Motivation and Willpower: Debunked

With so much to look forward to, staying motivated can seem impossible. Here are ways to make goals and reach them this semester. Today, we stress making goals and reaching them and it is that easy. 1+2=3. Except we are forgetting one thing. Studies show that today, millenials are faced with more reasons to be stressed and anxious than any other generation. Whether or not it is based on informational overload, social media expectations, or having to be accessible at all times varies from person to person. While some people assume our generation is lazy or over priviledged, the overload of expectations makes us think we can attain whatever we want, whenever we want. So if we don’t have it, why is that? Studies show that this kind of thinking is what causes stress, anxiety, and depression in college students.

Why Depending on Either of These Alone Does not Work

Motivation is the willingness to complete a task and willpower is the strength to not complete a task. No matter how big or small, why is this not enough? When one is motivated, they can accomplish anything and if someone masters willpower, they’ve got it made.

This is not enough because it leads to dissapointment. This disapointment is what leads to more anxiety and depression in college students, today. Rather than setting unattainable goals and watching yourself fail every single time. Studies have shown time and time again that rewiring the way you think about achieving goals is the recipe for success.

Based on conducted studies, I am going to break down the components to success goal-making that goes beyond motivation or willpower.

Willpower is different than Determination

Don’t be fooled by the common misconception. Many people generalize willpower as being the same or similar to determination. This is wrong. Many people can be determined, but lack willpower. Therefore, you do not need to have a strong will to be determined. Understanding these two concepts are entirely different can help you make peace with occasional complications.

Stay true to what keeps you grounded

Image.png.jpegYou will only be happy with your progress if it is coherent with your virtues and values. With this being said, do more of what makes you happy. Reminding yourself of why you are doing what you are doing is helpful too. Compose a list of the reasons you are setting goals to look at when you forget. Involving yourself in activities that

Campus Talk Blog suggests getting some air and enjoying nature to combat stress.

Set small goals

Rather than telling yourself you will get an A in a course or you will go to the gym everyday for the next three months, you are bound to let yourself down. Breaking your big goals into a couple smaller ones will make the task easier to face and will assist you with the planning process. Adapting a bullet-point goal planning incentive will not only remind you of what needs to get done, but what you have already accomplished. It is important to remember the little things you have accomplished on your journey to keep you motivated and put the steps into perspective. How much time will it take? How can I plan to deal with failure? What if I don’t meet my deadline? Make sure to set smart and small goals to make a big task more attainable. This will also prevent you from procrastinating on a huge project or putting off searching for internships.

Enjoy the now

Ditch thinking you will be happy once you reach your goal. If you have this mindset, you won’t be happy once you achieve it. Too many things get in the way to predict that something will make you happy five months from now and it sets your mind up for failure. Studies have linked these thoughts to anxiety. Which, as we know, is the last thing college students need. Try to focus on achieving your goals without assuming failure or success. Focus on what you can do in the present moment to make yourself proud.

Give some of these tips a try and give us feedback on your experience or if something else has worked for you.


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