Staying Motivated

staying motivated


  • Do you give up on schoolwork too easily?

  • Do you think negative thoughts about yourself and your abilities?

  • Are you frustrated in your classes or unhappy with your grades?

  • Would you like to feel more confident about yourself, and more optimistic about your future?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s important that you find ways to feel more positive about your abilities, and about school.

Changing the way you feel about your academic abilities, or the importance of your education, involves making changes in both your thinking and your behavior.

Remember, your education is an investment in your future! More than anything else, your education will determine the kinds of choices and opportunities you are going to have in life!

Have a Positive Attitude

Believe in yourself

Have you ever heard a coach talk to a team before a game? In pregame speeches, coaches try to energize their players and make them believe they can win. This is because coaches know people have a greater chance of succeeding if they believe in themselves.

Whether you’re an athlete preparing for competition or a student tackling a difficult subject, it’s important that you recognize the talents and abilities you have, and that you believe you can succeed!

“To succeed, we must first believe that we can.” ~ Michael Korda


Surround yourself with positive people

In life, we come across all kinds of people. Some are positive influences in our lives and some are not. Try to stay away from people who are negative or critical. Instead, choose to be around people who support and encourage you. These are the people who will help you achieve our goals and dreams.

Move with positive energy

Stand tall, walk with confidence and purpose, and smile. If you act positive, you just may find that you feel more positive.

Plan for Success

Set goals

Goals give you direction. They help you decide where you want to go and what you need to do. Have a list of both short-term goals (e.g.., get a B on Monday’s test) and long-term goals (e.g., become a lawyer).

“Without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”

~ Fitzhugh Dodson

Focus on your strengths

While it’s natural to focus more on our shortcomings and weaknesses, your strengths are where your future lies. Identify your talents and strengths and look for ways to nurture and develop them.

“You will excel only by maximizing your strengths....” ~ Donald O. Clifton


We all have a voice inside our head, and when things aren’t going well, that voice can be negative and critical. You can help yourself stay positive and motivated by changing your “self-talk”.

Replace “I’m terrible at math” with “I’m smart. I can do this.” Changing how you think will change how you feel, and how you act.

Motivation Tips

Visualize - Close your eyes and imagine that you’re taking a test in a difficult course. See yourself answering the question correctly and getting the grade you want. Imagining a scene like this is called visualization. This is a technique used by successful student, athletes, and leaders around the world. Visualize your success!

Use motivating “self-notes” – Write motivating words, ideas, and/or quotes on stick notes. Put these notes on your mirror, computer, or anywhere you’re likely to see them.

Expect to work hard – Learning should be challenging, and you should expect it to be difficult at times. Just know that you can rise to the challenge.

Take care of your mind and body – Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and find healthy ways to deal with stress.

Turn failures into successes – When something doesn’t go well, try to learn from the experience.

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” ~ Henry Ford

Don’t Give Up

These very successful people faced failure and doubt, but they refused to give up.

Michael Jordan was cut from the high school varsity basketball team his sophomore year.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he had “no good ideas.”

Raised in extreme poverty, Oprah Winfrey didn’t own a pair of shoes until she was six. She is now a billionaire.

Thomas Edison once had a teacher who told him that he was too stupid to learn anything.

Steven Spielberg, and academy award winning director, was rejected by USC’s film school three times.

J.K. Rowling was living on welfare before she wrote the Harry Potter series.

Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade.

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.” ~ Thomas Edison