Third time is the charm

It can be tough to stay motivated - this is a long term project, and meanwhile real life is going on around you. I push through by going slow when I feel overwhelmed (limiting my number of lessons, trying to stay under a certain number of apprentice items, etc). When work and school and family and life and all the things pile on - I’ll simply turn on vacation mode and set a date to turn it off again (this is strictly use at your own risk/need, and many would advise against it, so play responsibly).

But that’s just how I push through when I’m feeling unmotivated. I keep motivation up by 1) diversifying my studies and 2) reading fun material. Diversifying a bit helps to break up the monotony of reviews and lessons. It also helps to speed up my reading progress since knowing a bunch of kanji and vocab is not enough for comprehension in most cases - a certain amount of grammar is needed as well. And reading material both shows me all the progress I’ve made and reminds me why I’m doing this in the first place - to consume native material in its original form. Sitting back and just enjoying an anime (still with English subtitles :sweat_smile: ) helps, too.

I have the added bonus of having a study partner - my lovely husband keeps me on my toes. I have to maintain my ten level lead on him! :triumph:

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For me its consistency. A bit easier for me since im unemployed and have a lot of flexibility. But i recently had an intentional week off and about 1000+ reviews pile up. Getting through all those was daunting. I made the mistake of doing a little at a time; it was taking forever and that was frustrating. Finally hunkered down and got through all of them.

I recently got the schedule explorer script. Gonna start lessons once my reviews calm down. Some people suggest only doing lessons if your Apprentice number is under 100 (or whatever number youre comfortable with). The idea is if you have a comfortable pace youll stick with it. For me i find it rewarding to have 0 reviews at the end of a review session. If you only get to review once or twice a day, it may be worth gating your lessons to keep your load reasonable. But mostly make sure you do it every day. Reserving a time to do it everyday, like before work or after dinner, may help.

This is just my general advice. If you give more details on what more specifically leads you to being overwhelmed and resetting, you might get some better answers.

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Im new to wanikani but i used the anki deck kanji damage for about 6 months and I would say there is no way to stay motivated motivation comes and goes with no real way to control it. The best way to keep yourself studying is stay on a routine. For me I study right when I wake up and after a while it becomes habit something you just naturally do. So just find a time of day that you can stay focused and make it your goal to start studying at the same time everyday and it becomes easier.

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My advice to get through WK is to try to stick to a schedule. You don’t need to be fast. I’m generally doing 7-day levels, but even if you took one month per level, if you commit to doing that on a regular schedule, I believe it helps in the long run. Also, don’t worry if you forget items you thought you learned. This isn’t a sign that you’re doing anything wrong, or that anything’s wrong with your brain. That’s just how it works. Some things stick in your brain better than other things. So you get something wrong, learn it again (maybe with a new, stickier mnemonic) and hopefully you’ll remember it next time. Or not. The point is that every time you relearn something, it will become more fixed in your memory until eventually one day it really is burnt there (whether that corresponds with the WK “burn” level or not).

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Where do you find good beginners reading material?

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NHK News Easy is a good place to go. I used (and still use) an app called Tangoristo on my iPhone that gives you easy access to NHK News Easy, NHK News, and a bunch of fairy tales. The best part of the app is that you can simply tap any kanji to show the furigana, then tap again for a vocab definition. You can also show/hide furigana by JLPT level. Also also, since NHK updates daily, you’re never starved for content. I can’t recommend the Tangoristo app enough - it was a huge help in keeping my practice up while I was on the go for work and school.

The forums have several book clubs at varying levels. The most beginner level is currently reading なぜ?どうして? You can find that club here. The forums also have a Japanese only section that’s good to peruse, even if the reading content isn’t “native”. And Kanae or Mami will correct your posts if you decide to respond to a prompt! \o/

You can also get graded readers, which are an excellent start (but I’ve never used them, so I’m not sure which ones to point to…).

Finally, I definitely have had a lot of fun reading this:


It’s a cute little web comic about a cat and their owner and their various hijinks at home and around town. The grammar and vocab are simple and cute, and it’s good practice reading a more handwritten font. And, if you scroll all the way to the bottom, you can see other comics on the site (although this one is probably one of the simpler ones).

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It looks like they have it for Android too! Awesome, I didn’t have any luck when I searched for an NHK Easy app

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Same for me about the consistency. This is also my second time picking up WK. The first time I barely reached level 3. I quit for almost a year after that

One day I visited WK forum casually, saw Jprs’s legendary post, got some encouragement from Ninkasmin, got promised some cake, and I haven’t miss a single day of WK since. I have been doing just that for the last 4 months, with okay results.

Of course there are times I wake up and think: “I don’t wanna work on WK now”. At time like those, I remind myself how much I wanna achieve my goal, how much I want that golden badge, how much I don’t wanna lose my streak.

Of course some of those time, the self-reminding thingy doesn’t work. Then I told myself just go do 1 review. Because the moment I give up on reviewing, is the moment I give up on WK. The next time I comeback, I bet I would reset, because I don’t like to continue on some left over.

Here I’d like to link a reddit post that has been a great motivation for me: No More Zero Days. Just give the first comment a read, and you’ll see.

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I think Tofugu recommended it in one of their resource lists at some point. :thinking: I downloaded it immediately and never looked back!

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First, I love that online comic. I can’t wait to read it. SO CUTE.

To add to your post, I’ve found the following resources to be nice places for some easier readings:

Reading / consuming native things definitely also helps keep me motivated, so I would echo that sentiment as well. Also, remember this is a journey, so it’s okay if you continually get off and on the horse - the important thing is to just keep getting on it :D. Or something. Maybe that’s a strange way to put it? :rofl::joy:

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I don’t this is my third try XDD I already resetted two times. Once back to lvl 1 and once back to lvl 4

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I’m in the gated lessons camp too. I got to level 7 or 8 last spring/summer but found the pace impossible to maintain on top of three jobs. I quit for months, forgot it all, and had to reset. This time I’m watching my apprentice items (a number I never even thought to look at before) and only doing new lessons when apprentice is below 100. I’d rather go at a slow pace and level up every month than fall off. A level a month is still exciting for me. :slight_smile:

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I’ve been reading some posts from people that have reached lvl 60 and some points seem to really help:

1-Keeping with a schedule. Create a japanese learning program for yourself and stick to it! This is a long term affair, so you have to create habits.
2-Finding your own pace. Even if you do just 5 lessons a day, keep with it! Too slow?? try to go for the fast level up!
3-Knowing how the WK system works really helps if you want to be more efficient/fast.
4- Mix it up with other resources. The main focus of Wanikani is kanji after all, so you’re gonna need to supplement your studies. This will also help you in keeping things fresh and it’s awesome when you find a kanji/vocab that you already know in the wild.
5-Goals: why do you want to learn japanese?
For some people the learning itself is the goal, but if you have a specific reason for it, maybe this can motivate yourself too!

I’m also a beginner here but by motivating others I motivate myself! :laughing:

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I have used the beginning readers and I love them. They are for kids but the stories are cute and interesting even for an adult. (Of course, I’m a retired 1st grade teacher, so maybe I just like that stuff.) Anyway, I do like them and when you can read a whole story by yourself, it is so motivating! I get them from Amazon and I started with Level 0.

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It’s a question of what your objective is. Simple as that, IMO. If you have a goal and reason that you want it, you’ll get there.

Just have to make it part of your daily routine.

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Do you by chance have a link? Would love to check these out :smiley:

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I’ve seen these at a local Kinokuniya:

Not sure if those are the same as what dunlewy is referring to, but there are multiple levels and volumes per level.

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Yaass okay, so I bought the three-set bundle of this on US Amazon. I’m excited! They look like great leveled readers, and I love that there are multiple books per level. Definitely gonna get all of them over time. Thanks for sharing! :heart:

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Well done! I reset last month, too, and I’m glad I did, I’m a lot more motivated now than when I got back to my overwhelming amount of reviews.
I know that the hard times will come again, so I’m taking it more slowly now, and not focusing on optimising my level up time anymore. This way I know I’ll be able to manage when life gets in the way and I have less time.

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I was at level 8 when I reset this last time, I feel your pain.

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