How can I motivate myself to do the things I ought to—like prayer, scripture study, and homework?
previous next

“How can I motivate myself to do the things I ought to—like prayer, scripture study, and homework?” New Era, July 2018

How can I motivate myself to do the things I ought to—like prayer, scripture study, and homework?

Post-its Notes

Photograph by Getty Images

It can seem challenging to complete all the things on your spiritual and temporal to-do lists. But if you change your perspective to focusing on Jesus Christ and drawing closer to Him, then scripture study, prayer, and even homework become meaningful and fulfilling goals. Remember the words of Alma, “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).

Focus on the Blessings

Motivating yourself to do your personal prayers, scripture study, and all the activities that you should do every day can be hard. And sometimes it can feel overwhelming, like you’re just adding more things to do. But focusing on the blessings and the positive aspects of those activities can really help motivate you to do them. I’m motivated to act when I ponder how different my life is when I do and don’t complete those tasks. When I don’t make time to pray or study (both my scriptures and textbooks), I feel guilt, regret, and overall unhappiness. But when I make those small and simple things a priority, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I feel the Holy Ghost’s influence more often, and I become more optimistic. By being diligent and willing to focus on the blessings that come from being obedient, you will have clarity in both your daily decisions and spiritual questions.

Zoie B., 17, Colorado, USA

Get Organized

I have a chart with little squares on it that represents the things that I need to do every day. Whenever I read my scriptures or finish my homework I fill in a square on the chart. When the chart is full, I get to do something I like. After a while, doing those little things just becomes a habit, and then you don’t need the chart to motivate you.

Keaton H., 14, Idaho, USA

Choose Good Examples

Choosing my friends wisely, following Church standards, and going to Church activities help motivate me to do things I should do, like reading my scriptures and working on Personal Progress. During my first year at Young Women camp, my leaders announced that a second-year girl in a different ward had completed her Personal Progress. Her example motivated me to work on mine more often, and soon we became great friends. The next year, she had moved into my ward and went to camp with us. On the first day, I asked if we could go play tetherball together, but she said she had to read her scriptures first. I was so impressed, I decided I would read with her. She was such a great example to me! Because of our friendship, I’ve almost finished my Personal Progress and the Book of Mormon. Choosing to follow good examples can start a chain reaction to doing great things and developing your testimony.

Cadence J., 14, Texas, USA

Create Reminders

Starting off the day with a prayer improves my motivation and reminds me that through Jesus Christ I can do all things, even when I feel overwhelmed. Putting visual aids around the house also really helps me remember the spiritual things I need to do each day but often forget about. I like to write my daily goals where I will see them, like on my mirror or phone. Often I will set alarms on my phone or enter calendar reminders to say my prayers or complete certain tasks for the day, and I won’t go to bed until I’ve done them. When I’m feeling too tired or want to relax, I tell myself I can take a break and do something else after I’ve completed my tasks. By not procrastinating, I feel less stressed and am able to enjoy my day more.

Abbee C., Georgia, USA