Staying motivated in the long winter months is no easy feat. Schools in many locations experience blizzards and severe weather conditions that make it hard to commute. And we’re all faced with fewer daylight hours that can make it hard to stay active and in high-spirits. If you’ve noticed your students dragging more than usual lately, share these top five tips for staying motivated in the winter months.

Find inspiration

College-level coursework is not for the faint of heart. It’s easy to lose your motivation in the middle of spring semester, when all you want to do is stay inside your cozy bedroom. But it helps to remember that all of this hard work is preparing you for your bright future. Days when you try hard even when you want to quit are the ones that count the most.

Try planning out your big milestones of the semester. You want to make it as easy to succeed as possible with a little bit of planning. If you want to get an A on your next exam, for example, consider how much you might need to study or if you might need to seek some extra guidance.

Build your support team

Our recent blog post, “Tips for Students: Finding a Support System in College” offers insight on the benefits of a support system in college:

Often times, we are motivated by our relationships or by social influences. For example, many of us find it much easier to make it to the gym when we have a friend to hold us accountable. Otherwise, you may find yourself canceling or making excuses. Very similarly, an effective college mentor will hold you accountable for your academic success, offering guidance and support when you need it most.

Share some of your goals with a friend, family member, or mentor, and ask your friends what some of theirs are. This will help you hold each other more accountable for staying on track. It also feels great to have supporters invested in your success!

Exercise

February is a common month to forget our New Year’s resolutions. If you’re in a cold climate, your main objective may simply be to get from one place to another without your toes freezing. But those who do find time to exercise throughout the winter often find themselves with higher energy levels throughout the day, allowing them to stay motivated to achieve their goals.

Sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, and moderate exercise is sure to work wonders. Even sitting less is great for your body. Visit recent CengageBrain post, “Life Hacks for How to Sit Less and Move More” for some hints on staying in motion.

Reward yourself

School can become an uphill battle once you get worn out. One way to stay motivated is to reward yourself when you do well. If you’re the planning type, make a comprehensive to-do list, and check off your victories.

If you’re the social type, reward a two-hour study session with a Facebook break or some relaxation with your roommates. If you’re the foodie type, promise yourself that you won’t break into the sweets until you finish your reading. Too challenging? Ask your friends or roommates to keep them from you until you finish!

Believe you can!

Throughout your academic career, you’ll face challenges, stress, triumphs, missteps, and change. And it all comes down to how you handle these encounters that determines your path to success. No matter how stressed or worn out you feel during the long winter months, remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.

What helps you stay motivated to achieve your goals in the winter months? Share your ideas below.