“Make listening a daily habit.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it can be — the key to consistency is to start small and scale up.
Start small and scale up
Set an easily achievable goal — e.g. to listen for 10 minutes a day, every day.
Chances are you will succeed, feel good about it and keep going! Once you’ve got into the habit of doing it consistently, you can raise the bar.
Remember: 10 minutes of active listening EVERY day will do a lot more for your listening ability than 70 minutes once a week.
Find the time
If you’re busy and feel like you don’t have time, the first step toward making it happen is to break down a typical day into small “blocks” and look for opportunities to squeeze in a few minutes of listening here or there. For example, could you listen during or between any of these blocks?
- As you get ready in the morning
- While eating breakfast
- On your way to work/school
- During your lunch break
- On your way home from work/school
While certain blocks in your day are probably perfect for having Chinese music, TV etc. playing in the background while you’re focusing your attention on something else, try to identify at least one block where you can listen actively (i.e. when you’re 100% focused on listening). Once you have decided on a block, or even a specific time (e.g. 7pm), add it as a recurring event in your calendar.
By making listening part of your daily routine, you’re more likely to consistently take small steps toward your goal of understanding native speakers, even on days when you’re “not in the mood”…
Summary #7: “Make Listening a Daily Habit”
- Break down a typical day into small blocks. Identify blocks where you can listen actively.
- Set an easily achievable goal (e.g. to listen actively for 10 minutes a day) and plug your listening slot(s) into your calendar as a recurring event.
- When you get into the habit of achieving the “easy goal”, you can scale up.