June Habit: Duolingo (Learn Spanish) and a May Habit Recap

+ Yay! It’s a new month which means a new monthly habit and a recap of last month’s. These monthly experiments help me build healthy habits, break unhealthy ones or just learn more about myself so I can figure out what’s really essential!

We're moving to Spain in September!! Well, for 3 months, for a sabbatical, but we're moving to Spain! We'll be spending most of our time on the island of Mallorca.

( via )


And I know zero Spanish or just a handful of words which is probably fewer than my 1-year-old :/ I feel like I can probably read menus but I'd like to be able to converse a little bit and it will be great to learn a new language. (I learned French through high school).

Duolingo Junio!
For the month of June (and most likely the rest of the summer), my goal is to learn Spanish! Or start to learn Spanish. Greg's already fluent and Peanut barely talks so I'm alone in this one. (Although, Greg, maybe you'll try to advance your skills a bit?)

I'm really excited about this app: Duolingo (not getting paid… just a fan ;). It's free and you spend a few minutes a day learning a new language. The set-up is so easy and the simple system is already in place. There are a number of languages to choose from with a few different options for commitment. My daily goal is "Casual" or 5 minutes per day and maybe I'll move up to "Serious" or 15 minutes per day at some point. I'm starting small and timeboxing to 5 minutes! ;)

My trigger will be right when I put Peanut down for his first nap. It'll be so quick that I'll probably be finished before he even falls asleep! On the two days a week I'm gone for naptime, I'll do the work right after leaving the house but before I get on my way.

(The Duolingo app on my phone and the beginning of my first lesson!)

(The Duolingo app on my phone and the beginning of my first lesson!)

Our habit experiments usually support one of our bigger goals, and this month, we’re supporting a project we’ve been working on for years and dreaming about for a decade!

Reflections on our May Habit: Oops, an 8-Hour Do-Over ;):
For the month of May, we were going to refocus on getting 8 hours of sleep a night. During 8-Hour April, I was missing my sleep windows and we were traveling or sick most of the month. As we had hoped, trying again in May really helped. We’re getting better at prioritizing sleep most of the time. And that’s what it has to be these days: a priority… over entertainment, socializing, lounging, chores, work, etc. I need it for my illness and also just to be a better person.

To help us meet the goal we were going to work on:
+ No screens 30 minutes before bed! We’re better at this but not great every night. Playoffs! The more tired I am, the more likely I am to stay up. What?!
+ Tracking our time asleep. We’ve been tracking our sleep using Sense (a device on your pillow and an app). It’s not perfect but it’s simple hands-off tracking. My average nightly sleep in May was 7.7hrs vs. 7.2 in April!
+ Getting to bed a little earlier (by 10?). I’m still working on this one. Maybe when I stop pumping before bed... Greg only makes it to bed earlier on Sabbath but thank goodness we have that one day (and two evenings) with very little to do!
+ Stay in loungewear and nap if we didn’t get 8 hours. This didn’t happen on the usual 7-hour-nights but the few times we were up in the middle of the night with a sick babe, we did manage to nap in the mornings to compensate. Unfortunately, Sense doesn’t track naps (my biggest complaint).

So 8-Hour May was pretty successful and we’re going to continue working on it. There are a few things we noted this month: sleeping in is no longer an option so we have to go to bed earlier; screens before bed hurt both in bedtime and in sleep quality; Sense and the Apple Health app need a lot of work around sleep tracking but I’m glad they exist; and honestly, I'm pretty lucky to even have these issues.

Alright! Let’s get some sleep this summer!