If you’re anything like me, I find changes in season to be tremendously challenging. I dread winter… I don’t know if it started from mid-year exams in school or university, or the seasonality of business… or just because it’s cold.

Since around 4 years ago each year is better but still the slumps keep coming. I found listening to podcasts ignite exploration and new ways of being or thinking.

Here are 5 things I’m planning to do to stay motivated and I’ve noticed working well for me in the past (PS. this is an updated post 9 months later!).

We are all individuals. I advocate the principle behind each element followed by my own personal experiences. I encourage you to create your own experiences, whether you start with my examples or your own ideas.  (The beauty of all of this is that YOU are the one that decides what actions you take – and I’d love to hear what those actions are! Please comment below.)

1. Get Essential!

What is essential? Let’s go with health, heart and happiness – these are discussed below. The importance of essentialism lies in staying focused on what really matters. ‘Everything affects everything else,’ said Jim Rohn once and this has held true to my life, maybe it has some relevance to you? If my health is a mess, I can’t improve or keep my relationships, economics, nor moods in check.
(Here I find daily reflection and a gratitude attitude to be important ways to refocus on the essential.)

2. Define Your Winter Nutrition

What makes me feel good when I eat it? Our bodies are ecosystems defined by our environment, mushrooms will make some people ill and others feel strong like  an ox. You’re meant to feel strong and have energy, if you don’t maybe you need a new plan? Contact us for Optimal Nutrition for Energy solutions!
(My strategy for a successful day of nutrition is: hydrate well [2-3l per day], 3-4 larger meals a day [breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner], and love what I eat – despite being a controversial flexitarian. PS. I tend to have chocolate once a day for my sanity and some reasons you’ll find interesting here.)

3. Keep Moooving!

No matter how cold it is, get up and go for a walk. Just because you logged 30 minutes per day in summer doesn’t mean the winter insulation will stay away. It is all about consistency. Visit MoveMax Fitness for one-on-one or group performance coaching.
(Personally, I find my greatest performance gains to happen during winter! Here’s how I optimize performance: Increase overall load by 10% each week – whether it is by intensity, duration, or frequency (ie. physical exertion, time spent at once, or number of activities per week).

4. Encounter Stories of Failure and Success

Whether this means actually experiencing your own successes and failures or doing it vicariously through others.  How many encounters do you have with these two contrasting facts of life? By my reckoning: Every. Single. Day! Failure is only bad, IF we don’t actionably learn from it. Success is only good, IF we actionably repeat the process. Got a story of success and failure to share? Feel free to leave it in the comments below!

5. Keep Growing, Evolving, and Believing

Become knowledgeable and spongy. Read, ask questions, study new things, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, and get mentors – this is the knowledge part. Find out what you like and what you don’t like. Let life touch you but not consume you. Be open to absorb what you can and dispense what’s necessary – this is the sponge part. Imagine being a sponge that only absorbs but doesn’t know where or how to dispense… not very effective right?

(This encompasses the last two points: I’ve had many mentors and some I will never meet again. Some complete strangers I have met have given me the greatest business, sport, and wellness insights on success and failure. Guess what, I would be none the wiser if we never spoke? I believe we have days of introversion and extroversion. Personality profiles are great indicators for ‘who we are’ – I truly found myself once I decided not to let them define me. The moment I decided not to limit myself by thinking ‘I am introverted and cannot speak to another human outside of my circle’, was the moment I realized this to be truth. )

We must all decide for ourselves where we want to go, what we want from life, what we can give to life, and who we want to be. Yes, a situation may not be nice to go through, but we must decide how that situation will affect us. Will it impact us enough to change what we don’t like? Accept what we can’t change? And not let things we can’t change, such as the seasons, affect our progress or lack thereof.

~ Wishing you a wealth of wellness and productivity on behalf of the Actualise Team!

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Author: Co-Founder and Managing director of Actualise Wellness Solutions (Pty) Ltd.; avid trail runner, triathlete, and Actualise programme developer; conducts group fitness classes, home-based personal training, and swimming coaching when he is not in meetings or in development calls. Also coaches triathlon and endurance sports at Infinitude Coaching. Checkout his LinkedIn profile here!

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