Trying to stay motivated and performance anxiety

Another discussion on trying to stay motivated.
I’m quite enjoying learning Japanese, even as a beginner I’ve still made more progress using tools like WaniKani and BunPro than any other language I’ve tried. However, I’ve been having trouble staying motivated. More specifically, doing some Japanese learning every day.

I did have a time where I would do WaniKani daily, but I’ve slowed down and now I’ve noticed I only touch it weekly or even bi-weekly. Which is fine for building up reviews… Not so much for actually doing them…

I’m planning on buying WaniKani premium for Christmas when the lifetime plan goes on its annual sale (same with BunPro hopefully) so I’m hoping having that access will make me more motivated.

I’m also planning on actually going to Japan next year for Christmas from Dec - Jan with some friends, and I’m most probably going to be the most fluent out of the three of us, so I want to make sure I get motivated and know enough by the end of next year to comfortably enjoy the trip and see my efforts not be in vain.

So to put it simply, can anyone recommend some ways on staying motivated? What did you do to make sure you remembered to do your studies every day? How long should I study right now, and how long should I aim for in the future?
Since I’m really busy it’s really easy to put it in the back of my mind, so I want to make Japanese a priority for me.

So I want to try and actually practice my reading/listening/speaking skills so my learning doesn’t go to waste, but I feel nervous reading or talking in front of others and don’t really know where I can practice these things. I know there are ‘book clubs’ here in the WaniKani forums but I’m worried it’s one of those things where I have to read or speak in front of others. Can someone clarify and please introduce some materials that I could use to hone my skills?


(Also apologies if this doesn’t fit in the WaniKani category, I can move it wherever necessary)


The book clubs here on the forums work like this:
You pick one to join, and usually vote in a poll to say you’re joining. The novel/manga will be divided up into weeks - usually each one will have it’s own community thread made each week. When the date arrives, you read that week’s pages, and then can discuss it with the others in the book club (e.g. asking about grammar/vocab you didn’t understand, trying to translate some of it, or just discussing the story!). You don’t need to speak or read in front of others, it’s very much a “go at your own pace but with the ability to check in with the others in the club for any questions or discussions”.

And, if you’re happy to try out a script, I also created a script to be able to follow along and keep track of any book clubs a bit better.

Separate to WaniKani, I’ve found an app called Quazel quite useful for speaking practice - it uses AI to have conversations with you, where you speak out loud and it’ll reply. It’s divided into difficulties and is free up to a certain amount of usage per day. Certainly not perfect but I find it useful to actually “converse” a bit when I don’t have anyone around to practice with!


I make a plan and try to stick to it.
That doesn’t mean that the plan cannot change!
But I made a spreadsheet document that I can access from any device, where I have for each day the list of tasks.
For example:

  • 10 Wanikani lessons
  • Bunpro reviews 10 min
  • Genki 15 min
  • 3 stories on Satori Reader

And then everyday I do my “homework”, I change the color to green when I’ve done the task.
Then of course I adjust the plan as I go. Getting overwhelmed? Reducing the number of tasks or less time on a specific one. Too easy? Add more of one thing. Starting to read but kanji knowledge is a problem? Increase the WK load. Can’t parse long sentences when I read? Increase Genki load. Finished Genki? Find the next grammar resource. Etc.
You get the idea. For me that really helped. For example with Satori Reader I had a subscription for 6 months and maybe had read around 30 episodes here and there but no consistency. As soon as it went in my plan with 2 episodes a day, it made all the difference. In the next following 5 months I have read more than 300 episodes and it didn’t feel hard.

As for staying motivating, the end goal is important, but more than that, having fun along the way. I have fun with grammar and kanji but if it’s not your thing, be sure to add to the mix things you enjoy, manga, anime, video games, vtuber, movies, podcast, anything!
Good luck!


I also have quite a bit of trouble with this. I used to use this heatmap script to motivate me to keep my streak going and not miss any days, but unfortunately that is now semi-broken because of a change by WaniKani, and can only track reviews on one device - which defeats the point a bit if you do reviews on more than one computer/phone.
So now the main motivator I use is my Summary Page script - seeing my accuracy and how many items I’ve reviewed does help a bit. And another very effective motivator is seeing the impending doom of 700 reviews piling up… :fearful:

But well, I do think it varies a lot for each person :person_shrugging:
And things like @Akashelia says of having a specific task checklist could also be a great idea. In fact I might try that…


Oh wow, Quazel sounds interesting. I’ll definitely look into that.

And thank you for telling me how the book clubs work! I’ll most definitely give it a try then! Thank you :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ll look into making a form of schedule to focus on and making it visible on any and all devices I have access to.

I personally don’t have any grammar book such as Genki or Minna no nihongo, but I have looked into them. I just always thought BunPro would be “good enough”. Would you still recommend a secondary grammar resource such as Genki?

One thing I’ve noticed is it’s a lot harder to forget than it is to learn, and once you have forgotten something, it’s way easier to relearn the second time round.
So my advice would be to not be affraid to just drop all your current studdies and do something else. As long as you’re doing something, you’re making progress!

Definitely! Genki 1 will give you a solid N5 level and Genki 2 N4 level. I did Genki, and added in Bunpro the grammar points I met along the way (there’s even a Genki path in Bunpro) to reinforce them, but I’m happy I learned the grammar through Genki and did the exercices.

Also, you don’t necessarily need to pay for it.

This textbook is so popular that many people have made great tools to go along it. Those tools are so great, that I ended up using them and not really opening the actual book anymore. (So basically you can skip the step where you buy the book and use the resources for free). Also the kanjis always come with furigana (the hiragana on top to know how to read them), so no need to worry about your Wanikani level, you can start the grammar now and do Wanikani on the side at your pace.

The way to do Genki, without buying Genki, is as follow.

For each lesson, first watch the video of TokiniAndy on youtube go through it:

Then do the exercises for the lesson on this website:

Then next lesson :slight_smile:


Wow, that’s amazing! Thanks so much! I’ll either watch the first video tonight or tomorrow!

It’s great to see the resources available

1 Like

It can definitely get challenging when you’re busy with work and other life events/obligations. I’d recommend trying to find the daily/weekly amount of studying that works for you: that could be 15 WK lessons and 5 new bunpro items, but could also be 5 new WK lessons and 2 bunpro items, etc. I keep my daily lessons to 10 max as I know that otherwise, reviews will overwhelm me.

If you have a semi-regular schedule at work, my tip is to try and book a time of the day which you always do your studies, and couple it with another activity if possible (if you think you’ll forget your reviews otherwise). For example: I always do my 10 lessons during breakfast, my morning reviews while waiting for the train, my grammar reviews in the train, and listen to Japanese podcasts in the walking part of my commute. Something happened that got in the way of my plans? (eg. met a coworker during the commute, train was too busy for me to study) Then I know I have to compensate for it in the evening. By the way, the time you should study is very personal and will depend on your schedule and energy - I was easily doing 2h a day before my new job, now it’s probably 30~1h max.

1 Like