Beginnings are exciting. People are filled with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. They walk with motivation and a spring in their step. They dream about an exciting future and feel energised by their aspirations. When embarking on new learning courses, they picture themselves studying with discipline and rigour, and feel invigorated by going back to being a student.
The initial sparkle of enthusiasm, however, does not last forever. Your motivation might start to dip after a few days, weeks or month. You might wonder if you have over-committed yourself or if you are on the right path.
This article will help you develop skills of self-motivation. It will be particularly helpful for those who have already embarked on a learning journey and are looking for ways to to re-energise.
At the start of your journey, you are crystal clear about your ‘why’. You might want to get a promotion at work, find a new and exciting job or move on to higher education. As you progress with your studies, it is easy to forget about your rationale of studying, though. Take a couple of minutes each day to remind yourself of your ‘why’.
You could brainstorm new reasons for sticking with your studies. Have you ever considered setting up a business one day? Would you love to dip your toe into the field of teaching? Are you aiming to become a role model for young people coming from difficult backgrounds?
Once you have nailed down your reasons for studying, you can create a visual representation of your future plans. Rest assured, you do not need to be creative to do so. Set aside an hour, find yourself a bunch of colourful pictures which represent your future goals and attach them on a large sheet of paper. There is no right or wrong way to do this. You could think about your study goals, career aspirations, your personal life objectives or any other life area. Keep your vision board on your desk or a place where you would see it daily. It will be your useful ally reminding you each day of your fabulous future.
Most people do not excel at recognising their successes. They get engrossed in overcoming hurdles after hurdles after hurdles. They don’t even stop long enough to pat themselves on the back.
There is a reservoir of reasons why you could benefit from celebrating your achievements. When you acknowledge that you are making positive progress, you feel happier. You feel invigorated by taking steps towards your desired destination and come back to your next task with renewed enthusiasm and energy.
Think about dogs for a moment. While undergoing training, they receive small but frequent treats which motivate them to jump through higher and higher hoops. With the treats, they are happy to push for bigger and better heights. Similarly, we need to reward ourselves with small treats to develop better self-motivation. You could go for a brief walk in the sun to break up the day and get some fresh air.
You might meet up with a friend after a long day of study and enjoy some thought provoking conversation. Or you may prefer to engage in your favourite hobby, be it painting, pottery, gardening or golf. The opportunities are endless. Make sure that you build in regular rewards in your schedule and see your motivation soar.
Henrietta Nagy is a seasoned portfolio worker with over 10 years’ experience in the UK education sector. Henrietta writes educational content, designs academic courses, delivers university lecturers, mentors entrepreneurs, and provides career development coaching. With 9 years of higher education studies internationally (including an MBA), she has worked with CEOs, academics, scholars, managers, women entrepreneurs, academic administrators, and other consultants.