A few years ago I was asked, “How do you stay motivated in winter?” and as we’ve just officially entered winter here in the Southern Hemisphere I thought it would be a good idea to come back to this post and update it with some new thoughts and insights I have about this idea.
I now (more than ever) really embrace each season of the year and try to be intentional about supporting myself in each season in whatever ways I need to in order to feel good. I’ve found that even though I find some seasons more productive than others, it’s more about being intentional about how I approach the season and how I support myself.
Even though in Australia winter isn’t that long or as harsh as it can be in other parts of the world, which I’m grateful for. However I know that for me it’s the time of year where it can be really challenging to feel motivated and to get what you need to done.
In this post I’m sharing some ideas on how to embrace and make the most of winter, including why it’s okay not to be motivated all the time, some ideas on how you might support yourself and I’ve also included some personal insights into how I’m supporting myself going into winter this year and some winter recommendations for you! ❄️
Yep, that’s right. You don’t have to be motivated all the time. As a coach, I’m often asked, “how do you stay motivated all the time?” and the truth is: I don’t.
I’m not always motivated all of the time and like everyone my motivation constantly ebbs and flows, and in winter I find I’m less motivated than at other times of the year. So I think it’s important to know that it’s okay to not be motivated in winter (or anytime!).
And it’s also okay to slow down when you feel called to. Winter can actually be a really great time to slow down more, to rest and recuperate for the upcoming seasons of the year.
If you feel like you need permission to slow down, you might like to try this approach: Meet yourself where you’re at.
Even though I like to slow down a little more in winter — I still like to get stuff done 😉 However I’ve found that it is useful to be really discerning about what’s actually really important, what my priorities are and eliminating what’s not important.
I’ve found that in Winter I need to be more intentional and focused on the things that are really important.
I make sure that I don’t have too many goals I’m working on this time of year, and instead I like to choose 1-3 main things that I’d like to focus on. I also approach my work in a more focused and find I’m way more productive if I focused on just a few things over the winter months.
Ask yourself: What is most important to right now going into this season? Why is this a priority?
If you only take one thing away from this blog post, I’d want it to be this question: How can you REALLY support yourself this winter?
Consider what you really need this time of year to feel good, to meet your intention and to get what you need to do done. I encourage you to spend some time working out what you need in order to thrive this time of year.
In order for me to be productive and actually feel good in winter I know I need be really intentional in supporting myself to do this and feel this way. For me this looks like upping my self-care (with a focus on being gentle and restorative), supporting my nervous system and energy and self-coaching myself around the idea that it’s okay to do less and be less productive.
When you’re clear on what your intention is for the winter season, work out how you can best set yourself up to make them happen.
Ask yourself: What is going to help me actually do this?
Consider what you can do to support yourself, what systems/structure might help you, what resources might be supportive and what support you may need from others.
Also consider how you’re going to hold yourself accountable to doing the things that are going to support you.
You might do this by:
∞ Scheduling in what you want to do into your calendar and fully committing to what’s in there, like Alexandra does with her workouts.
∞ Getting an accountability buddy and holding each other accountable to what you want to do. Naomi’s got an awesome post on how to use this method here.
∞ Signing up to a course or getting a book/resource to support you in what you want to do.
∞ Hiring a coach to help support you (and hold you accountable) in doing what you want to do. You can find out more about how I can support you one-to-one here and you can find some of my peer coaches who are amazing coaches here.
We can’t control or change the weather, or the seasons, but we can control how we choose to meet them within ourselves.
I once decided that I didn’t want to be one of those people that constantly complains about the weather, or the season, because it isn’t going to change it or make it any easier. So instead I like to focus on how I can embrace and enjoy each season.
So spend some time really contemplating this question: How can you embrace and make the most of winter this year?
∞ Trying some new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. Here are 15 slow-cooker recipes that are perfect for winter. I love these 7 soup topper ideas and porridge topper inspiration. And this self-saucing chocolate pudding is YUM!
∞ One of the best parts of winter (for me) is discovering new hot drinks and trying different herbal teas. This chai is my favourite and a daily staple for me every morning in winter. This matcha chocolate latte and this maca and tahini latte were favourites of mine last winter.
∞ Spending time doing an activity or hobby you enjoy, but don’t get to do enough because you feel like you don’t have time. Or you might like to spend the winter seasons learning a new skill or starting a new hobby.
∞ Choosing a new book series, tv series or movie series to read or watch. If you’re looking for some book/tv/movie recommendations you can find some of mine here. I still remember the winter (many years ago) that my boyfriend and I started watching Game of Thrones.
∞ Devoting yourself to a project to complete during the winter months. It might be a creative project, or a challenge like this book-a-week one or a 30 day yoga one. I’ve found that it is great to have something I’m working on or focusing on during the winter months.
∞ Find ideas and inspiration for embracing winter from others. Here are 29 ideas by Sarah on how to enjoy winter and here are 10 ideas from Susan on how to feel cozy.
∞ I also recently read Cozy by Isabel Gillies, which has inspired some ideas on how I can intentionally embrace winter this year.
∞ This winter my focus is on… Upping my self-care and looking after myself, while I work on only a couple of projects and goals.
∞ I’m going to support myself to do this by… Doing this course (for self-care) and self-coaching myself (to achieve what I want).
∞ I’m going to do more… Writing. Cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. Reading. Yoga.
∞ I’m going to embrace… Coziness and hygge.
∞ I’m going to work on… Updating my experiment The 28 Day Gratitude Project. And I’m also going dedicate some time to work on this creation.
∞ I’m going to dedicate myself to… Re-reading the entire Harry Potter series.
I’d love to know what you do to embrace and enjoy winter, so please do share your thoughts and ideas in the comments if you’d like to ❄️
Regardless of what season you’re in (in your life or actual season), I think it’s really powerful to check in with yourself and ask:
1. What are my priorities for this upcoming season?
2. What can I do to support myself during this season?
I hope that whatever season you’re currently in that you you’re embracing it and supporting yourself the way you need.
PS. If you need some extra help in staying motivated this winter, I’ve created a Winter Motivation Plan worksheet which you can get for FREE by entering your details below 🙂
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