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Motivation: It’s GO time!

By Grace McCabe, 5th year English major, Religious Studies minor

To some, it may seem like the semester is winding down, but final assignments, papers, reports, and preparation for exams is ramping up as due dates quickly approach and it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done…in other words, IT’S GO TIME! At times like this, it can be difficult to find and maintain motivation, which is why I have complied a small checklist of things that have helped me in the past and will hopefully help you in getting the wheels turning on the train out of motivation station!

Set goals by looking ahead

This is a little visualization technique I like to use as a motivator to help me get through any stressful or demanding set of tasks. Look ahead to what is on the other side of that task; for some, it’s going home for the summer, graduation, travel, a job, volunteer experience, visiting with friends and family, starting that Netflix series everyone was talking about or catching up on sleep. Whatever the end goal or result is, focus on that to motivate you to continue to work really hard right now.

Rewards, such as any (and more) of the ones listed above, can be very powerful things that motivate us to work better and harder. If you haven’t yet thought about what those rewards are for you, try making a list of what your rewards are going to be at the end of the semester. Pin that list somewhere you can see or carry it with you and pull it out when you’re feeling low on motivation in order to fuel back up and keep going!

Checklists or To Do lists

Yes, you read that right. One of my tips within my checklist for motivation is exactly that…making checklists! If you don’t already use daily or weekly checklists or to do lists, try making one for yourself for all the tasks you have to get done by the end of the day or end of the week and check them off as you go. These types of smaller, detailed lists let you see and manage your progression and you can use them to motivate you to keep on going to get to the end of your list. Extra tip: personalize to do lists by using different coloured post it notes or pens and check off the tasks with big, exaggerated strikethroughs and markings. Celebrate your accomplishments!

Surround yourself with other motivated people

Find other motivated people to form a study group with or just to be around in order to help you harness and maintain motivation. You can help each other stay on track and share your own strategies for staying motivated through difficult times. Bonus tip: Studies have shown it is effective to study in groups 25% of the time.

Believe in yourself

This can sometimes be easier said than done, but I mean it when I say it. You are awesome! Believe that you can achieve and succeed at all you have to get done between now and the end of the semester. You’ve made it this far, which means you’re doing many things right already…keep going! You rock! Bonus bonus tip: if you have a favourite quote or mantra, post this somewhere and recite it to yourself when you need an extra boost of motivation!

For more tips on motivation, and much more, visit our online resources.

“Breathe” photo courtesy of planetlight under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.