Winter is well and truly with us.
The clocks went back last week, Halloween has been and gone and we're well on our way to Christmas (hurrah!)
And I don't know about you lot, but every year, around this time my motivation seems to hit rock bottom.
It's dark when we wake up, it's dark when we leave work and our central heating bill starts racking up and generally our moods are a little bit peakier than usual.
So with that, and the fact I'm sat here in a mini mood that I can't seem to shake, I thought I'd share some of the things that keep me motivated in these darker, colder, winter days.
It's important for all of us, no matter what line of work we're in, to keep motivation and happiness to it's highest degree and I find it harder at this time of year than ever to even drag myself out of bed in a morning. However, I do have a few tips and tricks that help pull me up and out from underneath my duvet and allow me to be the bad ass girl boss I was destined to be, so lets go!
Write It Down
I am a compulsive list writer. I love nothing more than writing myself a daily list, usually the night before, with the things I'd like to achieve that day. Heck, sometimes I even write myself a weekly list, day-by-day as to what I need to get on with before the weekend comes around again. I find this really helps me to stay on track and to be motivated as theres nothing quite like ticking off from a to-do-list now is there?
On particularly hectic days I'm even Monica enough to set myself timings in which I'd like to achieve things by... Call me mental but honestly it really does help to keep motivated by having a fun game of "how fast can you do this!?" with yourself.
My mum knows that when I'm stressed I simply just need to write everything down, to compartmentalise and to prioritise, so I'm passing on these pearls of wisdom to you guys too; it seems obvious but my goodness does it help when you have the weight of the world on your tiny, well dressed shoulders.
For me, in most aspects of my life, music really is EVERYTHING! Theres a song, playlist or album for everything, no matter what you're doing or what your mood.
When I've got a heck load to do, particularly things that involve writing, whether that be blogging or replying to emails, I often find myself hitting pause whilst I read over something, and then play again whilst I write; meaning my mind isn't fully engaged as I'm thinking more about turning my music on and off in order to concentrate.
I've tried a variety of playlists for "Concentration" over on Spotify, honestly there are LOADS depending on what it is that allows you to concentrate, however, they don't often work for me.
What I have found really useful and I've used consistently since it first came out is the Stranger Things soundtrack and more recently the Stranger Things 2 soundtrack. Whilst the music within the series is absolutely EPIC and full of some of my favourite tunes from the 70s & 80s, the soundtrack is purely instrumental based upon drum fills and synthesisers, something I find to be EXTREMELY motivating. Due to the lack of lyrics within the 30 plus track album, I find myself getting SO MUCH DONE and I HIGHLY suggest you check it out if you're up against a strict deadline for getting shit done too!
Take A Lunch Break
Even if it's just for 15 minutes, I find taking an albeit short lunch break away from all things work really does keep me motivated. First up it's something to work towards during the morning and secondly you feel revived and ready to crack on once it's up. I often cook up something yummy and v comforting for lunch now it's got a little colder, my faves being a jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn or with beans and cheese (anything with beans and cheese is the ultimate comfort food AMIRIGHT?!) or some homemade soup, I'll then step away from my desk and my phone and catch up with my fave YouTubers whilst digging into something hearty. Since I've started taking time for a lunch break I've noticed my productivity levels SOAR, that and countless cups of coffee, but we don't need me to be Captain Obvious now do we?
Natural light is on rations and nesting mode is well and truly on, but I find getting all cosy with fairy lights and candles galore does nothing but make me want to get into the foetal position on the sofa under a mountain of blankets, despite having a to-do list the length of my arm.
So I've found that limiting myself to just one, uplifting candle right by my laptop is just the ticket for driving productivity and keeping myself motivated, whilst also paying homage to the winter months. I try and avoid woody and masculine scents as that tends to make me sleepy and instead I opt for something fruity or floral like the Jo Malone Sweet Almond & Macaroon candle to keep on keeping on.
The Early Morning Gym Sesh
And finally, something I NEVER thought I'd be saying as a part of motivational Megan but that is to get an early morning gym session in! It's a new thing for me since starting with my personal trainer just 3 months ago now but my goodness have I seen the difference, particularly when compared to the days I don't train with him.
I'm currently seeing him twice a week and on those days I feel like I can take on the world and to be quite honest, on those days I do just that! I speed through my to-do list and often that of the following day's to-do list and do it all with a big fat smile on my face.
It really is true what they say about exercise and endorphins (yeah I thought that was a loada crap too) I come home at 8am after my one hour session a brighter, breezier and lighter version of myself, someone who can tackle anything that comes her way and I really like who I am on those days!
If you've been toying with seeing a personal trainer I would whole heartedly recommend taking the plunge, it is well worth every single penny, particularly if, like me, you hate exercise. You'll honestly find yourself loving it and in-turn loving yourself a little more, and that really is everything isn't it?
So they're my tips for keeping motivated this winter.
It's the most wonderful time of the year for many things but it can also be a depressing time of the year too, so really value and cherish those small things that make a huge difference. I really hope these help and would LOVE to hear if you try any of them or if you have any winter motivational tips of your own, lets share in the comments below and help one another out 🙂