Staying Motivated When it's Cold & Dark

It’s that time of year again, when the falling temperatures and the short days start to take a toll. Waking up when it’s dark and often not getting home from work until it’s dark, as well as the freezing temperatures limit our ability to get outside and soak up some much-needed sunlight.

During this time of year, motivation levels often plummet along with the temperatures, which just feeds into the overall blah feeling. See below for some tips on how to keep yourself motivated through the long winter months.

Create a do-able task list

When the weather is crappy and the sun starts to set at 5, the feeling of meh starts pretty much the moment you wake up and have to get out from under your warm blankets. Instead of letting it take over, create a manageable to-do list and make completing that list for the day into a game. For example, if you check off X number of things on your list, you get to treat yourself. This could be something as simple as getting yourself a fancy coffee or taking a break to watch a show. Some may call it bribery, but I call it getting stuff done!

Move your body

Moving your body is probably the most underrated motivator out there. It doesn’t even have to be a full workout! Just simply walking around the office or on a treadmill for 30 minutes can instantly give yourself a boost. I like to get my workouts out of the way first thing in the morning, and in the winter getting out of bed is the hardest part of the whole thing. I never regret doing it though, I only regret the days I skip! Just simply moving your body and getting your blood flowing will boost your energy and help motivate you to get to those tasks you may have been putting off for a while.

Connect with people

It’s so incredibly easy to isolate yourself in the winter months. The constant darkness makes things depressing enough, so if you’re feeling unmotivated, reach out to someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while just to chat. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, meet them out for coffee or a quick dinner just to get yourself out of your normal routine. Use their energy and what they have going on in their lives to help give yourself a boost and help keep you motivated. Be each other’s cheerleaders and keep each other on track.

Break big tasks into smaller ones

When you have a big task you need to conquer, it can sometimes be so intimidating (or honestly just annoying to do) that it’s easy to throw everything aside and just do nothing at all. I’m very guilty of doing this sometimes, and in the end doing nothing instead of something just makes everything worse. So, instead of writing the one big task on your to-do list, break it down into two or three smaller ones that are easily achievable and help complete the bigger task. This will help you feel more accomplished and less annoyed at yourself for constantly moving whatever your big task is further back on your calendar.

Set a winter goal

Instead of just counting the days until winter is over, set yourself a goal that you’d like to achieve over the winter months. Make it something achievable and something you enjoy doing so that it’s just not another thing on your to-do list. It could be as simple as reading a book series you’ve always wanted to get into, or something a little more ambitious like learning a new language. Create a plan on how you want to achieve your goal and use the winter season as your deadline to motivate you.

Don’t forget to give yourself some grace this winter season as well. Allow yourself to have a off day here and there, just don’t let it turn into a whole off season!



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