Motivation!  It is the driving force that leads you into action. It’s your inner desire to achieve your goals, the energy that propels you forward and helps you to stay focused and on track. Being motivated is key to your personal, professional, and physical success!


During the winter months, it can be challenging to maintain that motivation. The days are shorter, and the weather is cold, wet, snowy, and gray. It can be hard to stay focused and motivated when the days seem to drag on without any sunshine, and your tasks seem to pile up. Many people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which makes it even more difficult to keep motivated.


The first step in staying motivated during the winter months is to make a plan. You may already have a plan, but now is an excellent time to reevaluate. Start by setting or resetting your SMART goals. You know the realistic goals that are achievable and broken down into smaller, manageable tasks. Track your progress and reward yourself for small accomplishments. Celebrate the small steps as they become significant achievements one by one. 


Next, get organized. I am a fan of organizing my workspace to eliminate distractions. Prioritize tasks and take breaks when you need to. Try the Pomodoro technique of time management. In 25-minute stretches, focus on a task, then take a five-minute break. After four pomodoros, take a 15-30 minute break. Pomodoros help to keep the work manageable and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Plus, getting up and walking around for a stretch is always good for your physical and mental well-being.


Once you have an organized plan, you may need to identify what motivates you and keeps you in a positive frame of mind. Do you have a daily gratitude or meditation practice?  These two things alone can help you manage Seasonal Affective Disorder.   Does your motivation come from self-worth or the excitement of rewarding yourself? Perhaps it is a warm-weather vacation.   


Having a support system, a coworker, family member, or coach, can help you stay on track. A coach can help you reflect on your progress, guide you forward, motivate and focus on achieving your goals.


The short day length and overcast days can affect your mood and motivation. Perhaps you struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) like many people. Approximately 5% of the US population, which turns out to be about 16,715,300 people, struggle with SAD.


Since moving to Minnesota twenty years ago, I have experienced periods in the winter where I struggle with motivation, a positive mindset, and energy, or lack thereof. My husband struggles, too. We often travel to a sunny destination during the winter, but eventually, we must go home to Minnesota.  


A few years ago, I bought a light box therapy for my office 

A light therapy box mimics outdoor sunlight, which may cause chemical changes in the brain that lift your mood, increase your energy, and ease other symptoms of SAD. My energy levels and motivation dramatically increase when using light therapy. 


Of course, you need to read the directions and use the light properly. Light boxes are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for SAD treatment, so it’s essential to understand your options. . Here is a link to the one I have. (I do not have an affiliation with this product, but it works for me.)

If you are having a tough time this winter, it may be worth visiting your doctor. 


By following the steps outlined above, you will be able to stay motivated and on track this winter. Staying motivated in the dreariness of winter can be difficult, but the rewards of achieving your goals are worth the effort. Stay focused, stay organized, and stay motivated. 


If you need support, I am here to guide you on your path to personal, professional, and physical success!  Schedule a call with me here.

Denise Stegall

Denise Stegall

Hi, I’m Denise Stegall,

As a speaker, coach, and curator of Living Healthy List my experience ignites ideas, conversation, and connection. I am a connector, a leader who radiates emotional intelligence, strength, positivity, resilience, and a zest for life!

I bring you 20 years of experience/study in nutrition, cooking, exercise, and coaching to show you how you can enjoy a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life through nutrition and self-empowerment.

I earned my Bachelors’s Degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Business Management with a focus on nutrition, experience in the hospitality industry and has certifications in Health Coaching, Life Coaching, Nutrition, ETP and Plant-Based Cooking.

My experience in cooking and nutrition delivers a unique perspective on what works (and doesn’t work) for most people.  The Living Healthy List Method uses three pillars: Eat Real Food, Make Good Decisions, and Be Accountable.  By following this simple plan anyone can have a truly healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.

As an authentic connector, inspirational thought leader I am determined to provide Living Healthy List readers with honest, reliable, research-backed content that can be implemented in real life to help you create a healthy, happy life you are working hard to find so you can grow, relax and transform into the person you always dreamed of being!  Feeling more confident.  Reaching beyond your limitations.  Enjoy life more and FLOURISH!