Why am I not getting stronger? Why am I not losing weight? Why am I not feeling recovered? Why am I so tired? Have you caught yourself asking similar questions, maybe even as a slight whine or complaint?
I hear these thoughts from others and I catch myself thinking it from time to time. While there is a possibility that the answer is more complicated, that is not my point with this blog. More often than not the answer is so simple – so simple that we don’t even want to be reminded that the change needed is completely in our control.
When these thoughts start to pop up, it can be easy to combat that with the thought of quitting altogether. Sometimes that even sounds sensible in the moment. However, I know we are all logical enough to know that lashing out will not lead to anything productive.
There are two things that I have found to help bring back logic to my thoughts, refocus my plan of daily actions, and provide grace in the other areas of my life. Before even mentioning the two tips, I must preface with something cliche. You MUST know what you want and why you want it so badly. Without a clear destination it will be challenging to determine the steps needed and the motivation to complete those steps on the difficult days. Once you do know what you would like, it becomes easier to dial in on the little things. So here are two things to think about:
- If you are following a program and beginning to experience a plateau, stick to the plan. There will come a time when it is appropriate and necessary to adjust, but if it has only been a short amount of time since the initial start or a recent adjustment, continue to follow the plan.
- This second part is a little bit harder. Be completely honest with yourself – writing it down or saying it out loud to someone helps me to think WHOOPS, yeah I am definitely not doing everything I can.
- If it is about weight loss/weight gain, there is more than likely a minor adjustment that will be so apparent once you write it out. Are you eating five times the serving of nuts instead of one? Aside from your training session in the gym are you living more of a sedentary lifestyle than usual?
- If you are not recovering, are you doing your recovery work or saying “ehh I’ll do it tomorrow”…everyday?
- If you are feeling tired, what does your bedtime routine look like? Are you watching a few extra shows or maybe drinking caffeine a little too late?
As stated in the beginning, troubleshooting generally leads to these little things but there may be a time that you really are doing everything in your power. If you find that is the case, I like to follow up with analyzing how I am prioritizing my time and effort. Expecting yourself to succeed in every area of life at the same time is too much for anyone.
Once you know where your focus is at the time (your physical health, mental health, a project at work, a new season of life) these can be good ways to narrow down what needs to change and help provide peace of mind. That season will eventually change and life will hand you a new component to prioritize (or you will choose something else), which is perfectly fine. New phases will certainly come again and you will soon have the chance to switch roles of effort and practice grace for the others.