2019 Update - Semester 1: 40% Update

Posted: February 21, 2019


Hi everyone, Matthew Donovan here. This is the first update for my 2019 "first set" of resolutions.

I've changed the system this year, and I'm basing it off of the 12-week year book where every 12 weeks you basically treat that as a new year, and you set goals for that year and then work towards achieving them. The main thought process behind that is that in a big year really you wait until the end to get things done. I saw that last, and I’ve seen that in the past. So I don't want that to be something happening, and also what I saw last year - and this is not necessarily something that came up in the book, although I suppose it was touched on a little bit - is it's tough to make resolutions that are applicable for an entire year. So, for example, last year I had some relating to co-op, but that's really only applicable the one term I was on co-op. Or this is only applicable during one term. So having a shorter time frame makes a lot of sense and that's what I've been finding so far as I've been doing this.

I have changed from 12 weeks to 16 weeks, although I’m likely only going to be doing 14 or 15 weeks and I'll probably take a week off in between everything and just fully relax, do nothing - or schedule nothing - and work on things as they come up for that one week. But, with that in mind, this is about a 40% update. So I'm about 40% through that first set of a hundred and twenty days or four months, and I've got four main topics that I want to focus on today and I've got them written out on a sheet of paper here to focus on my progress, but the first one was languages.

So I had identified Serbian, and I said I wanted to spend five hours a week studying and I also wanted to spend half an hour a week talking with a native speaker. Also as part of this shorter time frame, I've been more refined with what my tasks are: what I will consider success and what I will consider failure, and that's something as well that if I look in the past, where it was just “oh, focus on Spanish or focus on Italian” or just “read more” which was one of my goals 2017: to just “read more”. It's very tough to measure whether or not that's a success or a failure.

So I've been quite specific, and I focused on Serbian and during January that was mostly true. Now that we've switched into February, I have switched over to French; so my thoughts behind Serbian were because - I don't think I have spoken with this on a video so far - so the reason I'm focusing on Serbian is because I'll be, in April, for a brief period of time, in Serbia for a competition and I wanted to focus on that. I've made good progress, and I'm able to read the azbuka so the Cyrillic script (it's not written in a latin script or the same letters that we see in English). It's written in the Cyrillic script which is the same as Russian. There is some that's written in the Latin script, but all official documents and signs and that type of thing are in Cyrillic so it's important that I understand both and I was working on that and I'm fairly comfortable at this point with the conversion and reading through. My main preparation or my main studying on Serbian has been a little bit of Croatian, and I don't believe I've talked about this on a video - I feel like I have but I guess I maybe did a little bit in December - so forgive me if I'm overlapping a little bit, but I had a Croatian course that I worked through, a Pimsleur Croatian course. Croatian and Serbian are very similar from a spoken perspective. Croatian is written in the Latin script whereas Cyrillic is used for Serbian so they don't match up on the written side, but the audio course was perfectly fine. So I worked through the audio course and that was primarily that last little bit in January, but mostly in December.

For full the full record of my 40% update, please watch the YouTube video above.

Back to the Blog Archive