Finally broke my streak... on purpose!

I know many are encouraged by building their streak but I have grown to dislike it so much. There have been many days that I “had” to come to LingQ when that was not how I wanted to spend my language learning time that day, I LOVE LingQ but maintaining the streak was taking away my language learning joy.
After 476 days I have decided to purposely let it go. It actually took me a couple of tries before I was able to do it!!
I’m sure I will probably use LingQ most days but I am so happy to see the back of my streak!

16 Likes

I’m not the best at maintaining them, but I like to use them as a small source of motivation to show up, and once I’m here - it’s easier to stay and learn. Also it doesn’t really feel like too big of a chore if you just set it to the lowest requirements, though as you have more words set as known it can get harder to keep it going, and not having too many options to get the points kinda sucks.

3 Likes

Congratulations!
I’ve always wondered why people are so keen to get their streaks fixed. You can’t buy anything with very long streaks, there’s no tangible reward for them and in the long run they’re not motivating, but rather a burden.
I myself almost always interrupt my streaks when I don’t feel like learning. If the streaks are interrupted, then they’re interrupted. No problem!
If there’s any external reason why I sometimes learn without really feeling like it, it’s the fact that I have paid in order to be able to use LingQ properly. I don’t like giving money away for nothing, not even to LingQ.

7 Likes

Interesting take; I’m running a streak and just finished day 511. It has been a burden, especially on a few occasions while traveling. And even though it’s a bit of a killjoy on many days, it has forced my hand to continue my progress. I admit I’m conflicted about it; I have a fitness workout regime I do too, and it’s one of those things I don’t like that much on many days, but I never regret it once I’ve done it. Discipline is its own reward.

5 Likes

I had the same feeling. I broke a 1,400-day streak for German and a 380-day streak for both French and Spanish at the same time. It became a burden, but the main reason was that I wanted to put all my energy back into English, which now has a streak of 426 days.

If maintaining a streak becomes a burden, I think it’s important to evaluate the situation before giving up. It would be much better to understand the reasons behind our motivation; after that, both continuing and quitting are valid choices.

I’m happy with my decision, which I made after writing here in the forum and reading about other users’ experiences. Until then, I hadn’t considered that streaks could be problematic. Now I’m paying more attention to them in other aspects of my life.

Streaks are good to build habits, that’s why they should set at the minimum level. They are there so that those days we have difficulties, we can at least do the minimum. The other days we do more.

The problem is that our mind is tricky! We could easily sit to do the minimum for a long time and think that’s fine, when in reality, we are not progressing very much. Or we live it as a burden, where the streak becomes more important that the outcome. I suppose this comes from the gamification side that trick our mind in a different direction. Which is different compared to something tangible like fitness, or other things. Maybe having a personal streak on paper.

On the other hand, it is a good motivator as well, because at the end of the day, we come back to the language on those difficult days as well and don’t give up, once they are over, we keep progressing and go back on track.

4 Likes

I will be doing the same. I got to 365, just to get the t-shirt (just kidding, no t-shirt gift). I will let it slide when it naturally breaks.

I may still try to maintain the bare minimum goal but I won’t be concerned if I forget or just can’t get to it that day as I was before. I’m still quite motivated on my own so I do something with the language every day anyway, including usually with LingQ but I won’t be a slave to the streak. I need to begin shifting some of my priorities on the language learning front imo…more output primarily and more listening or listening + reading and these don’t always lend themselves to keeping the streak up if many of these I do outside of LingQ and with my limited amount of daily time I can spare for language learning.

3 Likes

I’m planning on doing the same with DuoLingo.
I already broke my LingQ streak on accident. LingQ seems greater for some languages than others. There is a lot of material for English and Spanish, but not as much for Polish, for example. I use the free version though.

4 Likes

What a wonderful story of liberation!

3 Likes

What! No t-shirt? I’ve been misinformed… :slight_smile:

Yes, I’ve got my streak over a year. I admit I got hooked on the daily hit of hitting my coins. It’s been useful but I won’t be doing this forever.

Life is change.

4 Likes

If you don’t mind my asking - how do you use the free version of LingQ? My impression has been that it’s almost completely unusable… :woozy_face:

2 Likes

You can use it to read and listen to texts that are uploaded by other users and basically you just have to move the words to known, and as long as you have some of the free LingQs left - you can keep on using it both on phone and pc. The only downside is that you’ll have to manually create flashcards for the words/phrases that want to save for easier future repetition and also you’re limited to only 5 imports as far as i remember.

1 Like

I’m about to break long streaks with 3 romance languages! I’m doing it in order to focus intensively and entirely on an new language, which I hope will help me get it to a solid level more quickly. Nice to shift gears.

2 Likes

This! Yes, this has most certainly crossed my mind. You rang the bell, but did it really serve your language goals?

2 Likes

This is a fair question. To determine if it serves the purpose, we must first ensure that our goal is set correctly.

A streak serves the purpose of building a habit, which in turn serves the purpose of “saving willpower.” This frees up a tiny portion of our willpower to initiate and perform other tasks during the day.

Learning languages requires mental effort, but we save energy used to initiate studies by doing it on autopilot. We also know that 10 minutes a day is better than 1 hour a week.

In my case, it did serve some purpose, but I had to reevaluate the entire situation, build more clarity, change the goals, and escape the trap the streak created with some languages.

Currently, I have my English streak going on, 429 days. It is not a burden; it is merely a beginning. I do a lot more than what I do with LingQ on a daily basis.

I know my mind likes those numbers, but once there is more clarity, the streak becomes a good way to keep your mind hooked to your goals.

Nevertheless, breaking the streak every now and then, like @ericb100 is doing, is a clever idea to consider.

I still feel there is more to it. It’s a kind of gamification, addiction, and software strategy that serves itself more than the user. With LingQ, we can say that if we read more or listen more, it doesn’t hurt. We increase vocabulary anyway, even at the minimum. However, if we don’t do it intentionally or with full energy, do we improve at all?

I can definitely see the difference between when I have full energy and when I don’t.

Is the streak serving itself? Hmm.
:thinking:

2 Likes

Agree about streaks being more of a weight than a help for me. I study language many different ways daily. I’m self motivated. LingQ is a great way to learn a language. Does it really matter if I use LingQ on any given day if I’m doing something somewhere? Italki, Podcasts, Other online classroom sources?

That said, I’d guess that the weight of a streak is needed for some people as a motivation to continue.

3 Likes

Good. This is for the better for you. While some may be motivated by big streaks, if you’re making the streak the reason you use the platform you are wasting your time and squandering your own potential. LingQ shines best when used to learn about the real world, something about it. Concepts your brain can attach to and remember, to the point of not really recalling what language you recall some information in.

1 Like