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As I stated several weeks ago, I extended my Irish challenge for three more weeks. And I hated it.
Don't get me wrong, there were points where I enjoyed practicing and learning new words and phrases, but my motivation to learn it was kaput. It's missing.
This is one reason why I like to keep my challenges short--I lose motivation fairly quickly. The more I tried to keep going and pursuing the language, the more uninterested I became in practicing it for the day. I indeed made it to January 12th, which was my second deadline, and decided that this isn't what I want to do.
I know a lot of people probably see that I made a LOT of goals for many languages in my 2014 accomplishment list, and yet I didn't succeed in all of them. This is because motivation changes, and so do interests. No longer am I interested in ASL, or German; maybe I will be in the future, but this was not the time to conquer them.
What I want to get across in this post is that if you really want something, you will obtain it. You'll get past the loss of motivation and find another reason why you want to learn the language. I don't regret trying those languages; instead, I'm glad I gave them a shot. Those languages still taught me about their culture and I've gained a lot, aside from learning the language, that I can still use, even though I don't use the language. I've become more aware of the difficulties deaf citizens face with non-signing people, and how to get to know them. Some languages, like ASL, really did touch a part of my life, and I am so glad that I at least put my all into them, even though it wasn't quite enough.
BUT (dun un un!) I have regained my motivation back recently! A coworker of mine was born and raised in Ukraine until she was twelve, and she often talks about how she loves speaking Russian to our Russian-speaking customers. Her passion inspired me to look into the language, and I honestly cannot tell what is going to come up in the next few weeks. I was going to start Romanian, but my computer is still being fixed, which was my core object for learning it. So, while that's going on, I'm wasting no time. I'm learning Russian.
I know I've made a lot of challenges for myself, but this is something I really want to accomplish. And I'm gonna use this motivation to kick start my journey! When the motivation runs out, I'll just try the tips below (which I have used on several occasions for languages that have already become a part of my life).
I know most of you probably think I'm nuts, but join me! Learn another language, and go through the journey with me! I'll be sure to post more as I go on. :)
Enough with the chitchat! Here are some tips I have for you to find your motivation:
- Take a breather: although this doesn't sound like it'll help, it will. If you keep pushing and pushing and pushing yourself to practice, you'll hit what I did with Irish. This disinterest could really damage your success with that language, which is why it's better to take a break than to completely quit the language out of frustration and dead ends.
- Find inspiration: like workout junkies, language learners need daily reminders as to why they are doing what they're doing. I remind myself how important languages have been to me my whole life, and what I've been able to accomplish these past couple years. My friends and my family see me as an inspiration; after watching me put so much time and effort into learning and retaining, my mother started to learn Spanish--a woman who told me she would never be able to learn another language because she didn't have the talent to. Now, I see my mom working hard on this goal she has (which she has been doing for about half a year now!) and she now motivates me because of how she practices everyday, and has made Spanish a staple to her daily life.
- Tell people! When you tell someone about your goals, it makes it harder for you to give up. Why? Because people (who are most likely close to you) now know what you want to accomplish, and they could also back you up! Keeping goals to yourself just... makes them easier to throw away.
One that I can't stress enough is that you have to get up and just do it--the hardest part about learning a language is doing it. A lot of us (me included!) suffer from laziness from time to time--we'd rather stare at TV screens than actually accomplish our goals. Well, I ask you to PLEASE take time out of your day and start. your. journey! It'll be something you won't regret doing :)