7 Tips to Stay Motivated and Eliminate Anxiety

It’s not easy to fight your own feelings. Sometimes your own attitude can be your biggest obstacle. Have you ever thought about that? Our natural tendency is to look at all of the outside forces that hold us back like time, schedules, and lack of resources. But in truth, we can be our own worst enemy.

Anxiety. Fear. Lack of Motivation. These are the hardest to deal with. 

Sometimes we can internalize what other people tell us about ourselves. Sometimes we start repeating it and make it our own narrative, even when it’s not true. Remember you can rewrite that story any time! 

Here are seven tips to help you succeed and overcome emotional hurdles, no matter what anyone has told you.

1. Visualize Your Goals

Believe it’s possible. Make it real. So how do you do that?

  • Write it Down 
    • Try answering these questions: What do you want? Why are you doing it? What will help you get there? 
  • Give Yourself Affirmations 
    • Tell yourself “I will...” and “I can...” Changing “if” to “when” changes your perspective AND holds you accountable!
  • Expect Set Backs
    • Plan how you will overcome obstacles. You know they will come, so take back a little power by acknowledging them and enacting a plan
  • Visualize the Path
    • Take time to sit and picture yourself achieving your goals. This goes hand in hand with those affirmations. What will it look like or feel like when the “I will” and “I can” statements become a reality. 
  • Take the First Step
    • ONE Lesson a Day! It takes twenty-one repetitions to make something a habit, so if you study one lesson every day, you’ll build a habit in just three weeks! Try not to get overwhelmed by the road ahead. Every person who ran a marathon or climbed a mountain began with just one step.

2. Create a Supporting Environment

Don’t underestimate the power of community. Here are four ways to tips for building a strong support system.

  • Talk to Your Family 
    • Set up ground rules and get their support. Ask yourself, “Who’s Your Cheerleader?” and seek out their support.  
  • Confide in Your Friends 
    • Make them part of your support system. 
  • Join Online Communities 
    • Online communities can provide motivational reinforcement. You can build yours with us through our Facebook or Instagram pages.
  • Learning Communities 
    • Classmates, teachers, and peer groups are invaluable resources because they understand what you’re going through. 

3. Reward Yourself for Successes

You deserve to celebrate any achievement. 

  • Rewards Aren’t Just for Achievements
    • Set a reward system that will motivate you to keep going and then rReward yourself for reaching those goals.
  • Each Milestone on Your journey is its Own Success
    • Remember to celebrate your victories on the path to your High School Equivalency Certificate.
  • What Should Your Rewards Be?
    • Maybe it’s a day off, a sweet treat, an item you’ve been looking to buying–rewards that are tied to effort and commitment are made all the sweeter.

4. Set Up Motivational Reminders

Motivation isn’t something you need just once.

  • Leave Yourself Notes 
    • Put handwritten notes of affirmation on your bathroom mirror, near your workspace, or in your pockets, or maybe set a reminder on your phone, or choose a motivational quote for your computer’s home screen or wallpaper–all of these will to remind you why you’re doing this and that you can do it!
  • Use Motivational Pictures 
    • Humor helps!
  • Get a Motivational Calendar
    • Small words of encouragement can go a long way on a daily basis. 
  • Keep a Journal
    • Writing your daily thoughts and activities has the power to keep you motivated!
  • Bookmark Motivational Websites
    • A little online research never hurts.

5. Eliminate Your Anxiety

Anxiety comes from fear of failure.

  • Preparation 
    • Anxiety is normal. You’ll be more comfortable once you are prepared for what’s to come. This is a key element to building confidence when it comes to studying and testing. Knowing your subject matter is important, but be prepared for all of the other little details too. Knowing what to expect is a huge asset! 
  • Time Management 
    • Anxiety launches adrenaline that can make you more alert and motivate you to succeed. Use that to your benefit and set realistic schedules to reduce stress. You know your schedule best and what you can give/sacrifice. Make this work for you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Set yourself up for success.
  • Ready Your Mind & Body 
    • Too much adrenaline can inhibit clear thoughts, create fatigue, and reduce performance so f. Find ways to relax and calm your worries. Meditation or breathing apps can help manage anxiety symptoms and help you plan time in your day to start and end well.

6. Answer Negative Thoughts

Counter negativity to keep yourself motivated. Nothing defeats us more than our own negative thoughts. Grant yourself grace and learn from missteps. 

  • I don’t have time.” 
    • The extra effort is an investment in your future, so make it enjoyable instead of. Not a chore!
  • I can’t get started” or “I can’t stick with it.” 
    • The first step is always the most difficult one. What do you have to lose? If you’ve lost momentum or got sidetracked, pick back up with a small, easy-to-succeed-at task, because nothing motivates more than success.
  • I can’t afford it.
    • Don’t give up before you start. Find a way to put money aside for your goals. Make it a priority. The payoff WILL be worth it!

7. Create A Motivational Space

Having a dedicated space gives you motivation to move forward every day. 

  • Prepare Your Space
    • Set aside a location specifically so you can accomplish your goal. 
  • Eliminate Distractions 
    • Focus on only what you need while in your space. 
  • Personalize It 
    • Make it fun and enjoyable. Appeal to your senses. Big or small!!

Remember your journey is a personal one! It’s your story!!

Be sure to check out this article's recap coaching session that is all about how to get and stay motivated. If you sign up for the Keep It Up coaching session we’ll send you the recap materials which include a recording of the session, the slideshow presentation, and the top 5 takeaways students should know! You can also watch the recorded session below: 


Rosiee Thormahlen, Student Advisor


Free Coaching | Overcoming Obstacles | Motivation