Getting Motivated

Written by Sarah:

I am signed up to take my first actuarial exam on the last day of finals week. Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of studying. I’m finding that the more I put on my plate, the more discouraged I become and the harder it is to study. I have found a few ways to motivate myself and make the home stretch a positive experience, so I thought I should share them in case others could use a little motivation.

1) Motivational quotes. I have them posted everywhere. I ca’?t open up a door, book or cabinet without reading something that will encourage me to keep working hard. I have posted some of my favorites below. I think that even just reading one or two a day would have a positive impact on your study time.

2) Study Calendar. Most of us are already good at time management and probably keep our lives organized in some kind of planner. For me, a study calendar is a little different. I printed off a calendar on the internet and wrote a detailed schedule for the weeks leading up to the exam. My schedule was complete with challenging and realistic goals that helped me stay focused on moving forward. I think it is important to note that most people will be much happier if they are flexible with their schedule. While I always try to stick to what I have written down, if something comes up I do not get discouraged.

3) Decorations. I am not sure if this is something unique to me, but when I am going to be spending a lot of time studying I like to be surrounded by decorations. Because of the season, my house is decorated like a Winter Wonderland. I have 30+ snowflakes hanging from the ceiling in my small living room and Christmas lights everywhere, not to mention countless other decorations on loan to me from my parents.

All of this preparing to study took me a good 2 or 3 hours. I realize that I could have used this time to take an exam or work through note cards, but having a little outside encouragement has made a big enough difference in my overall mood and motivation that it was completely worth it. Hopefully this will help some of you get through the home stretch with a smile!

Here are the quotes, as promised:
Studying doesn’t suck nearly as much as failing.
If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.
Don’t complain, just work harder.
Wake up with determination. Go to bed with Satisfaction.
I can, so I will. End of story.
Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.