(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2CKi0r2)
Every challenge overcome must be followed by some kind of reward. If you are learning something and you reach a point of accomplishment e.g. pass your test, get a good grade or get your dream job because of your hard work, you do need to reward yourself.
Something people understand when they are older is the harder you work and the smarter you work, the greater the effort you put into fulfilling your dreams the greater the rewards you will get – perhaps not today but soon. However, to take charge of your learning through this process is to also give yourself simple benchmarks of success and give yourself some kindness as a result.
Benchmarks and rewards for reaching them are very critical for climbing that ladder of success. So many people do many things (including learning English), like a mouse on a treadmill – forever turning, turning, turning, over and over and over again without allowing themselves to stop for a moment and look at where you have been and where you are going. That is what benchmarks are important. If you have no benchmark, you have not understood the concept of reaching somewhere.
I can equate this to something I did years ago. I climbed one of the mountains in the Himalayas – no not Mt Everest a much smaller mountain and I didn’t climb to the top, but what I did do was give myself the challenge of reaching 3000m. 3000m is quite high and it did take a few days. But one thing I noticed during the process was that I was constantly going up hill (of course!), no matter how many flat parts of the journey I saw, there seemed to be endless uphill treks that completely consumed me. This is when I realized that I had to give myself simple rewards for when I had reached a certain point. Handy for me there was always a sitting bench after every 50m or so climb, so as the going would get tough I would push myself as hard as I could simply to reach the next sitting bench. When I got to the bench I would reward myself by sitting down, drinking some water, eating a chocolate bar and gazing out across the incredible valley below. The thing that was the greatest reward of all was the chance to stop and reflect on how far I had just come from before (the chocolate bar tasted pretty good too!). But all this was very important in order to make me realise my achievement.
So when you are studying and learning a language – the exams are an important benchmark, but what is even better is to allow yourself to celebrate with you friends or classmates after that. To talk about how far you have all came and where you are planning to reach next.
As the title says – effort will always bring greater results, so reward yourself!