How often have you set a goal and defined your way to it, just to see “life happening” and getting in your way? How often has your motivation died out leaving you struggling towards that goal? How often have you felt alone and lonely on your way?
In almost any journey you sooner or later hit a plateau or have a regression. They are natural parts of the process but can be quite discouraging. That is why it’s essential to set correct expectations, tune your mindset onto the right frequency and have support.
Training is an example many can relate to. Let’s say you decide to run a half-marathon and you start training for your first race. You find some program on the internet, the first weeks are going well. It might be tough but you see progress, and your motivation is still fresh, so you keep going. But soon enough you hit that plateau, hitting the track or treadmill is not fun anymore, and you have so much other stuff going on anyway. The jogging occasions get fewer and fewer with every week, and a month later you are looking whom to sell your race ticket. What went wrong and how could you avoid giving up on your goal?
1. Identify the real “why” for your goal. Ask five “why” questions, to get to the root desire. Finding it will make the journey much easier despite the challenges. And maybe you will realise that it’s not a half-marathon that you need to fulfil that desire.
2. Be prepared for the development curve being non-linear, and be OK with that. Make your mindset your friend, not a foe. Whenever you find yourself in the “one step forward, two steps back” situation, look back to the starting point. You have come that far, and that’s what matters. Sometimes it is important to slow down to be able to keep going. And sometimes you just have a bad day, and it’s also alright.
3. Plan specific times when you can work on your goal. It is easy to get distracted when the way to your goal involves uncomfortable actions. Having a plan can help you stay on track.
4. Remember about the power of a micro-step. Break down your way in the bits too tiny to fail. When deciding to run 21 km without any previous experience, you don’t just get to the starting point and do the whole distance. You need to build up your condition and stamina gradually. Maybe running half a kilometre will be a reasonable first step for you, or even just putting the jogging clothes on and going out for a stroll.
5. Get someone who can support you and hold you accountable. I never get tired of repeating this: whatever your way is, never walk it alone. Have your group of cheerleaders, and have a person or people who will healthily challenge you, not letting you give up when it gets tough.
Which of your journeys have you hit a plateau on? How did you deal with it?
With all my love and care,