The goal developed from the moment of selection was to do the best that I could, I knew I'd have good motivation for it (and that it could help me understand my own) because I like the behavioral field of psychology. Part of my selection ties in well with the course as we went along.
I knew the professor, so I understood what would be expected of me in the duration of the class. I knew (or I had a guess) that it would have a lot to do with Behavioral theories (Skinner, Hull etc) and those have always "made sense" to me. I made the assessment that getting a good grade in this course was an obtainable goal, which was part of our tendency to gravitate towards things we are more likely to succeed at. I knew about my tendency to procrastinate, which, I was interested in obtaining a more solid understanding of. A bonus was that it was a hybrid course; I had to take Calculus this semester and I knew I'd need time to study it. In part, my fear of failing calculus helped me decide that a hybrid course would be better. I also selected another one-day-a-week course, while I didn't expect the workload to be less, I would have more time to work on the assignments for each.
I was giving up something I enjoyed studying (psychology) for more time for calculus (which I do NOT like) because I am going for the aptly named BS degree in Psyc. Which relates to self control. I could have stuck with the BA and graduated fairly soon, however, for what I am studying for, a BS looks better. And, I must admit, I liked the challenge of it. Due to my explorations in freshman year, I have many more courses I need to take. For me, the BA would have been a shorter term goal, but the BS would be more beneficial in the end. I have strong self efficacy that I will be able to accomplish the BS in part because in high school, they never thought I'd be anything. They tried to put me on non-college courses, so, I would gain great satisfaction in proving them wrong.
Losses are counted for more than gains, which I found remarkably true even though I'd never really thought about it before. I have a decent GPA but, after PreCalc it deceased and it has weighed more heavily on my mind than my other grades which have been good overall. However, my low grade in PreCalc haunts me about my current Calculus class, the fact that I passed it doesn't weigh in as much as it should because I didn't perform to my expectations (though, I have no clue what I was supposed to be learning in there so my expectations were unfair).
I think we all have a hedonistic view that life will have had more positives than negatives; otherwise, why would we keep going? We go to college and every last one of us is optimistic, perhaps not constantly but overall we're here because we believe that this experience overall will benefit us and be better than it would be bad. We're all motivated by internal and external events, and it's always interesting to examine what choices we made (good and bad) and realize that it was due to many more things than we originally imagined.