Community College of Rhode Island

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Top Ten Tips for Motivation

  1. Develop realistic expectations for yourself; set your own goals. Develop a positive attitude towards learning and earning your degrees.
  2. List your motivators for achieving your academic goals: extrinsic (grades, parents’ praise), intrinsic (mastery of material, desire to learn) and other personal reasons.
  3. Make a commitment as to when you will work on an assignment. Be specific about when you want to complete it and put the date for starting the assignment on your calendar where you will see it daily.
  4. Break down big assignments into smaller parts and work on the assignment a little at a time; set dates for completing each part.
  5. If you need a jump start on assignments, complete small, easier tasks first in order to build your confidence.
  6. Ask for help if you don’t understand an assignment. Obtaining clarification from a professor or tutor may put you back on the right track and decrease frustration.
  7. Find ways to relate class material and assignments to your life or future career.
  8. Find ways to deal with distracting personal problems that are making it difficult for you to focus on academics.
  9. Minimize self-defeating behaviors and thoughts (e.g., procrastination, low confidence, wanting a "perfect" product) which are impeding academic achievement. Look for small improvements and small successes, as you can change behaviors.
  10. Reward yourself when you finish each task and complete an assignment. Feel good about what you have accomplished, don’t just focus on what’s left to complete.

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Last Updated: 10/31/13