Top Tips – How to stay Motivated during the Winter Months
When the weather is colder, and the diary packed sometimes during the winter months it’s hard to keep fitness levels up. This week personal trainer Marios shares his five top tips on how to stay motivated during the winter months.
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In the summer months, when the sun is shining and the days are long, our motivation levels are often at their highest. In fact, life in general can seem easier, as our energy levels tend to be higher. Everything from getting up in the morning to hitting the gym is a doddle, targets are less challenging to meet and everything seems possible.
On the other hand, when the bitter cold early nights of winter dawn on us, many of us suffer from a lack of motivation however and with often lower energy levels, life can seem tougher. Even the simplest tasks can feel like too much effort to bother with and this is when the excuses start to creep in. Though motivation levels can feel especially low in the winter, it is possible to give your motivation levels a boost and you can meet all your goals, including your health and fitness one.
Here are five positive tips and motivational ideas to give you an extra warm push to get you through the winter, whilst boosting your enthusiasm levels up for the winter and the longer term. This winter, let’s meet all of our challenges and get the results we are looking for.
Look for positive influences
Having a positive outlook is guaranteed to make you feel more motivated. This festive period make a particular effort to spend more time with people who share a positive mind-set. This will help you to feel more positive, and will then help you to boost your motivation levels, helping you to achieve your goals.
The festive period tend to be pretty busy months on the social calendar. I recommend that you make a conscious effort to talk to people who have achieved an impressive feat or who are working towards a target of their own. This will help raise motivation levels, as will avoiding negative influences and people who always see the glass (of mulled wine) as half empty.
Learn from your mistakes
In the winter months I often find that this is when I get most of the excuses from my clients for missing out on their regular weekly sessions. It is important to remember that however hard you try, sometimes your motivation levels are going to slip and you’ll inevitably find it much harder to get yourself to training sessions. If you find that your motivations levels are low, try not to beat yourself up too much. Just take a look at why you felt less motivated at that point in time and try to learn from experience.
Was it because you were put off by the cold weather? In this case you can prepare your clothes and make sure you’ve treated yourself to some suitable running gear and trainers. You didn’t eat a filling, healthy lunch and instead had too many energy sapping sugary snacks? Again, it’s about preparation. Accept that your nutrition might not be spot on over this period but ensure you plan time to prepare your lunch or make time to have a good nutritious warm meal with friends or family. Whatever it was that put a dent in your motivation levels, try to put it right in the future and work to improve your performance.
Acknowledge your achievements
If you’ve been training all summer or you’ve worked up from a 5k to a 10k run, built your reps up from nothing or touched your toes for the first time since primary school, acknowledge your achievements and give yourself a pat on the back.
As well as helping you to feel more positive, taking the time to look at how far you’ve come will show you that your hard work has been worth it and it will also help you to realise that your winter targets are also achievable.
Make short term targets
Whether you’re working towards a major goal or not, setting yourself small targets to hit along the way is guaranteed to help you to stay motivated.
Ideally, you should choose goals that are challenging but achievable, giving you something solid to work towards in the short term, over the tougher winter months. Think about how it will feel when everyone around you are still only planning their New Year resolutions and your well on your way and making progress.
If you’ve got into a good habit of exercising after work, going for a run every weekend or hitting the gym a few times a week, disruptions in the festive period, like holidays, nights out and events can really throw a spanner in the works. This is even more the case around the festive winter period where there seems to be one social after another, almost every evening.
The key to keeping your motivation levels up in these circumstances is to be flexible. Moving your gym session, going for a shorter run or taking your workout clothes with you, so you can pop in to the gym before the Christmas office party, will help you to keep your exercise routine going even when life gets in the way.
Though motivation can occasionally be difficult to muster, especially over the winter festive period, putting in a bit of time and energy will help you to stay positive and stay enthusiastic about your goals.