to sit down and learn English
when you’re not in the mood… 

I’m sure you are a hard-working language learner. However, it sometimes happens that you don’t feel like sitting down to learn English. Let me give you a bunch of tips on how to motivate yourself.

Tip #1

do something else in English

You know that English is important. But if you don’t feel like learning, DON’T sit down to learn. Instead, why don’t you start doing something that is not learning but English is still involved?

For example, you can listen to a song and pay attention to the lyrics. Or you can do a crossword puzzle. You can also watch a YouTube video about your favorite freetime activity in English (e.g.: how to do origami, how to cook Thakkali sadam, etc.)

You will enjoy this and it might put you in the mood to learn, too. 🙂

Tip #2

don’t learn, just revise

Your brain needs revision and practice.

So, if you don’t want to learn something new, simply stand in front of a mirror and tell a story to yourself. Use words and grammar that you already know, and enjoy how easily you can do it.

Of course, you can choose any other activity for revision. The goal is to enjoy the fact that you can do something easily. This success will then make you feel like learning something new. 🙂

Tip #3

make learning a routine

If you ask a successful sportsman how he can motivate himself to go training 5 times a week, most of the time the answer will be: this is my routine and it would be strange not to do it.

If English is a part of your life, a part of your daily/weekly routine, you are less likely to skip learning.

So, my suggestion is: put it in your calendar which days from what time you regularly sit down to deal with English. Then keep to this plan come rain or shine.

Tip #4

teach it

OK, I know that teaching is a serious profession that requires studies. But this is not what I mean.

I just want to shift your focus from learning to teaching. Maybe some friends of yours are also learning English. Ask them if they have a grammar item that they don’t understand. If they do, try to teach them that grammar item.

This means that you must deal with that grammar item also, but you’re not doing it for learning but for teaching. You are simply tricking your brain. 🙂

Tip #5

just ONE exercise

I understand it can be hard to sit down and learn for hours. It is intimidating.

So don’t plan to learn for hours. Plan to do just ONE quick exercise.

You might enjoy that exercise so much that you simply go on to do more.

You know, sometimes it’s just hard to start but then everything goes fine.

Tip #6

get your mind right

If you keep telling yourself “I can’t do it”, “I don’t have enough time to learn”, “I will never acquire this language”, you sabotage your progress.

You must change this attitude.

A very effective way to get your mind right is to write positive sentences about yourself, your abilities and your goals. Then read them every morning and every evening.

Of course you can also do some yoga or meditation to change your mindset.

Tip #7

be negative

If being positive doesn’t work for some reason, be negative. Of course it doesn’t mean that you accept the situation and do nothing.

On the contrary! Motivate yourself by focusing on the negative aspects of not learning. Imagine how bad you would feel that you didn’t sit down to learn. Feel how disappointed you would be about yourself. Visualize that your goal is getting farther and farther.

I guess you don’t want these results, so you WILL get down to learning. 🙂

Tip #8

kill your excuses

If you are not in the mood to do English, you can easily find excuses to justify why you can’t sit down to learn. But excuses prevent your progress, so excuses are not your friends.

How to take responsibility and get rid of excuses? There is a simple technique: whenever you say an excuse (to yourself or to others), write the excuse down on a piece of paper.

Sooner or later you will have a list of excuses. Observe your list, and if you find items that come back very often, change something in your life to kill those excuses. You know it well that you will never reach your goals if you accept your excuses.

Tip #9

don’t do it alone

Motivating yourself day by day is challenging. Especially if you don’t have a clear plan what to learn.

I have two suggestions for you:

1. Find a learning partner. You can physically learn together, but it is also good if you learn separately and agree to tell each other every day what you have learnt. If you do this, you will always feel the need to sit down to learn, otherwise you will have nothing to tell your partner, and that is frustrating.

2. Follow a learning material that helps you stay on track. It is important to get notifications that it is time to learn with a new lesson. If this happens, you will know that you are following your routine and progressing fine. 

What about you?

Which tips have you tried and worked for you?

And which ones do you want to try?

A bejegyzés szerzője

Gönczy Edit vagyok, angoltanár 20 éve, tudom, mi okoz problémát és nehézséget az angolul tanulóknak. Küldetésem, hogy minél több embert megtanítsak magabiztosan beszélni angolul. Hiszem, hogy mindenki képes megtanulni egy idegen nyelvet, csak meg kell találni a számára működő módszert. Éppen ezért tananyagaim rendkívül változatosak, praktikusak, és sokaknak nyújtanak sikerélményt.

Magyarország angol kiejtéstanáraként emlegetnek még sokan, esetleg így vagyok számodra is ismerős. A Bar-ANGOL Program kitalálója, megvalósítója, és a beszédfejlesztő blog szerzője is vagyok, könnyen lehet, hogy elsősorban innen ismersz.