Let’s face it, less sunlight, cold mornings and even colder nights, extra layers added to our daily wardrobe and icy drives to the office — Christmas may be our favourite time of year, but the entire winter experience? Not necessarily. With what seems like less hours in the day, and no shortage of winter weather conditions encouraging us to commit to seasonal hibernation, it can be easy to lose sight of the goals and habits we had set in motion earlier this year.

While the holidays are, without a doubt, a time for indulgence, the health-related goals we set for ourselves should never be confined to one part of the year. Rather, the winter season should be viewed as a time to stay on track, reflect, set new goals and focus on your own self-care amidst the chaos of taking care of everyone else (on your Christmas list). So, with this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of tips to help you stay motivated and on track this winter season.

1. Upgrade Your Wake-Up Routine

We know the drill — the shrill sound of our iPhone alarm cuts jarringly into our blissful, unconscious state only to be slammed into “snooze mode” by our closest, flailing limb. Then we repeat this routine one, two, three (or more) times until we’ve guaranteed a late arrival to work, missed our chance for a morning work out or, at the very least, committed to a very bad hair day. And let’s be honest here, it’s less than effective.

Instead, put together a morning routine that leaves less room for dread and more room for a motivated mindset. Here’s how:

• Change your alarm sound to a song that you enjoy, and that has an up-beat tone
• Whatever you do, don’t hit snooze. There are many studies to prove that ‘just 5 more minutes’ does more harm, than good.
• If you’re a coffee drinker, set your coffee maker on a timer so it’s waiting for you by the time you make it to the kitchen.
• Invest in a bedside lamp that mimics natural daylight. There are actually “Wake-up” lights you can buy that gradually increase the light and comes with built in clock and alarm.
• Set aside 10-15 minutes each morning for mindful meditation (or reading, or something else you enjoy) to start your day off on a positive note.
• If you really struggle to perk up before 10 AM, leave time to have a quick shower (even if it’s just a rinse) to help refresh your body and mind.

2. Implement a Reward System

For all the positive habits you’ve set in motion during the warmer months (working out, meditating, eating clean etc.) create a reward system that encourages the continuation of those behaviours. This could be anything — an epic cheat meal, an outing with friends, a day at the spa — or, you can even throw a dollar (or two) into a jar each time you perform said habit, until you have enough saved to buy something you really want (new gym clothes, a Christmas gift for yourself, a Sephora haul, whatever it might be).


3. Plan (and commit) Ahead

Sometimes the best way to stay committed is to give yourself no other option. Look to fitness studios in your area that require you to book the class ahead of time (and which have a late cancel fee, preferably). Plan out your workouts at the start of the week, invite a friend to come with you, book them in and all you have to do is show up — after all, you’re far less likely to talk yourself out of it if there’s a late cancel fee on the line, or a friend relying on you to come with them.

4. Write Out Your Intentions and Goals

It may sound overly simplified, but take the time each week (or even every day) to physically write out the goals and intentions you have set for yourself. This helps to formalize the mental commitment you’ve made to stay on track, and helps you to measure progress which is, in itself, motivating. Even better? Make those goals and intentions public. Nothing holds you accountable quite like promising your Instagram or Facebook following that you’re actively working towards something.

5. Stock Up on Winter Supplements

Take a trip to your local health store and add the following supplements into your daily regime:

Vitamin D3: Bone strength, aids in the absorption of calcium and helps promote a positive mood.
Vitamin C: Acts as a powerful antioxidant and provides immune support.
Vitamin E: The oil helps to improve seasonal dry skin, nails, and hair.
Vitamin B12 or B Complex: Helps to lessen feelings of depression, holiday anxiety, and SAD.
Magnesium: Helps with energy, nerves, anxiety, sleep quality and muscle aches/spasms.

Added bonus: Stock up on some bone broth (it helps to support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline).