Academic Success: Motivation

Motivation: A force that moves a person to action, often inspired by an idea, an event or a goal.

Important factors that interfere with staying motivated in college:
  • Unclear career goals
  • Peer pressure to resist studying
  • Not knowing how and where to find external support
  • Feeling overwhelmed by classwork
  • Personal relationships and family problems
  • Depression

You are responsible for your own motivation: how to keep on going!
  • Motivation is your “why.” It is the reason to take action and that which gives you purpose and direction.
  • Develop a vision of what you want to accomplish and who you want to be.
  • Appreciate your ability to effect change in yourself and others.
  • Find people who inspire you. Try to discover what motivates them.
  • Expect the unexpected. Plan ahead strategies to keep moving forward when you encounter challenges and setbacks.
  • Think about motivation and persistence as habits that all of us can develop. Make an investment in yourself and know that change takes time. Be patient!

Use GOAL SETTING to help you stay motivated. Check to determine if your goals are:
  • Realistic – Can this goal be achieved? If not, could it be made into smaller more achievable goals?
  • Believable – Do you believe that you can achieve your goal?
  • Desirable – How much do you want to reach your goal?
  • Measurable – How will you know if you have met your goal?
  • Your own? – Are you pursuing this goal because you have chosen it, or do you feel pressured or pushed towards something by someone else’s vision of what you should do?
  • Remember short term goals help you to reach your long term goals. Celebrate small achievements as steps towards your next larger accomplishments.

Why am I in college – and why now?
  • Decide what you want out of school and how hard you need to work to make that happen.
  • What is motivating you to be in school? Earning money? Learning marketable skills? Being able to help and influence others? Personal growth? Transferring to a university?
  • Think about what can point you in the direction of your career choice.
  • Envision the life you want and how being in college now can help you create that life.
  • Evaluate your willingness to be flexible. Being in college and handling other obligations can be overwhelming. There are many options available to help you remain in school. Consider adjustments to your situation that would allow you to balance all of your responsibilities.
  • Work to develop the confidence to explore new directions.

Motivational Toolkit: the resources are here – make a choice to use them!

Success isn’t a single event; it’s a process. Motivation helps to keep the process in motion! Believe in yourself. Accept responsibility. Be flexible and adapt to change. Seek support. Achieve your goals!