Goal Setting and Motivation

Staying motivated and resisting the “itis” or senioritis (when your motivation and/or performance declines during your last year or semester) is hard. I experienced this during my senior year in

undergrad and I am trying my best to not fall into this state during my last semester in my current grad program. It is tough because you start to daydream about your graduation and start to slack a bit. How do you prevent this from happening? Interestingly enough, I took a motivation course last semester. I thought I would share some tips that I learned from class that I thought were useful especially during this time of the year.  

How to stay motivated?

  • Set your goal (in this case, you are trying to graduate with your degree)
  • Make a plan on how you can stay on track to graduation
    • Remind yourself why you are trying to graduate with your degree
      • Strategies to have visual reminders of your goals
        • Write out in big bold letter where you can see it on a daily basis
        • Write out positive message or your desired outcome on sticky notes and post them all over your residence where you know you will see often
    • Give yourself an incentive to finish projects and/or assignments
      • You need to make manage your time wisely especially if it is your last semester
      • If you are starting to fall through the cracks, talk to your instructor about strategies that you can implement or option to bring up your grades
      • If you need help with time management or writing, the Center for Academic Success (CAS) provides academic coaching (including time management and organization) and writing consultation. I would recommend setting an appointment with them to learn effective strategies for you with time management and/writing

For me, I remind myself that I want to do well in my classes as a sign that I have learned what my professors intended to teach me. My goals are to graduate knowing that I have learned what I could from the program and obtain a new job where I could utilize my accumulated knowledge. Overall, it is important to remind yourself of your goal(s) whether it is to obtain a job in your career field or to be a college graduate. Whatever it is that motivated to pursue your higher education in the first place, use it to avoid the pitfalls of the “istis”!

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