Creating Motivation in your Environment

Happy Thanksgiving Week! I always enjoy taking this time of the year to spend time reflecting on what I am thankful for. Girl Scouts, the Gold Award platform, and everyone who helped me earn my Gold Award are some of the things that I’ve been thinking about today. To earn my Gold Award, I wrote a book and a lesson plan to teach about the importance of having the right mindset in order to be successful, and I included 16 interviews with a diverse range of people to include specific examples of how their mindset led to their success.

One of these interviews was with Dr. Carol Dweck, who wrote “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” and created the fixed/growth mindset theory. (For context, having a fixed mindset is when someone believes that their basic qualities like intelligence or talent are fixed and can’t be changed, while having a growth mindset means that someone believes that their qualities can be grown and developed.) In my interview with Dr. Dweck, she told me about a “fixed-mindset environment” that one of her teachers had created, and how we all have a mixture of fixed and growth mindset, but the environment that we are in can effect our mindset.

This is important for several reasons, but I want to go ahead an explore this same idea within the topic of motivation. Does the environment that we are in affect motivation? I believe the answer is a resounding yes! Many students are finding it difficult to be motivated to accomplish tasks that would have been easy before the pandemic due to the online school format. While this specific example is not something that can be changed, being aware of how your environment is affecting your motivation can lead to taking the right steps to succeed in your goals, and your daily habits are something that you can control.

For example, deadlines are somewhat different for regular assignments. Usually, you would have one class period to complete something, but now, becuase of the asynchronous format, you are allowed several days, so it’s easier to procrastinate. You can combat procrastination by setting your own deadlines as if something were due like it would have been before the switch to online. This is just one example of the many possibilities of how to change your habits to create a more motivational environment for yourself. Take some time to think of something that will help YOU in your environment and then do it!!

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