How to make boring stuff fun again

Meyken Houppermans, PhD. CrossFit Level 3 Trainer.
Founder and Head Coach
Life can be an unstoppable train. Always the same routines, day in day out. When boredom kicks in, say goodbye to motivation and discipline. Bye bye gym, healthy eating, doing fun stuff and enjoying life. How to make boring stuff fun again?

Sometimes life feels boring. Always the same routines, and every day looks the same. When boredom kicks in, you can say goodbye to motivation and discipline (Motivation is an unreliable friend). You don’t feel like going to the gym any more, or meditating regularly, or taking a cold shower every day (Cold showers work) How can you make boring stuff fun again? Read Jenny’s story. 

The story of Jenny

Jenny’s goal was to lose weight by eating healthy and exercise every day. She also wanted to learn how to be more mindful in life. Jenny had a very demanding full-time job, two kids and a husband also working full-time.

She managed to eat healthy every day.She ate lunch at work and cooked homemade meals at home. Her kids were a great motivator for her to cook every evening. She also found the time in the morning for a 10 minute meditation session. Jenny was nailing it!

Except for exercise. That seemed to drop to the bottom of her priority list. By the time she was done with work, cooking and taking the kids to bed, she had no energy left to exercise. After a while, Jenny felt miserable.  Every days felt the same. Life was like an unstoppable thundering train. Very boring and unsatisfying. Things needed to change. 

Jenny made a deal with herself to exercise three times per week for 30 minutes no matter what. She bought a home trainer, put it in front of a screen and watched a Netflix series for 30 minutes while being on the home trainer three times per week. It worked for a few weeks. And then it got boring. Jenny got very frustrated because she could not bring up the energy to stick to the deal she made with herself. That made her even more demotivated. Jenny got stuck in a negative spiral and reached out to CrossFit Eudokia for Lifestyle Coaching

The bigger picture

We asked her:

Why did you want to lose weight by eating healthy and exercising daily in the first place, what was your bigger picture behind this? 

Jenny said she wanted to feel healthy and happier and more confident about herself. She wanted to be a good example for her kids and be able to play with them without getting out of breath or feeling ashamed of her body. Her bigger picture was about feelings of happiness and confidence and living a healthy lifestyle with her loved ones. Yet daily life made her totally lost sight of that bigger picture. 

We asked her:

How do these positive happy feelings of your bigger picture match up with the way you are exercising right now? Do you actually feel happier, more confident and do you feel like you're living that healthy lifestyle with your loved ones while exercising? 

Jenny said exercise felt like going to the dentist. After every workout she was glad it was over. She was constantly nervous for the next workout, and insecure if she would be able to stick to the deal she made with herself. She was scared of not meeting her weight loss goal. She constantly felt like a failure.(How to tackle the fear of failure

Time for change

Jenny started exercising to create her bigger picture, yet now it turned out to be the opposite of that bigger picture. Not only in terms of negative feelings instead of positive ones, but also in terms of her weight loss goal. She created a negative spiral of not working out at all anymore and feeling crap about herself and therefore making it even harder on herself.

But not everything she did was negative or bad. She did good by making a deal with herself to exercise. She was also realistic about the fact that some days would not be as much fun as others, because that is life. Nevertheless, in the long run it is preferred that the things we do in life make us feel happy and healthy. It was time for Jenny to break the negative spiral.

We asked Jenny:

What activities do you do right now that make you feel happy and confident? The feelings related to your bigger picture?

Jenny said she loved to play outside with her kids in the garden and do creative things.

We asked her:

What are the essential elements of those activities you specifically like?

Jenny said it was about being together with her family and the fact that she could totally immerse in these activities and forget all about everything around her.

We gave Jenny a task:
How could you apply these essential elements together in a new activity that makes you break a sweat, that makes your heart rate go up, and that makes you move around?

A week later Jenny said, with a big smile on her face, that she had created several games she did in the garden with her kids whereby one had to solve a piece of the puzzle and the other one had to do some silly exercise they made up together. After half an hour she was totally out of breath, she forgot all about the time and she had pain in her stomach from laughing.

Jenny was very successful in applying these essential elements that made her feel happy, into a new activity that made her exercise. She actually created her own version of exercising.

She said she realized that in the past she thought of exercising as an activity that needed to feel painful and should look like workouts sjhe saw online. Trying to meet up with what she saw on social media made her feel like crap (Inner voice or social media, who wins?). But now she created her own definition of exercise, one that is just as good as any other yet even better for her because it made her feel good. Moreover it matched her bigger picture, her standard of happiness.

So far Jenny’s story. 

Let's make boring stuff fun again!

What activities are you doing right now that make you feel good, that make you feel the way you want to feel?

What are the essential elements of these activities you can use to make your boring subjects more fun and to create your own standard of happiness?

Experiment with it, and make your boring stuff fun again!

Create your own health!©