Lesson Transcript


Hey everyone, welcome to your Monthly Review!
The monthly show on language learning.
Where you discover new learning strategies, motivational tips,
new study tools,
...and where we show off learners like you speaking the language.
That is... if you’re brave enough to participate and become “language learning famous.”
All the materials mentioned in this video are available for you right now on our website!
Click the link in the description to sign up for your free lifetime account and start speaking in minutes.
Okay, today’s topic is…
“Why Your Worst Days Are The Best Days To Study”
So, have you ever had a day where you planned on learning language... And you just couldn’t go through with it? Even IF learning a new language is your personal goal. Something that you really want.
Well, today, you’re going learn:
1) Why these bad days happen
And 2) Why you’ll get your best work done on your worst days.
But first, here’s a quick update on what’s going on in Japan right now: December 2018.
If you’re planning on visiting Japan in December, depending on where you are, the weather will range from autumn cool down south in Kyushuu, to proper winter cold from Kyoto to everything up north. Tokyo, however, can be very warm on sunny days. You may also see snow in the mountainous regions.
December is also known for Winter Illuminations. These are LED light festivals and displays… that you can see all over Tokyo. On trees. On buildings. In shopping centers. These illuminations give Japan a warm winter spirit and make for perfect date spots. Some famous winter illuminations in Japan are:
Marunouchi Illumination (Tokyo)
Kobe Luminarie
Sendai Pageant of Starlight
Next, if you’re into skiing or snowboarding, you will be able to kick off your snow season in December, in Japan. Many snow resorts start opening up in mid-December. And these resorts also double as hot spring resorts, or “onsen.” Some popular spots for skiing are Hakuba and Shiga Koge in Nagano.
Next is Christmas. Christmas a Western import but it’s not as family oriented as it is in the west. So, there’s not much gift giving. Instead, it’s more so for couples and shopping. So you’ll couples going out for a romantic dinner. But there is a very unique Japanese Christmas tradition. And it is: getting chicken at KFC. This started as a Christmas campaign by KFC, “Christmas with KFC” and they were inspired by a foreigner who went to a KFC store to buy chicken instead of Christmas turkey, because he couldn’t find a turkey in Japan!
And finally, the New Year. Once Christmas is done, New Years is right around the corner. The Japanese tradition is to visit a temple on New Year’s Eve and to eat “Toshikoshi Soba” (buckwheat noodles). You can welcome in the new year by listening to the toll of the temple bell. Or, you can visit popular spots like the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, and count down with everyone.
Let’s jump into today’s topic:
Why bad days happen with language learning.
When I say bad days, I don’t mean when you’re too busy or when life gets in the way. Like, if you’re sick. These things are unavoidable. I mean days when you’re just not in the mood. It’s a perfectly good day. The sun is shining. No bad news. But you just can’t get yourself to study. You’re just wasting the day.
So, here’s why they happen.
1) First, it’s the law of diminishing
returns in action. What does this mean? Think of it as eating pizza every day for 5 days a week. On the first day, the first 2 slices are great. But, by the third one, you’re feeling queasy. It’s not as good. And by the 5th day you’re sick of pizza.
That’s the law of diminishing returns: when the benefits start decreasing over time.
And it happens with language learning. When you first start, you learn a lot phrases, it feels good. You’re excited. But as time goes on, you don’t feel like you’re learning much. And this affects your mood and motivation, so you’re not as excited to learn anymore. So you start having bad days.
2) Second, bad days happen because you overthink things and ruin it for yourself.
It’s like dreading going to the gym. Let’s say you went yesterday. You’ve have to go again today. So, you’re dreading it all day long. “Aah jeez, I gotta go again.” You set yourself up for a bad mood, and a bad day.
3) Third, bad days are a natural part of the cycle. Some days will be good. Most of the days, you’ll feel indifferent. And then, some days will be bad. But that’s completely natural and anyone with long-term projects and goals feels the same.
4) And fourth, You can’t be “on” 100% all the time.
So just like days can’t be always good, you too can’t be always “on” and ready to go all the time. Again, just realistic and expected part of the journey.
Now, let’s jump into the second part:
Why You’ll Get Your Best Work Done On Your Worst Days.
So, why will you get your best work done?
1) First, It’s not that bad once you start. Once you’ve spent 10 or 15 minutes learning a language, it’s not so bad. People say the same thing about the gym. If you show up and put in a bit of time, it gets easier.
2) Second, It’s overcoming a mental barrier. What I mean is.. when most of us have bad days, our brain automatically says “ok, can’t be done today. Stop. We’re done.” But, if you just work through it, you don’t take these bad days so seriously anymore. And that means, you’re more likely to stick with your language learning goal. This brings us to the next point.
3) Third: It’s your best work because working on a bad day only strengthens your habit of language learning.
Remember, habits are what will help you master a language over time. If you can stick to a
habit on a bad day, your habit only gets stronger. And it will lead you to fluency.
4) And finally, fourth, it just feels good to overcome something. Imagine, you have a bad day but you still put in 10 minutes of language learning. It’s a real sense of achievement.
And it doesn’t matter if you do a 10 minute lesson or a 5 minute lesson. The fact that you made some progress on a bad day will give you the motivation you need to keep going.
Now, speaking of lessons...
Here are this month’s new lessons and resources.
First, the “Best of 2018 Language Learning Cheat-Sheets.” If you want to get access to all of our conversation cheat sheets that we sent out this year, here’s your chance. Download this PDF bundle right now.
Next, The Brand New Supermarket Cheat Sheet
With this cheat sheet, you’ll learn must-know shopping phrases and vocab for meats, vegetables, and all products that you’ll find in a supermarket.
And finally, the Most Common Adjectives. If you’re a beginner and don’t yet know these adjectives, then this is a perfect chance to boost your vocabulary. This 1-minute lesson will get them stuck in your head, guaranteed.
To get these free lessons and resources,
Just click the link in the description below.
All right everyone, in the last monthly review, we asked you to submit a video or audio file of yourself speaking the language -- introducing yourself in the language.
So, thank you to all of you that sent in submissions! You’ve all received a Premium PLUS subscription as a reward.
Now let’s take a look at some of the videos!
Now, here to help me analyze all of your great submissions is my fellow JapanesePod101 host, Risa! Over to you, Risa!
Hi everyone! Alisha sent me some of your submissions, and I can’t wait to take a look at them! So let’s just dive right in.
Amazing work, everybody! Thank you so much for your submissions. Back to you Alisha!
So, which entry did you like the best? Leave a comment below.
Or, do you think you can do better?
Here’s the challenge for you. Yes, everyone watching this.
Record a 30 second to 1 minute video or audio clip.
Introduce yourself in the language.
Share your name,
where you’re from,
and why you’re studying this language.
...and you’ll win a 3 month Premium PLUS subscription!
To submit, click on the link in the description.
Sign up for your free lifetime account.
Then fill out the form.
Attach the audio or video file.
And press submit.
We may feature you in next month’s episode. So, a lot of learners will see you and your progress, and will hopefully get inspired to improve and master the language.
To submit a recording, click the link in the description and follow the instructions on the page.


So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we’ll talk about:
How to set achievable language learning
goals and resolutions
In the meantime, submit your recording, if you’re brave.
Like and share this video, and leave a comment to tell us what language learning tactics you’d like us to talk about.
See you next time! Bye!