Having a project that you care about is really important for keeping up your motivation. One good approach is to learn something, from a video, challenge or article, and then see if you can make it work on your own site.
Also designing your own site will quickly show you what you don’t know. You’ll start to wonder how to make a responsive nav bar or an image slider for example and then you’ll be more motivated to go and learn how to make these things.
I’m not sure I’d call it easier—you’re still going to go through the same trials no matter how you do this—but you’ll probably find more motivation by taking on a project you care about. And for many, that’s the biggest issue. Finding that motivation to keep going, even when the going gets tough.