how to stay motivated
hey guys so recently I have had quite a few messages asking me how to stay motivated so I thought I would put it in one post so that people can see how I like to stay motivated and hopefully these tips help you too!
TIP #1 SET A GOAL
I feel like setting a goal is super important and this is my main source of motivation. I set little mini short-term goals and the odd long-term goal so I am surrounded by aims to get me motivated.
So what is a short-term goal? A short-term goal is a goal that you want to set for the near future. The near future could be an hour, a day, a week, a month - but something that you can accomplish in a ‘small’ amount of time. Examples could include:
- Getting up at 7am every morning and starting your work early
- Reading a chapter of a book a day to improve your reading
- No chocolate for a month
- No studying past 6pm
- Keep a clean desk
A long-term goal is something that you want to reach but takes a lot longer to achieve. Long-term goals can include:
- Going to university to study Law
- Getting straight B’s in next years final exams
- Landing a career in journalism
- Gaining/losing X amount of lbs
- Saving £X so you can go on holiday
I find setting a long-term goal can be helpful, but short-term goals are just as good. I have a long term goal at the moment to work hard and get good grades so I can go to university and study history. Whilst this is a good goal, I also need stepping stones to get me there and to keep that motivation flowing - these are my short-term goals: such as getting more organised for my final year, or getting an A on an essay I’ve written.
Sometimes people don’t know what to do when they have to set a goal, but think slightly selfish for a bit and think about what you really want and how to get there. This sets up some motivation. I love having a goal because I feel like every small task I complete gets me one step closer to that goal of mine - almost like ticking an assignment off of your to-do list!
TIP #2 SCHEDULES AND TO-DO LISTS
Speaking of to-do lists, this brings me on to tip number two. I don’t know where I would be without a to-do list/schedule because without it, I would be an absolute mess. With having so much to do, it is impossible for me to keep a mental list of everything and writing it down helps so much!
Not only does it help me remember what I have to do, it also motivates me in so many ways. First of all, setting one up at the start of the day means that I know exactly what I need to get done and I want to get it done as quickly as I can, but without rushing it and so it makes me start straight away so I can tick things off of my list.
This brings me on to the second reason why they motivate me so much - because every time you tick it off, you get an amazing feeling of satisfaction and relief that your to-do list is slowly getting smaller. Also, the amount of happiness it brings when you have ticked off everything you have to do is definitely such a good feeling and it is so amazing to know you have finished and you can now relax! Each time you tick something off, it motivates you to get the whole list done.
Schedules work in the same way, as you go through the day, there are less and less things for you to do and it makes you feel gradually more satisfied that you’re coming to the end of your work!
Pro tip: however, it is important to be realistic, if you set a to-do list with 15 things on it, it looks less appealing and you are less likely to do it. go for realistic lists that are long enough to keep you busy but small enough to manage!
TIP #3 BREAKING DOWN BIG TASKS INTO SMALLER ONES
This is actually quite simple and original but also helps massively and perhaps one of the most amazing things ever. If I have a massive chunk of homework for a subject, breaking it down into smaller tasks makes my life so much easier and saves me so much agro.
Of course it isn’t always possible to break it down if your deadline is two days after it is set - but you can always break it down into two halves which makes tackling it seem a lot easier.
I know some of my friends really don’t like doing this because they would rather just get it done and out the way, but if you are someone like me where motivation needs to hit me like a truck before I get work done, this can be a really good way to tackle projects and homework and isn’t as stressful. Whilst it might take slightly longer due to the breaking up of tasks, I actually find this more productive and makes things so much more manageable so I actually feel like I want to do the small task instead of the one large one.
I break up the tasks and schedule these broken up tasks on my to-do list. For example, instead of reading a whole chapter and taking notes from my history books, I will just write ‘take notes from page X to page Y’ and it completely changes my frame of mind and makes me more positive.
TIP #4 DO THE TOUGHEST TASK FIRST
You probably must be thinking something like, ‘Jess you must be mad! why on earth would you do the hardest task first thats just the worst idea ever?!’ but honestly, this is something that can really change your mood and uplift you for the rest of the day - honestly, this tip works!
I completely understand that in a morning the first thing you are not going to want to do is that physics homework that entails you doing 3 pages of questions on oscillations and harmonic motion. However, doing the hardest task / things you don’t want to do first, not only makes you tackle it with a fresh mind after waking up (or after a break from school or whatever it is you were doing), but also afterwards, you feel more confident and motivated to get the rest of the things done which are more enjoyable and is actually more motivating because you have got the worst thing out of the way.
You also don’t want to not do it and then set it for another day, when you are probably going to procrastinate getting it done. Get it out of the way!
We all know that leaving an assignment you really don’t want to do until last is perhaps the worst thing you can do, as you take one look at it and decide you have had enough and need a break or some sleep. Prioritising this first means that you can get everything done without leaving the thing you didn’t want to do.
TIP #5 YOUR SUCCESSES ARE IMPORTANT, BUT THINK ABOUT YOUR FAILURES TOO!
This one is a great one to bare in mind and this really applies to me at the moment and is actually where my main source of motivation has come from since the 18th August (results day!).
For me, getting great results is a massive success, and receiving results such as A’s and B’s makes me very very happy and much more motivated. It gives me a spark of inspiration to keep going to make sure that I keep that up! Whilst I know grades aren’t everything, they are really important to me and so this is why when I get very good results, they motivate me to keep me going to achieve more - and it ends up in a cycle!
However, whilst good grades motivate me to carry on performing at my best and to keep working hard, it is important that I understand my failures too, and so should you. A failure for me isn’t a specific grade as such, but where I am disappointed at myself for getting something or knowing I didn’t perform as well as I should have, or an unexpected failure as I thought I had done better than I did.
From these failures/mistakes, these also motivate me to do better next time, or to focus on improving myself and my technique to be the best I can be. Failures/mistakes can make you more motivated than what your successes can, because it motivates you to find areas of improvement and work hard and improve techniques so that you can get to where you want to be - you can get to that goal!
Successes and failures are so important in receiving motivation. Not only do they provide you with something to keep you going, but they build you as a character and I think that is a lovely thing!
TIP #6 MAKE USE OF YOUR CREATIVITY
I find that since joining the studyblr community, I have found really nice ways to be creative and to make my notes look neater and more appealing for me to look at. This might seem to be such a silly little tip, but drawing simple doodles or fancy titles really motivates me.
Whilst making my notes look more aesthetically pleasing takes slightly longer, I find it calms me with anxiety as I am being creative whilst I am working and it is a really great way for me to stay relaxed. So not only does it bring me motivation, but calms my anxiety too! Killing two birds with one stone!
This point doesn’t really apply when I am revising, a fancy title will probably do; and also when I am taking notes in class, I never bother; but when I am going over things or making flashcards, it helps to make things look more appealing so I am more likely to pick them up and go for them and learn.
Some might disagree that this would actually make them less inclined to do work, but if you need to alleviate stress, get motivated or just want to make your notes look nice, then this could be for you!
TIP #7 BREAKS AND REWARDS!!
Breaks and rewards give you so much motivation whilst you are doing your work! I study and revise probably more than what is healthy, and so I like to make sure I have a nice break whenever I can because I work myself very hard. Sometimes, something can take me about 2 hours and so a half an hour to an hour’s worth of break can really help me before I start something else.
You can try having a break every 45 minutes, every hour or two hours; but make sure your break really puts your mind at ease before you start work again. You need to make sure you give your brain a good rest.
You can have a break or reward yourself by having a nice shower, going for a walk or to the gym, cooking, having a coffee and a biscuit, meeting up with some friends, going on social media, having a nap - whatever it might be, as long as you have that break you will feel so much more refreshed after! It also motivates you to get things done so you know you can have a break after you have finished your task and makes you feel compelled to finish it so you can relax!
TIP #8 GET HELP ALONG THE WAY
This is actually a really important point and can help maintain motivation in the long run. Getting people to help you can be a really good way to stay motivated. Tell people, such as your friends and family, about the goals you have set for yourself or that you are struggling to stay motivated and ask them to help you.
My friends sometimes study with me and help me with things I don’t understand which can help maintain my motivation. When I finally understand something or I go over things with my friends, it can make me feel more confident and uplifted that I know things and spurs me on. Letting family know about your goals also helps them support you which is a really significant part of motivation, because if no one is there to support you, the will to carry on eventually disintegrates and you don’t want that!
Make sure that you do have some support, whether it be from friends, family or the studyblr community, but ensure you are surrounded by people who can motivate you and who can help you along the way so that you can achieve these goals and keep you on target! Sometimes, motivation doesn’t come from the things you do, but from the environment that you’re in - which is why support and help is such a good source of motivation!
That is the end of the tips I have on how to stay motivated. Hopefully they are good starting points for you all! Let me know if you try any of these tips for a while and tell me if they have helped you, it is always nice to see what people think and if these things work - remember if they don’t, that everyone is different and different things work for different people!