A question I get fairly often is “How do you stay motivated?” This question pertains to sticking to workouts in general, healthier eating habits, the energy to workout after a shift at the hospital, and staying motivated after my accident. (For anyone who missed it, I fell and fractured my jaw and wrist. Just saying “I had an accident” can sound kind of ominous 😉 )
Anyways. I’m thinking this first post will focus more on how to stay motivated in general, and I’ll do a separate posts that surrounds how I handled my accident.
If I had to narrow it down to what keeps me motivated, I would say both looking at how far I’ve come, but also looking ahead to all the goals I want to accomplish. In general, any time I’m feeling unmotivated, I try to set aside those immediate feelings and focus on the bigger picture. Also, whenever I don’t feel like going to the gym, I have to remind myself that no one ever regretted a workout! The feeling after a great workout is like no other–I don’t know about you guys but I feel so accomplished! It’s the same feeling I get when I’ve stuck to my macros and/or a clean diet for the diet. It just feels good to know that I’ve accomplished that; it’s just another step towards my goals.
So, I think that motivation is definitely an important part of what helps me stick to my routine but even more than that, habit is what keeps me going. Trust me, there are plenty of times that I don’t feel motivated. Sure, there are plenty of days where I’m like, I can’t wait to get to the gym! But, that is certainly not every day. During those days where I’m not looking forward to the gym, I go because its been engrained in me to go. It takes around 30 days to make something a habit. So once you’ve stuck to something for about a month, it will become much easier to make it part of your normal routine. So just keep going! You’ve got this!
Lastly, some of you have asked how I manage to workout on days that I work. For any fellow nurses out there, I hear you #thestruggleisreal. I get it, after 13+ hours of work and being on your feet all day, a gym session isn’t looking too hot. So, a few suggestions. Don’t think about it too much–just pack your gym stuff before work, and go right after you get off. I always pack an extra snack with me and eat it in the car as I’m leaving work and then just go straight to the gym. Or, if you workout at home, just jump into you workout right away. The longer you wait once you’ve gotten home the later it gets and the harder it will be. In terms of night shift, I usually go to the gym immediately after I get off work. Or, if you prefer, sleep first and then go afterwards. Also, don’t do your most rigorous and/or long workout on those days you work. I usually choose a workout that will take just around 30 minutes and isn’t super fatiguing. I’m already tired after a long day, and I don’t need to subject my body to something like leg day at that point! Another tip–meal prep! During days that I work, I always have all my food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) made prior to my shifts. This way, I’m not taking any extra time to prepare food. Hmmm, I think that about covers it?! Those are the main things, besides habit, that help me stay on track after working.
If any of you, nurses or not, have any tips or advice on how you stay motivated I’d love to hear them! I hope these suggestions were helpful though! xx