Learning French, losing weight and running a marathon

Summer musings and bucket lists

The good thing about summer holidays for most people is that it is an occasion to relax and to slow down. Time to think, time to read, time to take stock...

Well I did have time on my hands and did some thinking based on two books : The List of my Desires by Grégoire Delacourt and The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg. The first is a novel and the second a personal development offer. It brought to mind a wish often heard:

I want to be able to take part in a French conversation.

That is the common wish for most people who come my way for help with their French. And that is only natural because languages are meant for communication.

Still, when learning a language, you are likely to have sat through boring and unimaginative lessons, painfully worked your way through meaningless grammar drills. Maybe you have given up on a class or two or three, and decided that languages were really not your thing.

What if it was the way you went about language learning that brought a sense of failure?

Say you want to lose weight or run a marathon... You might only have a couple of pounds to lose or a couple of stones in one case. You might be a couch potatoe or have already run a half marathon and want to take it a step further in the other case. But, in both cases, you know that it is going to require some discipline and perseverance if you want to achieve your goal. It takes time, patience and dedication, but above all you need to adopt new habits.

You want to run a marathon? Start running short distances and then longer distances, do it regularly, make sure you schedule it.

You want to lose weight? Ditch that chocolate bar, give up on the second helping... Adopt healthier eating habits. You know the score!

You want to be able to interact socially in French? Start having conversations in French on a regular basis. And if you want to do it in a friendly and supportive environment, with no pressure on the outcome, give our babble breaks and babble bars a try. It is exactly what they are meant for: to get you to speak French.

Back to my summer reads and musings now. It is quite hard to change habits, but if you manage to do it, then you are on your way to achieving your goals and you will find some interesting pointers in Charles Duhigg's book.

Grégoire Delacourt's novel will question your desires. The main character in the novel wins the lottery, but what she chooses to do is not what you'd expect. What about you? What do you really want to achieve? What's in your bucket list?

Happy reading and happy French conversation!

Les mots can help. Get in touch if this article was meaningful to you and you are ready to take the next step to achieve your language learning goals.

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