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study-tips 3 min read

3 strategies to motivate yourself and achieve your goals

By Emma 10 Apr 2019
African-American woman drinking coffee and typing on laptop.

Research shows that being motivated increases your chances of academic success, because if you’re motivated, you’re more likely to put effort into study, study more often and continue to prioritise study even when you are juggling other commitments.

But finding the motivation to study can be difficult and, if you’re anything like me, motivation dwindles over time as a result of the constant onslaught of exams and assignments.

Here are 3 self-motivation strategies that have worked for me:

1. Set goals and plan how you’ll achieve them

While different things motivate different people, what I’ve found to be a good source of motivation is to think about my ultimate goal. I then use this as the inspiration and driving force behind every decision I make, especially when it comes to how I spend my time.

By breaking my ultimate goal into smaller goals, I then establish a plan that steps out how I’ll achieve them. This also helps to maintain motivation throughout the semester, year, or degree because every time I complete or achieve a smaller goal, I feel a sense of pride that drives me to continue and complete the next goal. The key to achieving my end goal is in being able to stay focused on the prize and maintain momentum.

Ready to set yourself some goals? Print out this free goal planner.

2. Do everything you can to stay focused

One of the greatest challenges for any student is overcoming the overwhelming need to procrastinate when it comes time to study. You know, when even cutting your toenails is more exciting than studying? Not only do you have to contend with new episodes and movies constantly being added to Netflix, as a student, you’ll find that life has a funny way of deciding to throw you curve balls, often when you’re already under the pump.

When this happens, it’s easy to let study drop down your list of priorities, but in order to stay on-track to achieving your goals, it’s important to continue making time to study. For more tips on how to stay ‘in the zone’, check out Nick’s blog on the psychological concept of flow. If you feel like you just don’t have enough time, maybe one of these 10 apps to boost your productivity will help get you back on track.

3. Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals

Don’t let your fear or worries hold you back from achieving what you want to. Time spent worrying about what will happen if you don’t do as well on one exam could be better spent actually studying. Back yourself, learn how to master the art of self-belief and conquer that self-doubt. You can do this!

As harsh as this may sound, no one else can do your study for you. If you want to achieve your end goal, whether that be completing your degree or getting you dream job after you finish uni, you need to be able to motivate yourself to put the work in, make study a priority and maintain a sense of momentum throughout your degree.

To help you maintain this sense of momentum, let us share with you the secret to staying motivated. Alternatively, if you’re beginning to question the path you’ve taken and want to talk to someone about your options, make an appointment with the Careers & Employability Team.

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