How to Persevere with Study
and Achieve Your Goals
Often the hardest thing about studying is staying motivated. Sometimes it feels like the endpoint is too far away, or you’ve started to lose sight of why you began studying in the first place.
The good news? There are simple ways to keep motivated, persevere and achieve your goals. From finding the right place to study, to building up a support network, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
1. Choose the Right Institution
Where you choose to study can have a big impact on your motivation levels. Ask yourself:
- Are you looking into university or vocational education?
- Do you want to commit to a three-year undergraduate degree?
- Would you rather dip your toes in with short courses?
- Which city is the campus in and how far away is it?
- How much are the tuition fees?
It’s safe to say, there are many questions to ask before settling on an institution. This means you’ll need to put your head down and do some solid research. Choosing the right place, be it a university overseas or a local college, will help reinforce your decision to study.
2. Find the right environment
This one can be a challenge as there are many different settings you can choose to study in. It could be at a campus library, at home, at a local café, in an external office, or some other place. The environment that works best will depend on what’s available, and what your preferences are.
Do you work better in complete silence? Or are you more productive when surrounded by other students or people? Whatever the conditions, it’s generally best if you can find a space where all your materials can easily fit, everything is within reaching distance, and distractions are kept to a minimum.
An important aspect of this as well is time – at what time of the day are you most productive? Everyone is different, so it’s important you try to find the best time for you to work on your projects or assignments.
3. Organise your materials
Nothing hampers perseverance levels more than a disorganised study space. During your studies, there will likely be large amounts of printed pages, written notes and required books – and this will only increase as your course goes on.
To avoid getting bogged down, it’s important to develop a system of organisation. This might be keeping all your materials in the once place, indexing your files, or making use of clear and bold labelling. Plus, you’ll need to figure out how you will transport your materials and tools if needed.
For more about this see our page: Getting Organised for Study
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4. Develop Your Own Study Timetable
Deciding where to study is one thing. Figuring out when is another. Your lifestyle and workload will obviously impact when your best study times are. But it’s important to determine these if you’re hoping to motivate yourself.
To get started, ask yourself these questions:
- How often do I need to study to stay on top of things?
- What days do I work and have free?
- What commitments do I have outside of study?
- Is there a study routine that works best for me?
- How will I manage my workload when deadlines approach?
- What happens if I’m interrupted?
- Will I realistically be able to catch up on study if I miss a session?
- Do I study better during the day or at night?
If you are new to studying, developing a timetable might be a case of trial and error. But structure shouldn’t be overlooked – and knowing when you can and can’t study will make you less stressed.
5. Build up your support network
From tutors and classmates, to friends and family members, having a solid support network is extremely valuable when it comes to studying. Whether you’re having trouble understanding a concept, or you simply need some moral support, it’s good to know there are people you can reach out to.
Not being able to ask for help can be disastrous for your studies. You might find yourself falling behind, lacking motivation and struggling with self-esteem. Get started by making lists (both email and phone) of all the people you think would be great contacts.
6. Think big and small
One of the best ways to persevere is to keep your end goal in mind. Is there a career path you’re hoping to go down? Are you looking to rise up in your workplace and get promoted? Are you studying just for the sake of learning? Try to remind yourself of your end goal as much as possible.
That said, it’s just as important to work on smaller goals. The ones you can achieve in the meantime. This could be as simple as achieving a good grade in your first exam, or nailing a class presentation. Whatever they are, make sure you also reward yourself for achieving them.
7. Give yourself breaks
When you commit to studying a course, it can be tempting to let it take over your life – especially when exams are looming, or a future job is on the cards. But achieving a life/study balance is crucial to staying motivated.
Over-studying can have a negative impact, making you feel overwhelmed and even bored. It’s better to regularly step away from the desk and take short breaks. Go to the local café, visit a friend, head out on a walk, or do anything that doesn’t involve study.
8. Take some ‘me time’
While it’s important to take short breaks and make time for family and friends, the most important thing you can do is look after yourself. At best, studying can be exhilarating. At worst, it can be exhausting and frustrating. That’s why it’s crucial to look after your mental and physical health.
If you forget about looking after yourself, you’ll have a tough time persevering with your studies. Make sure you work on eating properly, exercising, looking after your mind and surrounding yourself with good people.
Find your own way
When it comes to studying, everyone has different approaches. But if you’re finding yourself feeling unmotivated, consider these helpful tips to help get you back on track, persevere and achieve what you set out to do.
About the Author
Caroline Schmidt writes the blogs for Kangan Institute. She is passionate about education, careers, and giving advice to students of all ages.