What Mel Did
Norwich train station at night

Falling in love with boredom

Being a goal oriented person, I am committed to regaining my previous levels of fitness, but what about those days when motivation packs its bags and says “See ya, kiddo?” This is a question I put to my trainer years ago.

After last year’s medical dramas which, thankfully, are now behind me (fingers crossed and a zillion Hail Marys to all the saints), I am back walking – and it feels great.

The weekly routine is a 3-mile city and river walk before work and a two mile round trip to and from work. My morning begins at around 4:40 am and I’m out the door in my neon sneakers (thank you, Hart) by about 4:45 am.

I have written before about my love of early mornings and the need for solitude in my week the way an addict needs their fix of choice. Walking solo again – and during my favourite season of the year, spring – is exhilarating and motivating.

Being a goal oriented person, I am also committed to regaining my previous levels of fitness, but what about those days when motivation packs its bags and says “See ya, kiddo?”

This is a question I remember putting to my trainer years ago.

“Mark, what if I wake up and just don’t feel motivated to do the work?”

His response?

“Then do it unmotivated, Mel. I don’t care how you do it… just do it!”

Hmm, ‘Just do it!’ That would make a good advertising slogan. I should look into it.

I was reminded of Mark this week reading an article by John Clear examining the behaviours of successful people. (How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your Goals). Different from the usual rhetoric, his was an expanded and new take on the subject of goals and motivation. Just when I thought there was no new way of looking at personal goals.

“At some point, it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day.”

In essence, John’s article offered that people who stick with their goals “don’t let their emotions determine their actions. They find a way to show up and work through the boredom, embracing the daily practice required to achieve their goals.”

“All too often we think our goals are all about the result. We see success as an event that can be achieved and completed.” Eg:

  • Entrepreneurs striving to be featured by the New York Times to really ‘make it.’
  • The health conscious trying to lose 20 lbs before they feel in shape.
  • The artist yearning for their work to be featured in a top gallery to gain credibility.

Common goals viewed as events to be conquered.

John elaborates:

“If you look at people who are consistently achieving their goals, you start to realise that it’s not the event or the results that make them different. It’s their commitment to the process. They fall in love with the daily practice, not the individual event.”


Trying to be a great writer – fall in love with writing.

Want the world to know about your business? – fall in love with marketing.

Want to lose weight? – fall in love with the process of eating healthily and exercising.

“Fall in love with boredom. Fall in love with repetition and practice… and the end result will take care of itself.”

John’s article rocked my world this week, and inspired me to fall in love with the process of my fitness goals – strapping on my neon sneakers even on cold, windy and grey early mornings.



  • A very timely post for me. As you know, I’m doing a self-development course atm and the final session was all about showing up. The bottom line was, as you say here, you can achieve anything but it wont happen unless you show up. I am working on this.