5 Ways to Improve Motivation During Second Semester

First semester is my favorite. Between football games, fall weather, and holidays, it seems that there’s always a good reason to wake up in the morning. Second semester, however, is much different. For the first two months, it’s dark and cold in the morning and early morning classes are not what I enjoy having. As I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, I started to think that there has to be an easier and happier way to begin my days. I started to ask my friends what they do to keep their motivation high. A lot of them said they don’t; that they have zero motivation all the time which is relatable. Others, however, had some really amazing ideas that seem to help their daily routines flow better. Here are 5 tips for staying motivated during these winter days:


1. Go to bed earlier

This one is self-explanatory and I’m sure you’ve heard it before. The more sleep you get, the easier it is for you to wake up in the morning. Sleep deprivation also has a much greater effect on the body than you think. A tip for getting to bed earlier is simply set a specific bedtime. Make sure you are finished with homework, cleaning, showering, etc. before this set time. If you are pulling all-nighters in order to study for that big exam, you may end up doing worse. As my one friend used to say, “If I don’t know it by 10:45, I won’t know it later.” Going to bed earlier means you may only have to hit snooze once instead of five times like me. This will put you in a better mood when waking up and boost your drive to accomplish tasks.

2. Make a playlist

You know those songs that always put you in a good mood? Those should be accessible at all times. Make a playlist titled “Girl Boss” or “Hustle” and give it a listen whenever you can; in the shower, when getting dressed or even when walking to and from class. I usually hit a midday crash when I’m studying, so I’ll pop my headphones in and call up my favorite songs. They always put me in a good mood and give me a chance to gather my thoughts in order to start studying again.

3. Take a break

Studying is no fun but we all have to do it. But studying all day everyday can get old very quickly. When I study, I give myself little breaks after a certain amount of time. I get up and walk around. Sometimes, I’ll go back to my room and make tea. I do not watch anything or listen to music. I like to sit and clear my head and reflect on what I just learned. Sometimes I grab a snack and then go back to my studies. When I get back from my room, I fill up my water and begin again until I feel like I need another break. I like to make my breaks at least a half an hour at a time but I do not take too many. 30 minutes is enough time to wash my face and brush my teeth or even take a quick nap. Make use of your 30 minutes by relaxing and doing what makes you feel good.

4. Exercise

Not everyone enjoys going to the gym, but I encourage it. It makes me feel more awake and feel better about myself. Exercise is also proven to improve energy and reduce levels of fatigue. It is also proven to improve brain function and memory/thinking skills. If you are successful at motivating yourself to get to the gym, you’ll have no problem doing work or studying. But you do not have to go crazy during your workout. Just walk for an hour and maybe bring your chemistry notes to read while you walk. It makes the time go faster and you’re multitasking.

5. Remind yourself what your goals are

Sometimes I have to sit down and ask myself where I’m going from here. Why am I taking this class again? Oh right, because I want to graduate with an engineering degree. I have to tell myself that I am doing this for a reason and that I have to work hard. Knowing that my hard work will pay off in the end is what tells me to keep going. I always remember that there’s someone out there who has it worse than me. Tell yourself why you are in the place in life that you are. How hard have you worked to get there? If there’s still places you want to go, keep that memory of your hard work in the back of your mind to help you get there.

At the end of the day, it’s all up to you. 2019 is the year to become the ultimate Girl Boss. Motivation is the main fuel to drive the accomplishment of your goals; without it, you may not get to the places in life that you want to be. Now go kill the competition.

Good Luck!