That Motivation Drop

My motivation is currently in the pits. Please provide reasons for me (and others just like me, I’m not alone, …right?..RIGHT!!!) to like actually do this, and not cry about

Because I’m taking this slow and it is just like at the moment.

I’m just trying to do 10 reviews at a time and doing a few lessons a day to keep myself from stalling.


it happens to me a lot.
I usually deal with it by slowing down reviews and completely stopping the lessons.

spending less time in the forums may help for you’ll be less exposed to those insufferable overachievers’ complaints about being barely able to do 500+ daily reviews after having read an entire japanese newspaper, studied for college exams, dated 2/3 people… (no i’m not being envious! don’t judge!)
ok… then i try to find something amusing to remind me the reasons why i am studying japanese (in my case, anime, videogames and music)

to sum it up, I slow the pace down to catch breath and avoid a complete stop


If your motivation is down, why not do something that you are motivated to do, within the scope of your japanese learning? Listen to some japanese music; watch japanese drama or anime; practice listening or writing or chatting to people. There’s lots of aspects of Japanese to study outside of Wanikani, and there’s no need to force yourself if you’re not feeling it.

I find that if I do this, I run into a bunch of kanji that I have to look up, and that eventually brings me back to WaniKani, to improve my kanji recognition and reading some more.

If you DO want to force yourself, maybe just use a habit tracker to do the minimum you consider reasonable (there’s a Habitica group around, if you’re into that), and then give yourself a pat on the back for consistency.


I definitely see where you’re coming from. I just hit level 19 today and I’m having large dips in my ability to memorize and recall everything, and my motivation is suffering.

I do agree with @morpheme on trying to shift focus to something enjoyable. I just finished up The Naked Director on Netflix, (really interesting show), which helped motivate me again.

I also started up kaniwani over the last few days though, starting with level 1. I’m slowly adding in additional levels. It’s giving me some of my confidence back, while also being a new challenge.

I don’t think there’s a right answer, but I think as long as you’re trying to stay within the realm of Japanese learning, you’ll be ok.


I mean, I don’t know about other people, but what I’ve found for myself over the last two years is that the bulk of my motivation (when I actually have some) comes from the idea of simply throwing away all the progress I’ve made here. That is, ‘you’ve made it this far already, why let it go to waste?’.

Like others have said, exposing yourself to other Japanese media, especially written media, can help fuel your motivation to understand. And eventually you’ll want to learn more. (Hopefully! :smiley: ) It’s all about finding what it is that can give you that little extra push.

Or you could always just take my route and take a break when and if you really feel like you need to. I’m back now from my third 4-ish month long break (ha ha… ha… ha…) At least that’s better to the alternative of letting reviews build up, though I really wouldn’t recommend it.


I usually go watch Rambalac’s videos where he walks through areas in Japan, and then I fall in love with japan all over again. I pause his videos when I see signs in kanji to see if I can read any of it.

Here’s a link to his channel:Rambalac’s youtube channel


Ooof, big relate on the motivation drops. They hit like a tonne of bricks. :weary: For some people, some time off from learning can make them feel refreshed, but I personally do better if I slow down when needed, but never stop. You know you best.

I usually rationalize my way through the tough times. I know doing something this long-term and this challenging means many highs and lows.

I try to remind myself that it’s like the learning equivalent of getting the flu. It’ll happen on occasion, and when you’re in the middle of it, it’s AWFUL, but then things also get better.

Usually these bad periods also end up self-reinforcing for a while. When it’s harder to keep going, you do worse in reviews and lessons, and will end up feeling like you’re going backwards. I remind myself of this fact when it suddenly feels like every bit of Japanese knowledge ever just dribbled out of my head overnight.

It’s a cycle for me. Every time I don’t let the bad side of the cycle beat me, it’s easier to rationalize the next time the dark times roll around, because I know I’ve been through it all before and things have always gotten better if I just stick with it.

Here’s hoping you can find a method that works for you. Best of luck! :muscle:


Maybe you could join Race to 60 group? That’s helping my motivation a bit :).

I know you’re trying to keep reviews limited, but I used to find it soooooo much harder when I didn’t get through my reviews regularly, because then the SRS doesn’t work.

I’m weirdly finding it so much easier now i’m doing a hell load more reviews, because if I get something wrong i’m likely to get it right when I come round to it again in 4 or 8 hours, instead of forgetting it by the time it used to come up again in 3 days - 4 days. Your brain doesn’t have the time to recall it if you’re only doing 10 at a time because you won’t get see it again in time for you to remember it.

You’re doing great :slight_smile: keep it up!!!


I know how you feel. It happens a lot of you have really short attention span like me😌 For me, I’d just take a day off when I feel burn out. I don’t see why I should force myself when my brain doesn’t even work on that particular day. Let your brain rest helps your passion to constantly ignite throughout your journey. Well, I’m talking generally, but I’m sure this works in your problem too😊


Ehm… Provide a reason for you to pursue a hobby?
No one except yourself can (and even should) do it. Why do you study Japanese in the first place? Remember that. Also remember that reading kanji is a core component in Japanese proficiency.

But who knows if you should continue with WK?


I would just blame the late teen levels - I hit a wall there, and really had to force my way through ! some really sticky vocab (prob cause I didn’t take the time to learn it properly)

You’ll break through the wall and sail straight into the twenties i’m sure !



Are you still aiming for N4 JLPT this December? According to wkstats, at level 18 you’ve already got 98% of the kanji you need for the test. Maybe it is time for a break?

(Sorry in advance if this is not what you need to hear…)


It’s hitting me really hard too!

I’m doing many fewer lessons, to try to give myself some breathing room, and I try to do a little reading now and then. Not to fully understand a text, just to see how many kanji and words I can read and understand now that I couldn’t have before (it’s a nice pick-me-up!).

I also have an in-person study partner. We mostly work on grammar and conversation, but it means I’m using what I’ve learned and have someone I’m accountable to for at least that much practice.

In my case, there are other other stressful things going on, so I try to remind myself that it’s ok to be tired. When those other deadlines pass, I’ll have more energy to enjoy learning on WaniKani.

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Sometimes you just need a break. I’ve been using WaniKani for 3 years and I’ve reset the whole thing twice already.

Coincidentally the first year I did it I stopped at…level 18.
On New Years 2018 I reset and got to level 30 before getting burnt out
This New Years I reset again but reset it to level 10 instead of level 1, and I’m definitely starting to feel the burnout again right now.


Not all motivation drops are the same though, so try thinking about where it’s coming from! I don’t have the energy to do a big well-thought post, but basically:

You can lose motivation with WK for a lot of reasons. Maybe some new finally realizes how much of an undertaking this is and gets overwhelmed. Maybe you don’t have a clear goal for why you’re doing this. Maybe you’ve reached a point in WK where you’ve learned all the kanji you need to know to suit your needs. Or maybe you’ve found other places to learn kanji that are working better for your goals.

All those reasons might have different solutions, and some of them might mean taking a break from, or indefinitely putting a hold on, wanikani. No shame in either of those options. Best of luck to everyone :blush:


I hit a slump this summer. I was on the same level for more than 2 months.

I recommend not doing any lessons, only focus on slowly, slooowly but surely catching up on your reviews first. Doing lessons will only make that hurdle higher while you’re in this slump. It might feel like ‘giving up’ to stop lessons, but trust me it’ll make catching up on reviews a lot more doable.

You will get many reviews wrong. I know how frustrating that feels. Don’t worry about it! I try to think of it this way: if I got a review wrong, then it’s GOOD that I will have to review that item again sooner. It’s what my brain needs.

Everyone has to find their own reasons in life to do things that are hard, I believe. For me, my reason to keep it up with Wanikani, is that I have been able to really notice that I CAN find those kanji it’s teaching me, in the real world. It’s very re-affirming to run into Wanikani kanji and vocab in every day situations. However, if you are level 18, perhaps you might not run into those instances as much, so you should keep looking for your own reason right now!

And look for many reasons, not just one. BennetTheSage made a video about trying very hard to lose weight, and the things he says about it in this video resonate a lot with me and the slog of learning 2,000 kanji. Maybe watching the video will help you too. [here’s the video]


Whenever I don’t feel motivated to scratch away at my abundance of Reviews/lessons, I just watch some “J-Vlogs”. Basically, these are just videos by people who live in Japan. This includes traveling around the country, trying out local dishes, exploring attractions, and more! This is really the only way I can get a glimpse of live in Japan. After watching one or two of these videos, I often feel motivated to continue learning the language! Here is a list of some channels I watch:

  1. Rachel and Jun-
    A channel by a married couple of a Japanese man named Jun and an America woman named Rachel. These two have videos on clips of their everyday life in Japan, traveling to rural Villages and bustling marketplaces, and of course, their adorable little kitties! I started with this channel and got very attached, so I would recommend this to anyone![]

  2. Abroad in Japan-
    A channel by a British man living in the city of Sendai. This channel includes Food challenges, a bike ride across Japan (excellent), tons of exploration in both rural and urban Japan, and nATsuKI!!! I recently started watching this channel and am now addicted! This is a very informative and humorous series and I would also recommend this.

This is pretty much all of the motivation channels I watch at the time. I haven’t listed all of the “J-vloggers”, but these are two that I would recommend for anyone interested in the Japanese culture and travel! I insist you look up these channels when you get the chance! Hope this helps, thanks!


I usually watch an episode of anime, or listen to some songs in Japanese. Reminds me of some of whats available when i learn the language, and makes me want to learn again

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It happens and it will happen a lot. I’m also on my way to regaining my momentum. You’ll need some introspection and a little meditation to realign every part of yourself.

Goodluck! You can do it.


I can say something similar “Its too expensive to give up”