Actual Fluency Clear The List February 2017!

So, another month has passed by and we're now into February. In this post I review my language learning effort from January, and look ahead to my plans for February.

What is Clear The List?

Clear The List is a public accountability and goal-sharing initiative originally thought up by Lindsay from LindsayDoesLanguages and Shannon Kennedy from EuroLinguiste. Since January they have asked me and a few others to co-host in order to make CTL even bigger.

It gives some exposure to all of us, and it helps us stay accountable to keep learning and achieving our goals. This is very much in the spirit of my premium motivational course: Language Motivation Mastery.

You can also join! Instructions are in the widget at the very bottom of this post.

January Review

Settling into Denmark

I wish I could tell you that I had aced all my goals, and that my knowledge in Spanish had rocketed from nothing to something in the last month.

However, that's not the case.

If you're regular reader and listener of my work, you'll know that I'm far from a great language learner and that I'm really open about discussing the challenges that involves. This includes depression – which I still battle with on and off, but also general lack of motivation and clarity of what I'm supposed to be doing with my life.

Early December I moved back to Denmark after 1.5 years in Hungary. I moved into my mom's living room in order to make Actual Fluency profitable as a personal company, so that I could move into my own flat and keep working on encouraging others to learn languages and produce helpful content.

The actual process is extremely difficult, and I probably started this process too early – as I failed to account for the added stress and extra effort it takes to get anything done when you don't even have your own place nor routine yet.

One of my goals for February will be to launch the Danish branch of my website, in order to use my unfair advantage to help some of you guys learn Danish. I'll have a free podcast like here, and then offer various premium products that will hopefully get me out of my mom's living room.

Anyway, not to list a million excuses – but I wanted to make sure that I framed exactly the state of mind I've been in lately.

I'm getting used to the routine more and more, and I definitely feel progress in adapting to my current situation. I just need a bit more time before I can succesfully recover my language learning mission.

January Goals Review

Process Goals

  • Complete half of Language Hacking Spanish FAILED: Completed about the first two sections, but nowhere near completing half of it.
  • Listen to 4 Episodes from SpanishPod101 FAILED: Did not manage to listen to any episodes this month
  • 6 Spanish tutoring lessons with Baselang FAILED: Did not do any tutoring lessons

So, what on earth did I do? Well, not much admittedly.

I mostly consider these acts of procrastination, rather than actual focussed study.

One thing I'm noticing right away with Spanish is that it's A LOT easier than Hungarian or Russian. I'm already beginning to understand Spanish sentences, and Michel Thomas is obviously great at teaching the low-hanging fruit really quickly.

This gives me great confidence that I'll be able to reach a comfortable level in my 6-month deadline.

February Goals

In order to facilitate mental energy and more focus on what matters: Building enough revenue to move out of my mother's living room, I will be setting my goals really simply for February.

  • Do something every day, for at least 5 minutes.

I know this is a bit of a hack, but I realised that my head is not 100% focused on learning Spanish at the moment, so I can't make grand plans before I'm more settled into my daily life and routine.

This NON-ZERO goal simply aims to achieve a consistency in order to implement the habit more successfully. Just. Do. Something.

And I know myself well enough to know that if I do 5 minutes of something, I'm extremely likely to do more.

I'll definitely begin SpanishPod101 as I really enjoy the casual format.

Tutoring is something I'm also holding off on, until I get better conditions. I know it's powerful and can help a lot in the beginning, but on the other hand it also takes a lot more energy and I'm not sure my time is best spent with a tutor in such an early stage.

How was your January? How will your February be?


  • I really appreciate the honesty Kris, as I’m sure many others will too. Our lives are so busy these days that we often feel that we’re not doing enough and depression can sometimes strike for that. Having goals keeps me motivated to keep going each month. Dust yourself down, pick yourself up and get going again in February.

    I’ve slowed down my progress in the Language Hacking book, just to make sure I’m practising the content regularly. Fingers crossed you make more progress this month.

    Good luck with the podcast, what sort of format do you plan to implement?

    • I’m thinking some kind of simple Danish vocabulary dialogues or discussions where I can help people understand or articulate a small thing – complete with transcripts. Thanks for the comment!

  • Katie Harris

    Thanks for sharing Kris. I really like the idea of a non-zero goal 🙂 All the best for February!

  • Held of lykke med dine projekter. Hvor i Danmark bor du? (Jeg sidder i Randers og læser Arabisk og nogle andre sprog!)

    • Hej Thomas, jeg bor i Slagelse 🙂 Vi må få gang i noget DanPolyglots snart!

      • Det lyder som en rigtig god idé!

  • dandiprat

    I moved at the end of December and I’m only now starting to get back into a good groove. I had my first Vietnamese italki lesson in over six months and I felt like I still had it. I would do some tutoring lessons; it feels great!

  • You know what the best thing about failing last month is? That you’ll 100% do better this month! 😉 I like your goal for this month, too. I look forward to reading how you fill those five minutes each day. I hope you get settled this month.

  • Don’t put yourself down, Kris! I don’t think you “failed” at all, there is SO MUCH in this month that you clearly achieved! So what if it wasn’t quite what you had previewed. This can inform future goal setting.