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Destination Motivation

Whether you're tackling big tasks such as finals prep, or simply accomplishing your daily to-do list, it's easy to get distracted or lose steam while you work. Apply these steps when you start to feel unmotivated to get you back on track as quickly as possible. 

Set Goals

Make them small and realistic so that they're easier to define and accomplish. Try relating each goal to a personal value you hold. Aligning a goal with a personal life philosophy can create a greater commitment to completing it because it fulfills an intrinsic, fundamental principle. Now, envision reaching those goals. Imagine what that will look like and how good it will feel.

Reward Any Progress

This could be something as simple as a break to hang out with friends! Achieving important goals usually doesn’t happen quickly or in one step. Rewarding progress helps you to stay connected to the end result and remain focused. Make the reward commensurate with the achievement and meaningful to you. Some examples of progress rewards include:

  • An extended work break
  • A special meal
  • An episode of a show on your favorite streaming platform
  • A walk outside
Talk Yourself Up

Use positive self-talk to stay motivated. Don’t let discouragement derail you. If you're unsure of what to say, YouTube a motivational speech delivered by your favorite celebrity or public figure. Try finding an affirming mantra to repeat in the mirror or set a positive quote as your phone's lockscreen. 


Talk to others (parents, friends, success coach, etc.) about what has stopped you from achieving your goals in the past, and what has helped you reach goals. Identifying the cause of your  derailment can help you identify resources you can utilize to overcome it, behaviors you should consider changing, etc.


Anticipate potential setbacks and take precautions to prevent them. If they happen, remind yourself of the larger goal to re-focus and continue working. Don’t give up!

Remind Yourself

For larger goals, post reminders of what you have achieved thus far and what plan to achieve in a prominent place. You can use a whiteboard, journal, calendar event, etc. to log your progress and remember how far you've come.

Prioritize Self-care

Take self-care seriously and utilize on-campus resources such as Campus Health's CAPS Program if you feel like you need professional support. In addition to Student Success programs, look to Tulane's WaveSync for fun de-stress events and activities. Feeling healthy and upbeat will make a big difference in finding energy to complete your goals.