Motivation Tips for the Nontrad Student

Sometimes I have great ideas... but not enough motivation to follow through on them.

When I actually sign up for something (like a class), it helps me. I HAVE to show up then. That is what I am doing right now with my pottery - I told a few other people that I would go there to the pottery studio and practice.

Telling people about it helped me a lot, because now these same people may ask, "Well, how did it go at the pottery practice?" If I haven't gone, it will be embarrassing. If I had, well... no problem.

The same thing was true when I went back to college as a nontraditional student. I had to self-motivate, yes, but each class was held at a certain time and I was expected to be there. The other students would notice if I wasn't there. Being in a learning group definitely helped me motivate myself to go to class or log in on an online class at the appointed time.

Being with others wasn't like studying something on my own.... it was way better, because I was expected to be there and to complete my assignments. Peer pressure - - and wanting to please my teachers, helped me be much more motivated.

3 Things that keep me motivated now

Besides telling people about a project (so they will encourage me), there are some other things that help me get or stay motivated. These are:

1. I give myself a reward for finishing a project. Before I go somewhere or do something that I really know I must do, I think ahead and give myself a reward for doing it - like a relaxing TV show or even a (small!) dish of ice cream (diet ice cream, of course...). This gives me something to look forward to.

2. I think ahead about the big goal - and how great I will feel when I complete that project. It helps to dream about how my life will change, for instance, when my book is published, when a website is updated, or when a blog entry is posted.

3. I make a list - this still helps me. I put down things to do each day, and don't get upset when everything doesn't get done. I just put it on tomorrow's list then. I figure, at least it's written down. And that in itself helps things on the list get done.

Other techniques I use

I like to always do the thing I want LEAST to do first. That way, I can concentrate on the other things I want to do more. And it feels good to have the least-liked thing done and out of the way.

Add your motivation tips to this posting - I would appreciate that!

Explore motivation

The Nontrads Inspiration Page
Nontrad Motivation and Podcasts on ITunes
10 Motivational Tips for the Nontraditional Student
The Successful Nontraditional Student

Learn more about being a nontraditional student:

The Nontraditional Student website
The Nontraditional Student blog
the Nontrad Yahoo Group

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