strength & streaks
I've been doing duolingo for about a year, and at first it was great! But then I started worrying about my streaks more than the language I was learning. Strengthening is also something that I worried about too, because when my skill isn't gold I get annoyed, and eventually paranoid. So if you have the same problem please follow this discussion and we can think of ways to solve it.
There's a very simple solution.
Stop worrying about your streaks. I lost a 900+ days streak. It's not a big deal. I'm always studying and learning my target language. My strength lies in what I know, my ability to comprehend and be communicate en español.
I know a couple of Duolingo users that lost streaks that went above 1,000 díás. They're still learning, and studying. These online tools should not become a hindrance from your language goals. There are many other free tools and resources online.. Have at it.
I think the issue for many language learners is a matter of motivation. I think a really great way to continue to push forward is to remind yourself, why do you want to learn Ancient Aramaic, Hindi, Spanish or 中文.
If you make the learning process fun then your Duolingo streak, strength or whatever immaterial inhibitors in your head want stop your motivation. Don't get me wrong, life, your daily responsibilities and external factors will get in your way of your daily language goals and studying time. If you make learning Egyptian Arabic or русские is fun . . . you will never stop. One year, 2 months or 1 decade of effort shouldn't affect your drive to learn.
My personal life goal, don't stop. Keep learning. I like to read, there will always be a new book to read en español, french, japanese, etc. We will all get old, continuing to exercise your mind and learn will help feel good when you're past 50, 60 and 70's. (Of course your ability to learn may change but keep those wheels going.)
You're making my own point, only you seem to be unaware that if a person did find fun in the process, they wouldn't be worrying about "having" to practice. In the end, you and I found fun in learning a language, and that is reflected in our streaks and strengths whether we wanted it to happen or not.
In the case of Ellison (the original poster here), it wouldn't matter if he wanted the streak to go up or not, if he really found fun he would still have the numbers that would reflect his interest in language learning. So the thing is; does he really want to?
You said it! It's no big deal to have a big streak! I've just lost a 'short' 89 days, but dear Duo are so clever at marketing their business that they want us all to get excited about adding numbers to make us feel we're getting better.
And yes, it works, but it's all about loving the languages you're learning and having the motivation to explore all the other 'pockets' of information out there to help you. But I love Duolingo and my goal is to finish my tree, come what may! :)
Streaks and gold bars are just a reflex of your daily constancy and inclination to practice respectively. They're symbols, if you can't keep up with them it might be because you lack those qualities. Of course, there might be other reasons like work or family, but if you can't cut
3 minutes of your free time to practice, what you have to solve is your own mind to see if you really want to learn another language.
My streak was over 3 years when I lost it. Practicing every day is really helpful, but life happens and some days, you don't get to get to the computer. Do you know more of your language than when you started? Perfectionism can stop you from achieving things. There is such a thing as "good enough". My advice is to do things the best that you can, with the time that you have and let that be good enough.