This week while sitting at my computer wondering what to blog about this month, I saw the corner of a colorful book under my main bookshelf. I reached over and found it to be my very well loved edition of the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. As I thumbed through the worn pages, I had a big “aha!” moment: In order to work smarter, we need the motivation to know we can succeed. That motivation is more successful when it comes from within—no one else can motivate you to do something unless you are already raring to go! Here are some ways to find your motivation to complete your Career Step program and beyond.
We are often scared to look internally because we are afraid that what we will find might be more discouraging than what we knew before the introspective look. However, in finding motivation to complete your program, the first and most important step is taking a hard look at why you wanted to enroll in the first place. Do those motivations still hold true? If so, great—you are well on your way to success! If they don’t (because sometimes they won’t), that’s okay too. You just need to determine what the new motivations are and how they fit into the grand scheme of completing the program and securing employment.
Once you have determined the motivations behind taking the program, it is time to set micro goals to achieve on a weekly basis. One big mistake in attempting to motivate ourselves is that we misunderstand the true nature of the time it takes to enact goals. We tell ourselves that we are going finish the program by X date, and then we become overwhelmed by the goal, paralyzed because it seems unachievable, and put it out of sight and out of mind. If we are going to have the motivation to know we can succeed, we need to set small goals that are absolutely achievable.
I like to take my day planner every morning and write 6 work goals to achieve and 6 personal goals. They can be something as small as “complete 2-4 pages in the program” to start or “smile at a stranger.” Once you have your daily and weekly goals written down, get to work on achieving them. There is no better feeling than seeing a to-do list full of checkmarks at the end of the day. You will feel accomplished, and if you can keep your motivation up by achieving these small goals, you will continue to step yourself towards your big goals of graduation and employment. You should be proud of yourself when you achieve your weekly goals and you should reward yourself for your efforts. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, but it should be something you feel excited about— even if it’s just a little time to yourself to go for a run, devour some tasty ice cream, purchase a new resource for your home office, or (my personal favorite) get a fun book to read if you have some spare time.
These are just a few tips, but they build a great foundation to success. Oh the places you can go if you follow these tips! “So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss