The Pioneer Post

The Pioneer Post is a resource for online students that provides tips and information about distance education.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Part of  "The Great '-ate's" blog series

By Stephanie Cooley

It’s funny that “motivate” would be the topic of this blog because I was not looking forward to writing it! It has been some time since my last post; we have been going through some very interesting and challenging transitions at work so my experiment with writing a blog was pushed to the bottom of my “To Do” list. As a distance learner, it can be very easy to push course work to the bottom of your own list, especially if you have kids, a home, and a job all demanding a spot at the top of that list.

So how do you keep yourself motivated to complete your courses and, eventually, your degree? It’s time to do a little self analysis and find out what has motivated you in the past.
  • Do you get excited when you are able apply something you have learned? Then concentrate on the practical applications of the information that you learn in your courses. Look for ways to use the information at work.
  • Are you a list maker? Make sure study time is on your list each day. Do you need the encouragement of others? Make sure your family, friends, and co-workers know about your choice to get a degree. Their support can help you keep going when challenges come along.
  • Does meeting new people get you excited? Although you may not share an actual classroom, distance learning is an excellent way to network with a group of people that can have both very different experiences and surprisingly similar ones. Make an effort to get to know your fellow classmates and instructors by participating in class discussions and chats.
I read a nice tip in a blog on motivation at When you start to lose motivation, create a plan with two positive actions. The first should be a small job that you have been meaning to do; the second should relate to a long-term goal. Immediately do the first task. Getting this done will create a positive momentum. Then take the first step toward the long-term goal. Doing this periodically will get you out of slumps and keep your long-term plans moving ahead.

As for me, I love chocolate, so I’m going to give myself a little treat when I am done writing this. You might want to save this method for only exceptionally difficult assignments. :)

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About this series

Being an online student can be trying at times. We want to give you the knowledge and knowhow to navigate the waters of distance education. This continuing series, which builds upon words that end in “-ate,” is meant to offer tips and techniques for those interested in distance education, as well as for those who are current distance students.

See other blogs that are part of this series:




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