Recovering from a period of demotivation

This post was originally posted on Babelhut.

I need to make a confession. Over the past month or two, I’ve not been studying Spanish or any other language as I should. I found myself neglecting my SRS for up to a couple of weeks at a time. I was not studying any new material. I was not playing My Spanish Coach on my Nintendo DS and I was not listening to any of the Spanish podcasts that I had subscribed to. I was not watching Spanish television and I was not practicing speaking and listening with my Spanish-speaking friends.

There are many things I’d like to blame. A stressful personal life. A busy work schedule. Lack of sleep. I’m sure these were all contributing factors, but I think I know the source of the problem: me.

More specifically, it was my decision not to spend at least a few minutes a day on my SRS or any of my learning materials. Even when I was the most busy and the most tired I could have done at least that much. Another problem was that I decided that it was absolutely important that I learn all the verb endings for the preterite and imperfect tenses quickly, so I input all the possible conjugations of hablar, comer, and vivir in those tenses into my SRS. This was a big mistake! My SRS study became pure drudgery. It’s supposed to be fun! If it isn’t, why bother? Deleting the cards that demotivate

I am happy to say that I’m on the path to recovery. I’ve taken Khatzumoto’s advice and have begun to delete all those boring conjugations, choosing instead to rely on adding sentences to my SRS. I now understand why Ramses says I should read about the rules, but not learn them. I’ve burned a CD full of various Spanish podcast episodes so that I can listen to them at time when I listen to audio the most: in my car. As soon as I finish this post, I’m going to grab my DS and play My Spanish Coach.

Once I realized I was avoiding my studies because it had become work, I took steps to correct that, and now I’m excited about learning Spanish once again!