Lucky it’s addictive. I’ve rarely missed a day. And it’s not so hard to do a little daily. It’s much more fun than I expected…

I’ve been learning some Spanish again but this time it’s with an app. It’s adorable. Small daily lessons with gaming features. I gain points and there are happy pings when I get it right and trumpets when I complete a lesson.

With the right conditions, a little daily isn’t so difficult. Consistent small steps make a big difference.

Make it fun

The app really shows me the importance of making it fun. There are other ways I could make it fun. I could find someone to practise with. I could join a language exchange group. I could write postcards in Spanish. I like to play with the words and make silly sentences.

How could you make a new daily habit more fun?

Build in a reward system

The reward system in this app is surprisingly satisfying. We all like happy sounds and a sense of accomplishment. Sure there’s a sense of achievement in the increasing my skill but it’s great to celebrate all the tiny steps too. I feel recognised for turning up each day.

How could you create your own reward system?

How do you feeling doing it?

Once I’m doing the work it’s very satisfying but starting can feel like a hassle. What about you? Do you need to endure the activity to get results? Or is it rewarding and fun in itself? Whichever it is, take note. Be clear on your motivations.

If you enjoy it, take note every time. Remind yourself. When it’s a “should do” on my list, I often forget that I like doing it (like writing, for instance).

What do you often delay starting that feels good to do?

How do you feel, having done it?

Once I’m writing, I like it, I lose track of time. Once I’ve done it, I feel satisfied in two ways. I have enjoyed the process and I’m pleased with myself for doing it too.

If I’m honest, I usually don’t feel great watching TV and I definitely don’t feel good about having watched TV for hours. It’s fine if it’s a show I really like but not if I’m just tuning out.

What feels satisfying once you’ve done it?

A little often is very effective

I regularly walk about five kilometres to work but it happens one step at a time. It’s quite a long way but it’s only one step after the other. I often stop for a sit-down coffee in the middle. That five kilometres several times a week makes a difference to my fitness and my wellness.

How is a little often already working for you?

Make it easy to do

What I like about my Spanish app is that I can do it from my phone, if need be. I can do it on public transport or during lunch breaks. I prefer to do it from my computer but it doesn’t have to be. I can do it in ad breaks if I really want to. That makes it so much easier to be consistent. It’s important but it fits in, nicely, easily, anytime, anywhere.

How could you make it easy?

Reframe – is a little daily really so hard?

It turns out that 15 minutes or so of Spanish daily isn’t difficult, not when it’s fun. And it’s already made a difference. Amongst Spanish speakers I am able to understand more and participate a little. 450 words and counting!

But what I really like is what I’m learning about the power of small consistent actions.

Keep it a little loose

I like to aim for “most days”. If I make it every day I get tense about it, perfectionist. That’s not a good vibe. If I say “most days” I get a little edgy after missing one and I will rarely miss two days. All the same, if life gets crazy and takes over I haven’t failed, it’s simply time to start again.

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