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Tips for Nurses: Staying Motivated Towards Fitness Goals

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This article discusses tips on how to help you stay motivated to reach your fitness goals in the nursing profession. Nurses work long hours and have very demanding jobs, physically and mentally, making it challenging to maintain healthy habits. Nurses are great at going the extra mile for their patients, but what about for themselves?

Tips for Nurses: Staying Motivated Towards Fitness Goals

Ever feel like you go to the gym and just go through the motions? Everyone goes through this. We all experience those emotions at some point with feeling like you are in a funk, stuck in a rut and just downright unmotivated. Sometimes we struggle with or lose focus on what our fitness goals are. We ultimately lose that excitement of going to the gym or working out. Nursing schedules also make this harder and near impossible to get into a routine.

It's important to realize that it's not the end of the world. The key is to reflect on "why are you doing this?" Think long and hard about this. Feel it in your heart and soul to drive that motivation back. Try to remember that feeling you have after a hard work out and the endorphin rush. Sticking with a healthy lifestyle takes dedication, discipline and effort but will ultimately lead to an increase personal happiness and more energy for everything else in your life.

I have learned through trial and error that if I do not go to the gym or work out before my shift it's just not going to happen. I like to think that after my long shifts I am going to be productive but that is usually not the case. Therefore I can't expect myself to work out after my shift, plus working out before my shift gives me energy for my day. Building healthy habits takes consistency and a positive mindset.

Don't focus on all the things you can't do but celebrate all things you can do. If you find yourself losing motivation evaluate other aspects of your life to make sure your body is getting what it needs, such as sleep, hydration and nutrition. Are you sleeping at least 8 hours a night? Are you getting proper nutrition to fuel your body? Are you drinking enough water throughout your day? Another area to evaluate is your emotional health. Are you making time for leisure activities and time with friends? All of these things are extremely challenging in the nursing profession and are vitally important to be conscious of as a nurse.

5 Tips to Help Keep You Motivated Towards Your Fitness Goals

1. Listen to motivational speakers or watch a motivational video.

It sounds cheesy but it actually works! That inspiration and positivity rubs off on you! When you see other people busting their butts and working hard, it's difficult to not want to do the same.

2. Set small obtainable goals.

This will help you feel like you are accomplishing something and help motivate you. By setting small, realistic goals it helps you achieve your big goals and aspirations. Write out your goals and mark them as you achieve them! Try creating a goal chart or tracking system for your fitness journey. Research shows that by tracking your progress you are more likely to succeed. Focus on one week at a time so you do not get overwhelmed. A journal or planner is a good way to track your progress. Mark what days you plan on working out to hold yourself accountable. This will also aid you in your preparation for the upcoming work week. The important thing is to set yourself up for success by adapting your life to obtaining your fitness goals.

3. Switch up your gym routine or try something new.

It is very easy to get stuck in what's habitual, making it feel mundane. Trying something new is always a risk and pushes you outside your comfort zone, but that is often when great things happen. You might discover that you can do something you never even dreamed of doing. For example, I had always been a runner and never dreamed of being able to lift weights with a barbell. Now I am working on perfecting my powerlifting movements and doing Crossfit. This was a huge leap of faith for me and forced me to step outside my comfort zone but it was worth it and I love it. Each and every day is a challenge but that is the great thing about fitness. Fitness is versatile and can be modified to anyone's skill level. Its human nature to need variety and change to stay motivated. Try designing various exercise routines and methods of working out to challenge your body in different ways. Choose activities that you truly enjoy, it will give you something to look forward to.

4. Take time off.

Sometimes you just need that. It's important to listen to your body especially if it's telling you that you need rest. Take a couple days off intentionally to recharge and refocus.

5. Surround yourself with people who have a positive mindset and attitude.

Be around people who strive towards similar goals and healthy lifestyles. They can help you celebrate your triumphs and help pick you up when you struggle. Find a work out buddy to make things fun and to help hold yourself accountable. It's a lot harder to hit the snooze button or skip a work out if you are leaving a friend hanging. Sometimes the hardest part about working out is getting to the gym or getting started. It's also great to work out with people who will cheer you on and push you that extra bit.

Bonus tip

Reward yourself for your good habits and for sticking with your fitness plan. I am not talking about with junk food, but rather try buying yourself a new work out outfit! It works in both ways as a reward and as motivation to work out with your new clothes.

What helps you stay motivated to your fitness goals? Share ideas and comments to help others!

I have been a registered nurse for four wonderful years now. Even before my nursing career I worked in healthcare for three years. I cannot imagine doing anything else. I thoroughly enjoy taking care of others and making patients smile. I am currently working in PACU full time, plus many call hours. Aside from work I enjoy exercising and practicing healthy eating habits to fuel my body.

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