I think i spent 50% of my time in first couple years just building habits and forcing my self to be exposed to the language outside of study time. For example I stopped watching english TV and music, and english games. only watch japanese tv, only listen to japanese music, and even tried to read manga or chilrdrens books, played games in japanese, even stopped visting sites like reddit except for /r/newsokur . changed my computer UI to japense. Even though I failed miserably at actually understanding any of this in the beginning, I took the time to do it to remind myself what I was doing. I eventually embraced the failure, no longer caring about progress or words learned. The point was to build up the habits and to create a motivation loop, with learning a language as a secondary goal. I can't say I broke any records learning it, I think in 4 years I was N3 level? but i could watch most tv/anime fairly comfortably.