In learning process motivation is crucial. Motivation should be strong and really your personal.
What is motivation? Different Kinds
Motivation is a strong emotional state, inner energy, that provides willingness and true intention to take actual steps.
Motivation can be internal and external.
- “Son, you need to learn the Russian language in order to pass the exam” – that’s an example of external motivation.
- “I want to learn Russian and go travelling to Moscow to make my dream come true” – that’s an example of internal motivation.
Your internal motivation is a very powerful tool, that gives you energy to reach your goals. But one shouldn’t underestimate the external motivation.
How to increase the level of motivation?
Take a clean sheet of paper and put down your answer to the following question: “Why do you want to learn Russian? What will you get as a result? What benefits are there for you? Maybe some new opportunities or delight?”
Put together a list of no less than 10 things, that really inspire you. Not everything and not always will work for you perfectly well. Perhaps, the results will come not as quickly as you wish for them to. At such bitter times just get that list and read it once again. Remind yourself, why you began the journey of studying in the first place. That list is a great source of your internal motivation.
And now answer another question: “What if I decide not to learn Russian?”. Make another list of several things. Probably you would continue communicating with hand gestures when you’re on a trip, or you might miss some job related opportunities, or won’t be able to read your favorite book in the original and won’t sing along your favorite song. Overemphasize and exaggerate! It’s your strong motivation “by contradiction”. Just the worst case scenario that you don’t want and would not allow to happen.
Set a very specific goal
It must be challenging, but achievable. And make sure to set the deadline for your goal.
You can boost your internal motivation with the help of external factors, but in isolation they usually don’t work. A declaration can become a good additional trigger . Make a promise to your friends, that you will spend no less than 1-2 hours a day for learning the Russian language. And if you miss at least one day, you’ll give $200 to each of those friends. Choose the amount of money that you’d be reluctant to give away. If you have a public online page you can make a promise to your followers.
Company with similar interests helps keeping your motivation on high level
Surround yourself with people who also learn Russian. For sure you will have same difficulties. Support each other and exchange experience – how you managed to get over with deadlock situations.
Explain to others what you’ve puzzled out yourself recently. It helps not only to remember and understand the material better, but also increases the level of motivation and confidence.
Eat elephant one bite at a time
Very often one can get frustrated, because the goal seems too big and beyond one’s reach. Start speaking a new language – is a huge goal indeed. So make a detailed action plan.
That’s a great tool, that really works. Draw a checklist and tick off tasks in checkboxes during the day. While doing it don’t forget to praise yourself – “Great job! I learned something new and got one step closer to speaking Russian fluently.” Praise and reward yourself – those little joys will help you to move on.
Why not enjoying the process itself? Learning isn’t bound to be boring. If you like communicating and making new friends, go visit conversational clubs in your city or find a Russian language buddy online.
Your negative past experience can play against you. If you used to learn a foreign language and now don’t remember a thing, then it’ll be more difficult for you to push yourself and spend time, perhaps even money for studies. It’s important to understand, why things went that way. Perhaps, you gave up too soon.
A goal is a dream with a deadline.
- I will learn 500 the most frequently used words in a week. For that matter I will use the method of interval repetition.
- The next 7 days will be devoted to the Tenses in Russian.
- The following week I will be developing my listening skills.
The more specific your steps are, the less frightening your goal will seem to you. People are scared of everything that they don’t understand. Besides, such checkpoints let you keep record of intermediate results.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
Learning a foreign language can be compared with climbing an ice slide. You need to get to the top fast. In the matter of learning languages the conditional point of no return is somewhere on the level a bit higher above the average. After reaching that point, you may support the language level, but your movement to it should be rapid and determined.
Even if you set a definite goal and plan steps to it, be tolerant to things that may go wrong. Make plans for three scenarios:
That’s the recipe for success, which I learnt from Isaac Pintosevich. Stay focused on your 100% scenario, under all circumstances accomplish the minimum, and strive for the maimum.
Learn Russian – it will open new world and new opportunities for you!