One of the best ways that we can make sure that we grow and develop as people is to keep learning as much as we can. Learning teaches us some new knowledge and new skills, and it also keeps our brains alert and active.
Learning is great, but sometimes you can lose the motivation to get on and study. This can be all the harder if you learn something outside of your comfort zone or something that you wouldn’t usually think to learn.
The important thing to remember when it comes to learning, whether within or outside of your comfort zone, is that motivation is yours to find. But how do you get the motivation to learn?
Here are 10 ways to help you find the motivation to learn anything outside of your comfort zone.
1. Find Out Why You Are Procrastinating
Procrastination is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t have the motivation to learn. So, working out why you are procrastinating and putting off your learning is one of the first steps to finding your inspiration.
There are a variety of reasons why you may be placing it on the back burner. Here are some examples:
- You are worried that you are going to fail.
- You are finding the learning boring.
- You are waiting for the perfect time to start.
- You are feeling overwhelmed.
- You are not sure where to start.
Once you know the reasons why you lack motivation, you can start to work on fixing it and getting back out there.
2. Find Out Why You Are Doing It
As well as finding out the reasons why you keep procrastinating when it comes to your learning, you also need to remind yourself why you are doing it in the first place. Having this end goal in mind can be all the motivation that you need to get there in the end.
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to learn, and you cannot say that yours is the same as someone else’s. This means that you need to think about what matters most to you.
It could be simply to develop yourself, it could be to take the next step on the career ladder, or it could be to retrain and be something else totally. No matter what reason you have for learning, finding out why you are doing it can motivate learning that you may find you need, helping you to get where you want to go.
3. Break It Down
Sometimes, you may lack motivation because you feel overwhelmed by how much you need to do. It may sound obvious, but one of the best things you can do is break down the material into more manageable chunks.
Think about how much you can realistically fit into one chunk and then assign a period to it. This could be one day or one week, depending on your end deadline.
Once you break it down, you will see that it is not as daunting as you were worried that it would be and that you can get it done.
The important thing to remember is that you are in control of your chunks, which means you can decide how big they are and how often you focus on them.
4. Choose a Reward
We are simple creatures by nature, and when we feel that we have done well, we will want some kind of reward. It doesn’t matter what the task is or what we want to do; if we reward ourselves, we will be much more inclined to try harder next time. This can greatly improve our motivation to learn.
The reward doesn’t have to be anything huge. Sometimes, it can just be your favorite chocolate bar, some free time to read a book, or perhaps even a short session to soak in a nice hot bath. Whatever it is, you will want to try hard if you know something positive is in the future.
5. Stick to a Routine
The idea of sticking to a routine might not sound like an exciting way to get you motivated to learn, but the truth is that having a pattern can actually be one of the most valuable approaches to take.
The thing about routines is that they are something that we can get used to. When you do the same thing at the same kind of time or in the same order, then you will start to think of it as a habit that you do rather than something that you need to put a whole lot of thought into.
While you need to focus on your learning, not having to think about the task at hand means that you won’t need to find excuses not to do it.
6. Seek to Understand, Not Just Memorize
When it comes to learning, most of the time, you will feel somewhat like a sponge, trying to soak all the knowledge up and keep it in your brain. Of course, this is in part true, but you must always try your very best to understand what you are learning.
Not only will this help you to succeed in your learning, but it can also help you focus if you are trying to make sense of the topic, rather than just reading through it and trying to memorize it. You will find it much more interesting, which, in turn, helps you stay motivated and push towards your end goal.
7. Keep It Short and Sweet
The chances are you are going to find it hard-going to study for long periods of time, especially if you have lots of other things in your life to focus on. This means that one of the best things that you can do to maintain motivation for learning is to keep it short and sweet.
When you study in a short burst, you will be allowing your mind to focus on that task and then have a break. This will help you stay motivated, and you can have multiple shorter bursts of learning but spread them out throughout the day.
8. Realize That You Can’t Stay Motivated All the Time
While you should do whatever you can to stay motivated, you also need to remember that sometimes you are just not going to feel it. No one—not even the most successful people out there—will feel motivated all of the time. This doesn’t mean that they are any less dedicated to whatever they want to do or that they have less of a chance to get there.
When you recognize that it is okay not to be motivated all the time, you can start to understand what you can do to get that motivation back and drive yourself forward.
9. Study With Someone
You may find that being lonely and studying alone is what is behind your lack of motivation to learn. We are social beings, which means that we need to be around others to feel our best.
This is not only in friendships but also in learning. Having someone else to study with makes you feel much more motivated to learn. Not only will you look forward to your time together, but you can also bounce ideas off of one another.
You will also feel somewhat obliged to study with them, which means you will want to learn and want to find out as much as possible.
10. Look After Yourself
If you want your brain to work as well as it can, you will need to make sure that you are taking proper care of it. Looking after yourself may sound like the simplest thing, but it can be really worthwhile.
When you look after yourself, you are thinking about your mental health, physical health, and any relationship issues you may have. There are so many ways you can take care of yourself, and you should know some of the basics if you want to focus on your extra work.
The main things that you need to remember to do are to eat well and drink plenty of water and other hydrating drinks. You also need to stay active and exercise as much as you can, as being active is known to really positively impact how well you focus. 
You also need to make sure that you are sleeping as much as possible because tiredness never goes well with learning. It can make you feel sluggish and lose concentration.
It really is down to you to find your own motivation to learn. So, what are you waiting for?
Think about what you are studying, how much time you have, and how you can make things that little bit easier to manage. Then, you can start to ensure that you reach those end goals, whatever they are.
- The Guardian: How physical exercise makes your brain work better