How To Stay Motivated To Exercise In Winter
Written by: Samantha Wasielewski - Jan. 25, 2021
Winter and working out aren’t usually two words you find in the same sentence. When you think of winter, people tend to think of snowy streets, icicles hanging off the roof of your house, and snuggling up in a big blanket next to your fireplace trying to warm your frozen little tush. It’s a season filled with sugary treats, relaxation, and spending LOTS of time indoors. Workouts are typically the last thing on anyone’s mind and the gloom and cold can also be super unmotivating. But if this scenario seems to feel out of place for you, or your New Year’s motivation, read on because I’ll be sharing a few tips on how to stay motivated to workout throughout the rest of the winter.
Signs You’re Stuck In A Rut
If you’ve ever experienced a weight loss rut, you know how frustrating it can be. Unfortunately, winter can be huge culprit that causes a lot of this unmotivation to begin with. Losing motivation can also take a serious toll on our confidence, energy, and feelings of self-worth. Knowing how to stay motivated to hit your health and wellness goals might seem like a large feat, but figuring out how to stay motivated in winter can seem impossible at times. The cold winter weather can make us feel tired, sluggish, and, you guessed it, unmotivated.
Here’s are some signs that may tell you if the winter weight loss blues have blown your way:
- Eating healthy has gone out the window—fruits and veggies that once used to get you excited, and make you feel good after you ate them, now turn you off, and seem almost unpalatable. Not to mention the never-ending assortment of carb-heavy and sugar-filled holiday treats that emerge this time of year.
- Workouts? Where?—A fitness routine that used to be five days a week has now turned into one, or maybe even none.
- You’ve “rearranged” your weight loss goals—You’ve adjusted your goals to become easier, or even non-existent. You may have even forgotten the goals you set in the first place.
7 New Year Motivation Tips
Here are seven awesome New Year motivation tips, or any time of year tips, to get you out of that weight loss rut and give the scale what you’ve been asking for!
1. Discover your why
Learning how to stay motivated starts with knowing your why. Name your specific reasons for why you want to lose weight and write them down. Re-visit them daily to remind yourself what is motivating you to reach your goal. A “why” can be anything from fitting into an old pair of skinny jeans or keeping up with your kids, to preventing diabetes or heart disease. No matter your reasoning, any reason is a good reason to get healthy!
2. Write in a journal
Writing down your daily progress is a great way to hold yourself accountable and help you lose weight. In fact, a study done with 1,700 participants found that those who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who did not.  Writing down what you eat each day helps you understand your eating habits and patterns. This will help you see what not-so-healthy habits keep appearing in your journal, and what you might need to change. Write down what you eat, how much you are eating, and when you are eating. After each week, look at your journal. Look for trends, patterns, or habits, and make the necessary changes based on your findings. Answering my “how to stay motivated in winter” is also best answered when I write my emotions in addition to what I’m eating. This gives you the opportunity to reflect on your feelings, and what alternative feelings you are striving to reach.
3. Join a supportive community
Going at it alone, especially when it comes to weight loss, is never easy. There are tons of support groups, forums, and social media channels where women just like you are trying to keep up with their New Year motivation. Even simply letting your family or friends know you are on this weight loss journey will help. They can help hold you accountable and be your own personal cheer squad when motivation seems to be lacking. If you haven’t already, check out the Super Youth Community. It’s an incredible place where women in all stages of their weight loss journey share their success stories, unexpected setbacks, and motivate each other to keep moving forward. If you’re wondering how to stay motivated, this is a great place to start!
4. Commit to your goals
Setting goals can be exciting at first, but after a while, they can tend to fall off. It’s easy to make excuses for yourself about meeting your weight loss goals, especially when progress has been slower than you expected. We get busy, life gets in the way, or we’re simply bored with what we’ve been doing. Set your goals and stick to them! When it comes to weight loss, commitment can be difficult, but practicing self-control and re-visiting your goals on a daily basis will help keep you on track. If you’re not sure where to start for setting your goals, check out this blog for setting SMART weight loss goals.
5. Recite positive affirmations
Far too often I’ve doubted myself, felt ashamed, or talked down to myself when looking in the mirror. Maybe I didn’t reach my goal that month, or the way I was expecting to look in my new bikini didn’t pan out. But all of these things are okay. Make sure the expectations you set for yourself are realistic, and appreciate the fact that you are doing this for yourself in the first place. Don’t workout or start a diet because you hate your body, do it because you love it! If you’re in need of a little self-love, at any time, check out this blog on body positivity, and then look in the mirror and smile. ♥️
6. Expect a few setbacks (and accept them!)
Look, setbacks are going to happen, and that’s okay. The sooner you expect and plan for setbacks during your weight loss journey, the more positive impact that will have on your mental health. This is because stress, either stress due to setbacks, or any type of stress, can actually cause weight gain.  Birthdays, holidays, and social events are going to be part of your life. Plan for what you are going to do when these types of things occur. Pack a healthy salad for your uncle’s birthday party and skip the pizza, or plan an extra day of exercise for the week you know you have a lunch outing for work. Planning and staying ahead of these types of things will help keep your stress at bay, and keep you on track for your weight loss goals.
7. Celebrate your wins
Okay, I’ve saved the best for last on this one! It’s time to celebrate YOU. Whether you’re just beginning your weight loss journey, or you’ve been at it for months, cheers to YOU! Simply getting started is the first step, and arguably the most difficult, and now that you’ve read this blog, you’re well on your way there, so congrats! No matter what goal you’ve hit, big or small, always remember to take time and reflect. Reflect on the work you’ve put in and be proud. Learning how to stay motivated, especially how to stay motivated in winter, can sometimes seem impossible. But don’t let winter’s cold touch keep you from being your best you! Celebrate the little wins, and you’ll be determined to keep going. And I personally give you permission to absolutely scream your successes at the top of your lungs whenever you have one of those, “omg I did it!” moments!
The Bottom Line
So whether you read this for New Year motivation, or simply wanted to know how to stay motivated in general, I hope that hitting your weight loss goals seems that much easier, even if it’s just a little bit. I encourage you to reflect back on this blog whenever you’re feeling a little unmotivated, or any of the other helpful and uplifting blogs I mentioned within this one. And please, always remember, YOU’VE GOT THIS!