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Keys to Motivation All Year Long

by Abby Parnell | Dec 27, 2016 | 2 min read

There have been days that I couldn’t find my motivation, and I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve wanted to break down, drop out of school and become a hobo living in my own personal train car. These days usually follow stressful weeks full of classes and homework, finals week, or the occasional exam day. And although I’ve wanted to quit, let it be known that I haven’t yet.
Teen motivation and homeschool motivation can be especially difficult, but after lots of tears and conversations with my mom, I’ve discovered my own ways to stay motivated.

First Rule for Motivation

First things first, I set goals. I set goals for the week, for the month, for the year, and for the next four years. Having a direction and goals to pursue has really helped me to stay motivated when the “going gets tough.”
The best way for me to keep track of my goals is to use an Excel spreadsheet. I use Excel to map out exactly what I want to get done. The best part is that if I change my mind or if something doesn’t work out, I can always go back and change it!

Take Time for Yourself

Another important aspect of homeschool motivation is my work outside of the classroom. I make time for myself to do things that I love. After a long day of classes, I make sure that I set aside at least an hour to spend with my friends or to do something that I really enjoy, like running or reading a good book! This hour helps me to refocus my brain and helps to alleviate my stress levels.
I’ve also noticed that after taking a break, I always feel more focused and ready to tackle my assignments. So figure out what you love and make time for it! Sometimes in order to do that, it may mean waking up an hour early, or even going to bed an hour later. However you decide to do it, it’s worth it.

Look to Your Support People

Sometimes, when school gets really tough, I talk to my mom. She always helps me see that I’m probably exaggerating a little bit, and she helps me plan out how I’m going to move forward.
Sometimes she tells me that the best thing to do is to forget about the past and just look forward. I’ll admit, this can be hard, especially when you feel like the problem is in the now! But overall, it really helps alleviate stress and refocus my brain. As I’ve said in numerous blog posts before, mom is ALWAYS right.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Many students don’t realize the importance of sleep. When you sleep, information is transferred from the short-term memory into the long-term memory. Taking time to properly rest can help your academic and homeschooling motivation drastically, and it can help keep you focused and efficient!
If you’re ever feeling completely overwhelmed, take a nap. Even just 20 minutes can make all the difference! This article shows you exactly how much sleep to get in order to accomplish something.

Make a Plan

I guess what I’m trying to explain is that when you’re feeling overwhelmed, sometimes the best way to accomplish your tasks is by first taking a break, planning out your goals, and then taking it one step at a time! Never be afraid to ask for help, and know that you are doing the best you can!
What are some ways you stay motivated throughout the year?

Abby Parnell
Abby graduated from Bridgeway in 2014 and was one of the first students to participate in our dual enrollment program through DeSales University. She is currently studying to be a physician's assistant at Valparaiso University. Her hobbies include playing instruments, reading, and physical fitness.
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