Finished the 90-day challenge - now what?

Hi all,

I finished the 90-day challenge in Spanish about 10 days ago and now I am in a bit of a funk. When I was doing my listening or any other tasks during the challenge, I always had the goal of completing the challenge in mind, so I knew I had to push myself to complete my listening each day.

Now that that goal is gone, I am lacking in motivation a little bit. I am always happy to read and speak in Spanish but it’s the listening that I am not motivated for, even though I know it’s good for me to do it. I think it’s because it’s hard to create tangible goals around listening. On the other hand, I know that if I read, I will increase my known words count, and reaching 22,000 known words and thus Advanced 2 is a worthy and achievable goal for me in the next few months.

Has anyone else experienced this after the 90-day challenge? If so, do you have any tips for how to stay motivated and keep building on the things learned during the challenge?



First of all, Congratulations! It is fairly natural to feel slightly deflated after such a prolonged effort: you may need another challenge.

Have you thought of publishing a sort of mission statement of your next goals on your profile (and the reward you’ll give yourself once you’ve reached them)? Once it is out in the open it may be enough incentive to push you onwards. Good luck.

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Follow Sanne’s advice, even if you don’t publish. But giving yourself the goal in the big thing. I was doing my 90 Day Challenge in Spanish last year at this time. Not only had a I reached the end of my challenge, but that was also a time when Steve K was doing his in Korean so there was that extra motivation–even when he started slacking and listening to Russian around day 40, which veered into Ukranian.

My Spanish was already pretty decent before I started, and my progress on Known Words was slower because I was only counting “actively” known words instead of passively known words (yikes!) AND I was painstakingly excluding place names, proper nouns, words in other languages, etc and just doing actual Spanish words.

I always believed that 20-30K passive words were what was needed for pontential “fluency” (speaking, listening, and reading with native speakers and their native content about a large variety of topics).

After the challenge, I took a month “off” as I resumed interest in my other hobbies, but now and again revisted my Spanish. Roughly my word count goals actually corresponded to Advanced 2 (22,000) and the secret Advanced 3 level (32,500).

For me, I said I would reward myself with a trip to Latin America once I hit 22,000 whereby I would activate more of my vocabulary. Then, when I returned from the trip, I would use that extra boost to push me to Advanced Level 3, thus completing Advanced 2. At that time, 32,500 words, I would of course continue my interest in Spanish when I felt like it, but I would feel “satisfied” enough to finally move on to other languages.


Thanks to both of you for your feedback. The secret advanced level is something I didn’t know about and is an exciting thing to aim for as a long-term goal.

My larger problem is that known words are the measurement of your level on LingQ and you can acquire known words through reading alone. So my motivation for reading is higher than for listening, because I see tangible progress with reading and not with listening.

So, yes, perhaps I need to set my own listening goals as suggested - thanks for the idea! It does seem to me to be a bit of a flaw in the LingQ system though, because listening is basically the core of LingQ, yet you don’t actually get rewarded within the system for listening.

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Now that you know about Level 3, which basically means you’ve finished Level 2 (the highest on the list), you can look forward to me. For me, I thought I was nearing the “finish line” (even though I know there never is one), so I was irked about that.

With regard to your “larger problem,” I wouldn’t worry about it at all. I believe exactly as you do. However, I was sincerely surprised to hear you say that “listening is basically the core of LingQ.” That’s not true at all. The genius of LingQ, and the key to its success, is the LingQing process of creating yellow links in order to look up definitions/hints and then see them again and again in context. No one needs LingQ to listen. They can do that by listening to the radio or watching TV and movies.

Instead, it works like this: you can’t listen to stuff you don’t understand. You need a written transcript of stuff to read so you can associate the sounds with the words that represent them. However, you can’t read what you don’t understand either. For that you need LingQ in order to look up the definitions and then see them over and over in context.

Thus, there’s no question that reading is the fastest way to learn the most number of words. However, it also takes the most time. That’s why Steven and others spend 80% of their time listening because they can do so while doing other things. In my mind, listen is something you do when: 1) you don’t have time to keep dedicating to reading; and 2) when you have already read and lingqed so much that you can then go back and learn all your yellow words while constanting listening over and over again to the same material.


Thanks for your response. Yes, I guess I didn’t completely think through what I said about listening being the core of LingQ. I was thinking about the fact that the really successful LingQers seem to do crazy amounts of listening, but the explanation you gave makes perfect sense and does illuminate it quite a bit for me. Maybe by this weekend I will be ready to plunge back into Spanish on LingQ (meanwhile I am reading a Spanish book at the moment anyway so I am not completely ‘off’).