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Home > Study skills > Learning strategies > Motivation

Motivation can increase and decrease over time. When you are strongly motivated, it is easier to stay focused, to keep to the task, to work long hours. However, it is natural to lose some of your motivation when a project lasts as long as a degree. This is not something to worry about but it does need to be addressed. It is important to review your goals and reasons for study at regular intervals, reminding yourself of what you have to gain.

Motivational spurs

You can boost your motivation by:

  • Being clear why you started the degree
  • Reminding yourself of the benefits of gaining the qualification
  • Writing the benefits down and put these where you can see them
  • Setting yourself manageable short-term goals
  • Finding a source of inspiration: who or what could inspire you to complete your goals?

Celebrate success

  • When you achieve a target or goal, give yourself a reward
  • Set rewards that are likely to motivate you
  • This will vary depending on what you deprive yourself of whilst studying
  • Congratulate yourself for meeting targets


  • Write a list of all the things you hope to achieve by gaining a degree
  • What one thing is likely to motivate you the most to keep going with your degree?
  • Identify one target you want to achieve in the next six weeks
  • Identify one target you want to achieve  in the next week


The Study Skills Handbook For further information please see Chapter 4 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.