Tomorrow is Capodanno, which makes this evening ‘la Vigilia di Capodanno’, or New Year’s Eve.
Here’s wishing you a good one.
We’re having a combo-Swedish/Italian meal this evening.
The Italian part will be the traditional lentils, mashed potatoes and zampone.
While the Swedish component (the antipasto/starter, first course, call it what you wish) will be knäckebröd (from Ikea) with salted butter, plenty of smoked salmon, and various pickled fish combinations.
There’ll be prosecco (sparkling white wine) to drink with the first course, and again later to toast the New Year in, plus a local sangiovese (red wine) with the lentils and meat.
I won’t say what the dessert is as it’s a surprise – my wife reads these articles, when she has nothing left to watch on Netflix.
Anyway, you get the idea – we’ll be totally spoiling ourselves.
Besides preparing this evening’s meal, I’ll also be working on my own language-learning – mostly reading newspapers and listening to the radio.
And writing this, of course.
I had in mind to combine promoting our January Sale (see the P.S. below) with some specific ideas for New Year’s language-learning resolutions.
For example, to take an online lesson each week, or to read a chapter of an easy reader every day, both of which would be great for your Italian.
Another idea was to do an article about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ resolutions.
The good ones would be the things I approve of – reading, listening, conversation, generally building your skills in the language you’re learning.
While the bad ones would be the time-wasters and dead ends: studying grammar ad nauseam, getting to level 666 on Duolingo, making long lists of words to memorise, and so on.
But hey, I thought – goodwill and peace to all men.
Do it your way.
I’m just going to chill (and eat and drink a lot.)
In the end, I thought I’d share my own language-learning resolution.
Which, actually, is more of an ‘approach’ than a ‘resolution’.
And explain my reasoning.
“Build positive habits. Challenge negative habits.”
The key word is ‘habits’.
Doing something once, whether that something is beneficial like studying a chapter from your Italian course book, or harmful like smoking a cigarette, is unlikely to have any major impact.
Whereas doing that same something habitually gives it:
i.) a momentum of it’s own. Think of smoking cigarettes – you smoke the next one because you always have a cigarette at this time of day, or in this place, or with these people
ii.) potentially enormous power to change things. Cigarettes again – the more you smoke, the less healthy you become. They may even kill you
That said, and staying with the cigarette analogy, habits can be hard to create as well as to eliminate.
It took me months before I became a serious smoker rather than a Saturday night amateur.
And decades to give up, unfortunately.
All the articles at this time of the year are about how most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned, which I’m sure is true.
That gym membership will be neglected, those pounds or kilos will go right back on after the January diet.
Postive habits are built slowly.
And they’re much easier to create via small, painless, regular steps.
Taking an apple to eat in the office instead of buying a bun from the coffee shop, for example.
The point, though, is to focus on the habit, not the individual action.
Put the apple in your bag or briefcase each evening and it’ll be there the next day when you’re ready for a bun.
Let’s go back to learning Italian.
Installing an Italian news app on your smartphone is the work of seconds but, assuming you never open it, utterly pointless.
Clicking on it one time and scanning the headlines is almost equally valueless.
Whereas deleting the English news app you read each day over breakfast is an action of potentially-enormous import.
Now you have nothing else to look at except the Italian app.
And yes, that’ll be harder, frustrating, etc.
But look at it for a few seconds each day during your coffee break and the effect will likely be cummulative.
Challenge ‘negative’ habits (reading endless articles about Trump in English).
Create ‘positive’ habits (reading endless articles about Trump in Italian instead).
One small act of habit-breaking and habit-forming could turn out to be the key to other positive behaviours.
Think of that guy you know who used to drink too much, smoked and never exercised.
But is now a marathon-running vegan.
Or that family who once had nothing, but is now wealthy.
Radical changes can, feasibly, result from a single life-affirming decision, followed by a long period of iron self-control.
But for most people?
Kids don’t get addicted to nicotine by smoking a packet a day from the first time they pick up a lighter.
Nobody gets obsese overnight.
Think about it…
2019 January Sale Reminder
A quick reminder – everything at EasyReaders.org, our own personal ecommerce store, is a fifth cheaper than usual until Sunday 6th January!!!
Copy and paste this coupon code into the box in your shopping cart to discount everything in it by 20%:
N.b. Once you’ve pasted in the coupon code, press the ‘Apply coupon’ button and then SCROLL DOWN – you’ll see that the cart TOTAL is reduced, not the prices of each individual item.
The coupon code ( january_sale_2019_save_20% ) will work on anything/everything you see on the Catalog page – ebooks, online lessons, everything you need to learn Italian in 2019!
- This promotion ends on Jan 6th, after which the coupon code will no longer be valid
- The next offer won’t be until Easter 2019, so stock up now…
- You can use the coupon code as often as you wish until the night of Jan 6th
- The coupon code won’t work with other coupon codes – choose one!
- But it IS good on multipacks of ebooks or lessons, which are already discounted, and so offer even better value than usual
What’s selling well?
- The ten-pack of online Italian lessons, normally £150 for ten thirty-minute sessions. With the coupon code? Just £120 (£12 per lesson)! Some people have bought several packs…
- The Easy Reader Multipacks, which are already discounted for ‘bulk’. With the coupon code, they offer even more amazing value!
- The Self-Study Grammar Workbooks – work through the one for your current level to consolidate what you know. Then step up!
Not sure what to buy?
Start from the Italian page of the shop, and just scroll through, page by page until something catches your eye. For ebooks, don’t forget to check the free sample chapter BEFORE you buy.
Or browse the catalog page, which links to EVERYTHING, in what I hope is a logical order.
Here’s the coupon code you need to get your discount: