“When the world says, Give up, Hope whispers, Try it one more time” ~ Author Unknown
The end of the semester is difficult. This is where pursuing your dreams is the most difficult and you need to find every last bit of your strength to finish successfully. You have it within you, you’ve made it this far! So…I have some tips designed to help you in this last crucial push to the end.
- Work hard.
Now is the time to put in the hours, you must work hard, find the strength. This is about perspective. Imagine how you are going to feel when you have successfully completed all exams. Use this as your goal. This is short term pain. My question to you is, “How hard are you willing to work to achieve your goals?”
- Quiet the voice of resistance.
If you are like me, often you when things get very difficult, there can be a voice in your head that wants you avoid discomfort and stay in your comfort zone. It’s the voice that says: “I can’t”. “It won’t work”. “That’s a dumb idea”. “You’re not smart enough”. Talk back to the voice! Prove it wrong. Step outside your comfort zone, that is where the learning is.
- Take action.
You need to just ignore the discomfort, make a plan, work through the list and get moving. Breakdown all your tasks into manageable pieces, take breaks, reward yourself, move onto the next item. You must do what you say you’re going to do. Taking action wipes out fear. Believe me…it works!
- Maintain enthusiasm.
Keep your spirits high. Know your “big why.” Why do you want what you want? Do you want to complete your program? So you want that sense of accomplishment? Create visual reminders of your “big why.” Place them where you’ll see them every day. Be inspired by your future.
- Be creative.
Sometimes you need to be creative about how you approach difficult tasks. Yes, it is painful to sit at a desk and just keep studying. Why wouldn’t you avoid that!?!? I would! Try combining two things, work and reward. Find a new café to study at. The new surroundings can be inspiring and can be something that you will look forward to doing.
- Act like a grown up.
Take responsibility. Let go of blame and excuses. Don’t whine and complain. Be willing to do what it takes. Go the extra mile. Do it with a smile on your face. Just get it done!
- Do one more thing.
In spite of how you feel, complete one more small task, write one more page, create one more video. When you want to quit, set your timer for 15 more minutes. Keep on keepin’ on.
- Let go.
What bad habit holds you back? Where do you waste time? Where do you lose ground? Turn off your TV, games and other distractions. Let go of bitterness, resentment and anger. Get help if you have to. Put your new found energy into your dream.
Begin your day with quiet time, meditation or journaling, going to the gym; whatever routine works for you. This will give you clarity. Then, choose three of your most important tasks. This is your quick “Momentum To-Do List”. Don’t check email or surf the net until you complete these tasks. Don’t allow for interruptions. Be 100% focused on your work.
- Create a support network.
Find people who are doing what you want to do and be around them. Get a mentor. Hang out with positive people. Build a community that supports the best version of you.
- Take care of yourself.
Keep up your energy. Try to eat healthy and exercise. Take scheduled breaks. Always make room for fun and play. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Spend time with your family and friends. Keep a balance of study and play. Without a break, your brain does not work as efficiently converting short-term memory to long-term memory.
It’s a choice to persist, dig deep and take action when it feels like the work is too hard. It’s the willingness to overcome exhaustion, resistance and unpleasant circumstances. It’s the courage to work hard, stick-to-it and press on no matter what, that helps you achieve your goals. This is the time to push and see what you are capable of.
I would love to hear from you or help in any way. Feel free to contact me:
Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)
Counsellor * Coach * Professor * Passionate Advocate for Student Success