View topic - How do you keep yourself motivated to learn?
I've had a bit of insomnia trouble and I've been tired recently. I know that's the largest contributing factor, and I've also had a bit of stress at home, so, I was wondering if there was something that I can use to motivate myself just that little bit more
P.S. Yes...Sleep is on the list
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But in reality if you don't have that inner-motivation at a beginning stage... you've got a hard path in front of you. Think about WHY you wanna learn Japanese, and what's pushing you. You're always gonna have outside interruptions in anything you do, so you gotta focus on your inner self.
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For example, your daily goal may be to force yourself to read through one chapter a day from your textbook (of course repeating the chapter until you understand 80% or so), read a page of hiragana out loud to work on sight reading and pronunciation, or write out all the hiragana every day... The daily goal shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes.
If it becomes a part of your day as integral as brushing your teeth, exercising, reading the newspaper, etc, I think you will be motivated to complete your set goals. For me, if I don't accomplish one of my daily goals, I feel like my day was incomplete--thus encouraging me to do it the next day.
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I would say, take your books and study materials somewhere where you are less prone to distractions and just sit down and start. Even if you don't feel like studying, once you get into the swing of it (with no distractions) you'll be more inclided to keep going.
I carry around a tiny flashcard pack (75 words) with me wherever I go. Whenever I have a free moment I just start flipping through them. At the bank, grocery store, train, anywhere.
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
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If I have any resources on the computer I try to print them off rather than read them off of the computer, or write it out myself to help avoid this. Of course I don't do this much as I have invested quite a bit into my resources that I have pretty well all I need in hard copy already.
As Clay mentioned, goals is the biggest issue I faced. You will ALWAYS keep getting more and more behind, procrastinating, until you set definite, measurable goals. A chapter a day, X number of kanji, whatever it is, it must be definite and at the end you have to be able to say I met or exceeded the particular goal set out.
As a beginner the number one thing is to get those kana under control, make flashcards, whatever you need, so that you can go away from the computer, start memorizing, and come away knowing more. This is also much easier if you find someone at a similar level to yourself with similar goals and then you can hold each other accountable, and further your education as language partners. Quiz each other, basic speaking practice, it's a fun and dynamic way to help keep yourself going.
Anyways that's my opinion, hope it helps.
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Or if there is similar question asked, I’ll flip through my textbooks or journal to revise what I had learned previously, if possible, I’ll take the chance to answer, just to make sure I have fully grasped the concept.
I bring some textbooks and story books to read in the office, sometimes. Being a full time worker, I tend to fall behind, so I’ll squeeze out some time during lunch or tea break to do some revision. I keep telling myself “hey, these books are so heavy, to carry here and there, don’t waste the resources right in front of you..”
Nothing fascinating or magical, simply plain way, yet I’m not lacking in motivation so far.
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Goals & timelines can really help you stay motivated.
I started back up again at the end of 2006 after a long lay off.
I joined a monthly dinner party that was a meet up group for Japanese people and people studying the language. That gave me one night a month to make sure I was ready for; which really helped at the beginning when I was just trying to get my interest back into studying again.
A few months after that, I stumbled across an Okinawan drumming group & started taking more formal Japanese classes again.
Wednesday was Japanese class - there was always homework (whether or not I actually completed it ) and on the weekend was Okinawan drumming practice, with a lot of older Okinawan ladies and my buddy Yuji. I was studying practically full time. Luckily, I had a really boring job back then that let me surf mixi, this site, Jpod101, World Friends, and Tae Kim's all day - reading online study resources, writing penpals, and translating mixi sites.
A few months into that routine, I scheduled a trip to Japan (my first in 10 years) last year at the end of April to the beginning of May.
Having that big event coming up really helped me set some goals for my studies.
It made me work a lot harder.
I moved last November and no longer have Japanese meetups, language classes, or drumming practice to keep me on task, but at the end of September I'm traveling back to Japan again, so I've been working hard to crack the books with whatever spare time I've got for the past 2~3 months.
I'm probably not learning on the pace that I was last year; but I do think I'm making progress.
In December I may take JLPT 3 as a warm up for 2 next year.
Now that they've opened up the Arkansas testing site, it's actually feasible for me.
Set manageable goals and timelines to keep yourself on track.
- Pork Chop
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These are small things that maybe nobody else mentioned or just to think of, but how is your diet? If you're taking in a lot of caffeine or sugar, and you're not eating well, then your concentration isn't going to be the best. It's no coincidence that people in the older generations can seem to handle so much more ... possible because one reason is that their diets were a lot better than ours. I learned it the hard way because I was forced to change diet due to chronic health issues, and it made a huge difference in my quality of life. Compared to before, I feel like I did when I was younger. I'm also a lot healthier for it, and it's nice to have some control over how I am feeling throughout the day.
I struggle with insomnia some portions of the year, and I would say take advantage of the time difference. Maybe you could find a pen pal and talk to them through e-mail or IM? It will help tremendously. Especially if their English isn't too good, because then would have to rely more on your Japanese. You might need to get a little further in your studies though (of the basic grammar, so forth).
I've been in your shoes regarding home issues and time management in the past. I don't know what you do in your spare time, but if you can find time alone to just zone out and focus primarily on regenerating, it might help to balance out. I'm a budding artist, so for me this is critical. In order to do anything 'special', I have to find that motivation and spark. I purposely set time aside to listen to music and focus on letting this be a time for either inspiration or fuel for future inspiration... I train this to be my "trigger", and it takes a while but it really works. After a while, I'm trained that certain places and certain activities mean something to me and will cause me to focus better. Or at the least it will help me spot really poor habits and I see myself in a less frustrated light, more able to adapt and deal with those traits. If you're used to waking up and immediately being in a stressful situation and that you sleep only when you have to/or can, then it's no wonder that your concentration is a bit troubling. In the back of your mind, Japanese and "feeling centered" is probably the least of your worries. Because at that rate, you're only running at your minimal just to deal with everyday things.
I wish you the best of luck
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At anyrate, It might help if you label everthing in your room in Japanese. I hope this helped some.
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Failing that, karaoke. Well, I chalk it up as studying for me (it's fun, helps my kanji reading, social skills with Japanese that buy me drinks, it's fun). For you, it may be anime (without english subtitles) or j-drama. Basicly, add in fun studying.
Oh yeah set goals for yourself. Either short term "Today, I'm gonna learn 50 kanji and review my due stack", "Today, I'm gonna add 30 sentences", or "Today, I'm finishing all my reviews"; or long term "This month, I'm gonna learn 1000 kanji", or "This month, I will have half the book's sentences entered".
Turn off the English distractions. Stop coming to forums like this. Ok, easier said than done. I stopped watching Engilsh movies and shows, but I still spend too much time on english websites. Damn internet and its subtle traps.
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