Organisation

How To: Stay Motivated in Autumn and Winter

The weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter and it’s almost impossible to remember what the sun actually looked like when it wasn’t hiding behind grey skies. Yes, Autumn is here and it’s in full swing. I’m not talking about the great autumn with brisk air and clear skies, I’m talking about rain, rain and … oh yes, more rain.

But Autumn is nearing winter, and winter is the end of the year, which means annual targets must be met, January exams are around the corner and it seems all of your coursework is due at once. So when the weather is less than inspiring, is there anything you can do to keep your motivation intact?

Well of course the answer is yes! But then you knew that anyway didn’t you? The real question is, does any of it actually work?

Last week a quote popped up on my Pinterest which said:

“One of the most important keys to success
is having the discipline to do what you know you should,
even when you don’t feel like doing it.”

I’ve seen this quote worded a thousand different ways, but for some reason this version really hit home for me, and got me in gear enough to get control and motivation back in my life. So over the last week I have been trying and testing the different ways to stay motivated and regain control of my life, and below are the ones which worked the best for me and I hope that they’ll work for you too!!

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1. Find inspirational quotes that really resonate with you and hit home – hard, and then read them every morning. I have a Pinterest board full of quotes which gives me determination for the day, this is one of my favourites at the moment:

Jump in and do it! Just by making a start you're already miles ahead of those still too afraid of making a mistake to begin the race.:

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2. Every morning write a list of three things you want to achieve by the end of the day, they can be small or large, but make sure they’re achievable, it could be something simple such as “get out of bed, don’t hit snooze”, or “text a friend to say hello”, or it could be something big such as “finishing that important report” or “run 10 miles”. It’s up to you the scale, but if you’ve only just starting out, then my top tip would be to start small, but make sure that they are priorities to you.

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3. At the end of every day, write down three things that you are grateful for. Whether that be completing your three tasks for the day, that you laughed really hard today or you’re just thankful that you have a pet dog. Remembering three things that you’re grateful for that day will remind you that even on bad days, there is still good in the world, this will stop you from going to bed feeling defeated or sad, meaning you will likely wake feeling more motivated.

Dog, Alfie, Happy,
I’m always thankful for this handsome boy!

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4. Write a list of your long term (or end of year) goals. They can be personal, professional or both. Once you’ve made a list, put a time-stamp on each of them, and write a list of things that will help you achieve that goal, and some key milestones you want to achieve. I used this to organise myself for Uni this year, using excel. Then, on a new sheet, spend time planning out your week. It’s a good idea to do this at the beginning of every week (for example a Sunday night, or Monday morning) after you’ve read through your overall goals and assessed where you are in achieving the milestones. Reminding yourself of your overall goals and the milestones along the way is so important to staying motivated!

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5. Do something that’s nothing to do with your goal every day. It’s easy to get totally consumed with achieving your goals and you can forget to enjoy yourself along the way. So do something every day for an hour that has absolutely nothing to do with achieving your goal, whether that’s spending an hour on the PlayStation (Elderscrolls Origin is my fave at the moment), or reading a good book, just take that time, trust me, you’ll appreciate it!

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6. Don’t forget to go outside. Just because the weather is uninspiring, grey, and generally rather sad looking, doesn’t mean that going outside won’t be good for you. It may be cold, but a quick walk, run, or ride will freshen up your senses and give you an extra boost of confidence and motivation – just remember to wrap up warm!

Autumn and Winter can be a real drag on the inspiration and motivation, but staying motivated to reach your goals is super important over these colder months, infact, if you focus your energy, it can be more productive than the warmer months! So don’t feel disheartened by the cold weather, use it to your advantage! Let me know if you have any other tips for staying motivated throughout the year – I love hearing all of your thoughts.

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