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How to Get Your Groove Back – Keeping Motivated

Posted May 27th, 2011 by Kimberly in Learning Japanese

Last week we talked about making time for your studies. Now that you have the time, how do you stay motivated?

“Why are you studying Japanese?” This is an important question you must consider when you feel you may be losing motivation to continue in your studies.

Today we explore ways of keeping motivated. I know that everyone is different when it comes to motivation so I am here to simply share what techniques I use to keep myself motivated.

Inspiration; for one, is a great way for me to stay motivated. I always get inspired by those that are at a level higher than me. I have friends who are fluent that I turn to for advice or words of encouragement because they have been in my situation before. Everyone starts out as an absolute beginner, so everyone has a chance to become fluent.

Loving something about the language can keep you excited and pumped to keep going even when you hit a road-block. Ask yourself “What do I love the most when it comes to studying Japanese?” If you know the answer to this question; motivation will be easy to obtain. Also, trying to integrate what you love about studying Japanese into the study material will make studying a lot more fun and enjoyable.

Having a goal can also be a great way to keep you motivated. Keeping a goal that is both simple and time-bound is a great way to keep track of your progress and to keep you going. Try not to overwhelm yourself with a goal that is too generalized or too huge to accomplish as that can de-motivate you if you do not accomplish your goal by your desired time-frame. We want to make goals that are easy to obtain so that you can remind yourself of your accomplishments if you start losing your motivation.

Personally, what motivates me right now is fluency. I would love to have everyday conversations with my friends from Japan without sounding like a tourist or as if I memorized phrases from a textbook. I want to have a living conversation and communicate my thoughts and feelings just as well as I can in my native-tongue English.

I started over with my Japanese studies and have decided as a goal, each year will be dedicated to a new level on the Japanese proficiency test. For example, until December 2011, I am only focusing on N5 vocabulary, grammar and kanji. This way, I do not overwhelm myself with kanji and vocabulary that is not in the level I am studying for. I feel I have adequate time to review and prepare in time for the test in December without feeling like I am cramming. When the test rolls around, I will then move onto studying for N4 in December 2012 and so on. For the most part, I know what I will be doing for the nest 5 years of my Japanese studies.

I also have a study-partner that started at the same level as me. He has been a great motivation for me because we rely on each other to keep us on schedule and to keep encouraging each other. We also have different ways of looking at new material while so if one does not quite understand it, there are at least two minds working on it.

These are just some ideas to get your mind going on how and what to do to give yourself that need-booster to your motivation.

What inspires you? Why are you studying Japanese? What would you like to accomplish in your studies? Write these down and keep them near your study area to remind you why you are doing this in the first place.

Learning Japanese does not have to be a chore. If you have fun and enjoy what you do, you will stay motivated.

Do you have any techniques or suggestions on how to keep motivation? Drop us a comment today

See you all next Friday!

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