I’m back on the Polish learning trail with intensity and purpose. I’ve been avoiding the task with glee but this, over time, has become a heavy load on my mind. How long can I go living in this country without improving my language communication skills significantly?

After reading a great book on habits earlier this year I made a decision and a promise that once the running season ended I would commit to this new endeavor and stay disciplined and consistent for as long as I could sustain it. Getting over this hurtle that has been standing in front of me, preventing me from reaching new heights in my Polish communication with those whose English may not be too dependable is an achievement worth reaching.

I’ve always known that there are no excuses. After living in this country for 13 years I’ve dodged taking responsibility. I am at a point in my life now where I can take this task on with renewed vigor and absolute focus. And it’s really the best chance I have of achieving anything remotely worthwhile. I’ve accomplished some difficult things in my life and this is one more of them and the one of the toughest…

I just can’t let it defeat me.

The stakes

  • Every day for 30-40min using a smartphone app and a Polish grammar book I purchased (in the Spring!)
  • Take notes, review vocabulary and read short Polish texts
  • Never miss a day and always say out loud the words to practice pronunciation
  • Maximize the number of words I know, and also use. The more the better!
  • No word, idiom, phrase is out of bounds. Get them and learn them. #buildmomentum


After the first couple of days, which were tough; just getting my bearings on how to get started was chaotic but…. Now I find myself in the zone and I am actually enjoying the time spent. It’s almost an enjoyment at the moment, sitting for the small amount of time I have dedicated and staying focused has made me accountable for the results. Important!

Though there is progress in new words I am not getting much listening or speaking practice done. That will follow I hope but for now it’s a worthwhile start. The immediate aftershock is that I’m enjoying it which I wasn’t expecting. One thing is clear, this language is incredibly difficult and some of the pronunciation is so unnatural for me I find myself laughing out loud at how insane it is. The grammar is so foreign to me but I’m trying to ignore it completely and just focus on word acquisition and maximizing my word bank.

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Whatever you do, whatever your job is, there’s a desire to do it better. If it’s not a job than it is a hobby or simply to be a better friend, coworker, person or human being. The desire is real and there’s a craving to satisfy it that is indescribable to most of us. We set boundaries on ourselves, come up with excuses and avoid the question. But no matter how hard anyone of us tries the desire to improve remains and will never vanish.

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