Motivation in Spanish – “motivación”

Why is motivation important?

So, I took a few days off. I took a week off.
*insert shame gif here*
I woke up on day 9 with the crackingest headache. I felt awful. I stayed in bed. Woe is me, listen to all the reasons and excuses I have!
It’s good to take a day off. Taking a break from language learning is absolutely fine, beneficial even. However…It is not great to take a week off. It’s not so much a case of “you’ll forget everything” but when you are actively introducing things into your memory it can be so hard to reignite that spark after multiple days of “aaahhhhh I’ll just do extra tomorrow”.

Motivation in language learning is an odd thing – you want to do the thing, yet the thing just slips out of reach so often. I didn’t do absolutely nothing over this week, I still listened to Spanish music, watched Gilmore Girls dubbed in to Spanish (La Chicas Gilmore!), did plenty of Duo Lingo lessons, and listened to a couple of podcasts. But nothing that felt enough like real study to write about it.
So, this post is about internal motivation, and inertia.
It is good for your brain to take a break from your study, but the true reason why motivation is important is the kick up the arse it gives you to come back from that break. That’s the difference between a break – and quitting.

Why do we become demotivated, or just lose motivation?

The one thing that I did do on my week of shame was go to one more Spanish chat. I had told the group leader that I would be back and I didn’t want to be a flake! So I went, and I spoke and I listened and I understood a LOT more than I did that the last one.
I’d already screwed up my DuoLingo streak simply by staying up quite late and not realising it was after midnight, and I was annoyed at that I rage ignored the notification telling me to come back and practice.

How do you stay motivated?

Probably by having a good habit system built in. I appreciate those articles that say it takes 23 days to build a new habit, but at the same time – doing something 23 days in a row can be a block. However I really think that despite whatever research is released most recently, internal motivation and dedication changes between people. I know plenty of people who could never have gone back to a live conversation meet up after skipping practice for so many days. I also know people who are so incredibly motivated by the app/streak/points gamification of learning and motivation that you could get them to do basically anything for in game points.

Learning Motivation Techniques

1. Building a learning habit
By having small goals to meet every day it is easier to build a new habit
2. Rewarding yourself
The carrot method – everyone has seen that image of gummy bears laid out on a text book. When you reward yourself as you achieve something you become more inclined to *actually do* the thing.
3. Choose the thing that really motivates YOU, not what everyone says should motivate you.

The one thing that did keep me up and on it was the people factor – I didn’t want to skip the Spanish conversations. In fact, it is what got me back on track properly – I met my friend in London for lunch.

Read about THAT tomorrow.

language motivation in the spanish two week challenge

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