Waking up early for a swim when the rest of your family is cozy inside is really hard.

But when you make it through the holiday season and start off the new year feeling fitter than ever, you’ll be glad you stayed disciplined enough to maintain your training when everyone else was taking a break.

Here are some things we recommend this time of year to keep you going, when all you want to do is curl up in a blanket with Christmas cookies.

Set a season-oriented goal

‘Tis the season to get swimming? Make your motivation holiday-themed with a SMART personal goal – ideally it is to swim every day over break. If that’s too much for your schedule, try these motivation hacks:

  • Grab and friend or family member and hold each other accountable to swim a certain distance or amount of time between now and January 1. Log it in MySwimPro and you’ll be notified every time they swim!
  • Alternate each day with a swim and a long walk or run.
  • Crunched for time? Even a quick 15-minute daily swim will do wonders. Here’s why >
  • Need a break from heavy training? Take a “mental swim” 
  • No desserts or alcohol until you exercise for 30+ minutes. If the pool is closed, take the dog for a walk, go snowshoeing, or try a yoga class!

Need something more competitive? Sign up for a swim meet, triathlon or open water race in early January, so you won’t be as inclined to skip a day’s training or say yes to those extra deserts at the holiday party.

Double-check when the pool is open

Now that you have your goal, make sure that you have access to the pool during the holiday break. A lot of pools close on Christmas day or are busy with local swim teams throughout the day. If you’re taking time off work or school, you’ll probably be swimming at a new time of the day.

Check your local pool or beach website to confirm availability and the weather.

If you’re traveling, do some research ahead of time. It’s always fun to try a new pool or swimming group! Here are some resources:

  • Swimmersguide.com
  • Local masters swim teams
  • Social media groups
  • Ask a friend in the area
  • Local gyms offer free trial periods
  • Tourism bureau

Stuck in a small hotel pool? Here’s how to get a great workout in!

Schedule your workouts

Instead of going into these next few weeks with the laissez-faire idea of swimming when you have time, make a training plan. Even if you deviate from your schedule a bit, you’ll likely swim more with an actual written plan versus a more casual approach. Read why >

Think ahead to what you want your New Year’s resolutions to be. If they involve swimming more or some kind of other fitness goal, having that goal in mind during the holidays might make it easier to stay on track so you’re starting the year ahead of the game — not with 10 extra pounds and much lower fitness levels.

Start a free 7-day trial of MySwimPro ELITE and you’ll get a full Training Plan personalized around your schedule for the week–right on your phone or smartwatch.

Switch it up

You’re on holiday – enjoy your swim! Try something new in the water!

Doing the same workouts over and over can be monotonous. If you’ve got holiday get-togethers or the winter doldrums are crushing your will to get in a tough swim workout, swap in some speed or technique work. We have many ideas in the MySwimPro app. Check out our YouTube channel for some fun drills and tips to try:

Or, if you need a break from swimming, use this time to cross-train so your fitness doesn’t take a hit. A lot of gyms and studios offer free 7-day trials.

Here are some alternatives to swimming:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Strength training
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Kickboxing

Follow through

Find a friend or family member that can help you stay accountable. Talk to them about your goals, and maybe invite them to join you! If nobody else swims around you, ask someone to text you reminders and motivation.

The simplest way to stay on track is to log all of your swim workouts in the free MySwimPro app.

Spending a few minutes post-workout recording what happened in the pool will add a powerful layer of accountability to your swimming. Keeping track of what you’re doing is key to staying motivated towards your goals, plus it’s fun! Add friends in the app and they’ll get a notification every time you swim.

What are some other ways that you’re staying accountable this season? Tell us in the comments! 

Start free 7-day trial of ELITE > 

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