achieve their goals by setting up their action plan for success, showing them the tools they need, and supporting them each step of the way. She's the owner and coach for Amidon Studios and has worked with more than 1000 women around the world feel confident speaking Spanish, English, and Italian like a native in 90 days or less.


bottom of page