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5 Reasons to Stay Motivated Around the Holidays

Students enrolled in an online degree program or thinking of starting one know of the challenge to stay motivated. There's homework to be completed, tests to take and papers to write. Oh, and a sometimes a full-time job. And raising a family. And, as we all know, the holidays can add stress to students in online degree programs looking to stay the course. We're here to help.

Here is a video with a powerfully motivational premise. The message is to never give up on your dreams, regardless of how many times you fail. The most interesting message I took from the video is that failure is a typical obstacle that - with the proper motivation and dedication - can eventually be turned into triumph. Check it out...

It seems the common factor responsible for much of the success stories from the video was motivation. Without motivation, none of those men or women would have made a difference to society. With the holidays approaching and the video fresh in mind, here are five simple reasons to stay motivated for your classes and for your future around the holiday season:

1. To get a leg up on the competition

Think about how competitive the job market is today. I'm not suggesting you work like a mad man/woman on Christmas Eve, but you could make sure your resume is up-to-date and accurate over the holidays. If your resume is longer than a page, try to cut it down to one. If you haven't updated your current work situation or educational experience/achievements, do that, too. It will provide an advantage once January 2012 hits and companies return from the holidays with a new budget during a new quarter and maybe even new job opportunities. When job openings become available early in the year, you won't have to get your resume together like most other applicants. It will already be in place.

2. To keep your mind fresh

If your braincells take a month's worth of vacation during the holidays, it will likely be difficult to pick up studying or looking for a job in January without a hitch. Now I don't want to be Buzz Killington and suggest you bury yourselves in the deep pages of quantum physics books for the duration of the holidays. By all means, enjoy a little break. Everyone needs a break. But keep the bigger picture in mind, especially if you're looking to maintain a standout GPA or find a job soon. Turn your homework in on time if you're taking classes in December. Review job postings once or twice a week over the holidays if you're looking for a job.

3. It will pay off eventually

It may seem like a bit of a drag now, but diligent academic- or work-related practices around the holidays will prepare you well for the future. You never know when an opportunity may arise. If and when it does, you want to position yourself to capitalize.

4. It sets an example

Many students in online degree programs care for a family. Your kids look up to you as mentors, role models and heroes. By tackling your full- or part-time work and/or schoolwork with a proactive mentality, even around the holidays, it will resonate with your children, who will be more apt to follow in your footsteps.

5. You'll reflect on it with a sense of pride

Once you receive that 'A' on your homework assignment or receive a call for an interview with a potential employer, you'll smile and think back to the time when you didn't want to complete the assignment or fill out the cover letter, but did anyways. It may stick with you emotionally as well because of what you went through to reach that point of triumph.

Just like the individuals from the video, you will go through periods of unsuccessful attempts toward reaching an ultimate goal. How much motivation do you have to keep trying? Answering that question could be the start of a future development you won't see right away. But when you do, it will be so significant that it will change your life forever.

Make sure to spend time with your families and the ones that care about you most over the next few weeks. Happy Holidays.

Contributed by Eric Sorrentino, Grantham University

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