Life is full of ups and downs and somehow, the downs seem to be harder when the mornings are dark and the weather is cold. As we head into winter, negativity sometimes creeps in and it is just that much harder to stay motivated, focused and positive. While you can’t always control what happens to you, you can control how you respond to it. The key to staying motivated is to create a positive environment for yourself, which will help you to achieve your dreams and goals. Here are 10 ways to stay motivated through winter and beyond:

  1. Think positive thoughts. It’s a cliché we know, but more often than not, you get what you expect. Expect something great to happen for you every day and it will.
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Another cliché, but it’s true, you need to take control over what you can, and stop worrying about what you can’t. Some things are within your control, while other things are not. Learn to recognise the difference. Refuse to worry about circumstances beyond your control. Things may not always work out perfectly, but the sooner you get over them, the quicker you move on to your next victory. Only you can control your own actions and reactions.
  3. Positive re-enforcement. Make a point of reading and listening to positive information. If you fill your mind with uplifting and inspiring information, it will keep you motivated.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people. Negative people and conversations will have you focused on all the wrong things and may take your focus off of your goals. Seek out positive people and don’t engage in negative conversations. Instead, choose to remain neutral or just don’t participate at all. If you find yourself caught in the middle of a conversation that is going in the wrong direction, change the subject to something productive. 
  5. Use positive language and speak affirmations. Words have a creative force. Regardless of what is going on around you, speak out loud what you want to happen. Write out an affirmation that you can say daily and put it up somewhere that you are sure to see it every day, like your bathroom mirror or on your fridge.
  6. Use mistakes as learning experiences. We all make mistakes; the key is to learn from them and keep on moving. Keep learning and self-evaluating – examine how you handled situations and what you could do differently next time.
  7. Plan. There is a very popular saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” When you take time to plan, you allow yourself to think through the entire process from beginning to end. This can spark ideas, improve productivity and ensure a great outcome. Once you have a written agenda, you are immediately going to be motivated to accomplish it. Without one, you have nothing to run with and end up feeling stuck. Write out your to-do list the night before. Identify the three most important things that you must accomplish the next day and start with those first.
  8. Celebrate every victory, whether big or small. Always take time out to celebrate. Rewards play a huge part in staying motivated. Reward yourself each and every time you reach a goal. It could be anything from throwing a party to taking a weekend away or treating yourself to a movie night. Just don’t overlook it. Think about something you have recently accomplished and plan a way to celebrate it within the next 10 days. It can be as simple as going out for ice cream. Reward yourself — you are worth it!
  9. Keep Things in Perspective. It is important to keep things in perspective and always remind yourself of why you work. Beside the pay, it is often about realising your potential, feeling alive and useful, feeling connected, making a difference in the world, expressing creativity, expanding your skills and abilities, helping others and contributing to the community. List the reasons you entered the field you are in and when times are tough remind yourself of why you do the work you do. Also remind yourself that work is work and that you have a life outside of work to look forward to, enjoy and make a difference in.
  10. LIVE A BALANCED LIFE. Don’t hibernate this winter…If you’re having fun when you’re not at work, you’re more likely to be happy when you are at work. It’s a very simple concept that many of us forget sometimes. Enjoy life when you’re not working and understand that your 9 to 5 funds your to 5 to 9 life. Don’t overwork yourself; live a balanced life. When you overwork yourself or forget to enjoy yourself when you’re not working, it’s bad for your health and motivation and will definitely affect your performance.

An infectious, positive attitude can shift your entire life. Infusing your mind with positive thoughts will cause you to produce more positive results in your life. Right now you’re getting as many opportunities as you think you can have. To achieve everything that you have dreamed of and wished for, you must start thinking, believing and speaking like you’re already worth it. So wrap yourself in some positivity and make this winter a motivated one.