Plateaus happen to the best of us sometimes. However, knowing that they are completely natural does little to make them any less frustrating.
During a plateau, motivation to continue trying can be scarce to come by. Don’t let a momentary stumbling block become a permanent setback. Use these five tips to keep it going:
1. Remind yourself of your goals.
If you’re in a weight loss plateau, then you have not yet reached your fitness goals. Revisit why you wanted to get fit in the first place. Was it so you’d have better health? Was it to look great in a bathing suit? Was it so you would have more stamina to do the things you love? Whatever your reasons were, use them as a source of inspiration to keep at it, even when progress seems to have come to a screeching halt.
2. Reflect on how far you’ve come.
When nothing seems to be doing much for your body, stop and look back on the progress you’ve made so far. It’s easy to lose sight of progress already accomplished, especially when you see yourself every day. If you took pictures before you started, compare those to where you are today. Remind yourself that if you stop now, you risk undoing all that you’ve worked so hard for already.
3. Educate yourself.
Plateaus occur when the body adapts to a routine. This one, tiny bit of knowledge can be so powerful. All you have to do to get over a plateau is to change up your routine. You may or may not need to increase the intensity level of your workouts, so it will take a little experimentation.
You should also take a look at your diet. No amount of exercise will give you the results you want if you’re still eating poorly. Look into “healthy” cookware brands, like Xtrema, that claim to cook healthier meals than typical cookware. Researching different workout routines and meal plans lets the promise of busting that plateau serve as its own motivation.
4. Go for a walk.
From kindergarten teacher to corporate CEO, everyone needs an opportunity to get some fresh air. Going for a leisurely walk, without exercise in mind, can help you relax, focus and regroup.
During your walk, you can meditate on where you are in life, both physically and mentally. You can use this time to try our first two tips, or you can choose to make it a completely cleansing exercise by refusing to think about anything.
After your walk, you’ll feel physically refreshed and mentally rejuvenated. Chances are that you may even feel like getting in a killer workout. Remember, it’s always that first step in the right direction that is most difficult. You’ve already taken that one; now you just have to keep the momentum.
5. Reach out for support.
Join a fitness or wellness community online and become an active member. It is so much easier to find motivation when you have others around to support you when things become difficult.
A bonus for this is that, in addition to words of encouragement, you’ll find out that thousands of people have experienced the same problem before. You’re likely to get tons of tips from those people about ways they overcame their plateaus, including workout hacks and nutrition advice.
While an online community is invaluable for motivation and support, don’t overlook the value of having a support system in the real world, too. A hug from a good friend or a “You’re doing great!” from a loved one can go far to help you reclaim your motivation.
Michelle is a blogger and freelancer. She’s written about almost every topic under the sun, and loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while she’s writing. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.