So I have had two significant runs in the last couple of years of really sticking to goals with consistent habits and have seen great results. But in both cases after a while I have hit a plateau and faltered with my consistency. I have struggled to understand why this happens and figure out how to avoid it in the future.
What is a plateau? A plateau is a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress. So for me, I find that I'm plugging away with my habits like meditation, visualization, and gratitude in the morning and consistently working out, drinking water, and eating better and I feel really great about myself. And then for no reason at all, poof... I stop doing the things that are making me feel great.
WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING???? It is actually really simple. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson talks about this right at the beginning of the book. When we are on the verge of failure we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep from failing. If we are about to go broke, we work like crazy to get the bills paid. Or if we are about slip off the edge of a cliff, we scramble with everything we have back to safety. Or for me, I will start to just feel like shit for too long and I get fed up and do something about it.
Essentially what is happening is that as we are consistent with our habits we get a little further away from that feeling of failure each day. After a while, we are far enough from failure that we can tell ourselves that "I can slack today, because if I slide back a little I'm still not that close to failure." And one day of slacking is ok. But when one day turns into two and then a week and then a month goes by and we've slid all the way back down that mountain that we had just climbed.
So what can we do about it? Jeff Olson makes it real simple. He says, just keep doing what you've been doing and you will blow through that plateau to find success. I think he's exactly right here, but there is one issue I have with it. HOW???? I understand what I am supposed to do. Why do I keep sabotaging my efforts and fail to keep doing the things I need to do to keep going? I have some ideas and I'm doing some investigating to try and break through. We'll get into that in the next post. Let me know what works for you. THIS PLATEAU IS KILLING ME! See you guys soon.