Avoid the Linear Progression Mindset
Updated: Feb 18, 2021
“Slow, steady progress is better than daily excuses.”
~ Robin Sharma
It is easy to lose sight of how far we have come or how far we can go if we only kept putting forth the effort. This usually occurs when our results do not meet our expectations. “Last week I lost 2 pounds and this week, I didn’t lose any? What’s the point, this isn’t working? I might as well quit.” When people start a weight loss initiative, they usually see a quick drop in weight (it’s mostly water weight) initially and then it starts to slow down significantly. Often this demotivates them and they convince themselves that this initiative is not worth the effort. What’s the problem? The idea that progress should be quick and linear.
As mentioned in a previous post, Health is Not a Sprint, progress or growth in nature is slow (I recommend reading it if you haven’t already). We have to let go of the notion that we will experience extraordinary achievements in short periods of time. Great feats require great, consistent effort over a great amount of time. This is true for many areas in life. Whether it’s building a successful business or becoming a master of your craft, there is no other formula that will get you there. You have to put in the hard yards and trust that in good time (may take months or years), your results will come.
Now that you understand that good progress is not quick, the second thing to be weary of is the linear progression mindset. You will not break your personal records every day. If you create this expectation, you will often be left disappointed. Comparing your recent progress to past progressions will leave you vulnerable to demotivating thoughts and emotions. “I finally did 10 push-ups last time and today I only did 8.” “My squat P.R. (personal record) is 225lbs, but I only managed a 215lb lift today.”
It’s easy to feel self-defeated when you lose to your former self. However, there are many factors that can contribute to doing less today than you did on a previous day. It could be environmental (i.e. the weather), the way you slept, your stress level, the food you ate, your hydration level, etc. Any of these lifestyle factors will affect your day-to-day performance. The point is, every day is a different day. Some days you feel energetic and strong and other days you don’t. Understanding this truth and accepting it will help you avoid the pitfalls of trying desperately to outdo yourself every single time.
In the short term (day-to-day or week-by-week), you may notice ups and downs which is completely normal. Do not make the mistake of comparing your current performance with recent progress or you will put yourself on an emotional rollercoaster where you feel happy when things are going well, but devastated when things don’t. Instead, look for differences only on a long-term basis. Where were you a year ago? How many push-ups could you do when you first started? If you ate well (or at least better, 2 to 3 v-score levels up than you currently do) for 2 years, how different do you think you would look and feel?
If you want to stay motivated, avoid focusing on short-term results. Put in a strong, consistent effort for several months or years (especially, at the right v-score) and I guarantee you will see tremendous results. After all, it’s a Universal Law – ‘You reap what you sow!’
Your V10 Health Coach,
P.S. If you are interested, I also make a coaching video for each of these posts on YouTube. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel so you do not miss out on any of the valuable content I share. Here is the link for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjC56mt3oR8&t=8s