Are you de-motivated? Are you too tired, too busy or just generally uninterested in spending the time it takes to learn Chinese? Don't worry, you aren't alone. Demotivation is a common problem that everyone will experience throughout the course of their Chinese learning journey at one point or another.
What matters is how you deal with it when it does.
When you're at the point of non-study but you still daydream about one day speaking Chinese, you a have a "one day attitude". A "one day attitude" is when you continue to put things off by telling yourself that "one day". I'll finish my textbook, or "one day" I will pass HSK. But you need to remember "one day" is not a day of the week. If you want to get and stay motivated, you need to act now.
So how do we re-motivate ourselves when the going gets tough?
Try the following 5 tips...
Starting a new course from scratch will allow you to get over the feeling that you have given up on your previous Chinese learning goal and it will allow you to build momentum and consistency. Depending on what self study system you use for vocabulary, there are many online flash card tools that will help you by providing you with free courses. You can also take formal textbook courses at places like Coursera and Udemy.
Watching Chinese TV Series' will make you want to better understand what characters are saying. It will also immerse you culturally. Doing this will lead to an increased desire to study. I recommend sitcoms because they are goofy and repeatable with dialogue that is very deliberate. I Apartment is a good starting point. You can get more Chinese TV shows recommendation here: Top 5 TV Shows For Learning Chinese.
Same as watching TV, this will help you to get back into the groove. I recommend popping onto youtube and searching for something like c-pop playlist. You could combine the two and watch the voice of China which has a nice mix of banter and singing to get your Chinese listening engine revved up. Read more about learning Chinese though songs here: Learn Chinese through Songs.
Creating small goals that you know you will reach on a daily basis will create a habit of achievement and it will also boost your confidence in your learning. Set yourself a small obtainable daily goal. I.E. Study 10 new vocabulary words. Memorize 1 new sentence. Talk in Chinese for 10 minutes with a language exchange partner. etc.
Having lessons with your teacher will allow them to coach you through your slump and it also gives you extra motivation of a pending deadline. Teachers are a wonderful slump breaker because they know your learning style after taking lessons with you and they know how to engage you in a way where you will retain the information. Every time you learn a new phrase or grammar point and you understand it well, it is a magical moment that you cannot help but get motivation from.
If you try these and set a low expectation on yourself you will be surprised at how easily you start to get into a routine schedule for your studies. We would like to hear from you. What do you do when you don't feel like studying and how do you cure your study slumps? Leave a comment below!