Plateaus happen. In weight loss. Your career. And definitely relationships.
All of these areas require determination and discipline to simply maintain—and even more concentrated efforts when it’s time to jazz things up.
Face it. Life hits mediocre sometimes. It just does. So often we catastrophize: ‘I’m destined to never lose weight!’ (four weeks into a new program.) ‘This isn’t the job I thought it would be. I’d better look again’ (six months into a new position.) ‘I married the wrong person’ (two years into a new union.)
What if you took the following viewpoint instead? What if you considered each plateau in life a necessary resting platform before you take the next big step? A chance to catch your breath, re-evaluate your course, and go again—this time more adventurously?
What if it didn’t mean you were doing anything wrong at all? Maybe it’s just a chance for your body (or career or spouse) to catch up. Nothing more dramatic than that. How would that perspective transform and invigorate you anew?
I’ve been on a running plateau for the last few months. For the first time in 15 years of consistent running, I’ve completely and utterly lost my zest. A lot of it has to do with a rather long-standing, medically inexplicable energy funk I’ve been in for a couple years now. Still, I find it a bit disconcerting that I’m running less than I ever have (struggling through three days of 30 minutes.)
And you know what…So what? I’ve also discovered a new appreciation for, and joy in, practicing yoga. Sweaty, stretching, muscles-quivering yoga. So I’ll suck up the running plateau if it means I get to reinvent my activity anew.
And so can you, with whatever plateau you find yourself on. Here’s how:
Expect it. Assume you’ll hit a plateau once, twice, many times. Life is about 99% journeying through the ordinary day-to-day happenings of doing dishes and driving your commute—as opposed to the drama portrayed on TV. It’s what you do with the moments in between each dish or destination that count.
Dig in. I could sit here and tell you what you likely already know about how to break a plateau. i.e. Mix up your exercise routine, re-establish date night, ask for a challenging work assignment, etc. Pick any strategy. It’s sure to work. Just stick to it—that’s the important thing.
Celebrate. You’re maintaining your status quo. In many cases when it comes to your well-being, that alone is a big huge whopping win.
What other ways have YOU found to break a plateau?