Don't forget what your goal is

Some time ago I decided that I want to learn a new language.

That’s not a short term goal, and becoming fluent in reading, speaking and listening would take time. This is why my strategy was to spend about twenty minutes every day, and eventually building a habit, which would blend into my daily routine.

Duolingo has a streak system which encourages you to do a daily goal everyday. If you skip at least one day—you start from zero. And this is something really helped me to get into the groove of being consistent. But after doing it for some time I learned that it has a negative side as well.

The further I went with my streak, the more I became cautious of not breaking it. And that negatively reflected in my learning: I was rushing through exercises, sometimes even picking up easier ones, so I could make it in the evening and keep my streak going.

This is why, after doing daily goal for 343 days straight, I intentionally killed my daily streak.

Gamification could be a powerful motivator, but it’s easy to get caught up in a numbers game.

Rolandas Barysas
Hello, my name is Rolandas Barysas. I write software for a living, splitting my time between freelancing and personal projects.