4 Things You Must Do When You Hit A Plateau

Imagine this scenario, if you will.

You’ve hit the gym every morning this week. You deftly avoided the donuts your boss brought in on Monday. You side-stepped your niece’s birthday cake on Tuesday. You’re feeling pretty darn chuffed with yourself, and deservedly so.

And then you step on the scales to see how much you’ve dropped.



No movement.

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It’s been two weeks and that number hasn’t budged. Disappointment rains down on you.

“Awwwwwwww c’mon…what am I doing wrong?”

You think about how you should have stayed an extra hour at the gym. You should have passed on that glass of red. You should have drunk more water.

Shoulda. Shoulda. Shoulda.

And whamo. You’re THERE again. Beating. Yourself. Up.

The voices in your head are at full volume crushing all that is bright, shiny and hopeful within you. All the good stuff you achieved during the week forgotten amidst the din.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we girls.

The weight loss journey can feel like a long, dark tunnel with no end in sight. So how does one stay motivated during the No Light At The End Of The Tunnel phase?

We are smart women. We know that:

– Failure is a stepping stone to success
– It’s not how many times we trip that counts – it’s how many times we get up, and
– A bend in the road is not the end of the road.

Knowing this should make it easy for us to handle the bumps. Apparently not!

Here’s four game-changing ways to keep hold of your mojo when your ultimate goal feels tantalising out of reach:

1) Focus on the small wins.

You must set yourself up for success (instead of its slippery-slopped-cousin failure) by celebrating your small wins. Success builds on success. Every long term achievement is built on a series of small wins that translates over time into a much larger success.

When the scales aren’t budging it’s vital to focus on the small wins like, “My jeans are feeling looser. I’m exercising five days a week. As a family we’re eating healthier – with only a bit of push back from the boys. I’m eating smaller portions.”

By doing this you’ll keep your mojo topped up. Your mojo is your fuel for the weight loss journey.

Remember our unconscious mind can be likened to a four-year-old child in many respects. It adores and responds well to praise…oodles of it. Catch yourself doing good stuff, focus on the small wins and praise, praise, praise.

So, I’m not insisting you go all-out-American with Oprah-style high-five-ing. But do grant yourself permission to indulge in a moderate kiwi-sized “woohoo” and a self-congratulatory smile, knowing that it’ll top up your mojo reserves.

2) Be patient.

I’m not convinced by the adage of ‘good things coming to those who wait’. You see, I’m more of an action girl myself. But one thing of which I have absolute conviction is that night always follows day.

If you are taking action then results must follow. This I promise you.

Sometimes results have their own time frame, and that’s OK. Keep your faith. Keep taking action. Be patient.

3) Quit focusing on what’s wrong.

We all spend an insane amount of time judging ourselves, worrying about what we could have done…should have done…would have done.

Focusing on the shoulda, coulda, woulda aspects of our day is a recipe for failure because the Law of Focus dictates this simple truth…what we focus on, grows. Focus on the negative and you’ll get a bunch more of what you wanted to avoid in the first place.

So, instead of your beat-yourself-up routine….STOP. And ask yourself:

– What did I learn?
– What am I focusing on?
– What am I making this (plateau) mean?
– What am I going to do about it now?

Use these questions to help you quit looking at what you didn’t do and re-focus on what you did do.

4) Reward yourself.

It’s important to reward yourself.


Rewards train your mind to associate your new habits with pleasure instead of drudgery. It is exactly how we create a new neural pathway and rewire our brains. We’re hard-wired for pleasure and we respond exceptionally well to a reward system.

As do dogs, children and husbands. Ahem.

But before you head for the fridge to reward yourself – make it a non-food one. You could treat yourself to a music download after achieving your exercise goals for the week. If music’s not your thing, experiment with what tickles your fancy and have the discipline to withhold it from yourself until you’ve earned it. Treat yourself to larger rewards weekly and a major reward at the end of month.

If you wait to nail your ultimate weight loss goal before you break out your victory dance, you’ll lose your mojo before you get there. The sure-fire way to have a big win is to have lots of little ones. They all add up.

Ironically most people are quick to commiserate when things don’t go well but are slow, glacially so, to celebrate when things do go well.

Happy people do it the other way around. It’s fun to be around the people who celebrate small wins. They are full of life and they bring life to people around them.

– When was the last time you celebrated your small wins?
– When was the last time you rewarded yourself?

Bust a move chicas :)

PS: Have fun resurrecting your “woohoos” from the back of your vocal wardrobe. Try it on for size. I do believe it’ll look very well on you.

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2 Responses to 4 Things You Must Do When You Hit A Plateau

  1. Juliette says:

    Hello motivator Avril…I am on a plateau but what can I reward myself for? I have eaten a lot more protein this week. I’ve kept up the water, walking the steps…. I havn’t gone up, so next will be going down…That’s must be possible.. I’ve enjoyed your blogs, made a new ally, had a few laughs, liked being outside the box with you. I have encouraged others by sharing my new motivated self. I’ve met folks on my walks. As you say, I am taking action so results must follow… Enjoy your day!

  2. Avril says:

    Hey gorgeous Juliette….good on you for eating more protein, upping the water, walking the steps. You’re doing EXACTLY what you NEED to do. Celebrate those wins. And keep the faith, which I know you have a tonne of. Keep on keeping going, doing what you’re doing. I love that you’re loving being outside the box and keep on sharing your motivated self and look know deep within yourself that by doing what you’re doing, taking action, focusing on the small wins, that results WILLS follow, sure as night follows day. Enjoy your day!

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