Do you remember the first time you ever ran a race? Perhaps it was with a childhood friend down the street to the nearest stop sign or oak tree. If you’re anything like me, you started out with a burst of energy that seemed like it would last forever. However, what most of us soon found out after that initial blast of vigor is that slowing down is inevitable.
As the end of a semester or school year approaches, similar thoughts may apply to your educational journey. Many of us start out with the best of intentions, setting up routines and knocking out assignments. Yet, somewhere along the way we often lose energy, or forget the reason why we started out so passionately to begin with. If you find yourself weary as you approach the finish line, let this simple, three step process help guide you back to a place where you can reassess your objectives and hopefully find the motivation to, “Finish Strong!”
Step 1 – Remember and Revisit
I find this step very helpful when trying to rekindle the inspiration for personal goals I have set. For example, I have recently taken on the endeavor to lose a few pounds that I have picked up over the last year. Someone once said that, “Most good diets start on Monday, and are over in time for the weekend.” I must say that I have to agree. It’s so easy to start out with good intentions, but easier to lose sight of the objective all too soon. For me, it is helpful to remember why I want to lose weight. My health and quality of life is directly affected by my decision to continue. For many students, the ultimate goal is to graduate and follow a path that will lead them to a career that they will enjoy as well as finding purpose in contributing to society. So as it pertains to your current school situation, ask yourself this very important question: Why did I set this goal to begin with? Do yourself a favor and write down the answer to this question on a piece of paper, and don’t forget to display it in an area where you will see it often!
Step 2 – Recharge and Refocus
Sometimes the stress and anxiety that school can bring gets us all in a state of mind that builds pressure and actually prohibits us from continuing effectively. If this has happened to you, and you’ve been grinding so much that you just can’t take it anymore, I have one small piece of advice for you: Step away from the computer. In other words, it’s time to take a break and find a way to relieve the stress so you can come back strong and ready for the task at hand. Not sure how to do this? Find a parent-approved activity that you really enjoy (movie time, visit with friends, fun book to read, etc.) and just dedicate some time to recharging. You’ll come back refreshed and feel like you have been rewarded for your efforts. Note: don’t spend too much time away. Remember, this is meant to refocus you and give you energy towards getting back to achieving your goal!
Step 3 – Reignite and Resume!
Ok, so you remembered why you started, you took a little break to get your mind free of stress so you can come back focused, and now for the final step…Reignite and Resume until you finish! Nothing and I do mean NO THING will make you feel better or more rewarded than seeing your goal completely finalized. Set your sights on the finish line and put your heart into it! If you start to lose motivation during your last few assignments, don’t forget the piece of paper you wrote on during Step 1. Most importantly, don’t forget some very important advice from Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”