5 Motivational Strategies for Students in Technical School
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your future? Do you get discouraged from achieving your career goals? You are not alone. When motivation runs low, it’s essential to stay focused on what matters. Use these simple strategies to feel motivated more frequently – and work through the times when you don’t.
- Remember why you’re here.
- Set mini-goals.
Your motivation for studying and completing your program go beyond simply starting or advancing your career. Did you decide to go to school so you could do something you care about every day? Or maybe it’s so you can provide a better life for your family. Whatever the reason, write it down on a few sticky notes, and place them somewhere you will see them often – on your desk, computer, dashboard, or refrigerator. Remind yourself why the small things you do today can make a difference to your future.
Completing an educational program and starting or switching careers can feel overwhelming because they might take more than a few weeks or months to attain. Set short-term goals that can symbolize your progress and give you inspiration to study along the way. Short-term goals could include:
- Mastering one new skill
- Asking your instructor for help with one topic
- Hosting a study group
- Improving your grade on an exam or in a course
- Sticking to a study schedule
- Attending every class
As you set a few short-term goals that are easier to attain, you’ll be able to mark your progress toward achieving your long-term goal. Notice the progress you’re making every day so you can gain extra motivation for studying and achieving your goal.
By talking to people about your goals, you can build a team of supporters who want to see you succeed. You might feel vulnerable talking about your goals at first; that’s a sign that you’re being honest about something that matters to you. When those around you – your family, friends, and instructors – understand what you want to achieve, they can help you along the way. Your family can be understanding when you need to spend time in school, your friends can encourage you, and your instructors can hold you accountable. Share your long- and short-term goals so you have a community of support during this time of transition.
You’re likely making some sacrifices to achieve your goals. You might be spending less time with your family and friends, spending more time in the shop or classroom, and investing in your education. While sacrifices are necessary to make life changes, it can be difficult for students to stay motivated when they place too many limitations on themselves. Remember to celebrate when you achieve any of the mini-goals on your list. Whether it’s treating yourself to your favorite restaurant or taking a relaxing walk, small rewards can mark your progress and keep you motivated to work toward the next reward.
Sometimes, you do everything you can to stay motivated to study and achieve your goals, and you still feel overwhelmed. When this happens, it’s time to reach out to your community of support. Explain your feelings to your family and friends. Ask your coworkers to take an extra shift for you. Ask your instructors for help with the materials, equipment, or concepts. Your community cares about you and wants to see you succeed. Asking for help shows that you are truly committed to achieving your goals. It shows that you’ve set goals worthy of achieving.
Try these motivational strategies for a week. See if you feel more motivated to reaching your goals, and better-equipped to achieve them.
*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.