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Motivation | 10 ways to get motivated after winter

by Penina

In terms of motivation, winter isn’t exactly the season most of us bound out of bed, full of life, ready to take on the world. No. It is just too easy to roll over and snuggle up under the covers than brave the beaches and fierce winds for a light jog. The alternative of a cosy, warm blanket is well, just too good.
But there comes a time (and that time is usually right now!) when a beautiful spring or summer day hits and we all wish we’d braved the cold and gotten a little ahead of the game.
Getting off the couch can be daunting and overwhelming for many of us Milo-drinking, lolly-eating winter lovers. But just ‘getting motivated’ is a task that is hard to fathom.
Firstly, it is a vague and impractical concept isn’t it? To ‘just get motivated.’ What does this mean really?
Personally I believe in using practical tips than the vague sentence ‘I need to get motivated.’ This sentence doesn’t exactly spring me into action! (Excuse the pun!)

Here are my fully tested practical tips for staying motivated

I just spent my winter using every tool on this list and I know they work!  I lost 10kg and the following list is now my toolbox to getting successfully motivated!
Whether you want to shed those winter kilos and fit into your slim jeans or be a fired-up motivated superhuman in 2014, these tips work!

Motivation Tip I | Spend money on a goal-setting tool

For my birthday a few years back I asked my husband for a subscription to Goals On Track. From memory it cost around $60 and I wondered if I had wasted good birthday money I could have spent on shoes! By accident I didn’t cancel their annual renewal and so again this year, I was charged another $60 for a subscription. Since I had now spent $120 on these people I figured I better use the software! Well it has turned out that Goals On Track really have kept me on track. I lost 10kg in winter this year by tracking my goals and creating visualisation boards. I visited my goals weekly and revised them if required. What really motivated me was the $120! There was something about spending this kind of money that motivated me the most. If you invest in motivation financially, I discovered accidentally, you are more likely to succeed. Further, the money I saved on food from being 10kg lighter more than paid for my subscription!

Motivation Tip 2 | Set up an account at Sparkpeople

The second tool I use is Sparkpeople.com. This site is like Weight Watchers but it is FREE! There is a large community of motivated people all tracking their daily calorie intake, fitness and also weight loss successes. I’ve used Sparkpeople off and on over the years and think their site is fantastic.

Motivation Tip 3 | Set up an account at Map My Run

The third tool I use to stay motivated is Map My Run in combination with Facebook. Before starting out on a run I will strap my phone to my arm and set Map My Run to log my workout. Map My Run will follow me via satellite (amazing, I know!) and log my pace, distance, where I ran and much more. My friends can even follow me live (not that they have – they have better things to do). If you sign up for PRO (which I did) you can even fly over your run after you’ve finished it – like a helicopter is following you! There are so many features at Map My Run, which is also a part of the mother site Map My Fitness. After my run I share my run on Facebook. I have a little support crew on Facebook who always like and comment on my runs. They motivated me to run my goal of 10km! Everybody cheered when I finally did it!

Motivation Tip 4 | Do housework to music on bluetooth headphones

Recently I spent $11 on bluetooth headphones from Ebay. (The link is to the actual ones I bought and they’re great!) Not only can I use these for my runs above but I am now using them around the house to do my housework at lightning speed! I put on fast dance, house or doof doof music and get to work! Not only does my housework get done in a flash, but I feel energised and upbeat when I step back and look at my sparkling house after a pretty good workout! I highly recommend Britney Spear’s new song Work It B***h! Very motivating!

Motivation Tip 5 | Eat amazing healthy food

It really is true: You are what you eat. When I was on my winter health kick I reeducated myself on eating well and got into some fantastic eating habits. A book that really helped me was Michelle Bridge’s Losing the Last Five Kilos. Michelle includes some delicious breakfast, lunches and dinners and makes it easy to eat well with a four-week plan and grocery list. Breakfast usually included a bowl of special K or an egg white omelette. Lunch was always a large healthy salad with fish, chicken or meat. Dinner was a very small portion of what the family was having and also the low carb version of that. I found stir-fries worked the best for dinner. I kept it simple and learnt how to cook more deliciously healthy meals that were filling but not too high in calories. Alternatively you can try my Table Tucker apps, which have been recommended by nutritionists because the meals are healthy, affordable and they get you organised. A number of my readers have shed kilos eating Table Tucker every night!

Motivation Tip 6 | Hang around motivated people

If you know motivated people, be sure to catch up with them on a regular basis. If I lived near my sister I’d be hanging with her regularly! She just ran a 42km in Sydney and she’s also a personal trainer. People like my sister are always full of energy and life. They get up early and eat well. Just being around them makes me want to be even more motivated. I feed off their energy. Try to avoid negative and unmotivated people. You’ll find their lack of motivation will rub off – unless you are motivating them!

Motivation Tip 7 | Plan events for early in the morning

Planning events early in the morning will do much for your motivation. Early morning events prevent you from drinking alcohol the night before and get you to bed early so you get a good night’s sleep. If you are prone to a glass of vino in the evening or you aren’t a very good sleeper, getting into good habits around sleep and alcohol will hold you in good stead. Once your body clock is loving a 9pm bedtime (without a belly full of wine!), your body will love you for it and you will wake up feeling fired-up, amazing and not like you are only running on two cylinders like a beat-up old car! You will be operating at turbo-speed!

Motivation Tip 8 | Read motivation books and blogs

Skip television and get into reading! There is an amazing amount of information out there in the blogosphere and in cheap bookstores like All Books for Less. Start reading self-help and motivation books. I’ve read hundreds of motivation and self-help books in my lifetime. Reading them has always been an enjoyable way to pass time. I’ve read them during those times in life when I’ve lacked motivation and need a little inspiration. I highly recommend the self-help genre! Also check out boards on Pinterest! Type in the word ‘Motivation’ and you will find a world of visual delights to get you motivated daily! Post your favourites on your Facebook timeline to keep them in view daily.

Motivation Tip 9 | Know what is motivating you and keep it handy

Have visuals in your wallet, on your fridge and on your mobile phone of what is motivating you or a picture of your end goal. For example, if you are getting married and want to shed kilos, keep a picture of your wedding dress handy. These daily visualisations will keep you on track when motivation wanes or you have a weak moment.

Motivation Tip 10 | Start every day doing something you love

I’ve found the most positive way to start any day, is to start by doing something you love. For example, I love to run and write. So I will start most days either going for a run or writing for one hour. I will get up in the early morning while the world sleeps and enjoy the peace and quiet while I do what I love. Starting the day doing something I love always makes my day! Whatever happens after my hour of power, well, is an afterthought! I’ve already lived a great day before my day starts!

Motivation Bonus Tip | Food for thought

If I ever wake up feeling negative I remind myself of this: I have lost young friends over the years. I lost one particular girlfriend to Leukemia. She was only 32. Whenever I feel negative I think of her. I think how much she would love to live the day I am about to live. I think she would die again to live the day I am about to live. On many days, I have lived a day for my friend. The loss of friends and family prematurely reminds me of the true nature of life and how very lucky I am to be here.
Note: I wasn’t paid for the plugs in this article. I legitimately love and endorse these websites! 

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Sandra M October 16, 2013 - 12:29 pm

Loving your tips Penina! They are always so practical and insightful. Keep up the great work and congrats on losing the 10kg! A fabulous effort!

Miranda October 16, 2013 - 12:32 pm

I’ve heard of Sparkpeople but not Map My Run. Going to check it out. I have just started running and this would be great for motivation! Is it a social network?

Bob E October 16, 2013 - 12:35 pm

Miranda. Yes, I am using it too and it is awesome. You can invite your friends and check out what run they did today too. You can make new friends in your area who might be running the same routes. You can create routes before you run them to with a genius feature.

Penina Petersen October 16, 2013 - 11:23 am

Comments welcome!

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