Decide what exact Fluency Level you want to reach, and by when.
Set a well-defined, singular goal.
Write your plan down on paper.
Get a planner, or use a calendar.
It's easy to gravitate towards what you do well and enjoy, but make sure you're practicing all four skills—listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Do as much as you can in the most fun, creative way you can.
For faster results, pair up with a friend or family member and hold each other accountable.
This is the most powerful phrase when learning a new language, so learn it first!
Aim to learn 100 first.
Then aim for 800-1,000 root words.
Everyone learns differently, so experiment with different learning methods until you find the one that works best for you.
Practice speaking every chance you get—conversation is the key.
If you don't have people to practice speaking with, say your vocabulary out loud, talk to yourself, and try to narrate your actions.
Find a local meetup, or someone online, but practice with native speakers.
Watch, read, and listen to anything in your target language.
Find "family" shows that have lots of simple, daily conversation.
Put on the subtitles to get familiar with reading.
Say "yes" to all invites to cultural events and get-togethers.
Make it real—either choose a date and buy a ticket, or plan an imaginary trip.
Build the habit so it's automatic.
Set a reminder every morning for Language Learning Affirmations—you don't have to think, just listen and repeat.
Every time you learn new words, use them a few times right after you learn them so that they'll stick.
Find a paid tutor, give them permission to be hard on you, and get tutored.
Define your clear, singular goal, and let your tutor know.
Learn in sustained, distraction-free bursts of 1-2 hours until your brain melts.
Don't stop until you reach your goal.
You'll have learning plateaus, but remember it's not a sprint, it's a marathon, and showing up is half the battle.
Understand why you're learning a new language, and arrange your material to match your goal.
Digital dicionaries are good, but nothing beats a small, physical dictionary you can highlight or write in.
Online conversation partners are good, even if you're just using text.
If you're chatting, use Google Translate.
Study in short, intense bursts is better than casual study over longer periods of time.
You will sound silly in the beginning, but, it's normal.
Accept it, don't worry about it, and keep moving forward.
No matter what you're doing, ask and answer yourself questions in your target language.
Narrate everything you do.
After learning the first common 100 words, aim to become conversational and practice having real conversations.
Once you're conversational, you can start filling in gaps quickly.
If a native speaker offers to help, even if you're afraid you won't understand or you'll feel foolish, let them help. You'll learn a lot.
You'll learn much faster always having a native speaker by your side.
You'll go through periods of rapid progression, and also stale plateaus.
Language learning isn't a sprint, it's a marathon—just keep going.
Get creative, and overlap language learning with things you already enjoy doing.
Make sure you're seeing and hearing your target language every day.
Put post-it notes on objects around your house, watch videos with subtitles, or listen to radio etc.
Make use of all downtime, or travel time between destinations.
It's good to set attainable goals, but also aim high to stretch your abilities.
If you're intimidated by an area of study, build the habit of running towards the fire.
When you're 75% ready to begin a new language, start.
If that's you right now, consider starting right now.
Just learn 7 words—it's fast, easy, and you'll have lots of fun knowing a new language.