4 Plateau busters when motivation ebbs


One of the biggest challenges I personally encounter when pursuing a goal is maintaining motivation when I hit a “plateau”.  I’m 100% certain I am not alone when it comes to this issue!  You know what it feels like…you start out on your goal ‘journey’ with a hiss and a bang – full of excitement – and feel like you’re invincible!  Then, after about 3 to 4 weeks, an inkling of ‘ho-hum’ starts to dance around the periphery of your awareness. If you’re not careful, that ‘ho-hum’ can expand into ‘I have to’ or ‘I should’ rather than the ‘I can’t wait’ attitude that got you started.

Why does this happen? Well, what started out as a new activity or new habit has now become a bit of a routine. So, how do we push through when the old ‘ho-hum’ point starts to kick in and our forward progress slows or grinds to a halt?  There are a few strategies we can implement:

  • Get back in touch with your ‘why’. If you recall, I wrote another article called “8 Reasons  People Don’t Achieve Their Goals”  and one of the main reasons is there is no compelling ‘why’ supporting the goal from the outset.  Your ‘why’ is the REAL REASON you’re attempting to achieve your chosen goal – the deep-seated desire (for acceptance, for more choice, more balance, for personal gratification) underneath the surface that drives you forward.  Once the excitement of a new activity wears off and it starts to feel routine or ‘like work’, we’re beginning to lose sight of our ‘why’.  Make an effort to focus in on why you want to accomplish your goal and then put some measure in place to encourage yourself to get in touch with the ‘why’ every day.  It might be journaling every day about your journey (which we at 100 Days highly recommend), it might be posting reminders around your environment about your ‘why’ or it might be sharing and discussing your ‘why’ with a trusted friend or colleague. Whatever feels right for you – do it now.
  • Re-frame the plateau. Sometimes all we need to do to break through a plateau is re-frame how we’re measuring our progress to show that we’re STILL moving forward.  Now, I’m not saying you should deceive yourself into believing you’re making progress if you’re really NOT. What I am saying is perhaps your initial KPI’s (key productivity indicators) aren’t telling you the whole story. Maybe the KPI you set in the beginning of your journey was valid to measure your progress in the early stages but now you should adjust or re-set your KPI to more accurately capture your progress in the later stages as your activities may have changed.
  • Adjust your priorities. Get honest with yourself in order to determine if you’re simply beginning to put off the work you need to continue to do to achieve your goal.  Often, as we progress further along a journey toward achieving something we’ve never achieved before, we’ll start encountering activities that we need to do that are HARD!  And what do most humans do when faced with an item on the daily to-do list that is HARD?  We procrastinate! We put it off.  Our advice to you at this point is J.F.D.I!   Only by pushing forward and continuing to move outside your comfort zone will you continue to grow and achieve.
  • Evaluate your skill set and resources. Sometimes our lack of skill in a certain area or the resources we have to support us aren’t enough to keep us moving forward.  This follows on from the prior point about running into activities that are new or hard – take stock of what you need to learn, purchase, outsource, etc  in order to move forward and then do it.  The skill set that got you where you are now is not the same skill set you’ll need to do something brand new and challenging.  When we acknowledge that, at some point, we’ll need to access other resources or upskill ourselves or outsource some activity in order to keep moving forward, we set ourselves up for success. That’s all part of the planning process when you’re initially setting up your goal – looking forward and attempting to anticipate what you’ll need as you make progress so that, when you ultimately hit that point, you don’t stop.

At JFDI, we want nothing more than to see more people accomplish more things in their lives and enjoy the sweet feeling of success.  We hope this article will be helpful to you when you feel a bit ‘stuck.’

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