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How to get motivated

Do you ever get those moments where you just feel stuck in a rut and have zero motivation? Well, you’re not alone. Finding motivation can be a tricky thing to master and even the thought of it can leave you feeling quite drained – but it is possible! If you’re struggling with finding motivation on a personal or study-related level, grab yourself a cup of tea and read our tips on how to get motivated.


Go back to basics and set yourself a mini target

First thing’s first, take a step back and go back to basics. Think about what you enjoy the most (whether that’s something to do with your course or in life general) and reflect on the achievements you’ve made so far. By going back to basics, you can think about and analyse your actions and re-evaluate what else you want to achieve. If you’re struggling to find motivation to go to the gym, think about the last time you visited and how good it made you feel. As well as that, think about why you first started going to the gym and consider whether those reasons have changed.

Next, think about your original goal and understand that it’s still possible if you make the time to do it. You could take the gym example and apply it to the struggle of planning your next assignment or making time to meet with your friends. Lastly, set yourself mini goals. By doing so, you’re being realistic and once you achieve them, you’ll feel ready to tackle the big ones. And you never know by taking it in small stages, you could even achieve the bigger target without realising!

Think positively and be mindful

Granted, this one can be particularly tricky if you’re feeling a bit low. Our minds tend to work in a cycle and if we think negatively on a regular basis, it becomes the norm. Instead, spend some time thinking about 5 things you are proud of that you’ve achieved today and make a note of them each day. Whether it’s waking up early, making a nice breakfast, walking to University, asking a question in a lecture, going to the gym or catching-up on your reading list – all these things matter and it’s the little things which make you feel proud. And by feeling proud of what you’ve achieved, you’ll feel better which will help you to think positively and in turn help you find more motivation to continue being awesome.

If you want to explore mindfulness even more, go along to one of the regular Mindfulness Meditation Sessions run by the University’s Counselling Service.

The My Learning Essentials team also provide sessions specifically targeted at helping you understand why you lack motivation and how you can discover strategies to help you break these habits. For more details on upcoming workshops click here.

Take some time away and do something you enjoy

If you feel like you’re in a rut, take some time to do something you enjoy. Quite often we need to break-up moments of boredom or gloom with something we enjoy. Think about when you’re studying for your exams and how you need to balance it out with things that can help you relax. So, instead of worrying or getting frustrated with a lack of motivation – go out and do something you enjoy. Perhaps you fancy going on a walk in the park or catching up with your friend over a hot chocolate, during these moments you may even find that spark of motivation you’re looking for!

Other things you can do:

  • Open up to your friends and family and tell them you’re not feeling motivated. By sharing this, they may be able to help you and set you back on the track to motivation central.
  • If you’re struggling to find motivation with your studies, find an inspiring place to study. Perhaps your local coffee shop could be the place? Or why not head to the epic John Rylands Library and study in a place surrounded by history?
  • If you want to reach out and talk to someone about your course, speak with your Academic Advisor or visit the Student Support team who can help you with your academic or personal issues.
  • Finally, go along to an upcoming careers event to speak with inspiring alumni, businesses and the friendly Careers Service team – you never know what you’ll discover by doing so!