5 Reasons Why Your New Year’s Resolution Should Be to Learn a New Language
It’s that time of year where we look back and think about what we’ve accomplished over the past 12 months. Now that all the champagne corks have officially popped on New Year’s Eve, it might also be a good time to look ahead and think about what you’d like to do in the coming year. Maybe you’re thinking of working out more, eating healthier, or traveling more frequently, but why not add something a little different to your list of resolutions this year? How about making the decision to learn a new language? Read on for 5 great reasons for why learning a new language is the perfect New Year’s resolution!
1. You’ll have a more productive and happy year
That’s right, learning a foreign language can actually make you a more productive and happier person. Bilinguals and multilinguals are better at making decisions, solving problems, and multi-tasking. In fact, language learning improves the overall functionality of your brain, which is why people who speak more than one tongue tend to function at a different, more productive, level than your average monolingual.
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2. You’ll have a healthier year
If you’re one of those people who drops hundreds of dollars on a gym membership in January but then never go the rest of the year, why not try out a cheaper option? Learning a language is the equivalent of gifting your brain a gym membership. And the best part is you can do it almost anywhere and anytime—during your daily commute, while you’re waiting at the dentist office, or at home during your spare time. And working out your brain by learning a new language also means that you’re able to more effectively fight off diseases like dementia, and your memory gets stronger too!
3. You’ll have a traveler, not tourist, year
Learning a new language will completely alter the way you travel. No longer will you be the standard tourist who insists on speaking English no matter where they go, but a traveler who can converse with the locals in their native tongue. Speaking another language will open up doors to other cultures and ways of life and you’ll definitely get more out of traveling when you have the ability to speak the local language. You won’t be limited to tourist hotspots, instead you can journey to off-the-beaten-track locales in search of a whole different kind of romance and adventure. If that doesn’t motivate you to learn a new language in 2018, I don’t know what will.
4. You’ll have a richer year
While learning another tongue is obviously an enriching experience, I’m talking about the more practical side of language learning. Bilinguals and multilinguals are in high demand in the work force and tend to have a lot more job options. And while the decision to learn a foreign language shouldn’t be money-driven, it might actually help motivate you once you discover that, as an individual who speaks more than one language, you also stand to earn more money than a monolingual would. You’ll be more valued as an employee and prone to receive better benefits as a result.
5. You’ll have an easier year
Most of us will wake up on January 1st with crippling hangovers and vow to ourselves that this will be the year we finally cut back on all those vices. A week later, we’ll be out having drinks with friends and forget all about our New Year’s promise. You’ve probably made these types of resolutions before; the ones that involve self-denial like quitting smoking, or drinking, or browsing the internet too much. It’s precisely because you have to deny yourself something that makes keeping these promises so difficult, which means that learning a new language is the easiest kind of resolution because you’re acquiring something good instead of taking something away. Now, obviously learning a new language won’t be easy—it’ll take plenty of discipline and dedication—but it also doesn’t have to be incredibly hard as long as you set small, achievable goals for yourself. Be kind on New Year’s Day and promise to learn French, or Japanese, or Arabic!
Are you planning to learn a new language as part of your New Year’s resolution? How do you plan to accomplish that goal?