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2023-2024 Student Guide: Motivation and Perseverance

Motivation and Perseverance

We all face difficulty staying motivated from time to time. Here are some tips on dealing with a lack of motivation and the steps you can take to overcome this challenge so that you can complete your courses successfully. 

Stay engaged with your teachers

Staying engaged with your teachers allows you to maintain focus in lecture, stay motivated to complete your work, and be involved with your learning and performance in the course. See the section of this Libguide on Engaging with your teachers in a remote learning context for details.

Remind yourself of what you want to achieve

Create a list of goals you want to reach, now and in the future, and remind yourself of how the task at hand fits contributes to your larger plan. If you are having difficulty making connections between what you’re doing now and and you’d like to do in the future, focus on the skills you are honing rather than the particular material you are learning. Most skills are transferable to a number of different contexts. 

Remember that you don’t need to know exactly what university program or what career you’re aiming for to want to do well in school. Just know that no matter where you end up, it will never be to your disadvantage to have tried your best and achieved strong grades. 

Set goals for yourself

Short-term goals tend to be easier to achieve that longer-term ones, and they can help you push through challenging times. Decide on a set amount of time and what you will accomplish by the end of it. For example, “In the next 30 minutes, I will finish reading these 6 pages.” Small victories add up over time, so setting goals that you can easily and quickly accomplish can have a big payoff. And don’t forget to reward yourself for completing tasks - but keep the reward in proportion to the task completed.

Identify challenges

It’s hard to feel motivated to do your work if you don’t even know where to start. Pinpoint exactly what you’re missing in order to start working on the task you’re struggling with and how you can solve that problem. If you don’t understand a concept, ask your teacher for help, review your notes, and re-read your material. If you don’t understand an assignment, re-read the instructions and ask your teacher for clarification. If you need extra help, use Peer Tutoring or the Writing Centre, or attend your teacher’s office hours. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, create a study plan and make a to-do list. If your mental health is interfering with your ability to put effort toward your courses, make an appointment with a Counsellor by sending a MIO to Josie Cavaliere in Student Services. 

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