Motivating yourself to study and learn is crucial to being successful. It is important to avoid procrastination so that you can be timely and efficient at finishing a project or studying for an exam. Develop a plan for yourself with rewards along the way. List the resources you will need, create a schedule that is not too extreme that you can stick to, and plan small rewards or goals at various intervals throughout the project to help keep you motivated.

There are two different types of motivation that can help you achieve your goals. The first is called intrinsic motivation. This is self-motivation, meaning you have reasons why you want to do something. Your interests, goals, and values are all intrinsic motivators. For example, you may want to learn the tango to perform at your wedding, or you may want to study world issues so you can apply to join a peace group.

The second form of motivation is called extrinsic motivation. This is motivation that does not come from you, but rather comes from sources outside yourself. Learning something because someone else, whether it is your mother, your boss, your teacher, or your spouse, wants you to is extrinsic motivation. Examples include studying for an exam so you do not get in trouble with a parent, or learning a computer program to get a raise. Extrinsic motivators are not as effective as intrinsic ones, so being self-motivated gives you a better chance at succeeding.


Last Updated: June 4, 2019