How to Stay Motivated During Winter
When the winter months roll around, it can be hard to keep up the motivation for swimming. After all, you probably associate swimming with summer sun, warm days, and beaches. However, if you enjoy the sport, wish to compete in swimming, or just want to stay in shape, it is important that you keep up your swimming even as the weather turns colder.
Swimming is great exercise no matter the time of year, but when the weather isn't perfect for it, it can be easy to let your training and exercise slide. Fortunately, we've assembled some tips to help you keep the motivation up when you're just not feeling it.
Set Smaller Goals
While a general goal like “Stay in Shape or “Swim faster is a great goal to have, the lack of specificity can make it easy to slack on your goals. Plus, with a general end point, it can be even easier to put it off for a day or two. And the more you put something off, the easier it becomes to repeat that process.
If you can set a weekly goal, something like “swim five times this week and keep track of your progress, you'll find it much easier to stick to your schedule. Writing down these goals and keeping them somewhere where you can easily see them will help as well, as you will have a constant reminder of your progress and how close you are to meeting your targets.
If setting a weekly goal becomes too much, set an even smaller goal. “I will get to the pool and warm up can help a lot, as once you get that far, you may find that the actual task of swimming doesn't seem like such a burden. You ever find that once you start something, it becomes easier to finish? That's the principle at work here!
Surround Yourself with Good People
Having a good, supportive group of people can help you keep to your goals, especially if they are aware of them. They can help keep you focused on the target and hold you accountable to your training. It is one thing to put off something on your own--it can be quite another to put it off to someone else!
Another good way to train is to find a training partner, someone who keeps the same schedule and has similar goals to you. Training with someone else is a far more enjoyable method and if they are motivated like you, you will find it that much easier to keep to your goals. No better motivator than another person, right?
Start as Soon as Possible
When you arrive at the pool, it can be easy to, once again, put off your actual workout in favor of socializing, for example. The more time you give yourself to delay the start of your workout, the more challenging it becomes. If you get to the pool, jump in, and get the whole thing over with, you will be more likely to complete your workout than if you put it off.
Track Your Workouts
Similar to keeping track of your goals, you should keep track of your workouts as well. Writing them down will help you truly understand your progress and has an added bonus of giving you a small “job well done feeling when you complete it. This also will keep you on your toes while you practice, as you will know exactly how your workout went and what you accomplished.
Create Challenges for Yourself
A common killer of motivation is boredom. Swimming is by nature repetitive, since there are only so many ways to swim the length of a pool. Combine that with the same routine each day, and your brain will be coming up with every excuse it can to keep you away from it.
If you're finding boredom to be a big factor in your lack of motivation, brainstorm methods to switch it up. Maybe you can try different strokes, or focus on certain aspects of your swim. Consider getting a kickboard or a pull buoy to create a sharper, more focused workout.
Mixing your workout even a little can lead to a big increase in motivation.
Help People Less Experienced Than You
You may find yourself in contact with people who are just starting their swim training, or may not know how to swim at all. Offering some of your expertise can help a lot with motivation, and will force you to reevaluate your own technique and ensure that you are up to snuff. Plus, it will help break up your routine and make the training that much more enjoyable.
Professional Swimmers for Inspiration
If you are just not feeling it and nothing else is working, perhaps what you need is some video evidence of success. Watching some awesome swimmer's videos on the internet might be just the thing to kick your inspiration into high gear. Find an epic performance, or just a master at his or her craft, and you will find yourself full of drive for your training!
Lastly, but certainly not leastly, do not let negativity seep into your thought process, especially during the winter months. Recognize when your brain is doing you no favors and making it that much harder to focus on the goals you have set for yourself. Stay positive, stay upbeat, and keep at it! Before you know it, winter will pass and you'll have the good weather back to keep you motivated!