My winter routine – what I do to feel like it as much as I don't feel like it

My perfect plan for surviving the winter requires a hammock, a blanket, a cat, a bucket of hot tea and a good book in my hand. However, this perfect scheme is not aligned with my plans for the rest of the year, nor for subsequent years. It would be difficult to achieve all my year's objectives if I only had half the year at my disposal, only those months when Poles can count on moderately clement weather in their country.

 

Today I will tell you what I do to feel like it as much as I don't feel like it. And you should know that during the autumn and winter I “do not feel like it” decidedly more often. I very strongly do not feel like it.

The tricks I use to maintain a regular workout routine in winter

 

A realistic approach to the winter training plan.

 

I know that I am less efficient in winter than in summer, so I do not expect myself to be as ready to stick to the same intensive training program during the winter months. I pick the activities that do not make me too uncomfortable, for example, when the temperature falls below zero, I forego running – not because it is the right thing to do, but because the very thought of such a jog makes me shiver, and last year's tests showed that running under freezing conditions is too strenuous for my organism and prolongs regeneration. There are many other activities I can do without negative consequences, and they are the ones I build my winter training program on.

 

Have an emergency minimum plan ready.

 

If I feel tired, if I did not recover my strength after the previous training session, if I feel unwell or am worried that I may have caught a cold or if something else is going on that clearly makes me uncomfortable, I put the minimum plan into action, that is, I abandon the original plan and do something I can still manage on such a day instead.

Sometimes it is a round on the elliptical cross trainer, sometimes yoga or Pilates, sometimes a swimming pool, and sometimes… just a walk. I do not resort to such substitutes too often, but if there is a high risk of overstraining, I forego the original training plan and do something that will allow me to recover.

“Do I prefer to satisfy a passing whim, or take a step towards the achievement of a long-term goal?”

 

This is my sure-fire trick to make myself choose workout, no matter how much I don't feel like it. I am aware of the benefits of achieving the goal, I know why it is important to me and I would simply feel stupid if I let my indolence get the better of me.

And what if I really, really do not feel like it?

 

I decide that it does not matter much. If I made decisions in my daily life based on what I felt like doing, I would never have carried out many plans that yielded fantastic results. If I prioritised momentary desires over long-term goals, I would have probably slowed down my career, I would not have learned any foreign languages, I would not have grown my company as rapidly as I did, and in the end I would not have been able to help the more demanding patients, those for whom the standard methods do not work. Most of the things in life I care about require work. Not backbreaking, mindless work, but regular performance of certain activities every day.

Think long-term

Regular physical exercise and diet based on nutritious, healthy products is my goal for life. I do not do it to lose weight, to look better in a bikini or to squeeze into an over-tight dress for the New Year's party. It's an element of my lifestyle, something which gives me more energy every day and makes me feel better.

Nevertheless, these benefits become apparent only when regular physical exercise and nutritious diet are indeed part of everyday life. That's why I put a bet on routine and self-discipline, rather than motivation.

Motivation is a short-term factor that can help you mobilise for a workout, but only routine repetition of certain activities, whether you feel like doing it or not, will help you stick to this plan for the rest of your life.

Give yourself a chance to discover what you can gain from regular physical exercise and a healthy diet. Do not give up during a difficult period – instead, adjust your plan to the circumstances. Lighter workout and a diet perhaps less varied, but still more “healthy” than otherwise, will not produce as impressive a result as the ideal training plan and a super-balanced menu. Still, it will help you strengthen your good habits and quickly return to your optimal program, as soon as the difficult period is over.

So, even when it gets hard, you can appeal to your self-discipline, think about your goals and their benefits, and just… do it. I know it's worth it.

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