Let’s play a wee word association game!
I say ‘rain’…you say____________
I say ‘snow’…you say____________
I say ‘dark mornings and dark evenings’…you say____________
It’s quite possible you said something along the lines of ‘miserable’, ‘cold’, and ‘depressing’, but you could have said ‘invigorating’, ‘fun’, and ‘a time for adventure’!
There is definitely something to be said about how you put a spin on Winter in your head. However, there are also some practical tips to help make the ‘spinning’ a lot easier!
Here are my five suggestions for how to get out and about during winter… and enjoy it!
There is something to be said about how you put a spin on Winter in your head.
1. The Gear
I am a mindset coach – but, as I always say to my clients, it’s easier to manage your mindset if you’re in an environment that supports your goals. So, my first tip for managing winter is to have good gear.
It’s a heck of a lot easier to say that the rain is invigorating if you have a good raincoat, to say that snow is fun when you are warm, and for the dark to be an adventure if you have a great headlamp to light the way.
Having the right gear makes it easier to change your mind about winter, so it’s worth investing in the items you need to make your sport or activity more enjoyable.
It’s easier to say that snow is fun when you are warm!
2. The Goal
The second tip is to have a goal that you are working towards to keep you committed over the winter months. The goal can be skills-, events-, or personal achievement-based. Have a think about what it is that you value, what’s important to you, and how you’d like to use these months to grow, learn, and experience this amazing world that we live in.
Once you have a goal, you can then plan activities aligned with that goal and use it to keep you committed to showing up.
Have a goal that you are working towards to keep you committed over the winter months.
3. Your ‘Why’
Closely related to having a goal is knowing your ‘why’. Knowing your ‘why’ will enable you to get out the door when it’s dark, raining, and the temperatures are low. Having a strong ‘why’ will allow you to step out the door when the house is warm and the couch is calling your name! To figure out your why, you can take some time to reflect on who you get to be by getting out the door. What personal and valuable traits are you developing? What thoughts and beliefs are you cultivating that are ultimately more important to you?
Having a strong ‘why’ will allow you to step out the door when the house is warm and the couch is calling your name!
4. Your People
Tip four is for those of you who like to share experiences, the accountability of getting out with other people, and the idea of sharing the load! Planning trips, training, and adventuring with other people can serve as a powerful motivator. You get the reward of getting out and about with the bonus of sharing an experience. Practically, in winter, there can be more gear required if you head out for day hikes or multi-day adventures. If you get a group of you together, you can share the load – which is a win-win!
Planning trips, training, and adventuring with other people can serve as a powerful motivator.
5. Your Mindset
Tip five, of course, is around mindset (had to get one in there for you all)! Mindset is your thoughts and beliefs, and these dictate your feelings and your actions. So, the mindset tip is to change your relationship with what primarily surfaces the negative emotions that you relate to winter.
Weather is a big one for people. Rain, wind, cold… these can be things that people develop negative associations around. However, they can also be reframed and enjoyed. As I sit here typing this, there is snow falling outside my window and I want to go and run in it!* For me, running in the snow is an adventure; it’s fun, and it’s something really special. I could have looked out the window and been disappointed by the snow, thinking it’ll be cold and uncomfortable. There is definitely a choice in the way we see things.
*I couldn’t resist, so headed out mid-blog to run while the snow was falling!
Changing this perspective can take time, and what I’m not saying here is to BS yourself! If you don’t love getting out in the rain right now, don’t try and tell yourself that you do – but maybe you could find some fun in splashing in some puddles, or feel a little bad*ss getting out when you know others are tucked up warm at home. Or, maybe it’s enough to say ‘I can learn to love [the thing you don’t love right now]’, because it is simply part of the experience.
When we change the relationship, the value we add to things, and the words we use – we can change the feelings and actions that result from it. That is a powerful skill to have.
When we change the relationship, the value we add to things, and the words we use – we can change the feelings and actions that result from it.
There are my five tips – but if you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know I’m partial to a bonus tip! So here it is, along with some real talk.
Find something you love doing! Seems obvious, right?! But there are plenty of people out there doing things because they think they should, to prove something to someone else, to have the goal at the end, or simply because it’s something they’ve always done and they haven’t assessed if the thing they’ve always done is actually something they still want to do!
Find something you love doing!
To be truly committed to doing something – to get out rain or shine, wind or blizzard – you really need to love what you’re doing and enjoy the process of doing it. If you have a goal to run a marathon but you don’t love the training, then all the gear, goals, and self-talk will not get consistent results. If you have a goal to summit a peak, but you really don’t love the process of climbing the mountain, you just won’t take the necessary steps to get you to the top.
Maybe your summer sport is just not something that you enjoy doing in winter…and that’s okay too! Find a different winter sport, hobby, or activity (there are plenty to choose from), and embrace that over the winter months.
To be truly committed to doing something you need to love what you’re doing and enjoy the process of doing it.
To Finish: A Story
I used to hate wind. In fact, I did some genetic testing which said I was most suited to calm environments. If that wasn’t an excuse to hold onto that belief, then I don’t know what is!
Then, three years ago, we moved to an alpine town that I had fallen love with. When we got here, I was disappointed to discover that it was a windy place. I mean, what the heck?! That’s not what I signed up for. At that point, I realised I had two choices: keep hating the wind, hold onto my old story, and battle through the half-a-year here, or change my relationship with the wind altogether.
Find a winter sport, hobby, or activity, and embrace that over the winter months.
I’m telling you, the mind is a powerful thing – because I now love the wind. Seriously! I love its energy… its power. I laugh when my feet get tangled from a powerful crosswind! When I stopped hating it, I found some things I could love.
So, if winter has been holding you back, give these tips a go and find the joy in what this season can bring.
Find the joy in what winter can bring.
How do you motivate yourself in the colder weather?