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I Get Bored Easily

Marathon runners put in hundreds of miles leading up to one race.  Competitive weightlifters train about 6 total exercises for years to perfect their movements.  Professional athletes perform speed and agility drills their entire careers.   So it makes me cringe a little when I hear a client say they don't workout because they get bored easily.  What this statement actually tells me is that this individual is focusing on the wrong thing.

Absolutely no one enjoys changing diapers, but we do it anyway.  Commuting in Atlanta is an absolute nightmare, but we do anyway.   Washing the dishes just sucks, but again, we do it.  Why?  Because we know we have a job to do.  We don't focus on the task in front of us, we focus on the result of the task.  The dishes are clean, we got to and from work, and the kid doesn't have a poopy diaper.  So ultimately all that stuff we didn't want to do was worth it. 

Your approach to health shouldn't be any different.  You have a job to do - get healthy.  For the sake of you, your family and your friends, get healthy.  Sometimes that means doing things that are boring or that you don't enjoy.  There are countless lists online offering solutions to exercise boredom and they all include things like "read a book on the treadmill," "set a playlist on your ipod" or "watch tv when you workout."  These fitness bandaids may fix the problem for a bit, but they don't get at the root of the issue.  Instead of focusing on what you dislike about the task at hand, here are 4 ways to shift your focus onto getting the job done.

Focus on the result.
What's your goal?  If you don't have one, pick one.  And pick one that means something to you.  Nothing can derail your progress more than a lack of direction.  Of course something is "boring" if you don't think it's helping you get closer to your goal.  No competitive marathoner enjoys the 20 mile runs leading up to the race.  But they do it because they know every footstep is getting them closer to success.  When the workout turns to work, focus on how the effort is helping you reach your goal.
Find a goal, commit to it and focus on it.  Need help selecting a goal? Check out this and this.  

Make it a Habit.

Most people don't think twice about eating lunch, right?  They do it because 1) they're hungry and 2) it's a habit.  Whereas our ancestors may have foraged for food and ate whenever the opportunity arose, we've conditioned ourselves to be hungry three times a day, like clockwork.  It's just part of the routine.  Your relationship with fitness can be the same.  If you do it frequently enough, it becomes habitual.  It becomes part of your lifestyle. 
Here's a great article on turning tasks into habits. 

Just Do Something.
Get bored running?  Do pushups and situps.  Find burpees to be a snoozer?  Take up cycling.  Hate going to the gym?  Try an at home workout DVD. Can't get motivated to workout alone?  Hire a trainer or join a flag football team.  Just do something.  Don't let one thing you dislike stop you from doing everything. 

Need some ideas for workouts you can do at home quickly?  Check out this

Suck it up. 
This is the tough one to accept, but you gotta hear it: Suck it up.  You're an adult, act like it.  You know this is good for you.  You know working out will feel better when it's over.  You know that having grilled chicken and broccoli instead of fettucini alfredo will be better for you.  So, don't bargain with yourself.  Suck it up and do what you know you should do. 


Kevin Snodgrass