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Tips on How to Stay Motivated

I know how difficult it can be to stay motivated during the cold winter months in Ottawa. The lack of sunlight and crummy weather can really take a toll on University students. I find it really hard to find motivation in the winter semester, as I’m just counting down the weeks until summer. Although it is nice some days to stay in bed and just watch Netflix for hours on end, there are still a few months of school left to go. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite tips to try and get any sort of motivation back, in order to kill it in school during those last few months.

1. Creating a sleep schedule

I know this can be tricky as a University student, as your classes are pretty scattered time-wise, and after a night class, all you want to do is sleep in the next morning. However, it is really good to get into a strict sleeping schedule. I find that in the winter months, I am always feeling super lethargic and sleep in till noon every day. This is really not productive and takes a toll on my energy levels throughout the day. I definitely suggest getting around 8 hours of sleep every night, not too little and not too much. I feel like going to bed around 11 or 12 and waking up around 7 or 8 is reasonable for students, and you can get your day started early so you have less to do later on.

2. Get into a routine

I find I am the most productive when I get into a good routine. I suggest trying to get into the habit of routinely doing things such as getting some exercise and allotting time each day to do work. By getting into a routine, I feel that my days are more productive and I get everything done. I am definitely the type of person who finds comfort in routine and creating good habits, and I find it easier to get into the swing of things the more I practice my daily routines.

3. Make lists

This may not be for everyone, but I personally love making lists. Even if it is only little tasks like doing your laundry, or writing out what homework you need to get done. I find the action of checking off those little boxes on my lists super satisfying, and it gets me motivated to keep going.           

4. Find inspiration

I think that finding inspiration is a great way to start getting motivated again. I know when I feel like I’m in a rut, I love to browse on Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to find inspirational quotes, or even creating mood boards for your goals. I find YouTube great for seeing what other people’s routines look like, or how they stay motivated. I definitely recommend finding inspiration in order to get excited about being motivated and pushing through the school year.

5. Bribe yourself

This one sounds pretty silly, but I do really think it works. By ‘bribing’ yourself, I’m talking about giving yourself some sort of incentive to get stuff done. This could look like getting yourself something from Lululemon if you keep up a healthy lifestyle for a month, or getting those new shoes you wanted after reaching a GPA goal. It doesn’t have to specifically involve clothing items, just whatever you think would motivate you to reach your goals. If I tell myself there is a reward after completing one of my goals, I am more likely to stick to it.

Those are some of the things I like to do when I’m feeling unmotivated and in a bit of a rut, hopefully, you can find something that works for you. Just remember that the semester is halfway done, and you can do it if you put your mind to it! To end this off, I’ll leave you with one of my recent favourite quotes that keeps me motivated:

“She believed who she was, and the game changed.” – Lalah Delia

Nicola George

U Ottawa '21

2nd year English student at uOttawa. Dreams of becoming either the next Carrie Bradshaw or Elle Woods (or both).
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