Winter blues getting you down?

Staying Motivated in Our Cold Months

The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. Ah, ha, it’s easy to stay inside in January and February than to brave the cold and get your workouts done.

I love to workout outside and in, but winter can put a damper on my enthusiasm to stay fit. Here a few of my go to ideas that get me out from under the covers and away from the cozy fireplace.

  1. Set a Goal and then commit to it. First rule is to write your goal down. If it’s not written down, it’s not a goal. It’s a wish. Second rule is to ensure that it is specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and timed. Third rule is to tell people about your goal. You may find others with the same interest. Fourth rule, break your goal into tiny goals. Instead of I’m going to do 30 push ups every day. Maybe do 1 a day, then 2 a day until you reach your Goal of 30. (The easiest way for me to reach my goals is to sign up for a race).
  2. Schedule your workout times and put them on your calendar. You don’t miss your doctor’s appointments, right, so don’t miss your workout appointments. That said, be a little flexible…if a friend calls you to join her for a skate on the canal, go for it even if it’s not on your calendar.
  3. Join a group or create on. We are social people, so go ahead and join a group. I am currently a member of 2 ski groups. I’m positiveI could find someone to ski with every single day. I’ve started snowshoe running groups and trail running groups. It so much more fun playing with others.
  4. Plan your workouts with family or friends. I have some awesome friends who I run, swim, ski and bike with. Knowing someone will be waiting for you certainly motivates me to get out the door on time. Just be careful that your workout partners are as committed as you are or it can create a negative effect.
  5. You’ve joined the gym. Now take advantage of the variety of classes that fit your interest and schedule. Don’t be shy about this. Stay at the back if you must but you won’t be there for long. Another option is to hire a personal trainer(PT). A PT will keep you accountable and will help you reach your goals.
  6. Positive self-talk. Sometimes I don’t feel like going for a run. So I talk myself into putting on my running shoes. Then I tell myself I’m just going to go out for a walk. The next thing I know I’m running further than planned. The hardest part is the first step out the door. Help your mind get you out there.
  7. Reward yourself after you finished your milestone, not before. I really struggled getting out of bed early winter mornings to get into a wet cold pool. If I managed 3 mornings a week, I allowed myself to have a latte. It worked for me.
  8. Sign up for a 30-day challenge. I love these things. Short enough to keep my interest and yet a real since of achievement once completed.
  9. Prepare your workout stuff the night before. So much easier to walk out the door with my coffee in one hand and grabbing my workout bag that is sitting by the door. Looking for my gear in the morning just gives us an excuse to be late or not go at all. On that note, if possible, don’t go home from work. Go right to your workout. I realize this is not always possible. Better yet work out in the morning if your schedule allows. Then it’s done!