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How do you stay motivated or make yourself do something?

I'm a senior in high school, and applying for colleges and writing responses for PIQs has been a struggle. Everyday, I know I need to do them but I can't find myself to get up and actually do them. I try to have a positive outlook on them, but I still feel the dread and pressure of doing it. It makes me nervous to think that what I write now will completely change my life.

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Mary’s Answer

What motivates me is atmosphere. I like to get up, clean, listen to some music, and let the natural light into my home. Once that is all done, I feel energized & not bogged down with what come sometimes be the staleness of home. After that I lay across the bed, b/c outside of working, I do not like sitting up at a computer typing, then I grab a pen and notebook and start writing. Nine times out of ten, before I started cleaning, I already viewed the question I would have to answer in essay form, so all the while cleaning I was brainstorming ideas on how wanted to structure my paper. Then I just write. The great thing about college admission papers is that is all about you, you past present & future; and who knows any of that better than you. More importantly, while it can shape your immediate future on if you get into a school or not, it doesn't determine your long-term future per say. What you write today can be turnout completely different 10 years from now & the person reading it today will not come look for you & scold you for changing directions a day after being admitted, let alone 10 years from now. My advice to you would be to have fun with it and do your best for you who you are today.
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Stephanie, when I struggle to do something I typically schedule time to do it with lots of breaks. I may spend 30 or 40 minutes on it, and then take a 10 minute fun break and watch something silly. And then I go back to it. That was how I motivated myself to complete my reading in college! "I'll read 6 pages, and then watch Adventure Time!" It may or may not work for you, but give it a try! Think of the things you want to do, and include that as a quick reward for having started! You are not alone in feeling pressure! Do what you can to ease that pressure each time you approach it. Even if you are just taking a moment to breathe between it! If the pressure gets too hard to handle, maybe consider talking to your high school advisor/counselor or a trusted adult about it =). Maybe they can help!
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Fernando’s Answer

It happens to many of us, don't worry. Sometimes the best you can do is take a step back and give yourself room to breathe. Don't try to force yourself to work, that will lead to more anxiety. If you want to keep the motivation going take some time to revisit the things that inspired you. Whether it be books, music, shows, comics, etc. going back to those helps to spark the creativity and keep the motivation going. Don't forget that there's also no problem when it comes to asking for outside help. Be it friend or family, it never hurts to have a bit of reassurance along with a helping hand.
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Kikanza’s Answer

Hi Stephanie.
Self motivation has always been a challenge for me. When I was in school, I liked due dates and deadlines. That forced me to schedule my studies and plan backwards so that I had time to finish everything. On my calendar I put the due dates, and I also put the days on which I would be working on a particular project. I always knew what to do and that if I didn't do it when scheduled, I would fall behind.

I still work that way. I like it when my clients give me due dates and deadlines. Those outside expectations motivate me. One of my publisher's said to me, "you are the only writer who ALWAYS meets her deadlines." I work hard for that kind of praise.

Sometimes the motivation and rewards have to be internal. So I create rewards for myself: time off, time to work on a hobby, tickets to an event, a piece of jewelry. And I make sure that I have achieved the goal I set, or completed the project I was working on before I reward myself.

Whether you are responding to internal motivation or external motivation, to keep yourself going requires discipline, self-determination, and love. Love? Love of yourself and what you accomplish, love of what you are doing, or love for the rewards you will give yourself.
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