What is motivation? It’s the drive that makes us do the things we do. When you’re motivated you’re activated, you persist and you engage in intense activity to achieve your goals.
Connecting your purpose with your goals will spur you on to persevere and stick with what you set out to achieve even when you experience setbacks. Motivation that stems from enjoyment and is steered by meaning, is termed intrinsic motivation, while behaviour guided by extrinsic motivation uses rewards and penalties.
PSB Academy maps out four strategies that ensure you stay the course and continue pursuing what you set out to.
1. Set goals
Whether it’s learning a new skill or successfully getting through an internship, your goals serve a larger purpose. Now that you have ignited a fire within yourself and know your purpose, you’re in the right headspace to start setting goals. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals use a structured framework that ensures your objectives are realistic, quantifiable and can be achieved within a set time frame. The behaviour of goal-setting in itself can make you feel motivated. Effective goals serve to challenge you and keep you focused and motivated to achieve them.
Writing down your goals and having it in a visible place like on a corkboard, would serve as a daily reminder to you. Develop a plan of action, a timeline and manage your time well—and you’re on the right track to success.
2. Build a routine and a good support system
Building a routine and making it a part of you puts you in a strong position to achieve your goals. If habits such as waking up early or planning your day or week before you start studying are important ways that keep you motivated, you want to start doing that every single day at the same time. It might be tough at first and take a lot of willpower, but once you get past the inertia, your body and mind get attuned to this routine. Once it’s a habit, it’s something you don’t have to think twice about.
Having close friends and family around you who positively affirm you and encourage you to actively pursue your goals, can be a potent motivating force that drives you forward. When you surround yourself with coursemates who are also trying to accomplish the same things you are, you’ll be able to share strategies and cheer each other on when you make progress.
3. Monitor progress
Once you’ve set your goal, keep track of your progress at consistent intervals, daily, weekly and monthly. Research published by the American Psychological Association has found that when trying to achieve a goal, frequently monitoring your progress helps increase the chances of success. Also, greater frequency of monitoring increases the likelihood of goal attainment. Tiny accomplishments serve to spur you on and you are driven to put in consistent work to achieve larger achievements. When you measure your progress, you remain accountable to yourself.
4. Reward System
Tied to monitoring progress is having a reward system in place that works well for you. Set up small rewards for yourself when you accomplish a daily or weekly milestone and finally your main goal. For example, if you set out to achieve an ‘A’ grade in a particular module, reward yourself if you meet your weekly milestone of mastering two topics. Also, allow yourself a larger reward once you’ve achieved your main goal of doing well in this module. Through this rewards system, and celebrating your efforts, you boost your motivation.
Summon the willpower and dedicate yourself
Staying motivated can be difficult; the route to achieving your goals is not a straight one and involves dealing with uncertainty and setbacks. Constantly check in with yourself, review your goals and reassess your priorities. The process may be gruelling, but the rewards can be satisfying and fulfilling.