3 Super Easy Ways to Maintain Motivation

If you are like me, staying motivated when trying to learn a language can be extremely hard. It takes several months if not years to get to a good level, and even seeing some progress can take a couple months.

So how can you stay motivated every day for that long? It’s a big question to answer, and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to keep not only my students, but also myself motivated to continue learning and improving.

This is what typically happens…

You buy a new course and get really excited about the results it can bring. So for about a week (or even just a couple days) you study the content consistently.

But then something changes inside of you and you start to find other things to do, losing interest in that promising English course.

Eventually you give up completely, and the English course ends up in your hard drive “cemetery”, never to be seen again.

Bye bye, English fluency.

So what can you do to stay on track?

Here are 3 tactics that can really help you stay motivated. And they aren’t just philosophies or ideas, they are actionable ways that will help you maintain your English learning motivation.

1) Do something extremely easy

Have you ever noticed how we literally resist doing things that are important? I find that totally crazy, and it sucks. Our brains are not always our best friends.

Here’s an example:

You’re on episode 6 of that new series you’re addicted to on Netflix, and have been fighting with yourself over not getting up and reading that news article in English that you’re teacher told you to read.

It’s a constant battle in your head, and you keep finding the littlest reasons (excuses) to not get off your lazy butt and do something productive.

So, my advice is, don’t get off your lazy butt!

Often the reason we avoid doing the important tasks in our day is that we see them as uncomfortable and not fun. We assume we will feel bored and annoyed, so we avoid doing anything unpleasant. Your brain wants to be comfortable. Why wouldn’t it? Comfortable is pleasant.

english habitsYou have to fight back, and by doing something as simple as taking out your phone and opening up an app like Memrise or Duolingo for even just 1 minute, you can get momentum going.

Just do something, anything, in English for ONE MINUTE!

And you know what usually will happen? All of sudden that battle inside your brain will stop and you’ll think, “hmm, this actually doesn’t feel as bad as I thought. I think I’ll practice for a few more minutes.”

You could also talk on Cambly for a couple of minutes. Having a conversation in English is always motivating, especially if it’s informal and not too long. Cambly is perfect for that.

The key is to accept that even one minute can help. Think small!

2) Using accountability

Accountability = expected or required to account for one’s actions. 

When someone else is expecting you to do something, your desire to get that thing done can increase tremendously. And it doesn’t have to be your boss or your mother. It can be a friend, or you can find someone online

Once I was working with a coach and I wanted to get over my habit of pressing the “snooze” button on my alarm. That means that when my alarm went off, I couldn’t push the button that delays the alarm for ten more minutes.

I had always pushed the snooze button, but felt like it wasn’t good for me. I’d wake up feeling lazy.

So I made a bet with him; if I hit the snooze button anytime during the next two weeks I would need to pay him $25.

Language accountability Well, I didn’t need to pay him $25. And after a  few weeks, it was easy to wake up as soon as my alarm went off. No more snooze button.

You can use this same strategy with English.

A couple options:

1) Make a bet with someone that if you miss more than two consecutive days without practicing English you will pay them money or give them something.

2) Use websites like this one that have brilliant systems to keep you accountable.

3) Hire a coach

3) Use the phone app Habitica

Habitica (HabitRPG for Android) is freaking cool!

I’ve been using it for a few weeks now for not just my Spanish learning, but for personal and business habits as well.habitica for english

If you have ever played RPG’s then you will understand how it works.

Maintaining your daily tasks, sticking to your habits, and completing positive activities in your day will give you points. With these points you can give yourself “real” rewards (like a glass of wine) or you can buy items within the video game.

So far I’ve experienced positive results with Habitica. “Gamifying” (is that a word?) your life and habits seems to work somehow. It’s magic. 😉

There are tons of possibilities with this app. If you’d like to learn more there is a free Udemy course on it.

So there you have it. Three actionable things you can try to maintain motivation in your English learning.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about these. Have you tried any of them and seen results? What about Habitica? If you haven’t heard of it and you like RPG’s or phone apps (or both) check it out!

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