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6 Easy Ways to Stay Motivated This Winter

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As I write this article, I'm currently looking out of my New York City apartment window to see almost all of the tall buildings near and far covered by a thick blanket of snow. Not to mention, the mighty-cold wind tossing any and everything — including mounds of innocent, rust-colored leaves — away from its path. Yes, my friends, this is the first snowfall of the season, and I'm already wondering how on earth I'll make it, let alone manage getting myself to the gym over the next few months. Sigh.

If you're feeling like me right now, thankfully we're both in luck! In my spare time, I decided to create a handy-dandy "winter survival" list, which includes seven ways everyone (no matter which chilly city you call home) can rely on. Grab a pen and notebook! Write everything down, live everything out, and join me as I prepare to take on this winter like a total champ!

1. Plan your entire week on Sunday.

It's no secret that days seem way shorter during wintertime. And once the sun goes down, the last thing on my mind is running around outside to complete errands I completely forgot about. To help me out, I schedule all of my meetings, appointments, workouts (and PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT articles) on Sunday evenings to better help me manage my time. Not only does it feel good to write everything down at once, I also don't have to worry about overbooking myself or getting frustrated mid-week because I failed to stay organized. I prefer to use a weekly planner I can carry with me at all times; however, feel free to use a desk calendar — or even better — a list-based app on your phone to keep tabs on what's important. 

2. Wake up a little earlier.

This tip applies for all seasons, but especially winter since sunrise is at its earliest. My thing is, if you get yourself up in time to take in as much sunlight as possible, there's no doubt you're going to feel more motivated! Nothing is worse than feeling stuck in the dark or like you've missed out on the sun's warmth. Try adapting to the sun's schedule — not falling victim to your desire to sleep in — and see how much it energizes you. 

3. Establish goals for the New Year.

Winter is the absolute perfect time of the year to evaluate what you want to focus on before and after the new year rings in. Starting now, there's a little over a month until 2019 — aka plenty of time to engage in a new hobby, bring up your grades, improve your piano skills, whatever! The possibilities are endless. Regardless of what you aim to finally accomplish, write down a few goals and then get going on them.

Pro tip: As an added step, consider assigning someone you're close to as your accountability partner. After you let them in on your goals, ask that they check up on you to make sure you're staying focused. 

4. Adjust your gym routine.

Maybe you're usually an evening gym-goer because the summer months had you feeling like 8 p.m. was only the start of the night. Well, because times have changed, I suggest trying a morning gym routine or squeezing in time during lunch. Flexibility is key to ensuring you stay active and on top of your fitness plan — no excuses!  

5. Skip coffee, and try green tea instead.

While coffee tastes great, buying a "Cup of Joe" multiple times a day gets pricey after awhile. Even those fancy home-brewing systems can set you back some depending on what's all required. Green tea, aka nature's gem, is a great alternative! It too has caffeine in it and tons of antioxidants — plus the stuff's rather cheap! So, whenever you're feeling that dreadful mid-day slump, try sipping on some tea to keep you warm and focused. 

6. Make time for friends.

This may be easy for some, but for introverts (such as myself) we tend to barricade ourselves within the comforts of our beds when feeling unmotivated. But I've found that making time for the people I love, even when I'm exhausted and not quite up to company, actually helps boost my mood! Whether it's a girls' night in or a casual affair on the town, consider calling up your friends to see what they're up to. I bet they're tired of the gloomy weather and would be down for a fun pick-me-up too!

Now, if you're fortunate enough to live in a state where winter doesn't make much of a difference, then congratulations! You're what some like myself would call lucky and a few steps ahead. For us troopers who live in the northern, mid-western, and some southern states, you're now better equipped to brave the storm named winter with greater strength and perseverance!

SWEAT REPORTER | Paytra is a musician and writer out of New York City. She moved from a small town in Michigan at age 16 to pursue her dreams, and has been making her mark in the Big Apple ever since! She is a Business Management major and double-certified personal trainer with 6 years experience, so she loves to write about all things nutrition/fitness. You can find her in the studio, at the gym, writing in her journal, or playing piano: and if all else fails, she’s hitting up her favorite coffee shop in Midtown Manhattan! site: PaytraMusic.com