Lost motivation

Hey guys, how are you? I feel like I don’t wanna do anymore reviews… I feel sick by doing them, I don’t like to do them anymore, they feel like a job, it’s a hurdle during my day, I don’t know what to do now.
Any advice? Anyone felt the same? I tried to take couple of days off, but when I came back it still felt the same.


Did you take some days off, but without studying Japanese?

I’d say… reconnect to what made you start with Japanese in the first place. Do nothing else related to Japanese that’s tormenting you. Try to find that flame inside you once again. I’m sure you’ll feel better after a while :slight_smile:


I caught myself thinking today if I qualify WK as “fun.” I’d have to say no.

To use a vague analogy: it’s like building up washboard abs. When you’re putting in as much time as you can, pushing and straining yourself through the pain, at your limit. Is that fun?

I know some people say yes, but let’s say no for sake of argument. :wink:

There are things that we do purely for the results. And WK (and Japanese as a whole) is one of those things for me.

I want to get to level 60 and have exposure to so many kanji through a system that works for me. I want those kanji abs!

There are periods where I suddenly struggle to remember new things. Where having a dozen reviews waiting makes me groan because even that’s a number that I don’t want to do. But then I also get out of those slumps. Persevering every time (even at the cost of that level’s speed) meant that I could prove to myself that motivational slumps happen, but that they also always pass as long as I keep up my WK habit.

I guess my lame advice is: keep your eye on the prize! And rationalize how any long-term thing in your life is subject to hills and valleys.

Also, how much non-WK Japanese stuff do you do? It was nice for me to sometimes do things like a Level 1 Graded Reader, or browse the free Satori Reader articles, or NHK Easy just to get that feeling of progress with actual Japanese, rather than interminable numbers of lessons and reviews.



I did feel the same, and I think it was because I felt incredibly competitive and was going full speed mindlessly. I stopped (again), but after 1.5 years I came back after starting listening to some Japanese songs again and remembering how much I love this language.

You may want to try lower the pace for a bit and also maybe find something in Japanese that you want to watch/read/listen to? You may want to check out our book clubs too (and this is coming from a person who hasn’t read anything before for 5 years). This community and being in the same boat helped me this time to stay motivated and just overall happier.

I hope you can find that spark again!


Yeah man. Wash board Kanji abs is it. People talk about loving the language. I hate this language. But I want them sweet sweet abs.

Also, being able to read stuff feels greaaaaaaat.


I’ve found that motivation and burnout comes in waves. Maybe back off for a bit and only do reviews. Or alternatively, take a couple days off in vacation mode. But be careful with this. It’s easy to get used to not having to do reviews and not want to come back. The most important thing to remember is this:


I lost motivation my first go because I got ill and it’s easy to lose the habit. What I would tell myself back then is to stop doing lessons but keep doing the reviews. Once the number of reviews go down you may feel more like you should keep doing. Also anything worth doing requires discipline and relying on motivation is unwise. Good luck!


It helps to find something you enjoy, something you maybe really want to read or learn about. Even if it feels way above your level and you can only make out snippets, those snippets can be a big encouragement. Like “wow, I actually understand something!” It doesn’t even need to be a big thing like a book or a show. I used to get practice early on by reading the short item descriptions in Neko Atsume. Finding something fun and low-pressure to do in the language helps keep you going when you need to dial studies back a bit and you will still learn a lot.


Maybe you should only do reviews in small chunks with the wrap up function. Only goal: getting apprentice to near zero. Forget about the rest. Meanwhile read some stuff or watch terrace house on netflix, whatever makes you happy.


Take a break! Stop adding lessons and just do your reviews. The reviews will drop significantly very quickly, until it’s only 20-40 reviews a day. After 10 levels I feel overwhelmed and sick of Wanikani, so I take a lessons vacation until I not only want to learn more items, but crave them.


I have had periods where I just open the community app, check the dashboard, check the review counter, not do my reviews and just look around on the forum for a while before closing the app. Sometimes I don’t feel like it. Invariably aftr a couple of days or weeks of not getting my reviews to zero, I usually get a burst of motivation to just do them.

Are you on a set schedule? D you feel like you’re in a rut? Maybe changing the time of day you do your reviews will give it a different feel, make it feel less boring. Also you can try to put on a show or movie, and just halfass your reviews, one eye on the tv. You might get more wrong, but at least you’ve done them.


I’m sorry @Saida but I had to do it…:joy:

But seriously though, maybe just take it easy for a while. Maybe try to do something with the kanji that you already know. Lvl 16 it’s like 500+ kanji. Thats the N5 and N4 and some more.

One thing that keeps me going is seeing an unfamilar kanji in the wild but with a known radical and then I think: “I know these radicals, when will this show up on wanikani?”. But that’s just me!


I concur with doing a few reviews a day and stopping lessons. But since the review pile will still be there, how about getting WK on mobile. When you are on the go, close your eyes and do like five reviews. It will keep you moving forward while not being overwhelming. You can also take a break from WK as others suggested or even Japanese as whole and try to find something else that’s fun to do. Set an appointment with yourself on you calendar (say 4th May) and when that day arrives, check how you are feeling to see if you’ve got a bit of a motivation to come back.
All I can say is hang in there :slight_smile: brighter days are ahead.

Can’t help you much since we don’t know each other but for sure I send you all the courage I can !

When I’m personally down and don’t want to do something anymore I try to find the feeling of how I’m gonna feel when I will see all those days without working piling up next to the cost of giving like 30 minutes (it’s like what 150 items ?) of my time every day doing the bare minimum even if I don’t feel like it and wait for motivation to come back by itself :slight_smile:

On another topic, did you ever try mediation ? Meditation is sooo cool to help you with what and why you don’t feel like doing stuffs. I use Headspace app on my phone it takes you like 10 minutes a day of me time and it really helped me :slight_smile:

Good luck with your come back !!!


I think you should step back and evaluate your reasons for doing this in the first place. It may help to see what you can do to strengthen those. Or you may even come to the realization that it’s time to set it aside for a spell. Many people have left and come back with more success.

Either way, do what you feel is best for you.

Thank you everybody for your kind words.
I’m still not over my lack of motivation, but I’m beggining to feel the urge again. It’s difficult when you stumble upon couple of words/kanji in a row which you don’t remember, it kills your enthusiasm.
I only do couple of reviews each day, not doing any new lessons, it’s nice. I read some japanese from easy books and articles, but not often as I really want. I also listen to lessons of Japanesepod101, 1-2 each day on my way to work, it’s also nice.
Thanks again for all your advices.


I tend to lose my motivation as well, in all my interests and hobbies. But I also know that the motivation will come back even stronger than before. So when the motivation is low for Japanese I do the lowest levels of Duolingo (I will not break that streak, dammit!) and a couple of reviews here at WK. It’s not fun. But I know that my interest will come back, and that keeps me going.


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