How to Motivate Yourself to Workout When It’s Dark and Cold

Oct 13, 2016 | Blog

Every time fall comes around, and it gets darker and colder, I go through the same challenges: I feel lethargic and uninspired to work out. I find it harder to start the day and just as hard to attend yoga classes at night. It’s all too tempting to just put on sweatpants and stay in bed watching Netflix.

[See: 10 Excuses for Not Exercising, and Why They Won’t Fly.]

In the past, this natural tendency to slow down would send my health into a downward spiral. After a couple of weeks, those unhealthy habits would gain momentum and I would gain weight, feel stressed and begin to lose some of my confidence. But now that I’m aware of my pattern of self-destruction during this transition into the winter, I face it head on. I change my game plan to stay motivated, light and fit. Here are a few techniques I’ve found work:

1. Set specific goals.

Get clear on what you want and set straightforward goals. A good goal might be to work out five days a week for three months straight. Performance-based goals are also fun and helpful to keep you on a healthy track. Five minutes of non-stop bear crawling, 25 pushups or 100 sun salutations are all good landmarks to shoot for, depending on your fitness level. Write your goals on a piece of paper and post it somewhere where you can see it every day, like your computer screen or on your refrigerator. The aim is not to be perfect, but to be better.

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