Paraphrased from one of my college books:
Set challenging yet realistic goals for yourself; When you set challenging – yet achievable goals – you will be more motivated to complete them knowing they’re within your read.
Set learning goals; decide what you want to learn before embarking on the task – such as what conceptions, ideas, and fact you want to absorb.
See the value of the task; Understand the importance of doing the task (ie .. not wasting money on tuition, mastering the subject, getting better grades than your friends/peers)
Have a positive attitude; when you begin to do the task, look back to your previous projects and successes and use those to reinforce your ability to complete your work.
Work hard; Put all the effort you can – and then some – into your goal. reinforce your knowledge with things that help you remember what you have learned (such as paraphrasing a book on a web log to reinforce the knowledge for yourself and also to help others)
Use active study techniques; use strategies you know that work for you to remember information. For me – i am a visual and hands on learned, i do not absorb information when it is told to me. I need to reinforce my knowledge by rewriting it, by doing it, by teaching others (by the way, teaching others is one of the best ways to learn something from what i have both experienced and been told by others)
Break down your work load; A lot of students have trouble attacking a task because it seems so monumental (ie i have to read ~90 pages of english class text, as well as do 3 sub-chapters of math homework and also read 14 more pages of this study book) .. the way i am going to do this is by reading the rest of these 14 pages, doing 1 sub-chapter of math, reading a few chapters of english, then math, etc.) Make one large task into smaller tasks and you will find your goal is much more approachable.
Monitor your learning; Quiz yourself with your knowledge, do the end of chapter work in school books, ask your friends to test your abilities. When you see you are remembering this information, that is a motivator in itself.
Learn from your mistakes; Learn what made you fail tasks in the past or how you could have better achieved them and apply that knowledge. It took me many years to realize that i am not a lecture-learner, so i started a weblog to help me learn by repeating the information.
I hope some of this helps somebody, and please feel free to contribute to the above in any way you think can help me and anybody else get/stay motivated.