As a college student, understanding how to motivate yourself to complete a task is a valuable asset. Whether you are entering college immediately after graduating high school or you are a non-traditional student, you will need to make some important decisions. Making choices such as whether you will attend class, study, relax or entertain are important decisions that can affect your college education. Employing some motivational strategies can help you face the challenges and distractions in order to achieve your goal and finish college.

Be Persistent

Being persistent is one beneficial motivation strategy you can implement when you are faced with a challenge. At some point during your college career, you will encounter classes that may be difficult for you; for example, you may need to fulfill a required math course credit but may not excel at math. Recognize your weaknesses early and take a proactive approach such as finding a tutor. Avoid letting frustrations build to the point that you give up on the task. With diligence, you will force yourself to work harder and conquer your difficulties. Remind yourself of your goal to finish college and be persistent when challenges arise.

Set Goals

Setting goals can help build and maintain your motivation. According to the University of Michigan, the importance you place in achieving a goal can contribute to your motivation. Try setting reasonable short-term goals that will allow you to experience success. For example, your professor may assign a research paper that is due in fifteen weeks. Break the task into several short-term goals to avoid being overwhelmed and so that the final project becomes less daunting to manage. As you achieve each short-term goal, you are strengthening your motivation, preventing frustrations and moving toward accomplishing your goal.

Remain Focused

Remain focused on your academic courses. When you sit down to study, find a quiet place to avoid distractions. A library is a good place because it is free from television and music. Be sure to set aside time that you will devote strictly to studying. If a computer is necessary to complete your assignments, refrain from visiting social networking sites, which can be visited in your free time. In addition, finding an isolated space in which to study will help you avoid friends and other people who may distract you from studying.


Reward yourself when you complete a goal, especially short-term goals. Rewards can increase your motivation to complete tasks. The University of Michigan recommends that, “you balance the reward with the completion of the task.” For example, if you completed work in a chapter, award yourself by watching a movie. Extra rewards should not be awarded for large goals such as grades. Although grades can be a motivation for success, focusing solely on grades can lead to further anxiety.

Other Considerations

Be honest with yourself about the things you value as important. Evaluate and make a priority list, and then create goals based upon your priorities. Also, be realistic about your goals, expectations and circumstances. If you find that your goals or expectations are set too high or that you cannot attain them, make adjustments. Failure to be honest and realistic with your goal attainment can lead to decreased motivation and failure.

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