Have you ever been on a diet or a fitness program and you seem to be making great progress toward your goal? Then, and all of a sudden, for no particular reason, that progress stops — dead in its tracks.
You may expect to make constant progress in whatever it is you may be trying to accomplish, but you will always experience plateaus on the journey to mastery or accomplishment. Plateaus are simply a leveling out of your learning curve for a while as you are learning and making progress. It happens to everyone. It’s not a time to stop in frustration. It’s a time to “rinse and repeat”, to use the current buzz words. You are essentially letting yourself catch up to your own progress and it is an essential but frustrating part of the process.
For example, you may be trying to lose weight. You may have lost 15 pounds on your way to losing 40 pounds. But for some reason, even though you are not cheating on your diet, the scales seem stuck at the 15 pound loss point. The natural response is to get frustrated and angry and say that “it’s no use”. Finally after a few days of stagnant weight, you find yourself ready to give up. Here’s a word of advice: Don’t give up.
The same applies to other aspects of fitness. You may find that after starting an exercise program, your muscles suddenly stop responding, or your running distance is stuck at a certain point, and then no matter how much effort you apply, you are not improving your fitness level. Once again you are ready to give up. Again, don’t!
Plateaus are a very frustrating part of the mastery process, whether it is weight loss, fitness, or just simple learning.
It may seem like the Gods are testing you, but in reality, it’s all a part of nature running its course. Stay with your program and you will start losing weight again. If you are on a fitness program, keep at it. The improvement curve will start rising again shortly. When? When it’s ready to.
In his best selling book, Mastery, George Leonard says to “learn to love the plateaus.” He says that without them we will never stay the course to its conclusion, or mastery of whatever we are trying to achieve. He’s right. It’s happened to me. It will happen to you. Just keep going.
Forewarned is forearmed, so don’t let the plateaus discourage you. Impatience does not help. Time does. Work through the plateaus and when your body catches up, you will be on your way again toward that seemingly elusive weight loss, fitness or other goal.
Thank you for reading.