Been on wanikani for 2 years, at level 8. I'm worried about keeping motivated

I joined WaniKani In January 2017 (although I started paying for a subscription Dec 2018 i think, so technically I have ‘committed’ for 2 years so far. )
It’s October 2020 and in the span of nearly 4 years I am at…level 8.

I haven’t been able to come back to wanikani for a month becuase I had to spend time getting ready for my self study Uni Course which I’m currently doing part time.

When I logged back on today I had 350 reviews in my pile, so I’m thinking about resetting back
down to 5 or 4, which really pains me because I was going at a decent pace for a good 6 months (at least I thought I was).

I just feel worried about how far my motivation will keep carrying me. It’s just going this slowly for 4 years and then having to go backwards a few levels feels daunting. I feel like I’m doing something wrong, I feel like I must be because it feels like my reviews take so long to do, even when I don’t go at full speed with my lessons for a while.


I have reset before (16 levels down) and I have regretted it - unless you have literally 0 recollection, it’s just not worth it.

There is a grand total of 1256 items in levels 1 - 8, so even if everything ends up in guru 2 or below it is still very doable. Don’t do any new lessons until you have your reviews under control, and while you are working on your currently learned items don’t do any more reviews in a day than you will be able to handle when they come back at you layered on top of future newer material.

Motivation won’t carry you very far at all, as it only works when you feel good about doing something; what you need is a routine and a mindset - “I’m a Japanese student who always does my lessons right after breakfast”, “I’m a Crabigator devotee who always makes sure I’ve done X number of reviews before I go to bed”, that sort of thing.

Welcome back, good on you for persevering!


Hmm I am pretty new to that site aswell, but tbh I dont have any issues to motivate myself, if I get my reviews and my lessons I do them as they come, I think im 2weeks in WaniKani and now close to lvl 4, the following levels contain more vocabulary so I guess I will need 1 or 2 days more for each level, but I feel you, I got once after finishing a pile of 180 reviews 50 lessons and then repeated them at the same day 2 or 3 times again, learning a new language takes some time. If you have the feeling that you are motivated and “have” the time to spend it into learning a new language trough WaniKani I think you keep up, if not well maybe it is not the right thing for you, but I think all can keep up just in their own speed, some can reach lvl 60 in 1 year and other need 5 years to finish lvl 10 :smiley:

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As Rowena says, there are over 1200 words that you have learned in a vastly different language to your own, that’s no mean feat! Even if you only fully memorise a small amount, you should take pride in the fact that where others haven’t even started, you’ve dedicated your time to this and made progress, even if it is a little slower than you’d like.

One of the great things about Wanikani is that you’re not punished for getting a word/item wrong - the opposite in fact. If the right reading/meaning doesn’t come to you after a short while, just type anything and have the correct response appear to jog your memory. The more you get things wrong, the more the correct answers will be imprinted on your memory. It’s much harder to be motivated when you spend a long time really trying to remember a response only to get it wrong, rather than having a quick think and then having a reminder if you can’t remember. You’re not being scored here!

If you carry on, you’ll learn some amount of new words/radicals. Even if it’s a small amount, it’s more than you’d learn by stopping.

In short, don’t overthink answers nor be afraid to get things wrong, and be proud of the progress you have made!

Good luck :slight_smile:

  • Max.

I wouldn’t reset. The number 350 might sound bad, but it’s really not if you do it in a systematic way. Install the reorder script and reorder the reviews by level. Now just do however many you feel comfortable in a session.

It will have a very similar effect to resetting without actually losing the progress you’ve made. Once you’re through the pile you can just uninstall the script if it isn’t something you want to continue to use.


I would advise against resetting because you may recall some words better than you suspect. I’m guessing the thought of 350 reviews is overwhelming and that is what is discouraging to you.

I started studying Japanese back in 2000 and it was on and off for about 6 or 7 years. I just didn’t like studying anymore and I didn’t see the value of putting my time into it at that time. Then this year came. With everything going on, I figured I’d go ahead and give it another shot since I can’t really do much else. I don’t remember the last time I had so much free time so what’s the harm? When I started, I was a bit surprised to see I had been able to recall so much in spite of how little progress I had made in about 6 years some 13 or so years ago.

The point here is discouragement will come and go but you might surprise yourself every once in a while. If its something you value, don’t give up.


Best advice out there: form a habit and commit to that habit. It’s healthier than smoking and if done correctly, twice as addicting! Feeding the beast with lots of Japanese films and music (and later, things you can start to read at whatever level you are at) usually keeps the machine clicking along. Find your own flow and do that. Good luck :wink:


I totally understand your feeling. Been doing wanikani for years as well, on and off, with 3 or 4 resets now. Life just finds something new and important to throw at me everytime! I would recommend mannually checking how far back you remember any readings or meanings and reset to that level. Better to learn something a second time than never learn it well at all.

As far as motivation, some people here have already said it. Motivation is a great way to start, but forming a habit is a great way to keep going. Wanikani must happen everyday. That doesn’t mean you need to add new lessons, but at least do your existing reviews as a habit. After breakfast or dinner works well. Then, on days that you are feeling motivated, do new lessons.

You’re not alone, there are many of us tortoise vs hare folks lurking around :slight_smile:


Hi @Jordan64,

I’m just popping in to ask how things are going - have you managed to get a system or routine in place to work your way through your review backlog?

Give us a shout and let us know :sunflower:

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Hi @Jordan64 san

It is okay to move at a slower pace. If it’s financially viable, buying a life time subscription during December sale is a good idea. You can move fast or slow without worrying about financial implications.

As for motivation, start doing 1 review a day for a week. Then 2 reviews a day for a week. Then 5 reviews a Day for a week. It will help build the daily habit of logging in and trying. You can have a lot of support here on the forums. You can join any one of the threads and just read the discussions. You will learn a lot from that. If something is not working or you are feeling down, just let us know and we will be more than happy to help you :smile:

Good luck Jordan san :clap:


Hi Rowena! Sorry I didn’t see your message! I only checked in this morning because I’m considering buying the lifetime subscription :slight_smile: I’m still a bit all over the place because of Christmas and Covid, but I have done some small things like making wanikani my homepage, just little things to make it slightly easier for me to do my reviews. I hope you’re having a great christmas!


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