I thought I’d write a quick post about motivation since it’s something that’s very important to have when learning a language.
As I mentioned in the first entry of WARC; I used to struggle with getting motivated to learn Japanese and previous attempts to learn the language had failed tragically because of a severe lack of motivation.
However, in this attempt, I have found myself rarely having issues with motivation. The source of motivation to resume learning Japanese and actually sticking to it was me going on a holiday to Japan which I can’t really expect anybody to do every time they require motivation and nor can I personally afford everytime I need a bit of a kick.
An important thing to remember when worried about motivation levels is to make sure that you keep whatever you’re motivated to do a habit. I am a pretty lazy person and honestly it requires a lot of motivation for me to do a lot of things that aren’t a habit – even watching a tv show or playing a game, it doesn’t necessarily have to be motivation for something that requires effort or isn’t fun – it can be fun things too. I would recommend attempting to study Japanese at the same time each day for roughly the same amount of time. For example, I make sure to study Japanese at around the same time every day; I do some light cardio just before I leave for work and I usually complete my Duolingo and Memrise daily goals during this time.
Another thing to remember is to keep in mind the reason you want to be motivated; for me, I’m learning Japanese so I can watch anime and read manga in the original language. Japan is also my favourite holiday destination, so it would be amazing to be fluent and natural whenever I travel there. If I’m ever feeling slightly unexcited to start studying for the day I make sure to look at one of the volume of manga that I want to be able to read one day and I think about how great it will feel to be able to read and understand that volume without needing a dictionary.
While I don’t have trouble motivating myself to study Japanese, there are certain areas that I have no motivation to cover. Currently, this is mainly Kanji-related; I barely know any stroke order and I feel I should practice writing Kanji more. I know a lot of N5 Kanji that barely require practice (for example, 赤 (red), 青 (blue), 明(bright), etc) but there are a few scary N5 Kanji that I struggle with; 雑誌 and 警官 which are the words for newspaper (zasshi) and police officer (keikan) respectively. Whenever I look at these words I end up asking why I have to learn them now and why can’t it be future May’s problem?
No, it can’t be. I’m future May.
To finish off this blog entry I’m going to set a challenge. I’m going to learn the words and Kanji for police office and newspaper and be able to write and recognise their Kanji in two weeks and I suggest that you, my wonderful listener, do the same. It doesn’t have to necessarily be the same words, it could be anything, but I challenge you to also try to learn and tackle something you’ve been lacking motivation to learn. Doesn’t even have to be Japanese related! Go out! Tackle those things and feel motivated!
Let me know in the comments what you’ll be challenging yourself to learn!